Haptic

July 7 – August 12, 2016

Haptic, Installation View, Alexander Gray Associates, 2016

Haptic, Installation View, Alexander Gray Associates, 2016

Haptic, Installation View, Alexander Gray Associates, 2016

Haptic, Installation View, Alexander Gray Associates, 2016

Haptic, Installation View, Alexander Gray Associates, 2016

Haptic, Installation View, Alexander Gray Associates, 2016

Haptic, Installation View, Alexander Gray Associates, 2016

Haptic, Installation View, Alexander Gray Associates, 2016

Haptic, Installation View, Alexander Gray Associates, 2016

Amy Bessone, J1, 2014

Ceramic and oil paint

25.50h x 18w x 15d in (64.77h x 45.72w x 38.10d cm)

Alexandre da Cunha, Net I, 2014

Vest, golf ball and acrylic on canvas

18h x 14w x 3d in (45.72h x 35.56w x 7.62d cm)

Ann Hamilton, near-away, 2013

Mixed media

19.75h x 24.75w x 3d in (50.17h x 62.87w x 7.62d cm)

 

Betty Woodman, Kamin Posing, 2009

Glazed earthenware, epoxy resin, lacquer, acrylic paint

35.50h x 98.50w x 7.50d in (90.17h x 250.19w x 19.05d cm)

Norbert Prangenberg, Kopf, 2012

Glazed ceramic

9h x 5w x 12d in (22.86h x 12.70w x 30.48d cm)

Harmony Hammond, Bag X, 1971

Cloth And Acrylic

47h x 18w in (119.38h x 45.72w cm)

Harmony Hammond, Fraggle, 2014

Oil and mixed media on canvas

48.50h x 58.50w in (123.19h x 148.59w cm)

Howardena Pindell, Untitled, 1975

Mixed media on canvas

56h x 95w in (142.24h x 241.30w cm)

Hassan Sharif, Rug, Cotton Rope, and Glue, 2013

Mixed media

57.50h x 26.40w x 1.60d in (146.05h x 67.06w x 4.06d cm)

Hassan Sharif, Lead No. 4, 2014

Mixed Media

17.30h x 8.30w x 3.10d in (43.94h x 21.08w x 7.87d cm)

Jacolby Satterwhite, Matriarch's Rhapsody, 2012

44 minute digital film

Leonardo Drew, Number 177, 2015

Wood, paint

100h x 6.50w x 5d in (254h x 16.51w x 12.70d cm)

Melvin Edwards, Beyond Cabo Verde, 2006

Welded steel

19.75h x 19.75w x 6.75d in (50.17h x 50.17w x 17.15d cm)

Polly Apfelbaum, Yoko, 2016

Ceramic and glaze

17h x 14w in (43.18h x 35.56w cm)

Polly Apfelbaum, Benjamin, 2016

Ceramic and glaze

15h x 12w in (38.10h x 30.48w cm)

Polly Apfelbaum, Bundy, 2016

Ceramic and glaze

18h x 12w in (45.72h x 30.48w cm)

Sheila Hicks, Advancing, Beginning to End, 1970

Linen

10h x 11.50w in (25.40h x 29.21w cm)

Sheila Hicks, La Foret Bleue I, 2001

Synthetic plaiting, rayon, silk, raffia

14.13h x 14.25w in (35.88h x 36.20w cm)

William J. O'Brien, Untitled, 2014

Glazed ceramic and steel

83h x 24w x 24d in (210.82h x 60.96w x 60.96d cm)

William J. O'Brien, Untitled, 2015

Ceramic

20h x 15w x 15d in (50.80h x 38.10w x 38.10d cm)

Press Release

Haptic: of or relating to the sense of touch, in particular relating to the perception and manipulation of objects using the senses of touch and proprioception.

Alexander Gray Associates presented Haptic, featuring work by artists Polly Apfelbaum, Amy Bessone, Alexandre da Cunha, Leonardo Drew, Melvin Edwards, Ann Hamilton, Harmony Hammond, Sheila Hicks, William J. O’Brien, Howardena Pindell, Norbert Prangenberg, Jacolby Satterwhite, Hassan Sharif, and Betty Woodman. Together, they simultaneously expand and question traditional craft practices within the context of contemporary art.

Spanning media, including ceramic, textile, sculpture and video art, the works on view evoked the haptic through irregular or tactile surfaces with the presence of handiwork. As art historian and curator Helen Molesworth notes in Imaginary Landscape from the exhibition catalogue Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College: 1933–1975, “while the dictionary may define haptic as ‘relating to the sense of touch, in particular relating to the perception and manipulation of objects using the senses of touch and proprioception’, the word, when used in reference to works of art, denotes those works that engage visuality through an appeal to tactility. Haptic objects intertwine visuality and tactility so thoroughly that they are inextricable from each other.”

In addition to the variety of media, the artists also represented a diversity of cultures and generations, highlighting the omnipresence of craft modalities across geographies and ages. Alexandre da Cunha, Sheila Hicks and Hassan Sharif refer to global traditions in their woven compositions which simultaneously recall geographically-situated histories and ingrained understandings of gender roles. Harmony Hammond and Howardena Pindell, collage, and paint built-up surfaces which evoke abstracted female bodies. Amy Bessone, William J. O’Brien, Norbert Prangenberg and Betty Woodman render fragmented portions of the human body in clay, to create both functional and decorative art objects that retain visual traces of the maker’s touch. Polly Apfelbaum utilizes saturated color and abstract forms in her wall-based ceramics, and implies human presence through her use of peoples’ names as titles. Ann Hamilton and Jacolby Satterwhite use the aesthetics of aggregation to mine memory, both communal and personal. Leonardo Drew and Melvin Edwards employ assemblage to create sculptural objects that indicate the links between craft and craftsmanship. As a group, these artists subvert traditional modes of making (craft) by imbuing their work with personal perspective while commenting on social or political realities.

About the Artists
Polly Apfelbaum (b.1955) was born in Abington, PA and lives and works in New York. Amy Bessone (b.1970) was born in New York and lives and works in Los Angeles. Alexandre da Cunha (b.1969) was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and lives and works in London. Leonardo Drew (b.1961) was born in Tallahassee, FL, and loves and works in Brooklyn, NY. Melvin Edwards (b.1937) was born in Houston, TX, and lives and works in New York, and Dakar, Senegal. Ann Hamilton (b.1956) was born, and continues to live and work in Ohio. Harmony Hammond (b.1944) was born in Illinois and lives and works in Galisteo, NM. Sheila Hicks (b.1934) was born in Hastings, NE and lives and works in Paris. William J. O’Brien (b.1975) was born in Eastlake, OH and lives and works in Chicago, IL. Howardena Pindell (b.1943) was born in Philadelphia, PA and lives and works in New York. Norbert Prangenberg (b.1949– d.2012) was born in Rheinland, Germany and died in Krefeld, Germany. Jacolby Satterwhite (b.1986) was born in Columbia, SC and lives and works in New York. Hassan Sharif (b.1951) was born, and continues to live and work in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Betty Woodman (b.1930) was born in Norwalk, CT and lives and works in New York.