Yuli Yamagata “Sweet Dreams, Nosferatu”

Anton Kern Gallery

poster for Yuli Yamagata “Sweet Dreams, Nosferatu”
[Image: Yuli Yamagata "Bode (The Rolling Stones)" (2021) Silk, elastane, velvet, plush, silicone fiber, and sewing thread, 82 5/8 x 110 1/4 x 7 7/8 in.]
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Anton Kern Gallery presents Sweet Dreams, Nosferatu, the Brazilian artist Yuli Yamagata’s first solo exhibition in New York.

Yamagata’s concept for the exhibition is activated in two parts and across two geographic venues. Part one is hosted at the gallery in New York, and part two is staged at Passion For Beds, a mattress store located in Basel, Switzerland, as part of Art Basel Parcours. While Yamagata’s Nosferatuwill be “sleeping” in a bed at the Basel mattress store, his dreams will spill out into his bedroom, and come to life at the gallery. A sculpture of a store-bought chicken with a chopstick antenna will inhabit both locations and act as a portal between the two time zones.

The gallery exhibition consists of twenty new works, which operate as manifestations of Nosferatu’s unconscious desires and fears. Throughout the space are nine undulating fabric paintings, two wall-based reliefs, two wall-mounted sculptures, and seven freestanding sculptures supported by flexible aluminum armatures.

Yamagata’s choice of materials provides sensory pleasures, with juxtapositions of batting-stuffed Lycra, velvet, and silk intermixed with found materials such as eyeglasses, corn husks, and dehydrated shrimp coated in resin. The body - both animal and human - is consistently referenced in the forms of bones, feet, claw-like hands, stuffed socks, intestine shaped coils, chicken parts, and fake eyeballs. Her fabrics act as skins, sometimes pierced or adorned with jewelry. Through her hyperbolic use of food and body parts in her sculptures, these elements become sympathetic characters, their positioning and colors evoking different emotions such as anger, sadness, excitement and foreboding.

Bode (The Rolling Stones), the largest fabric painting in the exhibition, is inspired by a fan’s cover art for a remixed version of the group’s 1973 album Goats Head Soup. In the painting, a close-up of an evil goat head simultaneously repels the viewer and invites them to pet it. Disc shaped fields of tie dye patterns occupy the right half of the composition, creating an opposing force, contending to reach a balance. Yamagata plays with these dualities – drama and harmony, attraction and repulsion, sweet and sour – throughout the show.

Yamagata’s sinuous free-standing sculptures evoke freehand drawings in space. Plant-like forms emerge out of resinous puddles conjuring visions of humans and monsters, a limbo environment between the mortal and immortal. The anthropomorphic Mr. Mister sculpture is a seated figure made up of bones and stained marijuana leaf patterned socks. Its green hand makes a beckoning gesture inviting us in for a closer look into a bowl of mysterious stew balanced at the top, where his head should be.

In the green plaid fabric painting Teenagers, two mouths are entwined in a French kiss. Intermingled in the passionate scene are unsettling elements such as a bloodshot eyeball made of felt, and a cut-out portion of the canvas shaped like a drop of blood. A stuffed fabric coil draped over the top of the painting serves as a frame. The oil painting entitled Sweet Dreams, Nosferatu acts as a counterpart to the piece. Its film still composition portrays the erotically frightening moment just before Nosferatu sinks his teeth into the neck of a beautiful woman.

Yamagata’s playful use of Pop culture references defangs the horror in her work, allowing the viewer to indulge in the absurd possibilities of dreamscapes. Her impure use of the vampire legend, dosed with a psychoanalytical approach and filtered through a psychedelic civ, addresses the pathos, humor, and hypocrisies of modern life. Through the framework of a dream, Yamagata provides a safe outlet for exploration of our dark fantasies without the consequences of reality.

For additional images and information, please contact: info@antonkerngallery.com.

Yuli Yamagata was born in São Paulo in 1989, where she continues to live and work. The artist graduated from the University of São Paulo with a BFA in sculpture, and has exhibited nationally and internationally since 2015. Yamagata will be featured in the 2021 edition of Art Basel Parcours, presenting a multidisciplinary installation in which she imagines Nosferatu’s bedroom and a night of wild dreams.

Recent noteworthy solo exhibitions include: NERVO, Museu de Arte Contemporânea Niterói, Rio de Janeiro (2021); Insônia, Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, São Paulo (2021); Bruxa, Galeria Madragoa, Lisbon (2020); Microwave Your Friends, Invitro Cluj, Cluj-Napoca (2019), and Tropical Extravaganza: Paola and Paulina, SESC Niterói (2018). Additionally, Yamagata’s work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including: Samba In The Dark, Anton Kern Gallery, New York (2020); Esqueci de Acordar, Diablo Rosso Gallery, Panama City (2020); A Burrice dos Homens, Galeria Bergamin & Gomide, São Paulo (2019); Perdona que no te crea Carpintaria, Rio de Janeiro (2019), and Rocambole, which traveled from Pivô, São Paulo (2018) to Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon (2019).



from September 10, 2021 to October 23, 2021


Yuli Yamagata


http://www.antonkerngallery.com/ (venue's website)



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