LOW BLOW: And Other Species Of Confusion

A Group Exhibition

June 18 - July 17, 2009

Kristen Schiele, Burn For My Love, 2009, mixed media, dimensions variable (20.5 x 

Aaron Johnson, The Exposure of Luxury, 2009, acrylic on polyester knit mesh, 75 x 60.5 in (190.5 x 153.5 cm)

Don Porcella, Nature BOy, the Nakes Beekeper with Split Personality, 2009, pipecleaners, 60 x 40 x 25 in (152 x 101.5 x 63.5 cm)

Reena Saini Kallet, Synonym F, 2009, acrylic on rubber stamps, 72 x 48 in (183 x 122 cm)

Tom Sanford, Client 9, 2008, oil and fake silver and gesso on paper, 60 x 42.5 in (152.5 x 108 cm)

Christoph Schmidberger, You wake Up One Day But It Will Be Too Late, 2008, colored pencil, 22 x 27.5 in (56 x 70 cm)

Tracey Snelling, Strip Club 2, 2008, wood, paint, metal, lights, fake landscaping, lcd screens, media players, speakers, transformers, 13 x 34 x 24 in (33 x 86.5 x 61 cm)

Ashley Hope, The Downes Effect: Swallows, 2008, gouache on paper, 48 x 48 in  (122 x 122 cm)

Shimon Okshteyn, Untitled, 2009, mixed media, 8 x10 in (20.32 x 25.4 cm)

Barnaby Whitfield, Fresh Horses, 2009, pastel on paper, 50 x 70 in (127 x 177.8 cm)

Tracy Moffat & Gary Hillberg, Artist, 2000, DVD, 10 minute loop

Benji Whalen, 2009, polymer clas on aluminum, 22 x 19 x 13 in (56 x 48 x 33 cm)

RIde the Tiger, 2009, Ebroidery floss on stuffed cotton and cotton shirt, 23 in (58.5 cm)

Road to Calvary, 2009, Ebroidery floss on stuffed cotton and cotton shirt, 23 in (58.5 cm)

Lydia Venieri, The Bride Widow, 2009, offset print on satin, 40 x 80 in (101.5 x 203 cm). edition of three

Claudia Hart, The Seasons: Video Object, 2009, quicktime video with stereo sound, mac mini computer, panasonic monitor, custom frame over aluminum anfastructure, 10 minute loop, 25 x .35 in (132 x 89 cm), edition of 6

Scott Anderson, Alliance, 2009, oil on canvas mounted to board, 40 x 50 in (101.5 x 127 cm)

Dennis Oppenheim, Electric KIss, 2009, steel rod, acrylic rod, mirrored ball, electric light, 21 x 18 x 18 in (53.5 x 45.72 cm)

Miki Carmi, Granpa, 2008, oil on canvas, 22 x 28 in (56 x 71 cm)

Brent Birnbaum, I have a Dream Catcher in the Rye Whiskey, 2009, mixed media, 96 x 96 x 8 in (244 x 244 x 20.5 cm)

Scott Anderson,   Brent Birnbaum,   Miki Carmi,   Claudia Hart,   Ashley Hope,   Aaron Johnson

Reena Saini Kallat,   Tracey Moffatt,   Shimon Okshteyn,   Dennis Oppenheim,   Don Porcella,   Tom Sanford

Kristen Schiele,   Christoph Schmidberger,   Tracey Snelling,   Lydia Venieri,   Benji Whalen,   Barnaby Whitfield


There are 18 artists in “Low Blow: And Other Species of Confusion” all producing imagery: some painting, some sculpture, some video, some photo, some installation. Ashley Hope paints realistic yet strangely decorative and impassive paintings of beautiful young women, brutally murdered. Brent Birnbaum creates shrines from modules of consumer kitsch resulting in Vegas- casino-esque spectacles that snark at imperialism. Tracey Moffatt collages film clips from camp classics like Batman where the Joker defiles Rembrandts with a particularly seductive smarm, while Kristen Schiele makes environments loaded with B-movie lesbian vampires. We visit Tracey Snelling’s miniaturized strip club seething with seedy activity, and we sneer at Tom Sanford's scathing portrait of a governor who famously fell prey to vice. Aaron Johnson's homage to Bronzino provokes the timeless notion that everything beautiful must decay, likewise explored in Barnaby Whitfield's unsurpassably perverse allegories. In Claudia Hart’s digital simulation, The Seasons, a female game avatar slowly decays, engulfed by a climbing rose vine. Curious characters in dubious acts are sculpted absurdly with pipe cleaners by Don Porcella, and Benji Whalen's disembodied arms and heaps of miniature bodies strike a chord of black comedy.


These are all but a few of the images of life in death and death in life in this exhibit. They resonate eerily of the paradoxical order that seems to emerge from the irrational and anarchy, evoking the Feast of Fools and the uncanny, the site of the collapse of opposites: the historical and literary terrain of the Grotesque. This Low Blow’s Grotesque dwells in the shadow of the Bush regime and the 2009 economic collapse, suggesting political and social decay and the fall of empires.


This exhibit is the result of a curatorial collaboration between Aaron Johnson and Stefan Stux.