“Word Up!” Exhibition

C24 Gallery

poster for “Word Up!” Exhibition

This event has ended.

Word Up! is an exhibition co-curated by Sharon Louden that demonstrates the power of words, which can, depending on how they are applied, save, kill, be harmful or helpful, and in many cases, be extremely powerful. Word Up! offers a global range of voices exploring the ways in which text can offer commentary through diverse languages on current protests, vulnerability, the human condition and the state of the world today.

The artists whose works comprise the exhibition come from a variety of backgrounds and use assorted formats and media to champion marginalized groups, express their takes on pressing issues and explore the ideas most relevant to their lives. They employ, at various turns, sensitivity, compassion and empathy in many of the pieces exhibited, showing a wide range of tone in the way their messages are expressed. Artists include: Liana Finck, Karen Finley, Deborah Kass, David Krippendorff, Michael Waugh, Steve West, Raheleh Filsoofi, Tia-Simone Gardner, Meg Hitchcock, Cary Leibowitz, Carl Pope, Zita Schüpferling, Allyson Strafella, Hrag Vartanian and Annie Vought.

The artists in Word Up! cross the lines between activism, self-expression and social commentary, many of them managing multiple roles as they widely express their views. Liana Finck shows her writings and illustrations in The New Yorker and other publications. Raheleh Filsoofi combines ancient and contemporary media in her sculptures to address pressing sociopolitical issues and questions of culture and history. Deborah Kass expresses text in public sculpture as well as works in galleries and museums. Carl Pope’s agit-prop style Letterpress posters featured in this exhibition shed light on hidden histories, while Hrag Vartanian makes drawings and is a critic, Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Hyperallergic, sharing his writing in both a publication and his journals.

At a time when divergent perspectives are often narrowly channeled into opposing viewpoints, Word Up! offers a refreshing take on the multiplicity of thought that makes our pluralistic society so strong in all its diversity.

As a companion to Word Up!, we will be presenting a collection of new selected works by C24 artist Regina Scully, a New Orleans based painter long known for her complex, abstract landscapes that represent multiple levels of society, its physical structures and its inhabitants moving about amongst them. In her newest paintings, Scully dives deeper into an exploration of the individual figures moving through her canvases and the threads and strings of unseen energy connecting them to each other and the earth. This showing also heralds a pop-up exhibition at High Line Nine by the New Orleans-based Octavia Gallery, featuring the work of Scully and fellow NOLA artist, renowned abstract expressionist Fritz Bultman, on view October 8 – October 31, 2019, with an opening reception on October 17, 6:00-8:00pm.

Scully’s use of line and mark-making in her featured works was also loosely considered in relation to the strokes that make up characters and letters in different alphabets. The seeker and the figure who is in search of something is often associated with writing and have histories of keeping a journal or log of their travels and explorations, often sending letters back home or across lands and borders, telling of their discoveries. Hearkening to the journeys of the displaced and the wandering, her work makes tangible the experiences of those who may only appear to us as pawns in hyperbolic arguments.

The dialogue between Scully’s paintings and the work of the Word Up! artists offers viewers an opportunity to chart their own individual journey through the complex terrain of current public discourse and the way we communicate with and about one another in today’s challenging cultural climate.

More about co-curator, Sharon Louden

Sharon Louden is an artist, educator, advocate for artists, editor of the Living and Sustaining a Creative Life series of books and the Artistic Director of the Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution. Her work is held in major public and private collections and has been written about in national and international publications. Louden also currently serves on boards and committees of various nonprofit arts organizations and actively volunteers her time to artists to further their careers.



from September 26, 2019 to November 09, 2019

Opening Reception on 2019-09-26 from 18:00 to 20:00

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