P.P.O.W
anneliis@ppowgallery.com
Works in New York, New York United States of America

BIO
P·P·O·W was founded by Wendy Olsoff and Penny Pilkington in the first wave of the East-Village Art Scene in New York City in 1983. In 1988 the gallery moved to Soho and in 2002 moved to Chelsea. P·P·O·W maintains a diverse roster of national and international artists.

Since its inception, the gallery has remained true to its early vision, showing contemporary work in all media. There is a commitment to representational painting and sculpture and artists who create work with social and political content.
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EVENT

Robin F. Williams: Sons of the Pioneers


Dates:
Thu Feb 13, 2014 15:05 - Sat Mar 15, 2014

Location:
New York, New York
United States of America

P.P.O.W is pleased to present Robin F. Williams’ second solo exhibition at the gallery entitled Sons of the Pioneers. Through a series of paintings Williams challenges the roles of American masculinity and traditional portraiture by replacing the idyllic female, or odalisque, with romanticized scenes of men in various states of idleness. The narratives depicted circle around an inverted version of manifest destiny wherein men abandon their conquests and choose stillness, allowing the next frontier to be an inward quest. Through various painting techniques and a neon palette, Williams drapes each figure with mixed identities that mask traditional signifiers of purpose and patriarchy in order to construct a new and sympathetic masculine mythology.

Williams presents each portrait from her position as the “other,” using the tondo as a strategy to reinforce the voyeuristic, peeping nature of the artist’s gaze. In the works Hunter, Astronaut, Onlooker and Sun Hat Sunset, she adorns each male with ornamental hats and accessories, allowing them to reflect sensibilities not typically associated with the male portrait. In these works, Williams repeats patterns and foliage so to weave her subjects together while consciously shifting her treatment of the paint to simultaneously create a sense of individualism for each character. Using external props, some self made and others her own clothing, Williams is able to further reflect the subject’s sense of a shared identity, complicating the concept of otherness.

Sons of the Pioneers continues Williams’ exploration of psychological portraiture and marks a departure from her depiction of children, which was the focus of her previous exhibitions. It is evident in these works that Williams’ painting techniques have continued to develop alongside her expanded subject matter. Within these works Williams draws resemblance from the innovative mark making of post-impressionist Georges-Pierre Seurat, to the paintings of Mary Cassat that re-cast the role of women over a century ago, to the psychedelic pallet of nineties graphic designer Lisa Frank.

Robin F. Williams was born in Ohio in 1984 and currently lives and works in Brooklyn. She received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. She has been included in numerous exhibition in New York and California. Williams has been honored as the Josephine Mercy Heathcote Fellow at The MacDowell Colony and the 2010 Brooklyn Academy “Playbill Artist.”


EVENT

Jessica Stoller: Spoil


Dates:
Thu Jan 09, 2014 18:00 - Sat Feb 08, 2014

Location:
New York, New York
United States of America

P.P.O.W will present an installation of sculptures by Jessica Stoller, which will be our first solo exhibition with the artist. In Spoil, Stoller uses clay and the grotesque as a vehicle to explore the constructed, often idealized world of femininity, gathering imagery across cultural lines and histories, often fixating on the subjugation of the female body. Porcelain is her primary media, a historically weighted material that is inevitably linked to desire, mystery and consumption. The sculptures in Spoil spill out of decorative materiality into the Rococo maximalist mentality of pageantry, pomp and artifice that are often overlooked as frivolous ploys. Through the synthesis of the symbolic female, culturally, historically and bodily, Stoller allows feminist language to expand within her work leaving room for subversion, defiance and play.

Stoller uses a myriad of techniques to create her highly detailed works. First, hand-building the porcelain forms and incorporating porcelain slip, or liquid clay to coat fabric which burns away through controlled firing, leaving draping lace and flesh-like fabric ribbons. Stoller’s knowledge of the medium allows her to manipulate the clay creating a wide-range of effects: piped cakes, dripping syrup and rows of spikes and interlocking chains undergo multiple firings to develop each richly colored surface. The resulting works embody a powerful sense of oppositions which blur the lines between real and imitated, normal and abnormal, perceived beauty and the bodily abject.

