Pilar Corrias is pleased to present the extended reality exhibition 7 Up. Titled after the classic soft drink, the exhibition brings together artworks by seven female artists represented by the gallery in a spontaneous and playful manner. Launched two weeks before the Wall Street Crash of 1929, 7 Up was initially marketed as a hangover cure and, until 1948, contained the mood stabilising drug, lithium citrate. Like 7 Up, the exhibition is intended to be invigorating, effervescent and readily consumed. A welcome relief on a hot day, just in time for summer in the city.
A portion of the proceeds from this exhibition will be donated to the Black Lives Matter Foundation. We believe it is vital to support the movement and to respond to the violence being inflicted on Black communities across the United States and the rest of the world.
7 Up is available to view both here and via the App Store on Vortic Collect.
Shara Hughes (b. 1981, Atlanta) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Hughes earned a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and later attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She describes her lush, vibrantly chromatic images of hills, rivers, trees and shorelines, often framed by abstract patterning, as “invented landscapes.” Full of gestural effect, surface tactility and possessing a fairytale mood of reverie, these paintings, as the New Yorker described them, “use every trick in the book to seduce, but still manage to come off as guileless visions of not-so-far-away worlds.” Bold, clashing colours and shifting perspectives manifest into dream-like landscapes that push and pull the eye across the canvas, challenging conventions of space. Rather than depicting true to life landscapes, Hughes invites us into a fantastical world offered as a portal for psychological discovery and reflection.
Upcoming institutional exhibitions include Le Consortium, Dijon 2020; Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis, 2021 and Yuz Museum, Shanghai, 2021.
The energy is hot and still and agitated all at the same time. It's calming but has an intense friction that you can't escape. I love that back and forth energy that keeps you interested and unsettled.
- SHARA HUGHES, 2020
Tala Madani (b. 1981, Tehran) lives and works in Los Angeles. Madani’s work brings together various modes of critique about gender, particularly masculine and feminine stereotypes, as well as questioning westernised idealistic notions of childhood, family and the art historical canon. Her work is inflected with a peevish sense of humour and brings to bear basic human feelings and emotions, such as anxiety, anger, fear, isolation, paranoia, envy and lust.
Recent solo institutional exhibitions include Portikus, Frankfurt, 2019; Secessions, Vienna, 2019 and Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, 2019. Upcoming solo exhibitions include Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 2021.
I was really interested in thinking about the female figure in a fresh way; in a new way; and that fresh way appeared to be the shit way.
- TALA MADANI, 2020
Tala Madani’s ‘Shit Mom’ paintings attempt to conceive of a new way of representing the unidealised female figure. Madani's depiction of women is new and fresh; and that new and fresh way happens to be the shit way. The paintings contend with an immensely taboo idea: that of the less-than-perfect mother. Madani’s ‘Shit Moms’ are made of a malleable viscous substance, to be formed and deformed by the infants who run amok in each of the paintings. Crucially, the children in the paintings do not merely represent children, but also whatever the current idea of ‘new’ is: new culture, new generation, the latest... the next. The series seeks to make manifest a power play between the old and the new. The female figure in Shit Mom (Remodel) seems to tolerate her powerlessness, her formlessness.
Sabine Moritz (b. 1969, Quedlinburg) lives and works in Cologne. Mortiz’s work explores the dynamics of how memory is constituted and the way in which it is subject to a continual process of deformation and reformation. Described by Hans Ulrich Obrist in 2013 as “memories made visual – the fleeting impulses of the past rendered concrete in art”, Moritz’s paintings, by turns abstract and figurative, activate an awareness of time. They are records of specific, highly personal experiences that open out onto the general horizon of a collective history, from the artist’s childhood in the East German town of Jena, to the abstract notions of transience, decay and seriality. Mortiz’s work may be interpreted, above all, as a protest against forgetting, while also stating in no uncertain terms the inherent fragility, mutability and immateriality of memory.
Recent institutional exhibitions include Kunsthalle Rostock, 2019.
Sabine Mortiz’s Storm I, 2020, was devised without any preconceived empirical concept, or formal plan. Instead it was developed by layering various shades and densities of oil paint to explore the possibilities of colour and bounds of pictorial space. The work’s vivid palette and forms evoke a wide spectrum of visual and emotional associations.
Elizabeth Neel (b. 1975, Vermont) lives and works in New York. Neel’s paintings act as reflections on our surrounding physical landscape as well as the inner landscape of the mind. Her large-scale gestural paintings are built up through layers of acrylic paint on canvas, weaving transparent and opaque streams of liquid through negative space. She pours, brushes, prints, rolls and folds paint, propagating a choreography of marks that mirror the bilateral architecture of the body and its movement through environments of human habitation. By creating layered sets of mirrored applications and motifs she suggests an empirical yet ecstatic set of similes for the viewer to contemplate from an indivisible visual and emotional perspective. Her work explores positive and negative interplay in her works by creating a constant illusion between distance and proximity. She skilfully stirs the attention of the viewer, who reacts directly to the composition while simultaneously contemplating the suggestion of narrative and subject.
