The conception of ‘wait. I saw something’ grew out of few obsessions: preoccupations with figure, minute moments of touch, and the emotional conversation that grows out of small exchanges. Heino Schmid’s recent work magnifies the subtlety of the way we move in the world. His pieces are massive renderings of little moments; with them he narrates stories that are told silently, between the brush of fingertips and shared glances across crowded rooms.
I visited Schmid’s studio late on a Thursday so that he could tell me these stories. He eventually presents me with a parable. “Honor the small things,” He says this carefully, choosing words with calculated reverence. “If you honor those smaller things, good things will come out of your work. Your life.”
Schmid’s artwork has grown out of this idea. He understands art – maybe life – through a macro-lens, in which smaller things fill the entire space. This preoccupation first manifested into a focus on technicality; eventually though, Schmid’s subject matter became the catalyst by which his obsessions are displayed. ‘wait. I saw something’ is just a snapshot in this artistic history. In this particular exhibition, the audience is invited to peer into the private exchanges between the subjects within his paintings.
LETITIA PRATT: First, I want to understand you as an artist. What has been the primary focus of your work during your career and how does it shape your point of view?
HEINO SCHMID: The focus...has shifted. I’ve been lucky to always consider art … as a way of participating in life and in the world. So as I change, my focus changes. Like anything. Like any relationship it just…It just evolves. When I was younger, it was just proficiency. That was really important to me. I always found it kind of ridiculous that artists would spend a year on a painting or something like that.
HS: When I was younger, yeah. It was romantic but, I wanted to make something every day. Getting older I have slowed down a bit. When I was seventeen-eighteen and just started making work I used to draw every day and I would, you know, make two-three pieces and I thought they were good. That was also ignorance because I didn’t see how repetitious or overly simplified my work was then. But eventually that evolved into technical proficiency. So alright, I got some practice in, that’s good. Now let’s really learn this thing. Look at other artists. Look at material. Learn at how to mix your paint. Learn about drawing. Learn what I am interested in. Then the technical side of things sort of slowed down. And recently I have been blurring the two of them…I don’t focus as much on technical proficiency anymore and I’ve kind of…gone back to this idea of immediacy – but with a slower, older brain. Making sure that even though the approach can sometimes be immediate, the content is meaningful – and slow. If that makes sense.
LP: It does. What have been the themes of your work, though, as they developed in your artistic history?
HS: It usually revolves around – very loosely around a bit of narrative – and the figure. I go back to [it] all the time. The first time art really made sense to me was in a figure drawing class actually. Its something I tell students now – and it sounds very simple – but it’s the skeleton that you have to be aware of. I don’t know if you have been in any figure drawing classes or ...
LP: [snorts] ah….no, I haven’t.
HS: Well if you have a figure… its different than if you draw a bowl - you render it. you just shade it, you catch the light, and the rest of it. But with the figure you can have that outcome but you don’t – it doesn’t happen unless you understand that there is meat on bone. The skeleton has to be the undercurrent. That was the first time art made sense to me. This is the same way I look at all art. I could be looking at the most minimalist installation…a sound piece or something like that and I would be wondering …where is your skeleton? Are you just rendering? What is your core… and is that meaty?
LP: And does this bleed into the work that you’re doing now?
HS: It does, it does. I was saying that to say that I draw the figure quite often when I get stuck. I don’t always work with the figure but…when stuff gets really formal that thinking has always been beneficial and, by extension, the figure has always creeped in.
LP: To help your Artist’s block.
HS: Right. And also like, little narratives…like odd things.
LP: Tell me about the narratives.
HS: Umm… I don’t know, it’s odd things. It is never really big moments – I don’t remember the big moments. People say to me, [quoting] ‘remember that time we were on a roller coaster and there was an explosion and we all thought we were gonna die?’ and I actually don’t remember that at all. Like the painting on the invite of the family [holding hands, praying]… I remember being out to dinner – at The Poop Deck or something – and there was a family that just decided to say grace publicly…and it was such an odd thing, it made me smile because everyone – almost all of the restaurant – kind of, noticed and let them do them. I like that, that was nice. That was years ago and it just stuck in my brain and I thought it was important. So you know …little things. I think everybody’s the same.
LP: Well I think artists do that a lot. Artists…I think have to be a little bit obsessive…to really notice the minute ways people interact with each other and that would inform your work. When I was viewing your work, I found it to be very intimate, and the process of viewing seemed almost voyeuristic in a way…like I’m spying on something private.
HS: I could see that. Yeah, it’s just the little things. But I think they’re big things.
LP: Is that why you make them big?
HS: Maybe. [pauses] Um…good question actually. Is that number three?
