Kavi Gupta presents Surface is Only a Material Vehicle For Spirit, a group exhibition spotlighting the work of eight dynamic voices within the field of contemporary abstraction, guest curated by artist Kennedy Yanko.
Is there a metaphysical side to materiality? Sculptor Kennedy Yanko’s curatorial debut with Kavi Gupta explores the complex perceptual relationships that exist between the surface realities of aesthetic phenomena, and the illusions and transcendental insights experienced by artists and viewers of the work.
“What is the disconnect between our innate knowingness and our optic interpretations of the world around us?” Yanko asks. “I am presented with something seemingly concrete in front of me only to find it is soft and supple. What happens inside me as my brain tries to understand and recalibrate itself? That dissonance is the conduit to a greater understanding—the disruption to our seeming truth that evokes consciousness.”
Inspired by the writings of abstract artist Jack Whitten (1939 – 2018), the title of this exhibition spotlights the complications that arise when when we try disseminating what is superficial from the truths that lie beyond first impressions. Whitten considered his paintings to be structured manifestations of his feelings—maps of his soul.
While each artist in this exhibition mobilizes a unique visual strategy in their work, each also offers a distinctively personal elucidation of Whitten’s belief that artists are experts at using material realities to convey the unseen depths of spirit.
Surface is Only a Material Vehicle For Spirit features a new, site-specific installation by Katie Bell, along with works by Pamela Council, Alexandre Diop, Gracelee Lawrence, Charles Mason III, Monica Rezman, Jessica Stoller, and Chiffon Thomas.
Opening reception Saturday, September 25, 2021, from 5 – 8 PM, at 219 N. Elizabeth Street, Chicago, IL, 60607.