[ “Corps Ivre” (Drunken Body), Eve Bailey (2007) wood studs, plywood, painted 5 gallon steel pails, foam, fabrics, cable, small hardware, and sand. “Shoulder Path,” Eve Bailey (2008), mixed media on paper. "The Edge," Elinor Milchan (2004) photography printed on clear paper mounted to A.R. Plexi.]
“We don’t all choose our neighbors, but they affect us. We don’t always choose our thoughts, but they also have a bearing.” The title of this text is “The Common Mind.” This statement by art critic and curator Greg Hilty in a “Frieze” article about British artist Eric Bainbridge—which at the same time claims and avoids responsibility—encapsulates the dynamic tension of "The Common Mind,” a group show including four artists at Cueto Project. In their work, Elinor Milchan, Christina Kruse, Tatyana Murray, and Eve Bailey—exhibited together for the first time—present levels of spiritual integration and appreciation of the unconscious. The resultant “common spirit” embraces multiple artistic discourses and processes.
By embracing these multiple artistic discourses and processes, it is possible that the collective subconscious plays a number of roles in this ensemble. What differentiates these artists who all live in New York City, are of the same gender and generation, and speak the same language?
The recent work of Tatyana Murray explores authority’s role in the human need to harness and exploit nature. Growing up in England, she loved playing among apple trees in the field behind her family’s home: Recently, she was shocked and saddened to find a housing project instead of those trees. Such a jarring counterpoint to childhood memories inspired her to use trees as the main subject of her new work because of their inherent majesty and, additionally, to address her sense of loss. Weeds have also been incorporated into this series of etchings, but in the larger sense of a plant growing where people don’t want it. Murray’s scratches detailed markings into individual sheets of Perspex, which are then multilayered. In doing this, she liberates images from flat pictorial planes into dimensionality and translated them to the viewer with refracted light. The viewer absorbs what is visible through these layers of Perspex, guided by the lighting’s effect in a way that recalls memory passing through time. Light plays a fundamental role in this series of luminous and evolving installations, provoking the viewer’s very sense of movement and place and achieving a memoir of the natural world.
Melting into the structure of Eve Bailey’s constructions and body-explorative sculpture and drawings, are the strong presence and fluid movements of dance and martial arts. Her very conception of this work and her parallel performance is that of a body confronted by the city and its resultant structure. Yet while these innate fluid movements never seem enough to free her from urban confines. Born in Nancy (France), Bailey has exhibited her work in Germany at the Kunsthalle of Baden Baden and the NAK of Aachen, in the Netherlands at Artis Gallery (Den Bosch), in France at the Musée Royet Fould (Courbevoie) and the Musée des Beaux-Arts (Paris), in California at the Art Institute and 2C Gallery (San Francisco), in Tennessee at Labarts Gallery (Knoxville) and recently in New York at Triangle for the Arts (Brooklyn) and Cuchifritos Gallery (New York). Awarded several funded residencies such as Triangle for the Arts, Sculpture Space, and Bemis Center, she has also received several commissions as a designer after she won the first prize of Museum Expression Art and Design Fair at the Louvre in Paris.
“Walking through luminous fields” with her photographic work, Elinor Milchan brings her light to touch the viewer. This is true whether her images are larger than life or closer to human scale. Thus, by losing familiar habits and being taken by opposing currents, colorful streams, and sensual waves, Milchan’s abstract “landscapes” summon the viewer the viewer’s perspective. Elinor Milchan takes time-lapse photographs of colored light reflected on a white canvas or wall. Resulting images are printed onto acetate: The transparent sheets are then affixed to thick panes of Plexiglas. Hung several inches from the wall and mounted with translucent posts and screws, these photographs—when properly lit—present a nearly pure image field. As with Milchan’s other works, these pieces take the viewer into a meditative journey of emotions and movements. Their depth and perspective thus enhanced, they explore movement, color, light, and time in human experience. Describing feelings of engagement with this world, Milchan’s collective work speaks of universal notions rather than particular subjects—breaking reality’s surface to reach an emotional consciousness or to return to essence. Born in Tel Aviv and residing in New York, her work has been shown in New York City, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Israel and Geneva.
Christina Kruse, however, cannibalizes her various images. She photographs herself, moving between glossy and matte paper, in such a way that the particulars, the figure herself, are absorbed and lost. Detached body parts are interrupted by diagram and imposition, calling forth superposition. When the body becomes measure, it then is displaced beyond said measure.
Cueto Project (then called Galerie Valérie Cueto) was founded in September of 2000 by Valérie Cueto—thriving in the French contemporary art scene in le Marais, Paris. For two decades, Valérie Cueto has sought out emerging and innovative artists—giving them the means to produce and share their energy and vision with the world. In 2007, she relocated her gallery in New York. In The Common Mind, Cueto provokes a creative dialogue in various artistic media. In this electric summer group show of sculpture, performance, photography, installation, and drawings, these exhibited media twist, magnify, abuse, and galvanize the respective animus of the respective artists.
The Common Mind
Through September 10 @
551 West 21st Street, NYC 10011