An exhibition featuring Diego Anaya, Liz Atz,
Linda Ekstrom, Adebunmi Gbadebo, and Alberto Lule
curated by Sarah Cunningham and Samantha L. Smith ‘21
Pace University Art Gallery presents the in-person exhibition, Substance, which brings together four abstract artists—Diego Anaya, Liz Atz, Linda Ekstrom, and Alberto Lule—who express meaning via their materials rather than through representational imagery. The digital version of the exhibit which opened in March also includes work by Adebunmi Gbadebo. The physical exhibit will be on public view through October 30, 2021. During the exhibit period, artists will also lead a hybrid or zoom lectures or workshops. An in-person reception will be held on Friday, October 22 from 5pm-7pm. Please note that for COVID safety, no food or drink will be served and proof of vaccination and face coverings will be required.
Diego Anaya’s work is minimalist in imagery, yet he celebrates his Mexican heritage through the use of ground corn, corn ash, and sand with which he creates rough and uneven surfaces. The texture compels the viewer to examine the work closely and even to want to touch and smell the granular surface, creating an immediate and intimate connection between the viewer and the artist.
Liz Atz will re-install create a large-scale window installation she created during a March artist residency on-site. Made of mushroom-based, fully biodegradable plastics she casts herself, Atz’s bright, immersive installations critique commercialism, materialism, and consumption. During the residency Atz will experiment with further with chitosan—by casting, adding pigment, and laser cutting. She will offer an in-class bio-plastic workshop for Pace students.
Linda Ekstrom’s works from her Word series use text from religious sources as a form of inspiration and commentary. Many of her artworks are made from altered pages of the Bible, which is representative of how Ekstrom explores feminist issues, particularly within the role of Jewish and Christian religious history and tradition. Her work addresses the suppressed stories of women both in the Bible and throughout art history via the process of disassembling and then reassembling this book which has been used to inspire, divide, and control readers. She will offer an online zine-making workshop on Thursday, October 28 at 9am ET.
Alberto Lule who critiques and exposes the prison industrial complex in America as a form of modern slavery. His Investigation series offers insight to his experience as a formerly incarcerated person by using fingerprint powder--a tool used by police to prove someone was at the scene of a crime--as his drawing material. Thereby, Lule reclaims his past, present, and future, stating that he isn’t at the mercy of the corrupt American prison system any longer. He will give a hybrid artist talk, co-sponsored by the Criminal Justice Society, on Monday, October 25 at 12:10pm as part of Pace’s Social Justice Week in honor of D.J. Henry. Please note that this hybrid event will be available to Pace Students, staff and faculty in-person, and to the public via a synchronous Zoom.
Also included in the digital version of the Substance exhibit is artist Adebunmi Gbadebo who represents identity and history in Blues People by incorporating prints of historical documents onto paper embedded with Black hair. For the artist, Black hair is “a material and a history in which to root my own work that positions the people who looked like me as central to my practice.” In so doing, she exposes the grim history of American slavery that has been erased by white-centric narratives and materials. She will give an online artist talk on Monday, October 18 at 11am.
The Substance exhibit, which was originally scheduled for February and then re-imagined in a hybrid format including an artist residency, was curated by Sarah Cunningham, Art Gallery Director/Assistant Clinical Professor, with Samantha L. Smith, ‘21, Gallery Intern/Research Fellow. To support their work, they received the Provost’s Academic Year 2020-2021 Student-Faculty Undergraduate Research Award through the Center for Undergraduate Research Experiences (CURE) at Pace.