Joe Biel, James Gobel, Stephen Schofield, Allison Smith, Richard T. Walker

January 7, 2011 – March 20, 2011

View the Exhibition Booklet here.

The participating artists in Embodying have been influenced by issues of identity and community, literature, pop culture, and encounters with nature. They each offer unique male bodies that exist in a variety of scales and materials, and examine distinct narratives.

Joe Biel renders precise figures in graphite on paper, documenting ”performers” in banal or bizarre situations. His focus on clothing, objects, and gestures, set within spare or non-existent contexts, gives his work a distinctly existential mood.

Biel lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. He received an MFA in Painting from the University of Michigan and is currently on the faculty at California State University Fullerton. His work has been exhibited in galleries nationally and internationally at L.A. Louver, Roberts & Tilton, Acuna-Hansen Gallery, and Angles Gallery, in Los Angeles; Goff & Rosenthal Gallery, New York; Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle; and Kuckei + Kuckei, Berlin. He was the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation award in 2003 and 2008.

James Gobel’s bearish men are depicted in ”paintings” constructed with felt, yarn, rhinestones, and acrylic. They address qualities of gay self-awareness and style, exemplifying signifiers that gay men use to identify each other through fashion choices, facial hair, and attitude.

Gobel lives and works in San Francisco, CA. He has exhibited his work in solo exhibitions at Marx & Zavattero, San Francisco; Steve Turner Contemporary, Hayworth Gallery, and Hammer Museum, UCLA in Los Angeles; Kravets|Wehby, New York; and The Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery, University of Nevada, Reno. His group exhibitions include Underground Pop at the Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY; Pattern ID at Akron Art Museum, Ohio; and Boys of Summer at moniquemeloche gallery, Chicago.

Stephen Schofield’s patchwork figures are mapped from the male body and then tailored out of remnant clothing. Soaked in sugar water and then inflated, these larger-than-life-sized bodies stiffen to become taut skins whose physical presence combine qualities of spirit and matter.

Schofield lives and works in Montreal, Canada. His work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions at galleries and museums including Pari Nadimi Gallery, The Power Plant, and Toronto Sculpture Garden, in Toronto; Galerie Joyce Yahouda and Galerie Christiane Chassay, in Montreal; Dalhousie Art Gallery, Halifax; and Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Alberta. His group exhibitions include Empty Dress at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, The University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, FL; The Presence of Touch at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and Toward a New Vision, John Weber Gallery, New York.

Allison Smith’s assemblage, A Good Haul, is inspired by an episode in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Smith brings together found and fabricated items based on Mark Twain’s textual descriptions and her own travels up the Mississippi River from New Orleans to Chicago during the summer of 2010.

Smith lives and works in San Francisco, CA. She received a BA in psychology from The New School for Social Research, a BFA in sculpture from Parsons The New School For Design, New York, and an MFA from the Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT. She has exhibited her work at institutions including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis; Indianapolis Museum of Art, IN; The Mattress Factory and Andy Warhol Museum, in Pittsburgh; and Palais de Tokyo, Paris. Her work is included in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Indianapolis Museum of Art, and Saatchi Gallery, London.

Richard T. Walker’s videos and photographs show the artist as an isolated romantic, confronting the beauty and vastness of nature. Armed with cameras and musical instruments, he creates and documents improvisational attempts of being and belonging.

Walker is a British artist currently living and working in San Francisco, CA. He received an MA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths, University of London in 2005. In 2010 he had solo shows at Franklin Art Works, Minneapolis; Àngels Barcelona, Spain; and Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica. His group exhibitions include Don Quixote, Witte de With, Rotterdam; Romantic Damage, De Appel, Amsterdam; Beyond The Country, The Lewis Glucksman Gallery, University College Cork, Ireland; Terminus, Para/Site Art Space, Hong Kong; and Meditators, at the National Museum in Warsaw. He has been selected for the 2011 Bay Area Now 6 triennial at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco.

Embodying is supported through Artadia: The Fund for Art and Dialogue with lead support by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Embodying has been developed in partnership with the Artadia Exhibitions Exchange program in an effort to present works by the recipients of Artadia Awards at arts venues around the United States. The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center is featuring three 2009 grantees from San Francisco (Gobel, Smith, and Walker) in this exhibition, along with two other artists. This summer, we will present another four Artadia artists in a thematic exhibition exploring concepts of display and space.

Image: James Gobel, Free Them (detail), 2007, Felt, yarn, and acrylic on canvas, Courtesy of the artist and Marx & Zavattero, San Francisco

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