May 4 – June 15, 2014
Opening reception: Sunday, May 4, 5–7pm
Curated by Elaine Lustig Cohen and Heman Chong,
with Prem Krishnamurthy and Ruba Katrib
left: Elaine Lustig Cohen, Untitled, 1966, acrylic on canvas, 40×40 in
right: Heman Chong, The Rings of Saturn, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 18×24 in
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P! is pleased to present a two-person exhibition with Elaine Lustig Cohen (b. 1927) and Heman Chong (b. 1977). The exhibition is curated through a mutual process of exchange, selection, and juxtaposition that highlights the ambiguities and multiple roles embedded within creative work.
Both Lustig Cohen and Chong have pursued multivalent careers that upend typical categories and fixed titles such as “artist,” “designer,” “dealer,”, “curator,” and “writer.” This diversity manifests itself in the organization of artworks for the exhibition. Here, Chong selects works from Lustig Cohen’s body of paintings, which parallels her celebrated work as a graphic designer of books and printed material. Correspondingly, Lustig Cohen commissions Chong to create nine new paintings from his ongoing series, Cover Versions (2009–present). These fictional book jackets represent a visual bibliography for Chong’s varied forays into installation, performance, and literature.
Presented together in a manner that evokes footnoting and comparative systems, the artists’ work engages in a conversation around abstraction in painting. Midway through its run, the exhibition will be rehung by SculptureCenter curator Ruba Katrib to further underscore the slippery relationship between language and material form.
Elaine Lustig Cohen (b. 1927) has been widely celebrated as a graphic designer, artist, art dealer, and archivist. Her multifaceted accomplishments encompass pioneering design projects that extended the aesthetic vocabulary of European modernism into an American context, including commissions with institutions, publishers, and architects such as Lincoln Center, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Jewish Museum, New Directions, and architects Eero Saarinen, Philip Johnson, and Richard Meier; to exhibitions as an artist at the Grey Art Gallery, Bard College, Exit Art, Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, Galerie Denise Rene, Mary Boone Gallery, and Julie Saul Gallery; to founding the influential Upper East Side bookstore Ex Libris, which specialized in 20th century avant-garde books, periodicals, ephemera, and posters. Her work is held in numerous public and private collections, and she is the recipient of 2011 AIGA Medal for her life’s work in design. A comprehensive retrospective exhibition of her work as a graphic designer will open at the Rochester Institute of Technology in May 2014.
Heman Chong (b. 1977) is an artist, curator and writer. His conceptually-charged investigations into how individuals and communities imagine the future generates a multiplicity of objects, images, installations, situations and texts. Chong has developed solo and group exhibitions at galleries and institutions including Vitamin Creative Space (Guangzhou), Art In General (New York), Kadist Art Foundation (Paris), De Appel Arts Centre (Amsterdam), Taipei Contemporary Art Center, Parasite (Hong Kong), Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. He represented Singapore in the 50th Venice Biennale (2003) and has participated in numerous international biennales including 10th Gwangju Biennale (2014), Asia Pacific Triennale 7 (2012), Performa 11 (2011), Momentum 6 (2011), Manifesta 8 (2010), 2nd Singapore Biennale (2008), SCAPE Christchurch Biennale (2006), Busan Biennale (2004), and 10th India Triennale (2000). In 2006, he produced a writing workshop with Leif Magne Tangen at Project Arts Center (Dublin) where they co-authored PHILIP, a science fiction novel, with a group of artists, writers, and designers. In 2013–14, he directed Moderation(s), an immaterial, temporary institute that perches on Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam and Spring Workshop in Hong Kong.