Curiosities: New and recent works by Kofi Cole, Peter Cole, Ethan Turpin,
Franco Mondini-Ruiz, Pauline Wiertz, and Miriam Wosk.
Edward Cella Art+Architecture is proud to announce a group exhibition that will include work by Kofi Cole, Peter Cole, Ethan Turpin, Franco Mondini-Ruiz, Pauline Wiertz, and Miriam Wosk. Entitled, Curiosities, the show will explore contemporary issues of nostalgia, memory, and rediscovery. In a variety of methods and materials, these artists investigate post-modern concepts of identity by utilizing bricolage and cultural assimilation to expose the discrepancies and contradictions of contemporary life.
Franco Mondini-Ruiz’s irreverent paintings and objects create humorous paradoxes between kitsch and sophisticated, feminine and masculine, and between chicano and western art traditions. Pauline Wiertz’s clever sculptures reference the Renaissance Wunderkabinett tradition where miscellaneous curiosities are displayed in a cabinet of wonders. Her floral decoupage ceramic guns incorporate a personal narrative while also making a commentary about class position and ethnic identity.
Los Angeles artist Miriam Wosk’s cacophonous paintings explore the tension and duality that exists between beauty and repulsion, tradition and modernity. Redefining previous notions of art, she makes visual contradictions in an attempt to highlight their actual interconnectedness.
Herbert “Kofi” Cole and Peter Cole are father and son artists who explore African art-making techniques. “Kofi,” his knife name, is a preeminent scholar of African art and carves small-scale African tribal masks based on their original versions. The miniature sculptures are at once humorous, poignant, and delightful. The engagement of African art in Western modern art has always been and continues to hold major source material for artists. Peter Cole’s art making process assimilates the “power figures” tradition of African folk art in order to created modern-day power figure idols out of American consumer goods.
Lastly, in Ethan Turpin’s current project, Stereocollision, the artist has gathered original 19th century stereoscope photographs and digitally composites the vintage photos and text to create new stereogram cards. Through the mergence of contradictory images he creates provocative statements about globalization and the history of American economic dominance.
All of the artists involved are referencing source material beyond the purview of fine art and, instead, exploring issues of cultural transference. Made up mostly of small scale objects and paintings, this group exhibition rejects the traditional white cube gallery space and transforms itself into a room-sized cabinet of curiosities.