Somaya Critchlow

Group Show: Coco Capitán, Magda Skupinska, Reginald Sylvester II


7 June 2017 – 15 August 2017

“Artworks…serve as metaphors of bigger concepts and issues”

– Press Release

Leila Heller Gallery, Dubai, is pleased to present Surface Issues, a group exhibition curated by Maximillian William, featuring new works by Coco Capitán, Reginald Sylvester II, and Magda Skupinska. The exhibition will run from 7 June – 15 August. The opening reception will be held on 7 June, 8-9 pm at the gallery.

Surface Issues brings together a diverse group of contemporary artists, who in their singular manner, subtly articulate the power that art works have in simultaneously informing and misleading us, as well as concealing a deeper understanding of a meaning lying just beneath the surface. The works in the exhibition gesture past the image surface and invites the viewer to examine and engage with the cultural and political references loaded in artworks that allow them to serve as metaphors of bigger concepts and issues.

Anticipating many of the ideas addressed in this exhibition, Reginald Sylvester’s practice is unique in its ability to infiltrate instinctively the façade of physical form and appearance, while allowing other truths and realities to surface. His spontaneous and dynamic approach creates distinct textures, forms, and colours that reveal his own signature style through orchestrated expressionistic brushstrokes. Beyond the complexity of its formal harmony lies a multivalent interpretation of issues including black identity and the digital age that are increasingly unveiled once the surface level of his recognizable style is put aside. Likewise, the sensory aspect in Magda Skupinkska’s works entices viewers to contemplate issues that on the surface don’t seem apparent due to their alluring quality. She incorporates the “accidental” in aesthetics by exploring the life span, tangibility, and progression of degradable materials in order to conceptually reveal, as well as accentuate, growing concerns for the environment. Finally, Coco Capitán’s images explore the imaginary possibilities of photography. With a celebrated background in fashion photography and well- known collaborations with Gucci among others, Capitán is aware of the persuasive power of imagery in shaping our perceptions and desires. On the surface her images are accessible, taken without premeditation, they reflect her interest in vernacular photography. Yet beneath the gloss of the photographic prints, Capitán’s unique visual language challenges traditional means of representation. Probing the boundaries between reality and images, her spontaneous narratives challenge perceptions, all the while raising questions about herself and her role as an artist.

Download full Press Release here



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