Recent solo shows include Pilar Corrias, London, 2019.
I often regard my process as a kind of choreography, one choice for action engenders or requires another and so on until the painting is finished. This work in particular references the unfolding of a song or a dance. Perhaps this song or dance is one performed with cues that reside deep in the DNA of an animal or a human in response to a set of natural forces acting upon the landscape. Rapid Buckling of the Loud Song is a horizontal work in two parts; and thus it unfolds in a way that lends itself to a narrative reading. Poems, songs, dances and time ravel and unravel, compress and decompress in waves and segments. This is how I experience life, in all its variation and repetition.
- ELIZABETH NEEL, 2020
Christina Quarles (b. 1985, Chicago) lives and works in Los Angeles. Her work explores the indeterminate qualities of the human body through manipulation and intervention, illuminating the slippery qualities of identity and gender ambiguity. As a Queer, cis-woman born to a black father and a white mother, Quarles engages with the world from a position that is multiply situated. Her practise pulls from her daily experience with ambiguity and seeks to dismantle assumptions of our fixed subjectivity through images that challenge the viewer to contend with the disorganised body in a state of excess.
Recent solo institutional exhibitions include The Hepworth Wakefield, 2019 and Pond Society, Shanghai, 2019. Upcoming solo exhibitions include South London Gallery, 2021; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 2021 and X Museum, Beijing, 2021.
Tilt/Shift is a portrait, not of looking onto a body, but of living within your own body looking out onto the world. My project is informed by my daily experience living in a gendered body, a Queer body, and a racialised body. In my paintings, I seek to dismantle assumptions of our fixed subjectivity through images that challenge the viewer to contend with the disorganised body in a state of excess.
- CHRISTINA QUARLES, 2020
Christina Quarles’ drawings are an essential part of her body of work, and are in fact the basis of her practice, as observed in Rise Up, 2019. She explores similar motifs as in her paintings, using only line and text. The titles of her drawings correspond to snippets and quotes derived from music, poems, conversations and life. Quarles collects these phrases and places them on her studio wall until they are matched with an image. Through the entanglement of bodies and the distorting of figures, Quarles examines what it feels like to be in a body and to create an identity, and about the complexity of both.
Tschabalala Self (b. 1990, Harlem) lives and works in New York and New Haven. Self builds a singular style from the syncretic use of both painting and printmaking to explore ideas about the black female body. The artist constructs exaggerated depictions of female bodies using a combination of sewn, printed, and painted materials, traversing different artistic and craft traditions. The exaggerated biological characteristics of her figures reflect Self’s own experiences and cultural attitudes toward race and gender. Through the depiction of characters with active histories, psychologies and desires, her practice functions as a subversion of ethno-cultural stereotyping.
Recent institutional solo exhibitions include Fyre Art Museum, Seattle, 2019; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, 2019; Art Omi, New York, 2019 and Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, 2020. Upcoming solo exhibitions include Baltimore Museum of Art, 2021.
Pop, 2017 is part of Self’s ‘Bodega Run’ series, which examines the socio-political site of the New York City bodega. With the ‘Bodega Run’ works, Self expanded her artistic approach to create dynamic, rounded and multi-dimensional characters out of the products and situations that exist specifically within these neighbourhood convenience stores. Pop, 2017, for instance depicts a curvaceous young black woman shopping for soda, bathed in the harsh light given off by powerful strip light bulbs.
Out of Body, 2020 is a hand-quilted edition which takes its form from her 2015 painting of the same title.
Sophie von Hellermann
Sophie von Hellermann (b. 1975, Munich) lives and works in London and Margate. Von Hellermann’s paintings recall the look of fables, legends, and traditional stories that are imbued with the workings of her subconscious, rather than the content of existing images. Her romantic, pastel-washed canvases are often installed to suggest complex narrative threads. The artist applies pure pigment directly onto unprimed canvas, her use of broad-brushed washes imbues a sense of weightlessness to her pictures. Von Hellermann’s paintings draw upon everyday affairs as often and as fluidly as they borrow from the imagery of classical mythology and literature to create expansive imaginary places.
Upcoming solo exhibitions include Midsummer Night’s Dream at Pilar Corrias, London, 2020.
I painted this upon my return from New York in the beginning of March. Inadvertently, I followed my own tradition there for I had already painted another horse with a cityscape after another visit to New York for my brilliant friend Thea DJordjadze’s exhibition. As I left the city, the Virus was riding in. I heard the Spanish Flu was referred to as The Pale Rider and references to old paintings of death and disease riding in on horseback were feeding into the image I was painting. The title is a quote from Midsummer Night’s Dream because the painting appeared in the midst of the series I was working on in the woods.
- SOPHIE VON HELLERMANN, 2020