From Eden to Oblivion
Curated by Jade Walker and Alyssa Taylor Wendt
November 11-12 & 18-19, 2017
In conjunction with the East Austin Studio Tour, ICOSA collective showcased work from all 20 of their artist members as they consider the topics of Utopia and Dystopia. Co-curated by Jade Walker from the Austin Art Alliance and multimedia artist and ICOSA member Alyssa Taylor Wendt, this collection of work explores the themes in a wide range of interpretations and media including sculpture, drawing, photography, painting, printmaking and video.
Jade Walker is the Interim Executive Director of Art Alliance Austin. She oversees the vision as well as the overall management for the organization. She was previously the director of the Visual Arts Center and the Courtyard Gallery at The University of Texas at Austin and ran the Baughman Center at the University of Florida. Jade is a practicing artist and received the Artist of the Year Award in 2016 from the Austin Critics’ Table. Originally from Tampa, Florida, she moved to Austin in 2005. She earned her BFA in Studio Art from the University of Florida and her MFA in Studio Art from The University of Texas at Austin. She sits on the Austin Art in Public Places Panel for the City of Austin and the planning committee for Christian- Green Gallery at the Warfield Center.
Alyssa Taylor Wendt is a multidisciplinary artist and filmmaker that works in Austin, Texas and Detroit, Michigan. Her recent projects reference themes of ritual, animism, monuments, mysticism, the primordial, architecture, gender and mortality using video, sculpture, staged photographs, sound and performance. The work tends to provoke questions in the viewer with dark and evocative aesthetics and multiple layers of perception. She earned her BA from NYU and her MFA from Bard College. Recently transplanted from New York, she has shown in numerous national and international exhibitions and performed at The Museum of Art and Design in New York, envoy gallery, The Fusebox Festival and Deitch Projects and completed residencies in Iceland and Norway. She is currently finishing her opus multi-channel video work HAINT and co-curated the ambitious group show about death and transformation Good Mourning Tis of Thee at Co-Lab Projects’ DEMO Gallery with Sean Gaulager that runs through November 25.
yo soy aquí/ i am here
Adrian Aguilera and Betelhem Makonnen
September 23 - October 29, 2017
yo soy aquí / i am here is a collaborative exhibition that is the result of a nine-month conversation between the artists Adrian Aguilera and Betelhem Makonnen deliberately playing with the Spanish language’s distinction between estar and ser as different understandings of the verb “to be”, Aguilera and Makonnen present works in collage, objects, video, and multimedia installation that proposes an ontological, as well as a spatial exploration of our relationship to here (space + time).
In their exhibition yo soy aquí / i am here, Aguilera and Makonnen appropriate NASA images in order to connect what was originally meant as omnipotent documentation of our planet to a more holistic view of our “Spaceship Earth”, reminding us that we are all fellow passengers on this spinning rock, swinging through the solar system on a spiral arm of the Milky Way as it hurls through a starry universe. Pulling from history, physics, diasporic time travel and the dialogue between analogue and digital, Aguilera and Makonnen share with us the immigrant perspective: constant translation, multiple realities, colliding rocks making worlds — the stuff of creation, of an unfamiliar existence emerging from what used to be absolute. Reality is discrete, mutable and born of interaction.
Aguilera and Makonnen invite visitors to consider one’s existence as mobility. Rocks from space become planets, become us, become the screen of our smartphone. Once on Earth, these extra-terrestrial rocks —billion-year-old clocks — give birth to life, and are in turn changed by organic processes. An immigrant's perspective, like a page ripped from an atlas or an image from space, reveals a bigger here: multiple time frames, folds and cuts that form unexpected connections. Looking back at Earth from the perspective of a space traveler (a migrant from Earth) one realizes that I am where I am — soy donde estoy [aquí] — and I am here. We form the place where we are, and we are formed by it. Like the rocks (them) that fell from outer space (there) and birthed a planet, a process of tangible transformations and omnidirectional translations made us and here.
Glasstire, Top Five: October 26, 2017
Bug Davidson & Amanda Linn McInerney
August 18th - September 16th, 2017
Offering various attempts to break your sensory deprivation and cool you down with slip away thoughts, Bug Davidson and Amanda McInerney present Checked Out: a two person exhibition with special guest performances at ICOSA Collective Gallery. These artists engage sorrow from various points of view vis à vis the personal and familial specter of death, to the global environmental and species loss as the temperature of the planet rises. The work offers slight reminders but mostly respite, a place to dip into the cooling purgatory of releasing demanding ideas to float by on a hot summer night. Stay as long as you like. Checked Out, a multidisciplinary show includes video, sculpture, photography, performance and installation.
