Five Sided

Alexandra Karlsson Napp, Daniel John Weiner, David Cordero, Jaena Kwon, Mengfan Bai

NOV 23 – DEC 09, 2018


Five Sided Alexandra Karlsson Napp, Daniel John Weiner, David Cordero, Jaena Kwon, Mengfan Bai November 23 - December 9, 2018 Reception: November 30th 6-8pm Plus 81 Gallery is pleased to present Five Sided, a group show featuring Alexandra Karlsson Napp, Daniel John Weiner, David Cordero, Jaena Kwon and Mengfan Bai. Five discrete groups of works in this show form a metaphorical pentagon, a platform where viewers are invited to explore the psyche, reflections and interactions among these artworks. Alexandra Karlsson Napp Myook is a series of forms that, in totality, create a vessel. Appearing to be something in between water balloons and river rocks, these shapes seem to be frozen in uncertain physical state. Though static, stacked like bricks, they exhibit at pressurized forces. They droop, adapt and seek to fill up an invisible container, making them myook ( an English phonetic spelling of the Swedish word for soft: mjuk ). Each blob is cast independently. Color schemes must be mixed and intuitively distributed between the forms within a short period of time before the casting medium hardens. The hardened forms are then assembled and joined through a second casting process making for a finished work with a multitude of distinct fluvial patterns. A hidden compartment in the nethermost rock can be slipped on and off to function as a drip tray when the vessel houses a plant. Myook is as such a fuctional object disguised as an art object. Alexandra Karlsson Napp is a Swedish designer who has resided and studied in Stockholm, West Texas, and Tokyo. She received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden and recently her Master of Architecture from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut where she also instructed as a teaching fellow. She currently resides and works in New York City on both design and architectural projects. Daniel John Weiner Guided by visual interests, Daniel John Weiner nails together found objects and texts and reduces them into forms, shapes, lines and colors that are playfully coincidental and undeniably beautiful. Source unknown, once used or briefly cherished, whether it is a plastic straw on a beach, an excerpt from a dictionary, discarded false lashes, colorful drug pouches or news clippings of a tragic event, the descriptive details of these adopted memorabilia are turned into seemingly accidental poetry. Another dimension of beauty emerges as a result of a self-reflexive act of discovery. By willfully re-interpreting and re-reading dormant information, Weiner constructs diagrams of revelation that blur the experiences of the self and others. Lost time of the anonymous is recovered, only in the form of the art ist’s inquiry of self. Daniel John Weiner is an artist and writer based in Brooklyn, New York. He received a B.A. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles and an M.F.A. from San Diego State University. David Cordero Cordero would walk his 20-inch-tall cobra plant during his lunch break. Circling his building, Cordero realized if he ran fast enough, he would re-encounter the people who had seen him with his plant when he exited the building. A moment of Déjà vu was created. Centering this performance, Cordero recreated uncanny memories with a heightened sense of motion and velocity circulating in this five-sided work of art. Painterly brush strokes are juxtaposed with precise geometric patterns; a dreamlike overlapping of scenes gives away details of the performer; smudges and dripping paint render a sense of passing time or a metaphorical loop, where past and present co-exist and intertwine. David Cordero is an artist, designer and educator based in Chicago, Illinois. He recently worked as the costume designer in productions of Iphigenia and Mosque Alert. In 2016, he launched SOUTH, a multi-disciplinary design studio. His work has been featured in Hunter and Cook, The Chicago Tribune and The Art Newspaper. David was a teaching fellow at the University of Chicago, where he received his M.F.A. in 2010. He received his B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007. Jaena Kwon Jaena Kwon challenges the constraints of two-dimensional art with curved panels and painted sculptures by expressing depth through “flatness”. Growing up fascinated by pop-up books and origami, Kwon has been using folded paper as a medium and methodology in spatial expre ssions. In making ‘Tear’ and ‘Bird’, she started with building a three-dimensional paper sculpture, before flattening it to eliminate its initial volume. A sense of wonderment is a byproduct of revealing precisely where and how the corners reunited,indentations formed and shape distorted. Kwon’s insistence on monochro me throughout the series opens up endless possibilities in shades and tones that respond to the condition of the space where the work occupies: a change of light, the texture of walls, as well as the a udience. Kwon’s work requests the viewers’ motions, physically or mentally, to discover the shifting experiences of shapes, color and texture, as their gaze running through infinite nooks and crannies within and beyond the folds. Jaena Kwon was born in Seoul, Korea. She received an M.F.A. in Painting and Printmaking at Yale University School of Art, CT and a B.F.A. at Seoul National University, Korea. Her works have been shown widely in the U.S. and Korea, including exhibitions at The Painting Center, New York; Amy Simon Fine Art, CT; and Soung Eun Art Space, Seoul. She recently was awarded a residency at The Studios, MASS MoCA, MA in 2017. Kwon lives and works in New York City. Mengfan Bai Mengfan Bai starts out from an amnesia of over ten metropolises she has lived in. Bai grew up constantly having to relocate from city to city, but found it increasingly hard to tell them apart. Bai asserts that globalization is a silent yet tenacious force that homogenizes urban landscapes, a phenomenon that she investigates throughout her artistic practices. A city roamer, Bai caught herself attracted to commonplaces deprived of idiosyncrasies: a generic construction site across the street, a tennis court in her neighborhood, somewhere utterly familiar but unable to be specified, creating a sense of déjà vu. The blankness of cityscapes becomes symbolic when a casual voyeur turns into a diligent spectator. Bai uses her smartphone to photograph fortuitous encounters, allowing digital distortion, often unpredictable, to add another layer of abstraction. She then transfers these snapshots onto painted canvases, where lines intersect fields of color, wavering like the shifting sunlight. A contemporary cityscape is illuminated with a lingering sense of isolation and silence. Mengfan Bai was born in 1994 in China. She received her M.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts in New York, and her B.F.A. in oil painting from Sichuan Conservatory of Music, Chengdu, China. She lives and works in New York City. Curated by Carmen Jiamin Ren and Yurika Shiroyama For additional information, please contact: