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Notes on Neo-Camp

Curated by Chris Sharp
Matthew Brannon, Tom Burr, Mathew Cerletty, Talia Chetrit, Martin Soto Climent, Anthea Hamilton, Sanya Kantarovsky, Allison Katz, Ella Kruglyanskaya, Paul Lee, Daniel Sinsel, Ricky Swallow, Camilla Wills
24 February 20 April 2013

installation shot, Notes on Neo-Camp
Office Baroque, Antwerp, 2013

installation shot, Notes on Neo-Camp
Office Baroque, Antwerp, 2013

installation shot, Notes on Neo-Camp
Office Baroque, Antwerp, 2013

installation shot, Notes on Neo-Camp
Office Baroque, Antwerp, 2013

installation shot, Notes on Neo-Camp
Office Baroque, Antwerp, 2013

installation shot, Notes on Neo-Camp
Office Baroque, Antwerp, 2013

installation shot, Notes on Neo-Camp
Office Baroque, Antwerp, 2013

installation shot, Notes on Neo-Camp
Office Baroque, Antwerp, 2013

installation shot, Notes on Neo-Camp
Office Baroque, Antwerp, 2013

installation shot, Notes on Neo-Camp
Office Baroque, Antwerp, 2013

installation shot, Notes on Neo-Camp
Office Baroque, Antwerp, 2013

installation shot, Notes on Neo-Camp
Office Baroque, Antwerp, 2013

Talia Chetrit
Hand on Body (Breast), 2012,
silver gelatin print
60 × 50 cm (23 5/8 × 19 11/16 inches)

Talia Chetrit
Hand on Body (Crotch #1), 2012
silver gelatin print
60 × 50 cm (23 5/8 × 19 11/16 inches)

Ella Kruglyanskaya
Nautical Bathers, 2012
oil and oil bar on linen
213.4 × 152.4 cm (84 × 60 inches)

Martin Soto Climent
Yet to be titled, 2013
tights, fabric, feather

Allison Katz
Snow on the Terrace, 20th Floor, Central Park West, 2013
oil on canvas
170 × 139 cm (66 15/16 × 54 3/4 inches)

Allison Katz
Poires Noires Sand Painting, 2009
sand, silaca, cement tint
170 × 139 cm

Mathew Cerletty
Snooze, 2012
oil on linen
105 × 88 cm (66 15/16 × 54 3/4 inches)

Anthea Hamilton
Karl Lagerfeld Bean Counter, 2012
thermoformed acrylic, wood, digital print on paper, buckwheat, Desiree potatoes, metal brackets
112 ×190 × 60 cm (44 1/16 × 74 13/16 × 23 5/8 inches)

Camilla Wills
Mescaline Hostess, 2013
digital print, screen-printed layers
60 × 85 cm (23 5/8 × 33 7/16 inches)

Matthew Brannon
In Through the Out Door, 2013
silkscreen on paper
177 × 100 cm (69 11/16 × 39 3/8 inches)

Daniel Sinsel
Untitled, 2013
oil on linen, nutshells
33.2 × 27.6 × 3.5 cm (13 1/16 × 10 7/8 × 1 3/8 inches)

Ella Kruglyanskaya
Fish on Menu, 2012
oil on canvas
76.2 × 76.2 cm (30 × 30 inches)

Ricky Swallow
Twin Pots/Malaechite (After P.S), 2011
patinated bronze
12.7 × 15.8 × 10.1 cm (5 × 6 1/4 × 4 inches)

Paul Lee
Towel panel corner (red, pink), 2010
hand dyed cotton towel, acrylic and wood
102.9 × 78.7 × 21.6 cm (40 1/2 × 31 × 8 1/2 inches)

Ricky Swallow
Alarm Clock Study, 2011
patinated bronze
8.3 × 8.3 × 3.8 cm (3 1/4 × 3 1/4 × 1 1/2 inches)