The Regret Collection is a series of ephemeral sculptures that materialize, document and accumulate the Artist’s regrets. Evidenced through orderly paper documents, the Collection spans the personal to the political, addressing everything from not calling home often enough, to global warming.
Crying (All) Over You, an emotional stalemate, a loop of feeling that counters the typical notion that sorrow and anger should be a temporary state. Circular tears will flow, like a disco ball spins. Guests are invited to bring an image to leave at the altar. What will you never get over?
Bug Davidson is a motion image artist and film director interested in communicating through visual language intersections of media & representation, social corporeal choreography, acousmata & action, and the enchantment of cinematic gesture.
Amanda Linn McInerney is a Texas-based visual artist, printmaker and homebrewer. She is one of the co-founders of Artist Screen Printing Cooperative where she teaches screen printing. She has contributed to and shown work with artist nonprofits and mentoring programs like the Women Printmakers of Austin, Chula League and The Contemporary Austin. Her work is inspired by mortality, how different cultures process loss and how it affects the decisions we make in life. She received her BFA from Iowa State University.
Coe Lapossy’s work looks at how popular culture gets into your heart, your mind, and changes you. She received her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Tufts University. Her current projects look at stories taken from the movies, High Spirits, Prelude To A Kiss, and The Last Unicorn, all three focus on telling the story of romantic love outside the confines and limits of the human body. These subversively queer stories are reinterpreted with a new cast of characters, through painting, performance, and sculpture.
Courtney McClellan is an artist and writer from Greensboro, N.C. Her work exists at the intersection of sculpture, performance and writing. From 2013-2014, she was the Fountainhead Fellow in the Sculpture and Extended Media Department at Virginia Commonwealth University, and from 2015-2017, she was the Sculpture Fellow at the University of Georgia. Currently, she is the Visiting Assistant Professor in Sculpture at UGA. She lives in Atlanta, G.A.
Bread & Butter: Milk
Candace Briceno, April Garcia, Robert Jackson Harrington, Steve Parker, Cecelia Roberston, Amber Shields, Jana Swec & Lana Waldrep-Appl
June 24th - July 22nd, 2017
In its second invitational exhibition, ICOSA Collective continues its effort to support the diversity of the Austin art community with Bread & Butter: Milk. This group show features nine artists selected by the collective who are also parents. Candace Briceno, April Garcia, Robert Jackson Harrington, Steve Parker, Cecelia Roberston, Amber Shields, Jana Swec and Lana Waldrep-Appl will show a range of work that relates to their experiences finding the balance of parenthood and their art making practice. Bread & Butter: Milk celebrates the impulse to continue to make art while raising children despite the stigmas, limited opportunities, and lack of consideration from the art world.
:Palm Tree: :Palm Tree: :Palm Tree:
Sara Vanderbeek and Jenn Wilson
May 5th through June 3rd, 2017
In 1946, Louis Réard debuted his revolutionary new swimsuit design to audiences in Paris. He said it would split the atoms of fashion in a nuclear explosion; he called it the “Bikini,” after the famed Marshall Islands site where the United States tested the Hydrogen bomb and other atomic weaponry.
The Bikini has come to symbolize the tropical paradise vacation, all but obliterating the destructive connotations of the term’s origin. In :Palm Tree: :Palm Tree: :Palm Tree:, Sara Vanderbeek and Jenn Wilson explore the dualistic meanings of Paradise. Vanderbeek’s paintings both celebrate and deconstruct the textile design, landscapes and colors of tropical culture, while Wilson’s paintings of Arcadia and mythic utopias explore the darker side of the “ideal” through an art historical lens.
Sara Vanderbeek is an Austin-based artist, independent art consultant, and curator. Her artwork has been included in several solo and group shows nationally, including the McNay Art Museum (San Antonio), Art Palace (Houston), The Contemporary (Austin), Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum (San Antonio), Women & Their Work (Austin), Big Medium (Austin), Deitch Projects (New York), Christie’s Auction House (New York.) She has upcoming shows at grayDUCK Gallery (Austin) and Co-Lab (Austin.) She earned a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2003.
