Salon 94 Bowery presents a Summer group exhibition, A Being In The World. Curated by artist Jayson Musson and gallery Partner and Curator Fabienne Stephan, the exhibition gathers the work of over a dozen artists. Stephan describes the artworks as all “ sharing personal iconography, characters, and an intimate hermetic that reaches out to the world that inspires it.” The multi-generational list of artists include: Emilia Brintnall, James Castle, Steven and Billy Dufala, William Edmondson, Gerasimos Floratos, Mark Thomas Gibson, Maia Ruth Lee, Caro Niederer, Lee Scratch Perry, Tschabalala Self, Katie Stout, Bill Traylor, and James Ulmer.
The show was greatly aided by conversations with Philadelphia gallerist John Ollman, who has long championed the work of outsider artists such as William Edmondson, a hospital janitor in Nashville, Tennessee who developed a sculptural practice of carving symbolic religious figures from tombstones and was the first African American artist to be given a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in1937. A Being In The World juxtaposes work by Edmondson and other self-taught artists like Bill Traylor and James Castle with a new generation of artists who have built their practice on readily identifiable images, self created linguistics, and exploration of cultural myth.
According to Musson, the show spotlights “ an art deeply tethered to the innate human desire to make a thing; to give language and form to one’s own experiences, regardless of their position within history’s narrative.” Seen alongside Traylor’s iconic figures and Castle’s charcoal drawings, Tschabalala Self’s explorations of the Black female body and Katie Stout’s bubblegum colored re-imagining of humble furnishings all convey a sense of celebration of artistic creativity.
A Being In The World harkens back to one of the most essential impulse to create art; to hold a dialogue between the Self, World, and the Unknown in the hopes of finding light amid the darkness of the universe in the hopes of understanding oneself as a being in the world. The exhibition remains on view through July 29th.