Daniel Sinsel
Untitled, 2013
oil on linen
32 × 28.5 × 3.4 cm (12 5/8 × 11 1/4 × 1 5/16 inches)

Matthew Brannon
Published Posthumously, 2012
silkscreen and painting on paper
119,38 × 88,9 cm (47 × 35 3/8 inches)

Sanya Kantarovsky
Untitled, 2013
oil, watercolor and ink and linen
66 × 86 cm (26 × 33 7/8 inches)

Paul Lee
untitled, (two towels with tambourine bells), 2010
towels, cotton tbread, tape, ta.mbourine bells, ink, paint, wire hoops
108 × 100 cm (42 1/2 × 39 3/8 inches)

Mathew Cerletty
Ashley’s Flowers, 2012
oil on linen
163,2 × 125,7 cm (64 1/4 × 49 1/2 inches)

Martin Soto Climent
Yet to be titled, 2013
Tights, fabric, feather duster, two chairs

Ella Kruglyanskaya
Bathers, 2012-2013
egg tempera on panel
50.8 × 61 cm (20 × 24 inches)

Sanya Kantarovsky
Untitled, 2013
oil, watercolor and ink and linen
91.5 × 76 cm (36 × 29 15/16 inches)

Camilla Wills
A bruise: compressed like thought, 2013
digital print, screen-printed layers
29.7 × 42 cm (11 11/16 × 16 9/16 inches)

Notes on Neo-Camp brings together thirteen artists whose work could be said to exploit the heritage of camp in the 21st century. With a few exceptions, the majority of the artists in the exhibition are based in New York and London, the western epicenters of both the art market and the cultural legacy of Victorianism. Despite many differences among them, their work shares a highly sensual and plastic sensibility, which alternates between coy understatement, as in the paintings and sculptures of Daniel Sinsel, and erotic bombast, as seen in the paintings of Ella Kruglyanskaya and the sculptures of Anthea Hamilton. Colors tend be whole and uninflected, suggestive of integrated values, best seen in the prints of Matthew Brannon and Camilla Wills and the wall works of Paul Lee, unfazed by doubt and un-riven by division, and ultimately as symbolic of reliability as they are of concealment and repression. Accordingly, euphemism, veiling and metaphor abound, exemplified in the paintings of Allison Katz, the sculpture of Tom Burr, the photos of Talia Chetrit, and the sculptures of Matin Soto Climent. In a largely liberated epoch, such superfluous psychic and social recourses, originally the provenance of Victorian puritanism, seem charming and anachronistic. However the deployment of euphemism and metaphor here suggests a complex operation, not motivated by mere nostalgia. Fetishizing the domestic through related motifs and themes as best embodied in the bronze sculptures of Ricky Swallow and the paintings of Mathew Cerletty, the majority of this work elegizes the bygone privacy of the interior, itself symbolic of an equally bygone, pre-Freudian interiority and privacy, an interiorization perceived in the framing devices of Sanya Kantarovsky ’s paintings. This fetishization also conspires toward the domestication of camp, thus divorcing it from its political, predominantly homosexual, sub-cultural origins. It does so not necessarily in order to render it a-political, but so as to recuperate it as an aesthetic strategy, comprised of such Victorian features as the coded, ambiguous, artificial (as in artifice), and supposedly sublimated. But for all its disingenuous prudery, it is by no means naïve. This work is aware of the impossibility of a return to Victorian sublimation, and as such, willfully indulges in a kind of sublimated desublimation. Neither merely ironic nor sincere, it is caught somewhere between, seeking to carve out in an increasingly anemic paradigm of supposed transparency, bluntness and pornography, a space of reticence, suggestion and eroticism.

The point of departure for this exhibition was the article “Camp + Dandyism = Neo-Camp,” written by Chris Sharp, and featured in Kaleidoscope 14, 2012

Laura McLean-Ferris, ‘Notes on Neo-Camp’, Frieze, April 2013