Jenn Wilson is an artist living in Austin, Texas. She has shown nationally and internationally with TSA LA (Los Angeles), Corbett vs Dempsey (Chicago), Packer-Schopf Gallery (Chicago), Eggman & Walrus (Santa Fe), American University of Beirut (Lebanon), SACI Institute (Florence, Italy), University of Arkansas Fine Arts Center Gallery, Austin Museum of Art, and Kohler Art Museum in Wisconsin. Her work has been reviewed in Artslant, Bad at Sports, Newcity Magazine, Austin Chronicle, TimeOut Chicago, Chicago Magazine, Chicago Reader, and the Chicago Tribune. She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2008.
Kate Csillagi and Matt Rebholz
March 31st - April 29th, 2017
Trigger Town, a collaborative exhibition between Kate Csillagi and Matt Rebholz that invites visitors into a dystopian society of riotous color and deranged narratives. The interwoven stories of Trigger Town are told through mixed media collage, video projection and papercraft puppets that confront the viewer with cartoon chaos and punk rock mysticism.
Trigger Town serves as both commentary on and placebo for the unfamiliar nightmare world we now inhabit. In an era fraught with panic, bellicosity, and resurgent tyranny, Csillagi and Rebholz posit a worst-case scenario where the sky is always falling and history is continually devouring itself.
Kate Csillagi lives and works in Austin, TX. Csillagi creates provocative and absurd storylines by way of fabric collage, drawing, and found object assemblage. She attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago & Evergreen State College. Her work is inspired by the reorganization of mental & cultural runoff, and explores themes of duality, the supernatural, and the playfully forbidden. Csillagi has shown work and contributed to renegade art spaces throughout the United States in Reno, Nashville, New York, Olympia, and Austin.
Matt Rebholz is an artist and educator from Austin, TX where he is a Lecturer at Texas State University. He has shown nationally and internationally, recently exhibiting work at the Southwest School of Art in San Antonio, TX, the Till Richter Museum in Buggenhagen, Germany, the Bulgarian Triennial of Graphic Art in Sofia, Bulgaria, and pump project in Austin, TX. He is currently hard at work on a Psychedelic Sci-Fi/Cosmic Western graphic novel titled The Astronomer.
Under the Skin
Anna Pedersen & Terra Goolsby
February 24 – March 25, 2017
Under the Skin, a collection of new works by Anna Pedersen and Terra Goolsby that feature disembodied segments drawn from traditional mythologies. These sculptural works connect aspects of the grotesque with feminine strength and sexuality while exploring the tensions between creation and destruction, growth and decay, as well as beauty and absurdity. The work alludes to darker aspects of femininity, such as the predatory and the seductive.
Anna Pedersen earned her BA in Art History and Visual Art from Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City and her MFA in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design. A fascination with anatomy, mythologies, and the absurd runs a consistent vein through her work. Sensually crafted and often infused with a literal, tongue in cheek humor, Pedersen’s work touches on both the grotesque and the beautiful, shifting the recognizable toward the uncanny.
Terra Goolsby is a multi-media artist that draws upon mythologies, mysticism, science fiction, religious lore, and psychology. Her current work adapts narratives of female characters with leviathan-like qualities. With a focus on the unbridled and primordial nature of these characters, her work harbors an aesthetic that is both dangerous and sensual. She acquired her BFA at the University of Texas of Austin and her MFA in Sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Our RISD: Alums Share DIY Spirit in Austin
In the Absence of Ideal Conditions
Elaine I-Ling Shen & Alyssa Taylor Wendt
January 13 - February 11, 2017
In the Absence of Ideal Conditions, a collaborative exhibition of sculptures, video and installation between multi-disciplinary artists Elaine I-Ling Shen and Alyssa Taylor Wendt. Using rudimentary materials and working together for the first time, their intuitive exploration into process, matter and time reveals themes of creation, existence, primordial beginnings, divination, deterioration and the notion of eternal recurrence. Much of their joint work concerns the difficulty in distinguishing between states of decline and evolution, along with the tension created by that ambiguity.
Elaine I-Ling Shen is a conceptual artist whose work grapples with questions of inherent nature, impulse and mutability. Her current practice involves living elements or materials that change over time; unpredictability, an integral part of her process, is welcome and essential fuel for her investigations. She earned her MFA from Yale University and has taught at Fordham University and the University of Texas.
