Works in New York, New York United States of America

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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Sky is Falling: Paintings by Julie Heffernan

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

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.


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

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

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


Opening of Carolee Schneemann's "Flange 6rpm"

Sat May 11, 2013 00:00 - Sat Jun 22, 2013

New York, New York
United States of America

Reception: Saturday, May 11, 6-8pm

P·P·O·W is pleased to present Carolee Schneemann’s fourth exhibition at the gallery entitled Flange 6rpm. Originally a painter, Carolee Schneemann is a pioneer of extended media, from her explorations of 'geometry of motion' in Lateral Splay, 1963, the provocative group performance Meat Joy, 1964, her self-shot erotic film Fuses, 1965, and the meditation of solitary movements in Up To and Including Her Limits, 1973-76.

Upon entering the gallery the viewer is immersed in the projected foundry fires of Schneemann’s latest multi-sensory installation, Flange 6rpm. Seven motorized sculptural units; containing hand-sculpted components are uniquely, cast in aluminum from a lost wax process. The aluminum sculptures are not polished, but maintain a rough textured sill marked from the fire of the foundry. The sculptural units are each mounted on a motorized base which moves them at six revolutions per minute – slowly, side to side, as well as forward and back – in a continuous motion so that the sculptural elements are almost touching, creating a sense of tension and unpredictability.


Portia Munson, "Reflecting Pool"

Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:05 - Sat May 04, 2013

New York, New York
United States of America

P•P•O•W is pleased to present Portia Munson's fourth exhibition at the gallery entitled Reflecting Pool. Munson continues to employ photography, sculpture and installation to form interconnected works that examine the relationship of the natural to the artificial. Munson's work is a record of this moment in time as she observes the changes to her local environment and the impact that cars, roads and buildings have on natural places and wildlife.

Upon entering the gallery the viewer is immediately immersed in Munson's world by a series of still life memento mori hanging on photographic wallpaper of oversized dandelions. Munson creates these images by scanning flowers and creatures from her garden and surrounding woods and roadsides. Formally inspired by the structure of the flowers, Munson slices into buds, pulls blossoms apart and layers them onto one another, creating mandala-like compositions that in eastern religions represent the universe. These images conjure the ephemeral nature of the botanical along with its innate utopian beauty.

While moving through the gallery one comes upon an above-ground pool containing thousands of found plastic objects in all shades of blue. This is Munson's latest installation, Reflecting Pool, which literally presents a flood of plastic. Each piece represents the millions of discarded multiples that have been rapidly accumulating and polluting our world. The color blue ironically represents clean clear water, sky and air, yet in reality these objects are trash the artist collected from roadsides, streams and landfills. Reflecting Pool, as in Munson's earlier installations, Pink Project, The Garden and Lawn, is a meditation on how mass consumption defines society and its effects; a reminder of how rapidly plastic objects are produced, consumed and discarded to then spend the majority of their synthetic existence as waste, leaving nature to wage the long-fought battle of decomposition in landfills and ocean gyres.

Portia Munson
was born in Beverly, MA in 1961 and currently lives and works in Catskill, NY. She holds a BFA from Cooper Union and a MFA from Rutgers University. She has also studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States and internationally in such venues as The New Museum, New York, NY; MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA; The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA and The Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Finland. Her work has been reviewed and written about in many publications including The New York Times, Harper's Magazine, Art in America, Newsweek, USA Today, The New Yorker, Flash Art and Artforum. Munson has recently completed a MTA, Arts for Transit Public Art installation at the Fort Hamilton Parkway Station in Brooklyn, NY. In April, P.P.O.W will be showing a selection of Munson's work at the AIPAD photography fair in New York City. A limited edition silk scarf will be produced in conjunction with this exhibition.


Melanie Bonajo: One Question, Three Rooms, 44 Possible Answers.

Thu Feb 28, 2013 00:00 - Sat Mar 30, 2013

New York, New York
United States of America

Melanie Bonajo

Does the sun only set for humans?
One Question, Three Rooms, 44 Possible Answers

February 28 – March 30, 2013
Opening Reception: Thursday, Feb. 28, 6-8pm

Is there wisdom on the end of nature?
The perfect woman, what does she want?
Who is the problem?
Why was Marx not a Marxist?
Does the sleep of emotions produce monsters?
Is information a third kind of stuff?
Did you only survive by mistake?
How many humans can fit into utopia?
Do we leave the Animal Kingdom out in the darkness?
Do we need to take sides?
Do we let patterns of conceptual convenience leave unsuitable marks on our perception?
Do we need sensitive enquiry into our inner life to do business?
What if the 72 virgins are not like they expected?
Is reason linked to sex?
Are women human too?
What defines an animal?
Are borders of species a hard bound volume of the library of nature?
Can we discover something that always existed?
Can science understand the behavior of stones?
Can we simply toss up and choose at random?
Do we have to be so confident?
Is the sky touchable?
Can you point out the border between heaven and hell?
Are habitats of the heart motivated by megalomania?
When God appears do you welcome her?
When the Devil appears do you welcome her?
Is duality a virus of the mind?
Who built the first fence?
Are animals machines?
Do we need more vagina buildings?
Why is gender relevant?
Where does change start?
Does your cat need to get rid of its ego?
Is utopia just for humans?
If one being matters do all beings matter?
Is god-free metaphysics the alarm that greeted our end?
Did I only survive by mistake?
Is faith an efficient parasite?
Where does your gaze rest?
What has become of the body?
What purpose does it have to invent a new one?
Is mutual dependence no longer part of human life?
Can happiness be proven?

Melanie Bonajo lives and works in Amsterdam and Berlin. Her work has been exhibited and performed in international art institutions, such as De Appel Arts Cente, Amsterdam; Institute Neérlandais, Paris; Modern Art Museum, Ljubljana; Kohun National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; SMBA, Amsterdam; Program, Berlin; Museum of Modern Art, Arnhem and Foam, Amsterdam. Bonajo had created seven photographic monographs; I have a Room with Everything 2009, Furniture Bondage 2009, Modern Life of the Soul 2008, Volkerschau and Bush Compulsion 2009, 1 question 9 possible answers 3 rooms 2012, Spheres 2012. In 2012, Bonajo initiated the collective GENITAL INTERNATIONAL which focuses on subjects around participation, equality, environment and politics beyond polarity.