Kiaf Seoul 2022
Bianca Beck, Strauss Bourque-LaFrance, Anne Buckwalter, Anya Kielar, Erica Mao, Elbert Joseph Perez, Robert Zehnder
Kiaf Seoul 2022
Bianca Beck, Strauss Bourque-LaFrance, Anne Buckwalter, Anya Kielar, Erica Mao, Elbert Joseph Perez, Erica Mao, Robert Zehnder
Preview Day: Friday, September 2
General Days: Saturday, September 3 - Tuesday, September 6
Rachel Uffner Gallery is thrilled to announce our participation in the 2022 edition of Kiaf Seoul. Our presentation will focus on seven artists, highlighting the gallery’s established program as well as newer voices. Our installation will focus on painting and sculpture and include new work by Bianca Beck, Strauss Bourque-LaFrance, Anne Buckwalter, Anya Kielar, Erica Mao, Elbert Joseph Perez, and Robert Zehnder.
Bianca Beck (b. 1979, Columbus, OH) earned a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA and an MFA from Yale University, New Haven, CT. The artist brings expressionistic painting to biomorphic papier-mâché forms. Using the human figure as a point of departure, Beck creates exuberant sculptures which shape-shift and evolve depending on the viewer’s perspective. Using their own symbolic language of color and gesture, Beck challenges binary constructs of gender and other socially prescribed boundaries.
Using techniques of collage, Strauss Bourque-LaFrance (b. 1983, Poland Spring, ME) often layers canvas with paint, adhesives, and other materials to emphasize the tactile nature and sculptural capacities of painting. Scraps rescued from past experiments—what the artist calls “failed paintings”—are recontextualized in new pieces, adding further nuance to his compositions. Materials and images embedded in Bourque-LaFrance’s paintings originate from an array of sources—such as books, found fabrics, and studio debris—acting as keys, clues, and footnotes to the artist’s process. He often uses poetic wordplay in his paintings’ titles, inserting cultural references, psychological idiosyncrasies, and off-kilter humor alongside visual abstraction. Bourque-LaFrance has a BA from Hampshire College, Amherst, MA and an MFA from Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA.
Anne Buckwalter (b. 1987, Lancaster, PA) received her BFA from Tyler School of Art, and her MFA from Maine College of Art. Visually distinguished by their flattened depictions of orderly domestic interiors and arrangements of various personal objects, her paintings enable for the coexistence of wholesomeness and innocence alongside eroticism, desire, and sexual expression. Packed with wood furniture, quilts, and quint decor, Buckwalter draws upon the enduring influence of Pennsylvania Dutch folk art, a holdover from her childhood in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Her compositions appear conventional, however, Buckwalter incorporates objects of sexual curiosities such as BDSM props, and items associated with personal health, hygiene, or fertility, such as condoms, medication bottles, and pregnancy tests. Instead of sensationalizing the presence of these objects, Buckwalter incorporates them as plain components of everyday life.
Anya Kielar (b. 1978, New York, NY) earned a BFA from The Cooper Union School of Art, New York and an MFA from Columbia University, New York. Kielar’s practice pursues the symbolic possibilities of feminine archetypes and the female form. In this series of shadowbox sculptures, Kielar presents slightly larger-than-life figures, composed of stylized fragments set in a relief sculpture. Using labor intensive techniques inspired by upholstery and other decorative arts traditionally associate with the domestic, Kielar fastidiously wraps each element in hand-painted textiles, enveloping the forms in unifying patterns. By complicating their appearance, these figures’ bodies become visually ambiguous vessels for the ideas about women and female power that have floated across history.
Erica Mao (b. 1994, Columbia, MD) received a BFA from Parsons School of Design, NY and an MFA from Columbia University, NY. She has become known for her visceral oil paintings depicting pseudo-biblical compositions of desolate landscapes, smoldering with fire or leveled by flood. Enigmatic figures in search of shelter and salvation populate the foreground of her scenes while deserted homes and hallowed caverns loom in the background. Though heavily influenced by artists like Burchfield, and the Hudson River School, Mao’s imagery is unique to her experience, recalling both the wetlands and forests of Maryland which snake around cookie-cutter suburban developments, and the dense jungles in Taiwan. Mao echos the scenes of her oil paintings onto a number of ceramic slabs which will also be presented on the walls of our Kiaf booth.
Elbert Joseph Perez (b. 1991, Brooklyn, NY) works in his father’s auto-body mechanic shop by day and paints by night. A self-taught artist, Perez pulls inspiration from a variety of sources, including the western cannon of Old Masters and French and Dutch Still Life painting, internet culture, religion, and philosophy. His paintings exist in an alternative plane, between waking and dream life and often depict animals in dark scenarios, referencing anxiety, fragility, the space between life and death, and metamorphosis. Each composition balances humor and fear, and power and vulnerability.
Robert Zehnder (b. 1992, Summit, NJ) earned a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL. He has become known for his oil paintings of undulating futuristic landscapes which have succumbed to the effects of industrial civilization. Despite the arduous darkness of this projected dystopian destiny, swaths of green grass, babbling streams, and bulbous shrubs emerge amongst the lifeless earth in Zehnder’s paintings. The artist’s cautious optimism portrays our planet in a state of adaptation, imploding and rebuilding, suggesting the possibility of a new era of fertility.