Get it while it’s cheap #5

GIWIC 5 web

14 July – 20 August,  2017

Opening reception Friday 14 July, 2017 from 6 – 10 pm

Gallery Hours: Saturday + Sunday 12 – 6 pm

Location: 990 Spring Garden, Philadelphia

Marginal Utility is pleased to present ‘get it while it’s cheap #5’, a summer group show featuring new projects by Em Jensen, Olivia Jia, Sam Jones and Sophie White.

Em Jensen: I am interested in the role of satire in pop culture and in that, the role of exaggeration within satirical media. Using video performance as caricature of persona and sculpture as caricature of object, I study how these mediums create representations of identities and icons. Through the use of sculpture and iconography, I investigate an object’s ability to exist sarcastically.

Olivia Jia: I paint archives, books, museum displays – objects that form portals to the past, or at least seem to perform in such a manner. In my paintings, the architectures of these institutional forms are ambivalent structures. They are functional objects of taxonomy yet often reveal little by the way of linguistic denotation. The artifacts and images I depict are framed in these structures, removed from genuine archaeological context, evasive.

Through painting, I attempt to better understand my relationship with various strands of history, from the public to the private. I think of painting as another kind of excavation, in which material is shifted to discover something previously unknown; once paint has coated the surface of a panel, it is a matter of renegotiating edges, of pushing the material this way and that, of committing to an action and seeing how the painting reacts, until the image reveals itself.

Sam Jones: My subject matter derives from art history and popular culture and I explore a variety of visual languages and material investigations in my practice. Through the faculty of drawing, I use imagery that can slip between readings. Similar to comics, my work operates somewhere between abstraction and representation. The imagery in my work is recognizable, but my priority is to engage the picture plane through various formal devices, including: repetition of image, consideration of composition, and investigation of scale. I employ a range of subjects – guns with smoke puffs, high heeled shoes, cartoonish faces, boxing gloves, stars, letters, numbers, and anthropomorphized forms – each providing the viewer with an open terrain for understanding the work’s meaning. In this way, my content is formed through symbolic familiarities and associations physically implied by the languages of painting and drawing.

Sophie White: As an urban native, economic forces have pushed and pursued me from home to home. My presence as an artist, in neighborhoods on the cusp of gentrification, seems to accelerate the process. By quickly making small paintings from observation at home I preserve brief moments in which the light and the arrangement of objects make visible those idiosyncratic qualities that I identify with in my environment. Painting allows for a close visual translation (from my eyes to the painted surface) of my subjective experience of the subject matter, since the image is mediated only by my brush and hand. From my collection of small observational paintings, I have been selecting a few to paint from on larger canvases. As once familiar places fade further into the past, their relative importance within my internal world crystalizes while they are distorted in memory. As I enlarge and re-paint images that I once painted from life, I re-enter lost spaces and reanimate moments in the past.