Dustin Yellin “Cave Painting”

Venus Over Manhattan (55 Great Jones St)

poster for Dustin Yellin “Cave Painting”
[Image: Dustin Yellin "Magic Mountain" (2023) Collage and acrylic on canvas; 36 x 36 in.]

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Venus Over Manhattan presents Dustin Yellin: Cave Painting, a solo exhibition of new work by the New York-based artist Dustin Yellin which explores the interconnectivity of the natural world, humans, and our advancing technological landscape. Comprising a series of new paintings, Cave Painting represents an important shift to painting for the artist whose practice in recent years has focused most notably on sculpture. An illustrated catalogue, published by the gallery, will be released in conjunction with the exhibition.

Born in California and raised in Colorado, Yellin is well known for his glass and acrylic life-size sculptures where layers of multi-media collage and paint are overlaid to create visually rich miniature worlds. The sculptural forms encompass both the fantastic and dystopic, and flex between two- and three-dimensional space depending on the viewer’s position. By shifting his focus to two-dimensional space, this body of work is an exciting new exploration of Yellin’s core lines of inquiry: nature and technology. In keeping with the artist’s unique visual language, Cave Painting invites the viewer to discover the foreign and familiar through careful looking and discovery.

Dustin Yellin: Cave Painting engages with imagery and themes around the natural phenomena of caves – secret hideaways hidden deep beneath the underbelly of the earth. In keeping with his career-long fascination with the intersection of nature and technology, this presentation takes up the cave as a deep geological archive of our planet’s history and our place within the natural world. A cave, as a natural chamber, or series of chambers in the earth, is usually underground and has been historically used for the safekeeping of stories, images, artifacts and cultural histories. As such, Yellin’s paintings contain layered chambers and stories.

The artist states that the theme engages with questions around “deep time, the consciousness of species, memory, the archive, and this place where the work is really supposed to tell stories about how we came to be.” The exhibition will debut at the culmination of Yellin’s exploration of this theme. Indeed, to open the show, Yellin will be emerging from a visit to Hang Sơn Đoòng, one of the world’s largest natural caves. The length of the cave is nearly 5 miles and it is tall enough to accommodate 40-story buildings. Located in Vietnam, the cave’s title is translated from Vietnamese to mean “cave of the mountain river,” fitting to Yellin’s imagery in this exhibition.

One work by the artist, Zia Copernicus Falls No. 4, is being donated to locally-led land conservation. The painting will support a proposed wildlife corridor of 13,753 acres of habitat key to biodiversity and endemic species. Intrinsic to the artist’s interest in nature and planetary cycles, the 14-square-foot painting features a series of transparent waterways and is named after Yellin’s recently born child. The conservation efforts will support a diverse, healthy watershed ecosystem and migration link critically important in the face of climate change. The painting is being donated to the artist-founded initiative, Art into Acres, in conjunction with conservation organizations Tuleyome and Re:wild.

Dustin Yellin’s (b. 1975, Los Angeles, CA) work has been the subject of solo exhibitions throughout his over 20-year career at numerous galleries and museums including Venus Over Manhattan, New York; Vito Schnabel Gallery, Milan; Haines Gallery, San Francisco; Half Gallery, New York; Grimm Gallery, Amsterdam; the Savannah College of Art and Design Museum, and more. In 2015, Yellin was invited to exhibit his series Psychogeographies at the Lincoln Centre for Performing Arts for the New York City Ballet’s Art Series. Yellin’s work has also been exhibited in group shows at international institutions including the Museum of Art and Design, New York; Leeum Museum of Art, Seoul; Matadero Centre for Contemporary Creation, Madrid; Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Paris; Fondazione Berengo, Venice; and Museo Del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, among others. In addition to his art practice, Dustin Yellin is the Founder and President of Pioneer Works, a non-profit arts and science cultural center he founded in 2012. Dustin Yellin lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.



from April 30, 2023 to June 03, 2023


Dustin Yellin

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