A group exhibition with:
Jenny Holzer, Sarah Braman, Elizabeth Peyton, Betty Tompkins, Alicia McCarthy,
Hanna Liden, Katherine Bernhardt & Margaret Kilgallen
Soundtrack compiled by Djuna Barnes
OPENING: FRIDAY AUGUST 16. 2013. TIME: 17.00 - 22.00
EXHIBITION PERIOD: AUGUST 17 – SEPTEMBER 7. 2013.
It is a great honor and pleasure to present Independents, a selection of 8 prominent contemporary
female, American based, artists working with different media and strategies, who are all innovators,
independents and pioneers within their field.
Independents is a celebration of the free thinker, the avant-garde and the unique way that art can
change our perception of the world.
Jenny Holzer, b. 1950 - lives and works in New York. For more than thirty years, Holzer has presented
her astringent ideas, arguments, and sorrows in public places and international exhibitions, including 7
World Trade Center, the Reichstag, the Venice Biennale, the Guggenheim Museums in New York and
Bilbao, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Her medium, whether formulated as a T-shirt, as a
plaque, or as an LED sign, is writing, and the public dimension is integral to the delivery of her work.
Starting in the 1970s with the New York City posters, and up to her recent light projections on landscape
and architecture, her practice has rivaled ignorance and violence with humor, kindness, and moral
courage. Holzer has three bronze plaque works in Independents.
Sarah Braman, b. 1970 – lives and works in New York and Massachusetts.
In Braman’s work references to Gordon Matta-Clark’s cut buildings are spliced with Sol LeWitt’s minimal
cubes, Cy Twombly’s emotional mark-making and anonymous graffiti from urban city streets. Her
sculptural and painterly language combines clean and dirty, real world and spiritual in an almost
effortless suspension. The works evoke an atmosphere that is heavy and light, tangible but also
invisible. Personal references to transformation and abstraction are implied via the written language she
develops for the titles and inscribes on the surfaces of the painted works. Days of the week, calendar
months and greetings impart time and personality to the works, allowing viewers a narrative space in
which to animate the abstract forms they are faced with. For the exhibition Braman has made 4 works
that hovers somewhere between sculpture, assemblage and painting.
Elizabeth Peyton, b.1965 - lives and works in New York and Berlin. In the work ELIZABETH, (July
2013 – Self Portrait), watercolor on paper, 41 x 31 cm, from the exhibition, Elizabeth Peyton gaze upon
us, or herself, with a sense of skepticism. Faced with Elizabeth you either return the stare or look for
your shoes. The work is characteristic for Peyton’s practice, it is intimate, beautiful and strong. Since the
beginning of her career Peyton has painted portraits of friends, royalty and a mixed group of celebrities.
In her portraits we are often met by the eyes of the portrayed, we are scrutinized, while we think we lurk
in peace. In this way there is a strong feeling of empowerment in her work. Elizabeth Peyton has
exhibited extensively around the world; Kunsthalle Baden Baden, The Metropolitan Opera, New York,
The New Museum, New York, Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, and DESTE foundation, Athens.
Betty Tompkins, b. 1945 - lives and works in New York. Betty Tompkins started painting large scale,
photorealistic, detailed images of penetration, masturbation or the female genitalia in 1969. The works
Betty Tompkins made between 1969 and 1974 were practically unknown when they were exhibited
together for the first time in New York in 2002. Knowledge of Tompkins’ paintings immediately
broadened the repertoire of first generation feminist-identified imagery. More significantly, their
materialization made manifest an unacknowledged precursor to contemporary involvement with explicit
sexual and transgressive imagery. Tompkins has 2 black and white canvases in the exhibition -Pussy
Painting #10 and Cunt Painting #16 – both works are done in her distinctive style, which balances the
figurative and the abstract with humor and sexuality for great impact. Betty Tompkins has recently
showed at Marianne Boesky, New York, Galerie Rudolph Jansen, Brussels and Mitchell Algus Gallery,
Katherine Bernhardt, b.1975 – lives and works in New York. Katherine Bernhardt negotiates pop and
celebrity culture in her iconic large-scale figurative portraits. Stripping down the image to the raw
essentials in a furious figurative painting style. A style that pays tribute to various expressionistic styles,
from abstract over neo to German, but carries a distinct energy informed by pop, punk and the pace of
New York City. Her paintings leave both subject and object in a state of disarray. The works are also a
reflection on the individual’s role in the production of culture. For Independents Berhardt has created a
series of 30 small-scale portraits of female models and performers. Removed from their original setting
on the front of glossy magazines and without the Photo Shopped perfect skin and bodies, the women
appear almost human again. Bernhardt’s compelling portraits are fragile and powerful at once, the
emperor has no clothes on and only the essence remains.
Margaret Kilgallen, 1967 – 2001, lived and worked in San Francisco. Kilgallan’s work and presence
was pivotal to the formation of the art movement, now known as the Misson School, that grew out of
San Francisco’s Mission district in the 1990’s. But on a larger scale Kilgallan’s “craftwoman” approach to
her art, helped fuel and inspire a global recognition for art that was formerly deemed “outsider” or “folk”
art. There is a rare sense of humanism present in her work, an interest and recognition of the mundane.
Kilgallen was a storyteller and her stories continue to inspire on murals, paintings and installations
shown at museums and galleries around the world.
Alicia McCarthy, b. 1969, - lives and works in Oakland. Alicia McCarthy’s vivid works weave together
color, pattern and occasional lyrical or understatedly profound phrases. The artist is a core figure of the
Mission School. Her ever-honest artworks continue to evolve essential components of the School’s
character. The artist is drawn to the discarded. Digesting the city’s landscape, ambivalent everyday
items sheared from their original intent are re-appropriated into intimate art objects. Abandoned wood is
scouted, and repurposed as a foundation. McCarthy applies found house paint, colored pencil, liquid
graphite and spray paint transforming recycled materials into paintings with a lively folk and punk
Hanna Liden, b. 1976 – lives and works in New York. Liden’s artistic practice is informed by a myriad of
influences; her suburban upbringing in Sweden, downtown New York, independent music, the work of
artists like Munch, Friedrich, Werner Herzog and Ingmar Bergman. Her work in photography, sculpture,
collage and installation, often has a dystopian, haunting, independent and confrontational feeling. You
feel like you should watch your back when you are looking at Liden’s work. In Independents Liden is
featured with a photographic self-portrait of the artist wearing a plastic shopping bag with a smiley face
logo and the words “HAVE A NICE DAY” over her head. Two holes have been cut in the bag, balaclava
style, and through the holes the artist is staring, wearing the classic Nirvana black smiley tee shirt, at the
observer. The work is aptly titled Smells Like Teen Spirit. Hanna Liden took part in the Withney Biennial
2006 and has recently showed at Maccarone, New York, and Salon 94 (in collaboration with Nate
Lowman), New York.
Djuna Barnes (Maria Gerhardt), b. 1978 – lives and works in Copenhagen. Djuna Barnes is an
influential Danish writer, editor and dj. For the past 10 years she has had the most curious ears in
Copenhagen. Barnes has compiled a soundtrack for Independents.
Independents is curated by Mikkel Grønnebæk & Jesper Elg.