LP: Well I think it is now. [laughs]
HS: [laughs] I do think there is something to be said for…again just like meat on bone. All those little things that define the way people move in the world. I find that quite interesting. Like the way you and I are sharing oxygen right now. There are lots of those moments and sometimes they’re very profound...but they’re few and far between. I think good things come out of smaller moments and I guess my philosophy is that…if you honor the smaller things, then good things will come out of the work, in life, in a way, in a big way. Lately it’s become quite specific in that regard…sometimes little moments can be really aggressive and you have to be responsible for how you portray them….and sometimes they can be really soft.
LP: Which is most of the show.
HS: I hope so, yeah.
LM: Okay one last thing: why the name?
HS: Same reasons I told you. “wait. I saw something…” I think that’s where the work is going right now. It’s just I saw…little moments…that just…stick.
‘wait. I saw something.’ Opens this Thursday on February 8th, 2018.
The D'Aguilar Art Foundation is pleased to announce the opening of I'VE GOT SOMETHING TO SAY, an exhibition featuring some of the most conversational pieces from our collection.
The selected works explore the new way artists speak about their political environments: now-highlighted issues of discrimination have inspired artists to react more combatively within their work. Thus, all pieces within this exhibition stem from the Artists’ response to the injustices they witness within the society they live in: themes of identity, race, and sexuality are all echoed throughout the show.
This exhibition confronts the ways in which these abuses affect one’s sense of self. This is especially done through the use of text: within all the work displayed, text is used to highlight a specific issue, thought, or to ask the question that inspires the piece. For instance, in Khia Poitier’s work, it acts as a subconscious remark, adding context to the images within the piece. ‘Hello Darling, What are You Wearing?’becomes a mantra that brings focus to the painful expressions of the subjects, and forces the viewer to confront the divisiveness of the question.
I’VE GOT SOMETHING TO SAY’s relevance is more crucial now than ever. It highlights the importance of art and artists and presents them a catalysts for responding to injustice.
Participating artists include: Bernard Petit, John Cox, Maxwell Taylor, June Colle, David Smith, Helene Seligman, Antonius Roberts, Greg Pesik, Margot Bethel, Toby Lunn, Dionne Benjamin-Smith, Christina Darville, Kendal Hanna, Khia Poitier, and Sue Katz.
The D’Aguilar Art Foundation is delighted to announce the opening of Diversions, an exhibition of photography by artists Melissa Alcena, Alessandro Sarno and Sofia Whitehead. Diversions features three series of works that explore the spaces outside the demands of daily life in The Bahamas.
Alcena, Sarno and Whitehead capture their subjects in different processes of diversion. We see people outside of schedules, putting down obligations and forgetting concerns, instead committing to relaxation and play. In a time when racial and political concerns are so tender and consuming, these images offer a glimpse into our methods of untethering and unwinding. We gravitated towards these particular photographs because it also gave us, as viewers, a way to escape.
Alcena and Whitehead, both Bahamians, pay witness to their experience of returning home, a passage and re-entrance that is both routine and complex for Islanders. Their photographs showcase the deeply familiar way they encounter their subjects and landscape; acting almost as document. Sarno, a native of Italy, is a tourist that has immersed himself in Bahamian life. His interest in travel and observing the lesser-known routines of Bahamian-life reveal the photographer’s own form of escapism.
'Diversions' brings together photographs that describe the candid joy of downtime.
Melissa Alcena (1988, The Bahamas) went to Canada in 2010 where she attended Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario and completed a 2 year Applied Photography course in 2012. Melissa’s approach to portraiture is environmental. Photographing her subjects in their surroundings, she highlights aspects of their lives and personalities. This will be her first public exhibition.
Alessandro Sarno (Italy), finds inspiration traveling around the Islands of The Bahamas; his photography focuses on the vernacular, on the indigenous expressions of people he encounters, on landscapes, wildlife. He is drawn to the intricacies of Bahamian life: worship services, concerts, funerals, civic activities and all the little details that emerge in between. He published two coffee tablebooks, Blue And Beyond, and Catch Da Cat, to portray life in The Bahamas. He held his first solo exhibition at the Ladder Gallery in Nassau in 2015.
Sofia Whitehead (1990, The Bahamas) received her bachelor in Business administration and marketing from the Universidad ORT Montevideo, Uruguay. Her love of photography led her to continue her studies in courses such as Black and White Photography at Foto Club Uruguay, and Photoschule in Vienna, Austria. In 2014, Sofia returned home and began photographing and interviewing women throughout The Bahamas for a project called ‘Project Bahama Mama’. Her research will be compiled in a book to be published in 2018. Sofia exhibited earlier this year in The Bahamian Project Exhibition Central Bank.
'The Art of Losing' is based on the poem of the same name by Pulitzer Prize winning author Elizabeth Bishop.
