Kohn Gallery is pleased to present “Engender,” a group exhibition featuring seventeen contemporary artists who are revolutionizing the way we visualize conventional gender as exclusively male or female. Through painting, a medium that has traditionally embraced this binary, these artists are pushing the genre in new, unprecedented directions, challenging the ways in which paintings can be used to deconstruct and rewrite conventional notions of personal identity. The exhibition highlights the inter-blending of traditional and figurative abstraction as the foundation for more fluid and inclusive expressions of identity, engendering a new visual pronoun. Engender is beyond the binary.
Jesse Mockrin, In mid-stream, 2017; Photograph courtesy of the artist 1227 North Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038 www.kohngallery.com
The title, “Engender,” considers the various meanings of the word including “generate” and “gender anew” to demonstrate how the artists in this exhibition look to the past as a valuable reference tool that can be reworked to reflect contemporary interpretations. Treating history as an artifact of experience, their work considers the complex construction of identity, inevitably influenced by past memories and present experiences, but executed in the moment. Rooted in the word gender, Engender brings together a wide range of practitioners who portray a form of self- expression that does not revolve around the traditional masculine or feminine, and questions the constructed foundations of individuality. From a variety of different cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds, the presented artists internalize a number of societal projections, while asserting their own individual presence and significance. A number of artists in the exhibition—including Mequitta Ahuja, Zoë Charlton, Firelei Báez, Christina Quarles, Tschabalala Self—deconstruct black female subjectivity by reassembling disparate iconographic materials and motifs into fragmented portraits. Others such as Hernan Bas, Jonathan Lyndon Chase, and Jesse Mockrin explore self-discovery through images of androgynous young boys rendered in shifting historical and contemporary styles. The artists in Engender tread the line between traditional and figurative abstraction, pioneering an entirely new and innovative style that blurs classification in both frame of thought and frame of sight.
On view: November 11, 2017 – January 13, 2018
What: Opening reception
Where: Kohn Gallery 1227 N Highland Ave, LA 90038 (North Highland between Fountain Avenue and Lexington Avenue)
When: November 11, 2017, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Phone: (323) 461-3311