The Dr. M.T. Geoffrey Yeh Art Gallery (Yeh Art Gallery) at St. John’s University in New York City announces its 2020 programming, featuring solo exhibitions by Chen Dongfan, Patrcia Domínguez, and Fevzi Yazıcı. These exhibitions are the first institutional solo projects in New York City by all three artists. The Yeh Art Gallery will also unveil a site-specific mural by Chen outside the gallery’s historic building, Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall.
Chen Dongfan: Sanctuary and Patricia Domínguez: Planetary Tears will run from January 30 – May 1, 2020, and Fevzi Yazıcı: DARK WHITE will run from January 30 – March 14, 2020. An opening reception for all exhibitions will be held on Thursday, January 30 from 4-7PM.
Chen Dongfan: Sanctuary
January 30–May 1, 2020
Chen Dongfan: Sanctuary, marks the artist’s first institutional solo exhibition in New York, and responds to the uncanny confluence of geopolitical circumstances that shaped the Yeh Art Gallery. Housed in a distinctly traditional Chinese architectural compound on the idyllic campus of a Catholic university, the venue was constructed through funds provided by the Chiang Kai-Shek administration in the 1970s and features such anachronistic juxtapositions as a larger-than-life statue of Confucius and wood panels from the Republic of China’s 1964/65 World’s Fair pavilion. For Chen, the “sanctuary” evokes the sacredness as well as the emotional and communal resonance of both a personal creative space or a memorial hall. The sanctuary is ultimately an experimental space where the unlikeliest encounters feel right at home.
Known for his vibrant, gestural, abstract paintings, Chen challenges himself in a radical departure from his previous work. Working only in monochrome, Chen has created a series of large-scale paintings that draw on parameters linked to his creative life: science fiction, Bach’s fugues, figures of classical and urban legends, among other sources. The artist hopes to reconcile “a calligraphic energy with the destructive potency of graffiti.” Alongside this ensemble, the main Yeh Art Gallery space will also feature an interactive component, The Sanctuary Club: a blackboard on which Chen intends to sketch sporadic images and notes. Visitors are invited to respond to these markings and leave their own. During a collaborative performance with the Shanghai Restoration Project on February 22, Chen will blend all prior images on the board with new, spontaneous ones. The Art of Fugue, the largest painting in the gallery, will mirror the scale of a site-specific mural on the walkway leading towards the gallery’s building, Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. Done in exuberant hues and titled Sun Yat Sen Road in Color, the mural responds not only to the architectural and historical context of the site, but echoes one of Sun’s most famous couplets, in which colors convey specific metaphors of revolutionary force.
This exhibition is curated by Xin Wang.
Fevzi Yazıcı: DARK WHITE
January 30–March 14, 2020
Fevzi Yazıcı: DARK WHITE is the first institutional solo exhibition in the United States by the award winning Turkish visual journalist. The exhibition surveys 40 works on paper by Yazıcı, including drawings, typographies, and notes produced before and during his current incarceration in Istanbul. A member of the Society for News Design, Yazıcı, who worked for the daily ZAMAN, has earned more than 100 awards for his newspaper layouts and designs since 2003. Parallel to his lauded visual journalism, Yazıcı has nurtured an extensive drawing practice over the past two decades. Yazıcı’s whimsical, yet puzzling drawings often imagine dream-like spaces and worlds with attenuated, wriggling figures and address themes related to transformation, emancipation, and psychological states.
One of the earliest works in the exhibition, Egg (2009), depicts two amorphous figures hatching from umbrellas. After his incarceration in 2016, Yazıcı has created such as drawings as Arrest Socrates (2018), which depicts a hulking individual illuminated by spotlight. The chiaroscuro quality of Yazıcı’s recent drawings results from his careful, labor-intensive use of stipple, creating gentle and detailed transitions from white to black via thousands of dots. The title of the exhibition, DARK WHITE, references both to the materials and techniques Yazıcı utilizes, as well as his current conditions of production in Istanbul’s Silivri Prison. Yazıcı optimistically reminds us: “you cannot arrest art and imagination.”
This exhibition is curated by Alex Morel, Associate Professor of Photography, St. John’s University, with the support of Owen Duffy, Director of the Yeh Art Gallery.
Framing for Fevzi Yazıcı: DARK WHITE is provided by Imagic Studio.
Patricia Domínguez: Planetary Tears
January 30–May 1, 2020
Patricia Domíguez: Planetary Tears represents the artist’s first solo installation in New York City. Celebrated for her imaginative multimedia projects that meld techno-futurist imagery with pre-Colombian symbolism, Chilean artist Patricia Domínguez will present an adapted version of Eyes of Plants, her recent three-channel video originally commissioned for Gasworks in London, whichwill be presented alongside examples of the artist’s prints, as well as a site-specific wall painting.
Domínguez’s mesmerizing video, flanked on either side by monitors that display scans of the artist’s animated green irises, yokes viewers through a journey of colonialism and indigenous cosmology. The triptych of screens in the Yeh Art Gallery creates a chapel-like setting for viewers of the Eyes of Plants. The video explores the history of healing with roses, intersecting with mestizo rituals: roses were first transported to Latin America by European settlers, and through the influence of the Catholic church acquired a curative power.
Patricia Domíguez: Planetary Tears is organized for the Yeh Art Gallery by Owen Duffy, Director.
Accommodations generously provided by LACASAPARK.
New Hours: Tuesday – Friday, 10AM-5PM and Saturday, 11AM-5PM
The Yeh Art Gallery is located on the Queens campus of St. John’s University in the historic Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall at 8000 Utopia Parkway, Queens, NY, 11439
Resource: St John’s Unüversity-Yeh Art Gallery