The installation is comprised of sculptures ranging from tabletop scaled busts to elaborate multi-piece works. In the center of the gallery Stoller presents a large still life that is reminiscent of French grand dining practices of the 18th century, when porcelain replaced sugar sculptures, becoming essential in creating lavish table decorations of allegorical and mythological themes. Stoller’s tableau seduces the viewer into its bountiful tiers of carnal illusions where nipples become macaroons. The intricate assemblage pays homage to religious and historic iconographies (16th century Vanitas paintings, Marie Antoinette’s breast cup) and contemporary semiotics of abject hands stuffed with lace and adorned with long curling embellished nails, oversized anime eye pendants and silver plated hybrid antlered skulls. Stoller’s work is grounded in dual appearances; mobilizing our vision of the grotesque in opposition of contemporary societal controls that still plague the feminine body.

Jessica Stoller was born in Michigan in 1981 and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her BFA from the College for Creative Studies, and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Stoller's work has been reviewed, in such publications as The New York Times, Ceramics: Art and Perception, and N. Pandora Feminist Journal, among others. She has been included in recent exhibitions at Greenwich House Pottery, NY; Wave Hill, NY; Fuller Craft Museum, MA; and Nurture Art, NY. Solo show venues at Hionas Gallery, NY; and The Clay Studio, PA. Stoller has been honored to participate in residencies including the Kohler Arts & Industry Program, WI and The Museum of Arts and Design’s Open Studio Program, NY. A recent Peter S. Reed grantee and a Louis C. Tiffany Nominee, her work is also included in numerous private collections.


EVENT

Dotty Attie: The Lone Ranger


Dates:
Thu Nov 21, 2013 18:00 - Sat Dec 21, 2013

Location:
New York, New York
United States of America

P.P.O.W will present an installation of new paintings by Dotty Attie, which will be our ninth solo exhibtion with the artist. Since the 1970s, Attie’s multi-panel compositions have explored gender identity, politics, and culture through the re-imaging of well-known paintings and photography. This new group of paintings, based on an assortment of found photographs, are rendered in her signature palette of black, white, and grey highlighted with touches of flesh tones. In this series Attie turns her attention to the iconic actions of the popular heroic figure The Lone Ranger. In an attempt to un-mask this legendary American folk icon, Attie presents a host of images which suggest an alternate reality to the constructed version we are so accustomed to through television and film. With her recombinative process Attie makes power visible through the use of subtly subversive paintings and carefully composed text.

Lined up horizontally on the wall, these sequences of canvases create sentence-like structures reminiscent of scenes from a film. Each one portrays an image pertaining to The Lone Ranger and our expectations of his success. In the work “Masked Men” Attie paints portraits of a series of male figures -- including baseball catchers, hockey players, batman, soldiers, and deep sea divers – all wearing an appropriate mask. The accompanying text tiles reveal: “Many tried to emulate the masked man’s success, but few were able to capture the public imagination.” Looking at the viewer, these masked men appear both ominous and ridiculous.

In other works, Attie continues to delve into the American radio show culture and early televison as another work states, “The Lone Ranger was always to be found wherever assistance was needed.” Attie accumulates images of violence: electric chairs, shootings, crashes, and other portentious scenarios documenting American history through photography and film noir. Again, Attie’s benign texts are juxtaposed with the violent and erotic images provided by a cultural heritage producing a seductive but disturbing experience.


EVENT

Sky is Falling: Paintings by Julie Heffernan


Dates:
Thu Oct 17, 2013 18:00 - Sat Nov 16, 2013

Location:
New York, New York
United States of America

P.P.O.W is pleased to announce Sky is Falling, our seventh solo exhibition of work by Julie Heffernan. Heffernan’s new paintings explore various levels of societal chaos, environmental catastrophes and humankind’s role as nature’s keeper. The figures are heroically determined to gather and collect elements of a world that is falling apart leaving only time to answer if, and when, the bag will drop.

Writer Rebecca Solnit in her essay “Dandelion Clocks and Time Bombs” further explains that Heffernan’s “paintings are her testimony in a language more immediate than words to the fires, to the falling, to the disorder, to the anxious mix of fear and hope, and to our stance as complicit witness.” However, the figure in the painting Self Portrait as Catastrophic Failure is anything but complicit as she perches high in a canopy, battling flames that are engulfing a city which has been contained in a net bag. Her hands are full, one with a hose and the other with a set of scissors, like weights in a scale, contemplating whether it is best to cut the burning city loose or fight the fire. Simultaneously, the woman’s eyes are fixed on an icy dwelling, situated on a branch above her that appears to be melting. Within this painting, Heffernan reveals the delicate nature of what humankind can save and what is already lost.

In Sky is Falling, Heffernan presents what Solnit describes as a “new kind of history painting” which extends beyond the known traditions of landscape paintings. All of these works remark on the nature of human society, the cycles of life and the possibilities of renewal through preservation of iconic treasures, traditions and cultures. Her new paintings carry heavy histories of the past as they try to valiantly reshape the future.

