Curated by Charlie James
July 11 - August 14, 2014
Artist's Reception: July 11, 2014, 6-9pm
On July 11th, 2014 the leadership at Gildar Gallery will relinquish its curatorial responsibilities to Charlie James of Los Angeles-based Charlie James Gallery. This bloodless TAKEOVER will result in an exhibition organized by James displaying objects created by a group of nine artists loyal to his cause, namely the exploration of power.
As a gallerist James has built a reputation for exhibiting ‘engaged’ artworks from around the United States and Europe. Embracing Sartre’s term for activist art and literature, the one time Denverite, returns to assert his charged vision. Concurrent with the curatorial regime change, James will place works by a selection of artists from his renowned stable within the subjugated Gildar Gallery (Daniela Comani, Ramiro Gomez, William Powhida, Carol Selter, Jim Thompson), while also deploying the efforts of other internationally recognized veterans aligned to his aims (Sandow Birk, Ben Jackel, Erika Rothenberg ) along with a single Denver defector, (Adam Milner).
TAKEOVER functions as a subjective survey in miniature of politically aware, though rarely partisan tendencies in contemporary art. In exploring the dynamics and paradoxes of influence and force across a wide range of topics, these works utilize a host of tactics including appropriation, quotation, modeling, portraiture and text and range in perspective from wry observation to subtle manipulations.
￼ABOUT THE ARTWORK
Sandow Birk will debut a new painting set in Colorado from his Prisonation series, a body of landscape paintings depicting prisons, inspired by paintings of the American West from the 19th century. Daniela Comani will present 16 pieces from her New Publications series – appropriated book cover images from the Western Canon with their titular gender assignments reversed. Ramiro Gomez will show new works on canvas and collage pieces from his Happy Hills series, wherein Latino domestic workers are painted into luxury magazine advertisements. Ben Jackel (new to the cause) contributes Victory, a stoneware, ebony, beeswax and leather sculpture of Lord Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar, the HMS Victory. Adam Milner will present an excerpt from his Torsos piece, an ongoing series of unaltered profile pictures from gay social media dating sites. William Powhida documents sources of political power in his edition Where Does Political Power Come From, Anyway?, originally commissioned by CNN during the 2012 election cycle. Erika Rothenberg shows the potency of sign power through her sculpture America, The Greatest Nation on Earth, from 2012. Carol Selter’s Calendar Pictures summon threats of animal extinction in the guise of Sierra Club calendar photographs. Jim Thompson will exhibit pieces from his 1977 series of painted baseball and football cards from the 1970s.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Sandow Birk is a graduate of the Otis/Parsons Art Institute. Frequently developed as expansive, multi-media projects, his works have dealt with contemporary life in its entirety. With an emphasis on social issues, frequent themes of his past work have included inner city violence, graffiti, political issues, travel, war, and prisons, as well as surfing and skateboarding. He was a recipient of an NEA International Travel Grant to Mexico City in 1995 to study mural painting, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1996, and a Fulbright Fellowship for painting to Rio de Janeiro for 1997. In 1999 he was awarded a Getty Fellowship for painting, followed by a City of Los Angeles (COLA) Fellowship in 2001. In 2007 he was an artist in residence at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC, and at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris in 2008. His most recent project involves a consideration of the Qur’an as relevant to contemporary life in America. Sandow is represented by the Koplin del Rio Gallery in Los Angeles, Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco, and P.P.O.W. Gallery in New York City.
Daniela Comani (b. 1965, Bologna, Italy) creates multimedia installations engaged in dialogue about history, language, identity, alienation and intimacy. Her work focuses on media images and text, which she manipulates through photography and video, and combines in her drawings and installations. Her work has been shown internationally and is included in the collections of Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem, Museo d’Arte Moderna, Bologna and Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin. Comani exhibited in the 54th Venice Biennale. She lives and works in Berlin. Comani is represented by Charlie James Gallery in Los Angeles, California.
Ramiro Gomez (b. 1986, San Bernardino, CA) has had solo exhibitions at Charlie James Gallery and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, and was an artist-in-residence at the CSUF Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, CA in 2013. He has contributed work in 2014 to the group show “Distant Parallels” at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach and “(in)Visible and (dis)Embodied” at the District of Columbia Arts Center. In 2013, Gomez exhibited at the AFL-CIO National Convention, where he was also a Guest Lecturer. He also gave lectures at Stanford University, UCLA and UC Santa Barbara from 2012-13. The City of West Hollywood, CA awarded Gomez with a residency in 2013, where he installed a mural in West Hollywood Park – a project titled The Caretakers, which remains on view. Ramiro Gomez is in the collections of Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and the Cornell Fine Arts Museum in Rollins, Florida. His work has been covered by CNN, NPR, and the Los Angeles Times, among others. He was recently profiled in LA Weekly’s People Issue for 2014. Gomez is represented by Charlie James Gallery in Los Angeles, California.
