Press Release

Jenkins Johnson Gallery is pleased to announce Summertime…, a cross-generational exhibition that brings artists from Jenkins Johnson Projects, Brooklyn into conversation with our San Francisco Gallery. This international show presents the timbre of the city in the summer by uniting exhilarating works by Harlan Mack, Devin N. Morris, Enrico Riley, and Kennedy Yanko from Jenkins Johnson Projects with works by Wesaam Al-Badry, Ben Aronson, Julia Fullerton-Batten, Lalla Essaydi, Ken Graves & Eva Lipman, Aida Muluneh, Blessing Ngobeni, Nnenna Okore, Paccarik Orue, Gordon Parks, Mimi Plumb, and David Shrobe. The exhibition will be on view from July 18 through September 15, 2018. The gallery will be closed on Labor Day weekend.

 

Enrico Riley addresses the experiences of African Americans. His paintings depict the intensity of violence and horror faced by Black Americans for centuries. His two paintings in Summertime…: Untitled: Witness and the Night Process, and Untitled: Cast Away, View From the Deck of the Aurora (a slave ship) are both from an ongoing series of work entitled Infinite Receptors. These works explore the contemporary and historical forces that have acted upon the Black body. Through a repeated use of symbols and icons, the works unfold a nonlinear narrative that jumps through time and space. Riley’s works are in numerous collections including the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Columbus Museum, Nasher Sculpture Center, and Hood Museum. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and recipient of the American Academy’s Rome Prize. Enrico Riley has an upcoming exhibition this winter at Jenkins Johnson Projects,

 

 

We are proud to present three artists: David Shrobe, Devin N. Morris, and Kennedy Yanko, who participated in The Aesthetics of Matter, the first partnered New York City project curated by the Deux Femmes Noires, Mickalene Thomas and Raquel Chevremont.

 

Through methods of cutting, re-positioning, and uniting meaning from the histories inherent in the images and objects he recovers, David Shrobe, of Harlem, New York responds to the tradition of classical portraiture by challenging its singular historical narrative and presenting alterative representations. Shrobe’s participation in Summertime… comes as a sneak peak at his upcoming solo exhibition at Jenkins Johnson Gallery this Fall. The mixed media work, Portal, demonstrates Shrobe’s focus on mapping his personal journey to create a field guide by which to navigate Harlem communities in which he lives and travels. Using domestic items collected from multiple geographies, his neighborhood being one, Shrobe responds to the constantly evolving social landscape. He is an awardee of the 2016 Fountainhead Residency in Miami, Florida and has recently exhibited in Harlem Postcards at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and in Bronx Calling: the Fourth AIM Biennial, at the Bronx Museum.

 

Through mixed media collages, Devin N. Morris similarly addresses the many assembled parts of the disparate African American history. Born in Baltimore, living in Brooklyn, Morris has been named by Time Magazine in 2017 as one of “12 African American Photographers You Should Follow,” combining elements of two-dimensional collage with three-dimensional objects, abstracting domestic environments and shared spaces. By abstracting American life and subverting traditional value systems through the exploration of racial and sexual identity in his works, Morris arranges his subjects in a manner that reads as an assemblage. Morris will participate in an exhibition at the New Museum, New York in August. He was included in We the People at the Minnesota Museum of American Art and in 2017 he took part in a panel discussion at MoMA PS1 titled Radical Edits: Reassessing Cultural Narratives. His 2017 solo show at Terrault Contemporary was also listed in Artforum as the “Best of 2017.” Morris is the editor of 3 Dot Zine, which is an annual publication that celebrates the futurity of minorities.

Sculptor Kennedy Yanko’s process is also an exercise in editing and decision-making inspired by the most literal form of cut and paste collage, working with metal, marble, wood and acrylic to expose the beauty in the abject. In contrasting the malleable character of paint with repurposed hard metals and marble, Yanko asks her viewers to question the ephemeral nature of material pursuits. Yanko was recently in “The Aesthetics of Matter,” the first NYC curatorial project by Mickalene Thomas and Racquel Chevremont, and has been featured on Vice, Juxtapoz Magazine, Interview Magazine, and more.

 

As an homage to the Oceanic and West African ceremonial masks used to commune with ancestral spirits, Harlan Mack’s steel faces in Future Kin are a way of communing with spirits that have not yet held form in matter. Merging his techniques of forging steel inspired by African American blacksmiths such as Philip Simmons with the reclamation of graffiti covered fences, Mack’s steel faces find evidence of humanity amongst the distillation of symbols relating to labor, identity, family, perception and environment. Mack has completed his MFA and teaches at the Vermont Studio Center.  He recently showed in Hidden in Plain Sight, curated by Derrick Adams at Jenkins Johnson Projects in Brooklyn.

 

In his series “There is Nothing Beautiful Around Here,” photographer Paccarik Orue focuses on the socio-economic disparities of Richmond, California, where families are struggling with unemployment, poverty, and ensuing violence and substance abuse. For the first time, this body of work, which documents the character of the city and the pride of its residents, will be shown alongside photographs by acclaimed photographer Gordon Parks, who also  captured similar social issues. Orue’s work has been shown at the SFO Museum, and featured in TheNew York Times, Juxtapox Magazine, KQED, and more. Parks has upcoming solo exhibitions at the J. Paul Getty Museum and the National Gallery of Art, DC.  Recently, “Gordon Parks: I Am You, Selected Works 1942-1978” was exhibited at Fotografiemuseum, with additional solo exhibitions at C/O Berlin, Kunstfoyer Munich, and a selection of American Museums over the next three years.

Along with select works from Moroccan photographer Lalla Essaydi’s “Bullets” series, created in response to the Arab Spring, Summertime… will exhibit the triptych Bullets Revisited #26, never before displayed at the gallery. In light of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the Muslim Ban, Jenkins Johnson Gallery will be presenting a new work from Wesaam Al-Badry’s series “Targeting for a Safer America.” By appropriating mass-produced images of Muslims as shooting targets for law enforcement agencies, Al-Badry humanizes and mourns the individuals who lost their lives to the United States military-industrial complex. Additional new photographs debuting at Jenkins Johnson Gallery include works from Julia Fullerton-Batten’s series Old Father Thames as well as selections from Mimi Plumb, and Eva Lipman. Continuing the momentum from Ben Aronson’s solo exhibition at Jenkins Johnson Gallery, Summertime… presents the most recent paintings of Ben Aronson’s spectacular cityscapes, where cities are elevated to new heights and we find ourselves participants in a unified image.