Summer, Piping Down the Valleys Wild

A Group Exhibition

June 28 - August 3, 2012

Steven Charles, thdihasp, 2012, Acrylic and fur on canvas, 58 x 54 inches, 147 x 137 cm

Barnaby Whitfield, Island (I'm the only one! That can carry his disease!), 2009, Pastel on paper, 30 x 24 inches, 76 x 61 cm

Manabu Yamanaka, Gyahtei #16, 1995, Silver Gelatin Print, 68 x 31 inches, 172.72 x 78.74 cm

Ruud van Empel, Baby #3, 2005, Cibachrome, Dibond, plexiglas, 23.5 x 16.5 inches (59.7 x 41.9 cm)

Ruud van Empel, Baby #4, 2005, Cibachrome, Di bond, perspex, 23.5 x 16.5 inches (59.7 x 41.9 cm)

Kosyo, Blown Skull, 2004-2006, Painted Aquaresin Sculpture, 22 x 22 x 19 inches (55.9 x 55.9 x 48.3 cm)

Kosyo Minchev, Boar #3, 2012, Silicone, 9 x 13 inches, 23 x 33 cm

Sokari Douglas Camp, Paisley King and Queen Blue, 2008, Steel, Perspex, 53 x 44 x 18 inches , 135 x 112 x 46 cm

Maimouna Guerresi, Blue Family , 2009, Lambdaprint Triptych, 39 x 43 inches, 100 x 135 cm 

Kathy Ruttenberg, The Messenger, 2010, Ceramic, 16 x 36 x 22 inches, 41 x 91 x 56 cm

Kathy Ruttenberg, School of Fish , 2011, Ceramic, plastic, metal, 25 x 26 x 26 inches, 64 x 66 x 66 cm

Miki Carmi, dad, 2008, Oil on canvas, 49x37 inches

Anna Joelsdottir, Residue #1, 2012, Acrylic, ink, drafting film, thread, metal and glitter on wooden stick structure, 24 x 48 x 10 inches, 61 x 122 x 25 cm

Margaret Evangeline, Bridesmaid, 2010, Gunshot powder-coated stainless steel, 46 x 46 inches, 117 x 117 cm

Halim al Karim, Hidden Love 1, 2009, Lambda Print on Aluminum, 67 x 47 inches, 170 x 120 cm

Aaron Johnson, Red Bicycle, 2012, Acrylic, polyester net, palm leaf, cardboard, and hair on canvas, 66 x 78 inches, 168 x 198 cm

Kosyo Minchev, Boar #1, 2012, Silicone, 29 x 23 inches, 74 x 58 cm

himon Okshteyn, Daily Dose, 2008, Oil on mirror, 75 x 50 inches (191 x 127 cm)

James Busby, Side Square, 2010, Gesso, graphite and oil on panel, 15 x 12 inches , 38 x 31 cm

Akikazu Iwamoto, Untitled #23, 2012, Colored pencil on paper, 14 x 10 inches, 36 x 26 cm

Akikazu Iwamoto, The Father 2, 2012, Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 24 inches, 76 x 61 cm

Akikazu Iwamoto, The Father, 2012, Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 inches, 122 x 91 cmAkikazu Iwamoto, The Father 2, 2012, Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 24 inches, 76 x 61 cm

Stux Gallery is pleased to present our group show, Summer, “Piping Down the Valleys Wild”. The title takes after the first line of William Blakeʼs 1789 Songs of Innocence, the pioneering suite of poems that rethinks Miltonʼs states of “Paradise” and the “Fall” as presented in Paradise Lost. This show of 16 artists presents a timely update on the discussion of the sustainability of innocence in the contemporary world.

Blake introduces "innocence" and "experience" as two states of consciousness, connected by a child's perception and increased exposure of the fallen world. These verses juxtapose the pastoral childhood with the adult world of repression, corruption and darkness, and trace the complex fears and hopes that take place as innocence diminishes.

More than two centuries later, technological advancements and ideological shifts have permanently transformed the human experience, but our enslavement to the cycle of life, longing for imagination, and capability for cruelty still linger. Consequently, innocence has become increasingly fragile and difficult to identify; a mere definition of innocence that accommodates the multiple social, political, religious and personal perspectives simultaneously at play is in itself difficult to achieve.

This show brings together an eclectic collection of viewpoints on the current role and status of innocence. Barnaby Whitfield, Sokari Douglas Camp, Aaron Johnson, Shimon Okshteyn, Kathy Ruttenberg and Akikazu Iwamotoʼs narrative new works address the new multifaceted, dynamic relationship between innocence and experience. Full of ambiguity, the lively colors and stylized figures are accessible, engaging and overwhelmingly haunting. Halim Al Karim, Miki Carmi, Maimouna Guerressi, Kosyo Minchev, Manabu Yamanaka, and Ruud van Empelʼs portraits instead zoom in on the human/animal body itself as a product of its natural anatomy as well as the sociopolitical climate.

In the works of Anna Jóelsdóttir, James Busby, Margaret Evangeline, and Steven Charles, human forms and storylines are transformed, replaced entirely by immersive fields of abstraction. The absence of representation urges viewers to become particularly conscious of their viewing experience, means of interpretation and personal history.

Participating artists: Halim Al Karim, James Busby, Sokari Douglas Camp, Miki Carmi, Steven Charles, Margaret Evangeline, Maimouna Guerresi, Akikazu Iwamoto, Anna Jóelsdóttir, Aaron Johnson, Kosyo Minchev, Shimon Okshteyn, Kathy Ruttenberg, Ruud van Empel, Barnaby Whitfield, Manabu Yamanaka.