Ben Jackel (b. 1977, Denver) received his MFA from University of California, Los Angeles in 2005. He has had solo exhibitions with LA Louver in Los Angeles and at the Fullerton College, where he is Artist-in-residence. His work has been exhibited at the Torrance Art Museum, Studio 17 in San Francisco, Central Art Gallery in Houston TX, and High Desert Test Sites in Joshua Tree, CA. He has also shown internationally in countries such as Spain, Switzerland, Palestine, Hungary, Colombia, and China. He is represented by LA Louver in Venice, California.
Adam Milner (b. 1988, Denver) earned his BFA from University of Colorado at Bolder in 2011. Milner has exhibited at the Emmanuel Gallery, Bolder Museum of Contemporary Art, Gildar Gallery, Aspen Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, and the Colorado Photographic Arts Center. He received the Yes Ma’am Colorado Artist Grant in 2013. His work is in the collections of the Colorado Photographic Arts Center and the University of Colorado at Bolder Special Collections. Milner lives and works in Denver, CO.
William Powhida (b. 1976, New York) is an artist and critic living and working in Bushwick, Brooklyn. He studied painting at Syracuse University where he easily received a B.F.A with honors and scored an M.F.A. from the recently diminished Hunter College program. He has exhibited internationally in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, London, Madrid, Miami, Chicago, Copenhagen, Austria, Dublin, and even the Canary Islands . Recent shows include Unretrospective at Platform Gallery, Overculture at Postmasters Gallery, and Bill by Bill at Charlie James Gallery, which have left people slightly confused. He has organized exhibitions including #class and #rank with Jennifer Dalton, Magicality with Eric Trosko, and Dunkle Wolke at StorefrontBK in the dreaded Bushwick. He also collaborated with Jade Townsend on the Lemonade Stand, ABMB Hooverville, and Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes. His work has been discussed in the New York Times, Artforum, Art in America, The Brooklyn Rail, Art News, Artinfo, Artnet, Hyperallergic, Art Fag City among others. He has enjoyed and endured residencies at the Lower East Side Printshop, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, and the Headlands Center for the Arts. He is preparing for residencies in Mexico City and Galveston, Texas this summer. His work was recently acquired by the Orange County Museum of Art and the MCA San Diego. Powhida is represented in New York by Postmasters Gallery, in Seattle by Platform Gallery, and Los Angeles by Charlie James Gallery.
Erika Rothenberg has had numerous one-person exhibitions over the course of her career, including shows at the MOMA New York, the New Museum of Contemporary Art New York, Laguna Art Museum, Newport Harbor Art Museum and Rosamund Felsen Gallery in Los Angeles. Her work is on permanent display at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. She has exhibited in group shows including the 1991 Whitney Biennial, “Index: Conceptualism in California” at MOCA Los Angeles, and “Made in California” at LACMA. Her work is in the public collections of MOMA New York, MOCA Los Angeles, LACMA, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, New Museum of Contemporary Art New York, Getty Research Institute, and the Hammer Museum at UCLA. Rothenberg has received grants from Art Matters, the Norton Family Foundation and the Getty Center and has taught and lectured throughout the country. Rothenberg lives and works in Los Angeles.
Carol Selter received her MFA in Photography from the School of Art and Design, San Jose State University in 2002. Her work has been exhibited at McKinney Avenue Contemporary, Gallery 16, SFAC, SF Camerawork in San Francisco, SFMOMA, and the San Jose Museum of Art, as well as at Harvard University, and at CEPA Gallery in Buffalo, NY. She has received a SECA award and the Phelan award in photography. Selter is represented by Gallery 16 in San Francisco, CA and Charlie James Gallery in Los Angeles. She lives and works in Santa Cruz, CA.
Jim Thompson (b. 1970 New York) is a former Denver and Boulderite now residing in Southern California. He is an untrained conceptual artist working in series that excavate childhood memories and artifacts for moments of particular resonance. Thompson recontextualizes these objects through painting. Thompson had his first solo show @ Charlie James Gallery in 2013. His work has been collected by Gary Cypres’ Baseball Museum in Los Angeles. Thompson has been shown at Eric Firestone Gallery in East Hampton, NY, and at numerous national and international art fairs. He lives and works in Los Angeles, CA and is represented by Charlie James Gallery.
ABOUT THE GALLERIES
Gildar Gallery is a progressive contemporary art gallery in Denver. With a spirit of collaboration and cultural exchange, the gallery actively works to cultivate the careers of emerging artists and to expand the legacies of important historical and established figures. The gallery has received a number of accolades in Denver for its unique vision including receiving 5280 Magazine’s distinction as Top Gallery in 2012, as well as multiple positive reviews for exhibitions in the Denver Post and The Westword including its 2014 Best Emerging Artists Show and the readers’ choice award for Best Solo Exhibition.
Charlie James Gallery was formed in 2008 in Los Angeles, California. The program is steered by director/owner Charlie James, a former Microsoft employee and lifelong collector. The gallery represents emerging contemporary artists based in LA, San Francisco, New York and Berlin. Thematically, the gallery emphasizes content, commentary and supporting activist practices. Its program is a regular fixture at art fairs around the country placing numerous works in important private and public collections.