FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH| KITO MBIANGO AND ATARA BAKER |
PAINTINGS, COLLAGE AND WORKS ON PAPER
MARCH 21, 2014 – JULY 31, 2014
FOX GALLERY NYC is pleased to present an exhibition of paintings, collages and works on paper by Kito Mbiango and Atara Baker.
Belgian/Congolese Kito Mbiango integrates his heritages and cultural exposure to explore themes encompassing memory, history, socio-political realities and spiritual yearnings.
With a collection of 10,000+ vintage images of African, Native American, Japanese and South East Asian peoples, as well as scientific illustrations and cartography, Mbiango has valuable imagery from which to draw upon.
His large mixed media canvases Hemisphere Celeste and Les Progres des Rayons, function as narratives, inviting personal musings upon viewing. The woodblock designs and stencil-like symbols connect diverse cultures in a dreamlike, surreal state. The addition of mother of pearl discs effect a shimmering energy to the work.
The mixed media works on paper such as CU or Malachite reference a loss of innocence and exploitation of African cultures, made poignant through the use of what he refers to as his muse, a majestic and elegant female African portrait in several aspects.
Reflecting a yearning for spiritual transcendence, Mbiango’s recent digital prints invite us to do the same with titles such as : Shut Your Eyes so Your Heart May Become Your Eye, Let The Winds of Heaven Dance Between You. In these works Mbiango’s use of color is key to experiencing those feelings.
Kito Mbiango was born in Brussels in 1966. He is completely self-taught in his technique and utilizes multiple production methods including image transfer and mixed media assemblage all applied meticulously by hand. His paintings have been featured in publications such as Town & Country Magazine, Architectural Digest, Miami INTERIORS (Tashen) and Luxe Magazine.
Non-profit groups, including UNICEF, Voices United, Haitian Art Relief Fund FOTORELIEF, and HEAL Africa, have also featured Mbiango’s work.
Israeli born San Diego artist Atara Baker articulates a shared personal, political and artistic spirit discovered during her decade experiencing the art and culture of the South African San(Bushmen).
Evident in her work is Baker’s search for the primeval in oneself , a connection to one’s roots, and the close similarity in the “mode of expression in primitive art ( drawing, painting and mask making) to that of modern artists (drawing, painting and object making.”
Baker’s large scale mixed media canvases, are compelling and mysterious objects whose high-relief physicality command our attention. Mainly vertical in orientation, they are bisected with a cross-like armature that sets the compositional framework. These “Masks” are composed of many hand-built built layers of cheesecloth, burlap, found objects and carefully chosen South African newspaper clippings that suggest social and political unrest. The images hold our gaze with their meditative and challenging presences.. Eyes and mouths are suggested by metal washers and discs. “ These industrial elements speak of a society at odds with modern civilization and our indifferent eye towards our ancient beginnings and tribal ancestry.”*
Rather than paint brushes, Baker uses handprints and fingerprints recalling the handmade quality of tribal ritual objects as well as the modern assemblages of Rauschenberg, Cornell boxes, and collages of Schwitters. Her colors are, for the most part, earth-toned; evocative of clay, native soil, and primitive forms.
The Hebrew inscriptions are tributes to her mentor in South Africa, Bill Ainslie, who Baker credits with teaching her an awareness of color and its relationship to observed form.
Atara has been a member of the San Diego Artists Guild and San Diego Art Institute, and her work is in private collections in South Africa, San Diego, Los Angeles and Palo Alto, California, Olympia and Seattle, Washington State, Ohio, Colorado, Utah, Chicago, IL, New Haven, Connecticut, New York, Mexico and Israel, and is at present working from her studio in La Mesa, Ca.
* Kevin Winger “Atara Baker at Mesa College Art Gallery, 2012”
For more information please call 646 726 4008 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
FOX GALLERY NYC
838 WEST END AVE 8C (101 ST)