The exhibition was part of Transforming Spaces art tour 2017, an annual art experience which includes all the leading galleries in Nassau.
'The Art of Losing' is inspired by Bishop's poetry, marrying the literary imagery of ther poem with visual moments in Bahamian Art. The selection of pieces contemplates the loss of time, material possessions, desire and loved ones. The viewer is encouraged to examine their perspective on how loss shapes our life experience, and also find catharsis in the fact that loss is ever present, by seeing it plainly and discussing it candidly.
The D'Aguilar Art Foundation is pleased to present 'This is Yours, That is Mine', a presentation of new works by Jeffrey Meris and Tessa Whitehead. Both artists examine fragments of the landscape as a record of the ruins of history and a demonstration of desire, power and surrender. Meris exhibits drawings and sculptures that examine the literal and physical street as a binding space for black culture and a stage for trauma. Whitehead's paintings and objects of unkept landscapes are an inquiry into failure and surrender.
July 5th 2016, body is traumatized, irresponsive. Blackness plunges into a coma. This body of work serves as a grounds for dialogue, engagement and repositioning of trauma executed against blackness. Watching Alton Sterling’s and Philando Castile’s bodies desperately fall from grace and to the tarmac- both made available for public consumption- left me questioning the fragility and dispensability of not just black bodies but black people. The mundane suddenly holds political significance when one thinks of what it means to be street, of the street or from the streets that were not really designed for or by us. The work oscillates between celebration, contemplation, mourning and rebirth.
July 8th 2016, The Bahamas issues travel warning “advising all Bahamians traveling to the US but especially to the affected cities to exercise appropriate caution generally. In particular young males are asked to exercise extreme caution in affected cities in their interactions with the police. Do not be confrontational and cooperate.”
Jeffrey Meris is a Nassau based artist born in 1991. Meris received an Associates of Art in Arts and Crafts from the College of The Bahamas and a B.F.A in Sculpture from Tyler School of Art, Temple University in May 2015. Meris is the recipient of 2010 Popopstudios Junior Residency Award, 2012 Harry C Moore Lyford Cay Foundation Art Scholarship and Temple University 2012 Scholar Award, winner of 2013 Central Bank of The Bahamas Art Competition and Guttenberg Arts Artist in Residence 2016. Meris has shown locally and internationally in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Vienna and Haiti. Jeffrey Meris is the black power ranger.
Tessa Whitehead’s explorations of landscape and objects explore the connection between journey, landscape, love and loss. She objectifies symbols, and symbolizes objects – a bed, a rainbow, a house, a kiss – which while anonymous are also universal, and play with the tension between the disrupted forms and the strong emotional and physical connotations we attach to them. The works draw from the act of looking at the landscape as a way to describe the introspective self: as lovers, as conquerors, as adventurers, as passive observers or active viewers. And how this varies depending on your point of view and movement or whether the geography is familiar or unfamiliar.
Whitehead received her MFA from The Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, London. Recent exhibitions include a solo presentation at VoltaNY (2016), Paintings 2008-2013, POPOPstudios ICVA, Nassau (2015); Nassau Calling (with Heino Schmid), curated by Amanda Coulson and Uli Voges, HilgerBROTKunsthalle, Vienna, Austria; A Call For Drawings (with Heino Schmid) (2015), project by Klaas Hoek, BAK, Utrecht; Showoff (with Heino Schmid), curated by LeandaKateLouise, London, UK (2015). Whitehead was awarded the Chisenhale Studio4 Residency (2014), her work was shortlisted for the Wells Art Contemporary, Well's Museum, UK (2013), the Threadneedle Prize, Mall Galleries, London (2012) and she was awarded the William Coldstream Memorial Prize for which her work acquired by the University College London collection (2009).
American-born photographer, Greg Pesik,
has for the last three decades recorded his extensive global travels through
his camera lens. Reflecting a fascination with the solace of the morning and the
evening, Pesik captures dimming and glowing light enveloping architecture, landscapes
A business entrepreneur by trade, Pesik’s creative endeavors have been a great companion to his work, “Photography and my work have been closely connected for decades. Behind the lens, I gain the advantage of looking at issues from diverse perspectives. I feel very fortunate to apply the resulting open-mindedness to my professional life."
With regards to the images in the exhibition, Pesik brilliantly captures vistas bathed in the delicate light of the "golden hour", the time of the day at dawn and dusk when the sun lies between the horizon and 6 degrees above. While hunting for the most striking compositions during his travels, Pesik strives "to illicit a feeling in a viewer, not just record an event.”
“Nomad of the Golden Hour” is the first solo exhibition for Greg Pesik, and includes images from the ancient canals of Venice to the wintery mountain peaks of Iceland to the momentous Great Wall of China, and everywhere in-between.