Alyssa Taylor Wendt is a multimedia artist who primarily uses video and sculpture, earning her MFA from Bard College in 2008. She lives and works in Austin, Texas and Detroit, Michigan. Her process-based practice is dark and evocative, using tropes of ritual, decay and the truth of memory to provoke questions in the viewer. Recently transplanted to Austin from New York, she has shown internationally and is currently finishing her opus multi-channel video work HAINT.
Review By Brandon Zech, Glasstire
Andrea de Leon & Micah Evans
Dec 3rd - Jan 7th, 2016
Mapped Refraction, featuring the work of Andrea de Leon and Micah Evans. This exhibition features the sculptural work of two Austin-based artists who utilize thermal applications in their process. Both artists use linear forms to articulate the uniqueness of the materials.
Andrea de Leon’s sculptures exhibit metaphysical traits of earthly materials. Her work explores the psychological landscape, reflecting our deeper physical connection to the material world and science. By using materials such as steel, copper, and wood, de Leon establishes a symbiotic relationship between the divergent materials - revealing a compulsory exchange between the two.
Micah Evans’ design-oriented glass sculptures build visual mass through the use of structural lines. A nationally recognized artist, this will be his debut show in Austin. Evans’ work will feature an expansion of his topography series, which alludes to the passage of time and memories embedded in landscape.
Nov 12-13 & 19-20, 2016
A group exhibition held in conjunction with the EAST Austin Studio Tour featuring individual works from the twenty member artist collective. Artists include: Adrian Aguilera, David Bae, Jonas Criscoe, Kate Csillagi, Erin Cunnigham, Bug Davidson, Andrea DeLeon, Micah Evans, Brooke Gassiot, Terra Goolsby, Katy Horan, Betelhem Makonnen, Amanda McInerney, Teruko Nimura, Anna Pedersen, Matt Rebholtz, Elaine I-Ling Shen, Sara Vanderbeek, Alyssa Taylor Wendt and Jenn Wilson.
The Austin Chronicle: EAST 2016
Bits & Pieces
Brooke Gassiot & Jonas Criscoe
Oct 1st – Oct 29th, 2016
A two-person exhibition featuring new works by artists Brooke Gassiot and Jonas Criscoe. Through video, mixed media installation and collage, both artists explore how varying materials, techniques, and media can come together to form a whole.
In her current series of light boxes, Brooke Gassiot layers various materials in a deep wooden box with an internal light source. It is by illumination that the works reveal their multi-faceted characters as forms appear, change and disappear. The light and shadow dictates the significance within the composition as well as reveals the internal realm of the box-- a miniature constructed space to peer into.
Artist, Jonas Criscoe’s mixed media assemblages explore nature’s ability to reclaim the spaces and objects that we abandon. Utilizing various scavenged materials and appropriated imagery, Criscoe mimics the effects that wear and exposure have on materials; imparting a sense of history and nostalgia through the worn surfaces of his work.
David Bae & Erin Cunningham
August 27th - Sept 24th, 2016
The first of a series of two-person member shows, Figure/Heads featured the work of David Bae and Erin Cunningham. In their respective media, the two artists presented their own distinct interpretations of the physical/psychological aspects of the figure.
David Bae’s portraits merge a range of subjects and caricatures. They lack the continuity of traditional portraiture while mining its conventions. Delving into psychological headspace, his paintings both abstract and mirror the ways seeing, thinking, and feeling do not always align.
Erin Cunningham frames the body’s mundane folded spaces, and casts them in an unfamiliar light. In her metal, wax, and plaster castings, cross-sections of the body are preserved and inserted into everyday décor, coupling objects of comfort with the strange and eerie.
Bread & Butter
July 29th - August 20th, 2016
A group show featuring five Austin based artists, selected by the collective. BREAD & BUTTER celebrates the impulse to make art regardless of a guaranteed audience and imagines a scenario where art-making can be your bread and butter.
ICOSA Collective: Part 2
May 27th - Jun 26th, 2016
A group exhibition featuring the works of ten members of the ICOSA collective.
ICOSA Collective: Part 1
April 29th - May 22nd, 2016
A group exhibition featuring the works of ten members of the ICOSA collective.
Alysa Taylor Wendt
Elaine I-Ling Shen