Travis Somerville employs painting, sculpture and installation in his practice, which is politically and socially motivated. He works organically in the sense that he usually starts with a central image and lets the piece evolve from there by using found items and ephemera.
Travis Somerville (born 1963) grew up in towns throughout the southern United States and along the eastern seaboard. He briefly studied at Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, finally settling in San Francisco where he attended the San Francisco Art Institute. His large-scale oil paintings and collages present images of political and cultural icons associated with the history of the south. His painting, drawings, sculpture and installations explore the complexities of racism and serve as a point of departure for discussion about US oppression and colonial attitudes abroad. Somerville’s work has been included in numerous museum exhibitions throughout the United States and internationally and has garnered critical praise in publications including Art in America, Artforum.com and San Francisco Magazine.
Events & Exhibitions
Residents from United States
Over the course of her two-month residency Kosorcic will invite willing participants into the studio through the means of an advertisement: “Artist is looking for people m/f willing to pose for a portrait. Time spent 1-3 hours. Send photo to kosorcic[at]hotmail.com.” They meet, sit and converse- Kosorcic behind a drawing table, the participant in an open chair. The resulting portrait is neither them nor she, neither fictitious nor truthful. The stark figures composed of acutely drawn lines seem, rather, to chart the one to three hours spent. Kosorcic’s portraits become a literal conversation piece where the voices of two and the hand of one meet, each revealing the subtle tendencies of the artist herself.
Jadranka Kosorcic lives and works in Berlin and has exhibited extensively in Europe including solo exhibitions at Galerie Bezirk Oberbayem, Munich; Bloomberg Space, London; Extended Media Gallery, Zagreb; Artothek, Munich; and the Essl Collection, Klosterneuburg. Blind Date: New York in June 2011 at the Jack Hanley Gallery was Kosorcic’s first solo exhibition in the United States. Most recently her work was represented at the Emerge Art Fair in Washinton DC.
Residents from Croatia
Astrit Ismaili’s practice is inspired by the urban landscape and sequences of urban life – human sadness, dreams and hyper-reality. For Ismaili, art is subject and object at the same time. The images of the body that Ismaili experiments with suggest a diffuse intimacy, while tending to dissuade a voyeuristic approach. Unlike most images we are faced with on a daily basis – images that treat the body like a commodity to be used and consumed, or an icon to adore at safe distance – Ismaili employs his body to initiate a dialog with himself. He places his body in familiar settings, though at the limits of our experience, presenting it as a symbol of receptivity, a meeting place between himself and the rest of the world, a communicative model in which information about his experience is presented and reflected upon. The portraits are stage-managed, with clothing, make-up, mise-en-scène and settings carefully conceived, resulting in highly sophisticated pictorial compositions. He uses his own body as a model to investigate his own vision and not the other’s vision of his body. Ismaili projects images and symbols, hopes and fears onto the male body. He uses it like a gesticulative vector not fully known to him, communicating to the viewer the novelty of his encounter.
Astrit Ismaili (born 1991 in Prishtina) is studying Theatre Directing at the Kosovan Art Academy. Recent solo shows include Artist of Tomorrow, The Kosova Art Gallery Prishtina, 2011; New Tear, Asma Sanat Gallery, Istanbul, 2011; Face the Reflection, KC Grad, Belgrade, 2011; Face the Reflection, Tetris, Prishtina, 2011; Right Turn, Turn Right, Traffic Gallery, Prishtina, 2010; Perspektiva 2010, Tetris, Prishtina; and B-Negative, The National Museum of Kosova, Prishtina, 2007.