Gallery Openings and Events

CONNERSMITH Presents Zoë Charlton and Wilmer Wilson IV

Wilmer Wilson IV: Faustian Ladder (#1), 2013, pigment print, 30 x 20 inches. Photo courtesy of CONNERSMITH.

Wilmer Wilson IV: Faustian Ladder (#1), 2013, pigment print, 30 x 20 inches. Photo courtesy of CONNERSMITH.

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Opening Reception: Saturday, September 21 from 6pm to 8pm

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Both exhibits run through November 2, 2013.

CONNERSMITH. presents solo exhibitions by Zoë Charlton and Wilmer Wilson IV. Each of these Washington, D.C.-based artists employs the human body in distinct ways to confront the impact of cultural histories on contemporary politics.

Zoë Charlton presents two series of new works that playfully embody social dilemmas produced by domestication and desire in festoon, her third solo exhibition with the gallery. In collage and gouache drawings, Charlton fuses racially diverse nude males with ideal landscape elements. Punctuating vistas of country dream homes and fantasy vacation spots with commodities evocative of non-western cultures, Charlton emphasizes burdens inherent in the pursuit of social status by minorities. Whereas the pictorial style of her masculine subjects recalls American landscape and still life painting, Charlton employs spatiality and hybridity inspired by cubism and surrealism in a separate series of collages of female subjects. The artist augments stereotypical figures of young white girls with suburban architecture, African tribal signifiers, and black maternal imagery, to construct sexualized human/object hybrids that give expression to fantasies of southern belles and black domesticity. Charlton will integrate motifs from her works on paper into a sculptural gallery installation amplifying how individual yearning is driven by material culture and shaped by social conventions.

Zoë Charlton’s works have been exhibited at The Studio Museum in Harlem, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Contemporary Art Museum in Houston.

Wilmer Wilson IV enjoins the poetics of object making with the politics of American urban spaces in Faust in the City, his second solo exhibition with the gallery. In a new body of work featuring live performance, photographs, and sculptural installation, Wilson explores intersections between cultural desire and black masculinity. Taking Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s German romantic literary masterpiece Faust as a point of departure, Wilson brings to life a contemporary quest for metaphysical ascent, a cultural climb replete with the temptations and distractions of an urban landscape. The artist queries claims to truth in art and narrative progression, while blurring lines between documentation and artifice in performance-based work. Using ladders, lottery tickets, and emergency Crisco lanterns, Wilson will interact with the spaces occupied by his audience as his durational performance unfolds in the gallery. A second component of Wilson’s performance will occur across the city of Washington, D.C. Beginning at 10:30am Monday, September 16, Wilson will walk carrying a ladder for three to four hours, from one of D.C.’s least affluent spots to one its wealthiest, traveling on foot from Marvin Gaye Park to the Georgetown Waterfront, via Benning Road, C Street, Massachusetts Avenue and K Street.

Wilmer Wilson IV’s works have been exhibited in the Birmingham Museum of Art and The Corcoran Gallery of Art.

Gallery Hours:

  • Wednesday – Saturday: 10am to 5pm
  • and by appointment

CONNERSMITH. is located at 1358 Florida Avenue, NE. For further information or images, please contact the gallery at 202-588-8750 or email [email protected]

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