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Patrick Mahon | Nonsuch Garden // Chen Hangfeng | Select Video Works

Nonsuch Garden is the culmination of Patrick Mahon’s recent artistic activity exploring the visual language of water and its repositories, as well as the vessels that traverse this natural element. This expansive exhibition merges motifs of ships and gardens within a fractured framework of colonialism that looks to a possible future through a lens from the past. Nonsuch Garden visually integrates the dichotomous notions of the natural, organic structure of plant-life itself, with the formal, structural elements of a cultivated garden, and the historical reverberations that this juxtaposition creates. While Mahon’s work is informed by printmaking, the works in this series transcend formal categorization by thwarting conventional practice, and extending materiality through its concepts. Anchoring the exhibition is a titanic collaborative installation piece created with Dickson Bou, “Mastgarden,” that not only assimilates with the gallery infrastructure, but also impels the pieces on the walls into the depths of the surrounding “waters.” Flanking this structure are photographic, collaged wood wall panels that graphically abstract and integrate the ship/garden motifs. Complementing this composition is a series of collaged balsawood pieces on paper that simply and elegantly denote the ships that transported European ideologies to the new frontier. Suggesting further abstracted concepts of time and displacement is a set of photographic and stencil works on glass that transmute into portholes, leading the viewer into multiple dimensions and realms. Rounding out the exhibition is stop-motion animation produced in conjunction with artist Jennifer Wanner. Nonsuch Garden takes the viewer into the domain of an invested poetic assertion concerning a contemporary moment of transition and challenge.

Accompanying this exhibition are three, select video works from the Shanghai-based artist Chen Hangfeng that not only amplify Mahon’s investigation into colonialism and horticulture, but also offer a cross-cultural perspective on these same concepts. Chen’s artistic practice ranges from drawing and painting, to paper-cuts, photo, and video, installations, as well as performance. His works deal with issues surrounding commercialization, environmentalism, globalization, and cultural transmutation, often realized through playful metaphor, merging concepts and mediums in a manner akin to that of an alchemist.

On View: November 21 to December 19, 2015

EXHIBITION EVENTS:

Opening Reception: Saturday, November 21 from 2 – 5 p
Patrick Mahon will be present. For further details, please visit our Facebook event page.

Gardenwrecks: A Visual and Literary Collusion: Saturday, December 12 from 3:30-5:30 p
Join us for an afternoon of literary engagement and spirited dialogue in response to Patrick Mahon’s new solo exhibition, Nonsuch Garden.

Steve Mentz (St. John’s University, Queens, NY) will discuss and read from his new book, Shipwreck Modernity: Ecologies of Globalization, 1550-1719, (Minnesota University Press, 2015), including its conclusion, “Seven Shipwreck Ecological Truths.” Professor Mentz will also join Patrick Mahon in a dialogue that connects Mahon’s sculptural work, “Mastgarden (2015),” produced with Dickson Bou, with one of Mentz’s interludes, “Philosopher at the Mast-Head.”

Katzman Contemporary Holiday Celebration: Saturday, December 19
Katzman Contemporary will be hosting its annual holiday party. The event will be family friendly in the afternoon, and then more “spirited” for adults in the evening.

Category: Arts
Start Date: 2015-11-21
End Date: 2015-12-19
Venue: Katzman Contemporary

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