Gertrude Abercrombie  •  Ross Bleckner  •  Chen Ching-Yuan  •  Van Hanos  •  Brook Hsu  •  Helen Johnson  •  Jennifer J. Lee  •  Sally Michel  •  Jonny Negron  •  Alexandra Noel  •  Jules Olitski  •  Lauren Satlowski  •  Hiroshi Sugito  •  Issy Wood  •  Matthew Wong

Opening reception
Saturday, July 27, 6–9pm
Exhibition on view through September 7, 2019

In 1974, American poet John Ashbery composed a long form ekphrastic lyric occasioned by the painting, Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror, by the minor late Renaissance master, Parmigianino. The original circular composition was meticulously rendered in 1524 on a convex panel whose diameter measured no more than 24.4cm, or just shy of ten inches. With its extravagantly curved perspectives, this remains a virtuosic feat of the medium made more so by being performed on such a tightly delimited stage.  

It was for this reason that Ashbery found therein not an enigma but a pearl – a concise distillation of the plight of the artist whose hand is distorted by the world even as he, in turn, seeks to distort it by capturing its reflection. It is a chiasmic conundrum with the inward pull of a compact atomic core.

In its totality, Ashbery’s words would come to encompass a surface-area that far exceeds Parmigianino’s diminutive masterwork. Through that medallion-like portal he enters into expansive ruminations that span questions of memory, pathos and empathy all the while outlining a sweetly abbreviated ontology. As he writes:

But it is life englobed.
One would like to stick one’s hand
Out of the globe, but its dimension,
What carries it, will not allow it.

The artists in Château Shatto’s forthcoming exhibition share Ashbery and Parmiagianino’s affinity for revelations in miniature guises. Their output ranges from the modestly scaled to the truly petite and they embrace this limitation for their own idiosyncratic reasons. Some uncover respite from the heroic demands of the monumental; others an opportunity to work through ideas and impulses to be articulated later in a distended tableau. Some find purpose in offering peeks of private inner worlds or are galvanized by the economy of restrained abstraction; while others still harness the gravitational pull of locket-size images which are almost devotional in their allure.  Whatever their instinct, they craft ‘superficial but visible cores’ that propose an entirely different type of viewing. Arresting in their potency, these works demand an embodied and sustained perusal that, at its best, draws the viewer in slowly and deliberately not unlike thread through a needle’s eye.

Image: Gertrude Abercrombie, Untitled, 1956. Oil on board, 3 x 3.5 in / 7.6 x 8.9 cm (unframed). Courtesy of the artist and Karma, New York.

A Cloth Over a Birdcage

2019
Installation view

A Cloth Over a Birdcage

2019
Installation view

BROOK HSU
fade out 1

2019
Oil on wood
6 x 4 in / 15.2 x 10.2 cm

BROOK HSU
fade out 2

2019
Oil on wood
6 x 4 in / 15.2 x 10.2 cm

BROOK HSU
fade out 3

2019
Oil on wood
6 x 4 in / 15.2 x 10.2 cm

A Cloth Over a Birdcage

2019
Installation view

ROSS BLECKNER
Untitled

2018
Oil on canvas
10 x 8 in / 25.5 x 20.5 cm

ROSS BLECKNER
Untitled

2018
Oil on canvas
18 x 18 in / 45.5 x 45.5 cm

GERTRUDE ABERCROMBIE
Untitled

1956
Oil on board
3 x 3.5 in / 7.6 x 8.9 cm (unframed)

MATTHEW WONG
Mili’s Corner

2019
Oil on canvas
24 x 20 in / 61 x 50.8 cm

A Cloth Over a Birdcage

2019
Installation view

CHEN CHING-YUAN
Craw from the sun

2018
Oil on canvas
14.6 x 10.6 in / 37 x 27 cm

VAN HANOS How To

2012
Oil on canvas
14 x 11 in / 35.6 x 27.9 cm

VAN HANOS
Kyra’s Party

2017-2019
Oil on linen
12 x 10 in / 30.48 x 25.4 cm

A Cloth Over a Birdcage

2019
Installation view

JULES OLITSKI
The Sea

1991
Acrylic on canvas with frame
20.25 in x 14.5 in / 51.4 cm x 36.8 cm

JONNY NEGRON
Untitled

2019
Acrylic on canvas
14 x 11 in / 35.6 x 27.9 cm

JONNY NEGRON
Untitled

2019
Acrylic on canvas
14 x 11 in / 35.6 x 27.9 cm

A Cloth Over a Birdcage

2019
Installation view

HIROSHI SUGITO
untitled

2013
Oil on canvas
13 x 18 in / 33 x 45.7 cm

ALEXANDRA NOEL
What did we do now?

2019
Oil and enamel on panel
5.5 x 8 in / 14 x 20.5 cm

ALEXANDRA NOEL
A breaking bridge over breaking waves

2019
Oil and enamel on panel
4 x 12 in / 10.2 x 30.5 cm

LAUREN SATLOWSKI
Beans

2019
Oil on linen
20 x 16 in / 50.8 x 40.64 cm

A Cloth Over a Birdcage

2019
Installation view

ISSY WOOD
JOAN CIRCA 1991

2018
Oil on canvas
3.9 x 2.8 in / 10 x 7 cm

ISSY WOOD
JOAN CIRCA 1981

2018
Oil on canvas
3.9 x 2.8 in / 10 x 7 cm

ISSY WOOD
JOAN CIRCA 1992

2019
Oil on canvas
3.9 x 2.8 in / 10 x 7 cm

A Cloth Over a Birdcage

2019
Installation view

HIROSHI SUGITO
silver sea

2003
Oil on velvet
7.8 x 11.8 in / 20 x 30 cm

SALLY MICHEL
Reclining Nude

1981
Oil on canvas board
12 x 16 in / 30.5 x 40.5 cm

SALLY MICHEL
Bucolic

1963
Oil on board
9 x 12 in / 23 x 30.5 cm

A Cloth Over a Birdcage

2019
Installation view

HELEN JOHNSON
Fickle as a Pear

2019
Oil stick and synthetic polymer on canvas
18 x 24 in / 45.5 x 61 cm

JENNIFER J. LEE
Ivy House

2019
Oil on jute
12 x 10 in / 30.5 x 25.4 cm

JENNIFER J. LEE
Infinity Mirror II

2019
Oil on jute
12 x 11 in / 30.5 x 27.9 cm