Julie Heffernan was born in Peoria, Illinois. She was raised in Northern California and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. She received a BFA at the University of California, Santa Cruz and a MFA from Yale School of Art in 1985. She is currently a professor at Montclair State University in New Jersey.

Heffernan’s work is included in many national and international collections and has been exhibited continuously over the last three decades. She has received numerous prestigious recognitions including fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Fulbright-Hayes and residencies at MacDowell Colony and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She was inducted into the National Academy Museum and was highlighted as the Guest Artist for the Brooklyn Academy of Music; she was the Commencement Speaker for the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (2010) and was included in an American Academy of Arts & Letters Annual Exhibition. Her work is in the collections of The Mint Museum, NC; the Weatherspoon Art Gallery, NC; The Progressive Corporation, OH; the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, VA; the Zabludowicz Art Trust, London; the Olbricht Collection, Berlin and Damien Hirst’s MurderMe, London. Her work has been included in the Kwangju Biennial, Korea and in exhibitions at the Tampa Museum Of Art, FL; Knoxville Museum Of Art, TN; Columbia Museum Of Art, SC; Milwaukee Art Museum, WI; The New Museum, NY; The Norton Museum, FL; Kohler Arts Center, WI; The Palmer Museum Of Art, PA; McNay Art Museum, TX; Herter Art Gallery, MA and the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, OK.

A traveling retrospective of her work, accompanied by the eponymous catalogue Everything that Rises, was organized by the University Art Museum, University of Albany (Albany, New York) in 2006. A traveling show entitled Sky is Falling is currently at the Palo Alto Art Center and later in the year will travel to The Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, CA. Her work has garnered critical attention in numerous publications including Artforum, Art in America, ARTnews, and The New York Times.


EVENT

Opening of SKINTRADE: an in-depth look at the surface of things


Dates:
Thu Jun 27, 2013 14:20 - Sat Jul 27, 2013

Location:
New York, New York
United States of America

P.P.O.W is pleased to present Skin Trade, an exhibition curated by Martha Wilson and Larry List that explores the use of skin as a subject or metaphor in art. The exhibition encompasses thirty-one artists of varying generations, with works that span from Joan Semmel’s Intimacy – Autonomy and Ana Mendieta’s Sweating Blood, 1974 to the work of Elana Katz, Color Me Clear and Robin Williams, The Artist as Future Self, 2011.

In slang, the term “skin trade” refers to “any or all aspects of the burlesque, exotic dance, pornography or prostitution industries.” However, when taken in parts, “skin – trade” can imply many types of exchanges - often intimate and almost always dealing with beauty, identity, mortality, or eros. Grouped according to these four designations and displayed throughout the gallery, the works of Skin Trade speak to the creative potential behind this surface of initial contact. Through photography, sculpture, paint, and video, the included artists address the potential impact of skin; what it means when focus is drawn to this meeting place between a person and the rest of the world.

Skin may be displayed, offered, or denied in return for affection, pity, acceptance, or love. Skin can be offered to show vulnerability or defiance. Skin may be enhanced in hopes of attaining greater beauty, social privilege, or advancement. It may be otherwise altered to fit in, camouflage, disguise, or even disappear for survival’s sake. Taken to extremes, skin can be distorted to create an entirely new identity. It is both a cliché and a durable truth that “first impressions are lasting ones,” and so it is of no surprise that the artists of Skin Trade continue to use this surface as a form of creative expression.

In recent years, Neo-burlesque performance, as a conduit of self-expression and empowerment, has been fueled by heightened interest in performance art, identity, gender, and queer studies. Parallel programs of live performances by Xandra Ibarra (aka la Chica Boom) at Wild Project Theater and by Jo Weldon and friends, of New York School of Burlesque, are being planned to accompany the exhibition.

Many thanks to collaborators and lenders: Alexander Gray Associates, NY; Betty Cunningham Gallery, NY; Brooklyn Museum, NY; Clampart, NY; Eli Klein Fine Art, NY; Galerie LeLong, NY; Gallery Paule Anglim, CA; Georgia Scherman Projects, Inc., Toronto; Invisible Exports, NY; LA Louver Gallery, CA; The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, NY; New York School of Burlesque (Jo Weldon); Salon 94, NY; Sean Kelly Gallery, NY; The Studio Museum, NY; Stux Gallery, NY; Xandra Ibarra; The Wild Theater Project, NY.

A catalog essay by Larry List and illustrated checklist will be available as a free, downloadable PDF @ ppowgallery.com