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Punch, Curated by Nina Chanel Abney

Punch, curated by artist Nina Chanel Abney, will be presented at 18 Wooster Street from September 15 – October 27, 2018.

Abney has brought together a group of artists in her circle who examine culture and society through the figurative lens.

Punch focuses on artists of Abney’s generation whose work raises compelling questions about the blurred lines of art today: Where do we draw the line between culture and subculture, figuration and abstraction, and the physical and the digital?

Many of these artists grew up in the digital age, seeing firsthand how multiple streams of information from different media can penetrate consciousness. These image streams create a common language for artists to examine and digest how developments in society and culture have altered our perception of contemporary life.

The visual energy in these works is palpable—the rhythm and bold forms create a dynamic dialogue between art and popular culture. The works in the exhibition reference art historical precedents such as Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art as well as street art. The integration of design, graffiti, cartoons, satire, presented with visual punch, expands the language of representation.

Using painting, sculpture, and photography as acts of defiance, these artists explore how they can create a hybrid practice without adhering to historical labels while portraying a society immersed in new media and pop culture. Punch presents diverse approaches to contemporary figuration that defy traditional expectations.

Nina Chanel Abney was born in Chicago and currently lives and works in New York. Abney’s work is included in collections around the world, including the Brooklyn Museum, The Rubell Family Collection, Bronx Museum, and the Burger Collection in Hong Kong. Combining representation and abstraction, Abney’s paintings capture the frenetic pace of contemporary culture. Broaching subjects as diverse as race, celebrity, religion, politics, sex, and art history, her work eschews linear storytelling in lieu of disjointed narratives. Abney’s distinctively bold style harnesses the flux and simultaneity that has come to define life in the 21st century.

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