The Giving Body

press release

Underdonk Presents:

“The Giving Body”
December 1st-December 31st, 2017
Opening Reception: December 1st, 6-9pm

Gina Beavers
Genesis Belanger
Carl D’Alvia
Rebecca Gilbert
Hugh Hayden
Hein Koh
Elisa Lendvay
Justin Q Martin
Keiko Narahashi
Rose Nestler
Sarah Peters
Leah Tacha

Curated by Elisa Soliven


Underdonk is pleased to present, “The Giving Body”, a group exhibition including
artists: Gina Beavers, Genesis Belanger, Carl D’Alvia, Rebecca Gilbert, Hugh Hayden, Hein Koh, Elisa Lendvay, Justin Q Martin, Keiko Narahashi, Rose Nestler, Sarah Peters, and Leah Tacha. The works in “The Giving Body” evoke the human form with an emphasis on process and materials. In various ways, both overtly sculptural and in high relief, these works inscribe the body with expressive qualities.

The pieces in this exhibition take a wide approach to representing the human figure, from soft sculpture to more traditional use of materials such as bronze, wire, and clay. Rose Nestler’s point of departure is “… the delicacy and imperfections of bodies. She uses fabric as a sculptural material because it is linked to clothing – our second skin.” Sculpture here is myriad. Hugh Hayden, through camouflage “explores the underlying infrastructure, relationships and systems of social interactions.” While some of the artists, Beavers and Gilbert, use appropriation as a method or jumping off point, all the artists merge found and molded elements in a transformative fashion. Rebecca Gilbert, “remakes everyday objects as sculptural copies, creating small interventions within commonly understood forms. While exploring still life, portraiture, the female body, humor and memories- it is the act of copying that underpins the breadth of her practice.” The work in this show conscientiously embraces the idea that there are multiple ways to invest the body with gesture. Keiko Narahashi “believes that forms contain occult meanings, but like emotions, or beauty, they are unreliable and subject to strange transformations.” While working from memory, copying, or from lived experience, these artists transform the body into something new.

Each of the artists in this exhibition is unique in the ways in which they articulate the body, either through repetition of forms, layering of material, inscribing of line, unusual juxtapositions, stitching of fabric, modeling of forms, and welding of line. Elisa Lendvay’s “works present interplays among internal vision, observation of nature, and corporality to generate moments of perception, truth, and whimsey.” The body is shown, not only as a whole, but in parts, and often abstracted. For Genesis Belanger, “by looking at advertisements one can deduce that disembodied women’s hands can be used to sell just about anything. My hands don’t sell telephones or cake mix but rather abstracted ideas of weakness and indulgence.” Carl D’Alvia’s bronze pieces also explore the dichotomies of the comic and tragic. With this work, the body part embodies the whole. Hein Koh’s “stuffed shiny fabric sculptures are surrealist mash-ups of body parts and symbols, comprising a diaristic lexicon inspired by memories, feelings and personal experiences.” What binds all this work together is a generosity in imbuing organic sensuality while also showing the process of its making visible to the viewer. For Leah Tacha, “instead of the pieces trying to be some kind of perfect form, they are exactly what they appear to be: strong, standing their ground, a bit ceremonial in form even if slightly off balance.” “The Giving Body” brings together sensibilities that are searching to convey an awkward humanness and emotion in their stance.

—Elisa Soliven, November 27, 2017


Artists’ Biographies

Gina Beavers lives and works in New York City. She holds a BA in Studio Art and Anthropology from the University of Virginia (1996), an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2000) and an MS in Education from Brooklyn College (2005). Gina has exhibited solo projects at GNYP (Berlin), Frieze (New York 2016), Michael Benevento (Los Angeles), Clifton Benevento (New York), Retrospective (Hudson, NY), Fourteen30 (Portland,OR), James Fuentes (New York), Nudashank (Baltimore, MD), and Material Art Fair (Mexico City). She has participated in numerous group shows, among them, MoMA PS1(Long Island City, NY), Lumber Room (Portland, Or), Kentucky Museum of Contemporary Art (Louisville, KY), Nassau County Museum of Art (Long Island, NY), Flag Art Foundation (New York), William
Benton Museum of Art (Storrs, Ct), Abrons Art Center (New York), Gavin Brown’s Enterprise (NY), Cheim and Read (New York), JTT (New York), Canada Gallery (New York), Valentin (Paris), Galerie Opdahl (Norway), and Night Gallery (Los Angeles). Her work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Artforum, Frieze, The New Yorker, and Modern Painters, among others.

Genesis Belanger received her BFA from SAIC and her MFA from CUNY Hunter College. Belanger is a 2016 recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant and a 2017 Pioneer Works Fall/Winter Fellow. Recent exhibitions include Adams and Ollman, OR; Guest Spot at the ReInstitute, MD; Derek Eller, Pioneer Works and Invisible Exports; NY, NY. Belanger had her first solo presentation at Mrs. in Fall 2017. Belanger lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Carl D’Alvia is a sculptor that lives and works in Connecticut and New York. D’Alvia’s post-pop resin, bronze and marble sculptures range from the abstract and geometric to the figurative and anthropomorphic. The work often explores dichotomies such as minimal/ornate, industrial/handmade, and comic/tragic. D’Alvia won the Rome Prize in 2012. He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions internationally including Nathalie Karg Gallery in New York; Regina Rex in New York; Derek Eller Gallery in New York; MARS Milano in Milan, Italy; G-Module in Paris, France; American Academy in Rome, Italy; The Rhode Island School of Design Museum in Providence, Rhode Island.

