Substance and Increase, an exhibition by Gabriela Albergaria and Shinji Turner-Yamamoto at Sapar Contemporary in Tribeca.
On display since February 15, Sapar Contemporary’s current exhibition Substance and Increase brings together Gabriela Albergaria, a Portuguese artist living in Lisbon and London, and Shinji Turner-Yamamoto, a Japanese artist living in Ohio. In his essay, Curator Gregory Volk of Art in America has drawn connections with Walt Whitman, Robert Smithson, and the current political discourse: “Near the beginning of his great poem “Song of Myself,” Walt Whitman ecstatically invokes a burgeoning world and our connection to it. “Urge and urge and urge,” he wrote, “always the procreant urge of the world…Always substance and increase…always a knit of identity.” It’s especially worth recalling Whitman—a consummate urban New Yorker, yet one deeply sympathetic to and energized by nature—in our era, when such a “knit of identity” between us and the natural world seems profoundly frayed, and oftentimes nonexistent. In the recent presidential campaign there were three debates, moderated by esteemed journalists. Not one of these journalists asked the two candidates a single question about climate change, which is likely the most pressing issue facing us. There were questions about energy, about how we can best use natural resources, but no recognition of how we are inextricably part of nature, and also how we are greatly contributing to dire upheaval in the natural world. This lack of recognition, itself a form of blithe denial, continues the anthropocentric fantasy that we—quite recent additions to a planet more than four billion year old—are somehow above nature, or masters of nature. Increasingly, this fantasy looks perilous. It is therefore a very good idea to turn to artists who understand, with both intellect and feeling, our connection with nature; who comprehend our links to trees and fossils, wind and soil, and to cycles of growth and decay, and whose works are born of a sustained engagement and dialogue with the natural world.” – Gregory Volk
Gabriela Albergaria, a well known Portuguese artist, embodies immigration in her work Distance between a Liriodendron Tulipifera (USA) and a Sugar Maple (Canada) at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 2017. The 3-panel work depicts the distance between a native and foreign tree visually representing the global divide on this issue.
Shinji Turner-Yamamoto is a Japanese-born American artist, made his Sidereal Silence series by the southwest Ireland landscape and these works create a dialogue on the importance of geologic and evolutionary time especially in our current climate.
Substance and Increase will be on display until March 25, 2017 at Sapar Contemporary in New York City. For additional information please visit the gallery website.
All images © by Sapar Contemporary and the artists.