Keren Benbenisty, George Bolster, Susannah Mira, and Gaku Tsutaja
December 1, 2018 – January 20, 2019
Opening reception: December 1, 6–8 pm
Ulterior is pleased to present Elsewhere, an exhibition of works on paper by Keren Benbenisty, George Bolster, Susannah Mira, and Gaku Tsutaja. These four artists’ works reflect a sense of dislocation or relocation, of the earthy and the unearthly in a state of flux.
Keren Benbenisty’s This Is the Color of My Dreams, 2015, is an imaginary map consisting of 113 names of different tones of blue and pieces of peeled orange. Commercial names of the paints are used as an index, yet each captures poetic aesthetics such as “Sailor’s Eyes“ or “Paradiso.“ These names of synthetic colors, tagged with the code numbers, becomes the name of countries on the map, suggesting exotic and outlandish ideas. The motif of Jaffa oranges, icons of Palestinian-Israeli relations, are a nostalgic reference to the artist’s own past and sense of otherworldliness.
Gaku Tsutaja’s series of drawings, Daily Transformation Comic, was produced by the artist to capture the images that arose in her mind upon awakening each day. These images seemed to rise to visibility as if hauled in on a line from the deepest place in her mind. She completed one drawing a day with no storyline to follow and sometimes found the link between different images later. The images were transferred to paper intuitively and forged a connection between her waking life and more fugitive aspects of her consciousness.
In Susannah Mira’s collage work Land Grab, an enormous human hand reaches into the landscape as if to expropriate something from the earth or to unearth an unknown discovery. In Hand in Hyperion, another hand extrudes from a distant, misshapen moon. The distortion in scale between the hand and the other elements of these collages prompts a sense of instability and unease. The simple manipulation of the images evokes the vast and complex manipulations that humans have visited upon the earth.
George Bolster’s two drawings on view are the product of a two-year residency at the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI) and research conducted at NASA’s Ames Research Center. With these drawings, Bolster proposes the Moon as the solution for preserving our collective human cultural legacy. His work juxtaposes well-known artworks with lunar imagery: the architecture of Phillip Johnson’s Glass House (encased within a Buckminster Fuller-style geodesic dome) and an intimately scaled metal sculpture by Jeff Koons, both pictured against a moonscape. These works refer to The Moon Museum, the first art object to be unofficially sent to the Moon aboard Apollo XII in 1969, consisting of miniscule artworks by Andy Warhol, John Chamberlain, Claes Oldenberg, David Novros, Forrest Myers, and Robert Rauschenberg.
Keren Benbenisty was born in Israel in 1977 and moved to Paris in 1998, and currently lives and works in New York, NY. In 2004 she graduated from the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris and attended California Institute of the Arts. Benbenisty was an artist-in-residence at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2009 and has been the recipient of numerous international grants and residencies. Recent exhibitions include: Apparatus for a Utopian Image 2.0, Centre for Contemporary Arts Prague, Czech Republic (2018); Unexpected Encounter, Arts Maebashi, Gunma, Japan (2018); and Under Erasure, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel (2014). Her solo exhibition, Fajja, is currently on view at the Petach Tikva Museum in Israel. Benbenisty is participating in Open Sessions at the Drawing Center, New York, 2018–2020.
George Bolster was born in Ireland and currently lives and works in New York, NY. Bolster uses a combination of science, history, and science fiction to examine our most pressing societal and species-wide challenges. He has exhibited in numerous museums and galleries internationally. Bolster is a recipient of awards from the Irish Arts Council, Culture Ireland, and the Arts Council of England. He completed the Firestation International Artist’s Residency in 2012, and in 2013 and 2017 he was awarded residencies from the Rauschenberg Foundation. In 2019, he will begin a residency at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris, France.
Susannah Mira was born in San Francisco in 1977 and grew up in Pennsylvania. Mira obtained a BA from Temple University in 1995, a MLIS from University of Pittsburgh in 2001, and a MA in Environmental Art from the University of Art & Design in Helsinki in 2008. After returning to the U.S. from Finland, she participated in numerous residency programs and developed her ideas in various national and international environments. Most recently, she was in residence at the Banff Center for Arts and Creativity in Banff, Canada (2017), where she began to make her collage works. Mira lives and works in Houston, TX.
Gaku Tsutaja was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1974, and currently works in Queens, NY. In 1998, Tsutaja obtained a BFA with honors from Tokyo Zokei University of Art and Design, and moved to Fukuoka to participate in the Center for Contemporary Art Kitakyusyu as a research fellow. Tsutaja moved to New York in 2006 and attended SUNY Purchase College, Purchase, NY from 2016 to 2018, graduating with a MFA. Her work has been shown in numerous exhibitions internationally. Tsutaja had her first solo exhibition at Ulterior in September 2017 and will be showing her latest works at Ulterior’s booth at the Material Art Fair, Mexico City, in February 2019.