Just steps away from the SVA Westside campus, these Chelsea galleries feature artists that create work surrounding themes relevant to the creative arts therapy field. Check them out to learn more!
The exhibition, which includes installation, wall sculptures and sound, focuses on the increasingly pervasive trend of Healthy Living and Positive Lifestyles gaining momentum in the Middle East. In particular, GCC explores the ways in which these lifestyle attitudes are appropriated, employed, and transformed as part of a greater political mechanism.
The exhibition at Mitchell-Innes & Nash expands upon GCC’s 2016 project at the most recent Berlin Biennale, a sculptural installation of a woman and child. The woman is performing a Quantum Touch exercise, a non-contact touch therapy that became popular in the West in the late 1990s, on a boy as they stand on sand surrounded by a running track. The work, from where the exhibition borrows its title Positive Pathways (+), focuses on the ways that the positive energy movement and body healing practitioners have become co-opted by governments in the region – such as the creation of new ministerial positions like the UAE’s Ministry of Happiness, and the emergence of life coaches and Feng Shui consultants employed by hereditary leaders. Also on view will be a set of sculptural reliefs created using Thermoforming, a commonly used industrial process where thermoplastic sheets are heated and formed on a mold. The reliefs are based on 3D renderings of stills taken from YouTube videos and images found online of regional practitioners promoting the positive energy movement. Ranging from politicians to social media celebrities to TV clerics, these individuals utilize the Positive Energy attitude as a base for state policy. Referring to the erasure and creation of cultural myths, these reliefs create narratives of the present, a mechanism of both nation building and the politics of cultural extinction and creation.
534 West 26th Street
Hours: M-F, 10am-6pm
Ends November 23rd
Marcos Bontempo’s painterly universe seems to emerge from the timeless space of dreams and nightmares. His images possess the lingering immediacy of apparitions and the malleability of poetic language. Forms often wrestle the latent possibility of disintegration, never losing their mysterious presence as markings on a surface; they remind us of the spellbinding power of the artist’s hand, of alternate worlds emerging out of thin air. Exorcising pain and summoning beauty are here inextricable, yet they meet bravely in a dance where wonderment is preserved intact. “Light and Dark,” presents a selection of Bontempo’s recent body of work reflecting the symbolic role of these two extremes in the artist’s practice, where recurrent themes (kindness and brutality, presence and emptiness, entrapment and freedom) all stem from the fundamental dichotomy of life and death. Somewhere in between, creativity occurs as a kind of active chiaroscuro, where the artist contends with his obsessions through phases of lucidness and uncertainty.
Bontempo, the fourth of seven children, was born in Córdoba, Argentina in 1969. His family migrated permanently to Ronda, Spain in the mid-1970s, following the Argentine coup d’état that would drive the country into an era of neo-fascist military dictatorship. The artist’s strict Catholic upbringing—where lessons were enforced through profoundly rooted notions of guilt—is a conceivable underpinning of his restless visual reverie and impulsive output. Bontempo is, in fact, a kind of present-day Romantic character, so vitally implicated with his work we could dare visualize that in addition to neurotransmitters and electrical synapses, his mind is made of his working materials: ink, acrylic paint, oxidized iron, and shimmering salt. Days and nights revolve around the artist’s studio, which is the nucleus that connects him to the world and to himself. Congruently, the work tends to synch with these cycles of light and dark.
529 West 20th Street, 3rd Floor
Hours: T- F,10am-6pm & S, 11am-6pm
Ends November 26th
Ras Dizzy (1932- 2008) and Leonard Daley (1930- 2006) are two of the most important painters to emerge from the second generation of self-taught Jamaican artists born from 1930 to 1949, including Albert Zion, Evadney Cruickshank, Kingsley Thomas, Albert Artwell, and others.
Rastafarianism began to change Jamaican culture in 1930. Many artists were not actually Rastas, but they adopted many of the philosophical outlooks and the cultural resistance of the Rasta movement, similar to the way the counter-culture of the sixties affected lifestyles world-wide without everyone necessarily becoming hippies.
Jamaicans growing up in this time were enveloped in post-slavery and post-colonial issues and religions, such as Revival and Kumina (a Kongo-based religion begun in Jamaica by post-slavery indentured servants). Many Jamaicans emigrated to Panama and England to work, and and those who returned found less than desirable economic conditions. Despite outlawing Obeah (Jamaican hoodoo), the colonial powers in Jamaica were not as successful as the white Americans in suppressing African and pan-African spiritual impulses. Rastafarianism incorporated many Kumina customs in its tenets and lifestyles.
210 11th Ave, Suite 201
Hours: T- F,10am-6pm & S, 11am-6pm
Ends November 23rd
Text and images compiled by Julia Volonts (MPS Class of 2017).