opening reception: Thurs. Feb. 2, 6-8pm
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA art prospects is pleased to present Plato/Pineapple, a solo exhibition of new works on paper by Emna Zghal. The exhibition is on view from February 2 through March 10, 2012, with an opening reception on Thursday, February 2, from 6pm to 8pm. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11am to 6pm.
Following Against Reason, her 2009 exhibition at the gallery, Emna Zghal further asserts her interest in poetry, beauty and formal invention in this new exhibition Plato/Pineapple, which presents prints and drawings from her 2010 artist's book: Plato Pineapple Poetry Painting. In it, she draws a parallel between Plato's urge to banish poets from his Ideal City that is run by reason, and a contemporary art establishment that has seemingly expunged poetry from its discourse. In the accompanying essay of her new book published for this exhibition, Zghal questions the subversion often touted by contemporary art institutions as a validating quality of art. Can art be subversive (i.e., can it undermine authority) when it is the authorities themselves who put out such claims? Zghal affirms the role of the artist-poet to dream outside of the world of reason.
Zghal's latest daydream is the pineapple, which becomes a visual thread in the prints and drawings of this exhibition. In expanding her interest in the infinite extension and unpredictability of organic patterns, Zghal focuses on an intriguing morphological study that utilizes her observation and unique approaches. She discovers that a pineapple is made of berries that join together to the core, which inspires her to carefully distinguish individual berries in her work. To create Pineapple Sun, a large print featuring two overlaid pineapple slices with dense fibers, Zghal scans a thin slice of the fruit, traces it digitally and then transfers it to a silkscreen/etching using condensed milk and salt. It is through such innovative and tactical processes that Zghal effectively explores not only a heightened sense of materiality but also a new level of biomorphic visual poetry.
Emna Zghal is a Tunisian-born visual artist based in New York. Her work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States, Europe and Tunisia. She is the recipient of the American Academy of Arts & Letters Purchase Award (New York), the President of the Republic's Prize for Best Young Artist (Tunisia); fellowships from the Blue Mountain Center (Blue Mountain, New York), Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris), Weir Farm Trust (Wilton, CT) and Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT); and residencies from the Newark Art Museum (Newark, NJ) and the Centre des Arts Vivants (Radès, Tunisia). Reviews of her work have appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Art Forum, ARTnews and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Her portfolio of prints The Prophet of Black Folk was acquired by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, NY. Other works are part of the collections at the New York Public Library, Yale University, the Museum for African Art, NY, as well as Grinnell College, IA.
On Thursday February 23, 6:30 - 8pm, the gallery will host a special program featuring a dialogue between Emna Zghal and Lisa Binder, Curator at the Museum for African Art, on the recent cultural and social uprising in Tunisia, where Zghal visited last May/June. The program is open to the public and free of admission. RSVP is recommended.
Works in Plato/Pineapple and the publication of the book were made possible by a grant from the Creative Capital Foundation (NY), an organization that provides integrated financial and advisory support to artists pursuing adventurous projects.
For inquires/requests, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and/or tel. +1 212 268 7132.