Each year, The D’Aguilar Art Foundation kicks off the academic year by featuring an exhibition with appeal across all age groups, including younger audiences and class visits. We hope this exhibition will bridge the gap between fine art and classroom studies, connecting striking images of geography, climate, geology and the environment to the facts and figures of text books and lectures.
The D'Aguilar Art Foundation proudly presents a solo exhibition by Maxwell Taylor, in which richly orchestrated prints pay homage to family, nurturing matriarchs and the ceremonies of a happy home.
This bold and technically complex body of work was created during two recent Artist residencies, at Robert Blackburn studios, New York (2015), awarded by The DAF, and Art in Residence at the University of Tampa, Florida (2016), and sees Taylor rework subject matter familiar to him through the breadth of printmaking techniques.
D’Aguilar Art Foundation is delighted to announce the fourth collaborative
exhibition for Jammin, by renowned artists John Beadle, Stan Burnside and
Antonius Roberts. Jammin IV features
a series of paintings made by the collaborators throughout 2015, a continued
effort that began in 1985, when Jackson Burnside and Stan Burnside worked
together to create a sculptural painting titled, Faces. Stan describes the piece as a continuation of their work with
Junkanoo, "it was our attempt to
take the process, the Junkanoo collaborative process, into the painting
The collaborative name, Jammin, refers to the process of as many as six junkanooers working on a single costume simultaneously or in succession. In the same vein, the collaboration has assumed several assemblages of artists; in 1991, after working in the Junkanoo shacks together for a season, Burnside, Burnside and Beadle took their feverish energy into a new body of work. The trio made a series of paintings titled Jammin I. In 1993, Brent Malone and Antonius Roberts joined the group to create Jammin II, and in 1996, Burnside-Beadle-Burnside exhibited a body of work in Atlanta, Georgia for the Olympic Games, and at the Sao Paulo Biennial in Sao Paulo, Brazil, titled Jammin III.
The partnership developed a painting language that allowed the participating artists to respond and improvise on the material- akin to Jazz music- resulting in polyrhythmic, high-energy compositions. The result is a dense, abstract expressionism, with a deliberately shallow depth of field that does not allude to real space or place, but instead creates a new reality, contained by one frame and continued within another.
In a collaboration spanning over 30 years, the artist's individual successes are essential to the development of these wildly dynamic paintings. They are cohesive because of repetition, not because of passive mark-making; the marks are loud and combative at times, disjointed at others. The viewer is invited to drift between the paintings where figures, gesture and technique are revisited and redeployed, culminating in an immersive experience.
A selection of paintings from The D'Aguilar Art Foundation and Dawn Davies Collection that examine the symbolic and practical function of objects and stillness within contemporary painting.
The D'Aguilar Art Foundation is delighted to announce a solo exhibition by Dave Smith entitled 'Headlines'.
The exhibition features a new body of paintings in which Dave Smith continues his exploration of perspective and power. These paintings are an intriguing combination of old and new media and subject matter. Smith draws parallels between advertising, cultural iconography and headline-imagery, awakening us to the complexity of consumerism. Disrupting our inertia to the bombardment of shocking and enticing imagery in our day-to-day lives, Smith assembles images by formal considerations and not subject matter. At times pairing images of crime scenes with aspirational products, Smith dislocates and subverts the agency and sensation of objects and images; advertising memorabilia becomes anthropomorphic and corpse-like, and corpses resemble souvenirs. Though these paintings explore the accelerated speed of our multi-screen, headline-obsessed society, they unfold as they were made, in a slow and considered manner, calling us to spend time re-examining that which appears familiar.
Smith was born in Derbyshire, England and studied painting at Derby College of Art and Hornsey College of Art. After several years of part-time teaching in art schools, he collaborated with 3 other artists in 1969 to form the London-based Electric Colour Company, an artist collective engaged in the design and production of shop interiors, signage, fashion accessories and custom car finishes, primarily for the thriving London fashion scene of the late 1960’s, with the iconic, Pop-infused Mr.Freedom store at 430 Kings Rd. Chelsea being their debut assignment. He left England in 1973 for The Bahamas, where he taught art and began a prolific period of painting with photo-realist and neo-pop overtones, which he showed in a series of 8 solo exhibitions and numerous group shows in Nassau & Miami, FL. Smith left The Bahamas in 1990 and moved to Los Angeles, supporting himself initially by painting billboards, and subsequently working in TV and motion picture studios as a union scenic artist, including 17 years at NBC studios painting numerous backdrops for the Tonight Show. He held his last solo art exhibition in The Bahamas at The Central Bank of The Bahamas in 2011. Recent exhibitions include Nassau Calling: Art in The Bahamas at Galerie Ernst Hilger in Vienna Austria (2015) and London Transplants at Wallspace Gallery, West Hollywood California (2015).