Rebecca Gilbert earned her Bachelors at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago and Masters at Hunter College. Her work has been included in exhibitions at Cleopatra’s, Brooklyn; Brennan & Griffin, New York; Essex Flowers, New York; Cave, Detroit; Interstate Projects, Brooklyn; Shoot The Lobster, New York; The Invisible Dog, Brooklyn; The Royal College of Art, London; The Pigeon Wing, London; Alogon, Chicago; as well as the Material Art Fair in Mexico City. She lives and works in New Haven, Connecticut.

Hugh Hayden has participated in artist-in-residence programs including Workspace at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Emerging Artist Fellowship at Socrates Sculpture Park, and the Glenfiddich Artist Residency Program in Dufftown, Scotland. Hayden holds received his B.Arch from Cornell University and is currently enrolled in Columbia University’s Visual Arts MFA Program.

Hein Koh is an artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She graduated from Dartmouth College with a dual B.A. in Studio Art and Psychology, and received her M.F.A. in Painting from Yale University School of Art. She is a recipient of a Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation Grant, and did a residency at the Artists in the Marketplace program at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Her work has been reviewed in Art forum, Art F City, Hyperallergic, The Brooklyn Rail, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. She has also received press coverage in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, i-D, Bust Magazine, and Vice Magazine, among other publications. Hein has also taught and/or lectured at Tyler School of Art, Dartmouth College, Maryland Institute College of Art, and the School of Visual Arts. She is currently a nominee for the 2017 Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, and is slated to have a solo show at Marvin Gardens (Ridgewood, NY) in May of 2018.

Elisa Lendvayrecently moved from NYC to a farmhouse in the Hudson Valley, NY. She received her MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College and a BFA from the University of Texas at Austin and Bennington College. Recent exhibitions include solo exhibits at Fred Giampietro Gallery, New Haven, CT and Jason McCoy Gallery, New York, and group shows at Kansas Gallery, NY; Asya Geisberg Gallery, NY; Rare Gallery, NY; Lesley Heller Workspace, NY; TSA, Brooklyn; Daily Operation, Brooklyn; Orgy Park, Brooklyn; Underdonk, Brooklyn; and Klaus Von Nichtssagend, NY, among others. Lendvay has been awarded honors from the Edward F. Albee Foundation, the New York Foundation of the Arts, the Santa Fe Art Institute, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Center, the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, the Vermont Studio School, the Dallas Museum of Art, the University of Texas at Austin, and the Marie Walsh Art Foundation.

Justin Q Martin lives and work in Brooklyn. He has participated in group exhibitions with helper Gallery, 106 Green, and Underdonk; and has had a solo exhibition at Sardine.

Keiko Narahashi was born in Tokyo, Japan, and grew up in North Carolina. She received an MFA in Painting from Bard College and a BFA from Parsons school of Design. She has recently exhibited at Deli Gallery (Queens), Jason McCoy Gallery (NY), Brennan & Griffin (NY), Underdonk (Brooklyn), 106 Green (Brooklyn), and Longhouse Projects (NY), among others. She was a recipient of the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation studio grant (2005) and a New York
Foundation for the Arts Fellowship Grant in painting (2006). She lives and works in New York City and Cape Cod, MA.

Originally from Seattle, Washington, Rose Nestler currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York where she recently received her MFA degree from Brooklyn College and has a BA in Fine Arts and Art History from Mt. Holyoke College. She now works as a Teaching Artist for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Blue School and Brooklyn Arts Council. In 2017 she was a Dedalus Foundation MFA Fellowship nominee and a Brooklyn College Graduate Teaching Fellow. Her work has been exhibited in the New York area at a variety of galleries including, Smack Mellon, CRUSH Curatorial, UrbanGlass, Causey Contemporary, and CUCHIFRITOS Gallery and Project Space. Nestler has been an artist-in-residence at Chashama Workspace Program, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Vermont Studio Center, Supporting Women Artists Project, and Byrdcliffe Artists Colony.

Sarah Peters received her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and her BFA from the University of Pennsylvania.Solo and two-person exhibitions include Eleven Rivington, NY, Asya Geisberg, NY, Winkleman Gallery, NY, John Davis Gallery, Hudson, NY, and PS122 Gallery, NY. Group exhibitions include Regina Rex (NY), Dodge Gallery (NY), MKG127 Gallery (Toronto), and The Front Gallery (New Orleans). Her work has been reviewed in the New York Times, Art F City, The Paris Review Daily, The L Magazine, and The Atlantic. She is a New York Foundation for the Arts Sculpture Fellowship recipient, a Marie Walsh Sharpe Studio Grant recipient, and has completed residencies at The Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, Kohler Arts/Industry Residency, and Pilchuck Glass School. She lives and works in New York.

Leah Tacha lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her BFA in Painting from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2007 and her MFA from SUNY Purchase College in 2009.Her first solo exhibition in NY was curated by Jon Lutz at Sardine in Brooklyn in 2014 and her second solo exhibition was at Gallery 106 Green in 2016. She has shown with Daily Operation, RARE Gallery, Present Company, and the Torrance Art Museum, among others. In 2015, she was awarded the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop SIP Fellowship and in 2017 she was awarded the Windgate Fellowship at the Archie Bray Residency for the Ceramic Arts. Upcoming shows include a group show at Underdonk in Brooklyn, NY and a 2018 group show with Lefebvre & Sons in Paris.



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