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Belvue Gardens, 2003. Neon. 22 in. x 24 inches. Courtesy of the artist and The Project, New York and Los Angeles. Haywood, 2002. Lambda print. 48 in. x 64 inches. Courtesy of the artist and The Project, New York and Los Angeles. Kori Newkirk at The Fabric Workshop and Museum, 2003. Exhibition view.

Belvue Gardens, 2003. Neon. 22 in. x 24 inches. Courtesy of the artist and The Project, New York and Los Angeles.

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Haywood, 2002. Lambda print. 48 in. x 64 inches. Courtesy of the artist and The Project, New York and Los Angeles.
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Kori Newkirk at The Fabric Workshop and Museum, 2003. Exhibition view.
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Kori Newkirk: Solo Exhibition

December 6, 2003–February 14, 2004

Opening Reception:

Friday, December 5, 2003
5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

 



Los Angeles-based artist Kori Newkirk's recent work–consisting of photographic self portraiture, wall carvings of encircling sharks, neon icicles, plastic snowflakes and frosty fiberglass sharks–forms a thematic installation that deliberately plays upon the poetic combination of disparate elements and unusual materials in an effort to connect seemingly incompatible subjects, and reconcile his personal experience with social history. In this exhibition at The Fabric Workshop and Museum, artificial snow and ice provide a slippery footing on which to base ideas of identity, and Newkirk builds upon this idea as a leitmotif throughout the installation. Although no two snowflakes are truly alike, each somehow becomes homogenized and perceived as part of a larger body of snow.

Continuing a body of work introduced in the spring of 2003 at The Project (New York), this FWM exhibition centers around the theme of potentially deadly forces of nature, while playfully hinting at Newkirk's upbringing in chilly New England. Both exhibitions include sculpture, installation and photography. Newkirk's recent work includes thematic site-specific sculptures Win Slow, a fiberglass white shark with rhinestone eyes, and Belvue Gardens, neon lights in the shape of a snowflake.

As a child growing up in central New York, Newkirk quickly became aware of how his body stood in stark contrast to his immediate surroundings. Haywood, in which the artist poses naked in the snow, is a direct reference to this first recognition of a contrast in perception; while Newkirk may have outwardly appeared to be in contrast to his surroundings, as a child he was, in fact, comfortable in his home. Haywood is the centerpiece of the current exhibition and establishes the central theme from which all other pieces in the exhibition stem.

 

Kori Newkirk is known for using everyday objects like beads and hair pomade to make works that address issues of race and cultural identity. Born in New York in 1970, he received his BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1993 and his MFA from the University of California at Irvine in 1997. Newkirk has had solo exhibitions at The Project, Los Angeles and New York (2003); The Henry Art Gallery, Seattle (2003); Galleria Francesca Kaufman, Milan, Italy (2003, 2001); Finesilver Gallery, Texas (2002); James Van Damme Gallery, Brussels, Belgium (2002); and at the Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Santa Monica (2001, 1999). He has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions including Majestic Sprawl, Pasadena Museum of Californian Art (2002); Maximum Art, International Curatorial Space, New York (2002); Short Stories, The Henry Art Gallery, Seattle (2002); One Planet Under a Groove, The Bronx Museum, New York (2000); Snapshot, The Armand Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2001); Freestyle, The Studio Museum in Harlem (2001); and Painting 2001, at the Victoria Miro Gallery, London (2001).