IMPRISON HER SOFT HAND, Project for Empty Space, 2 Gateway Center, Newark, NJ
Project for Empty Space presents Imprison Her Soft Hand, Zoë Buckman’s third solo exhibition debuting pieces from her new series Let Her Rave, along with works from Mostly It’s Just Uncomfortable, Every Curve, and Present Life. The project is part of Project For Empty Space’s GRAB BACK: PES Feminist Incubator Space. Taking both its title and inspiration from John Keats’ Romantic-era poem “Ode on Melancholy,” Imprison Her Soft Hand navigates the complexities of traditional ‘femininity’ and female empowerment. Her ‘prettying’ of female medical objects and imagery, speaks to this complicated narrative around the female nature. Also, by outfitting bunches of boxing gloves in reconstituted wedding dress fabric, Buckman explores the complex aggressions that women face each day. Her use of seemingly discordant textures- ‘tough’ materials such as rough metal with soft ‘feminine’ fabrics, further speaks to this idea, as well as the idea that not only can women be both ‘feminine’ and ‘ferocious’, but that women must be that way. The clusters of boxing gloves from Let Her Rave are not only a symbolic critique of patriarchal structures; but also, reflects her own love of the sport and advocacy for women to become more involved in the sport not only as a means of self defense; but also, as a form of physical, emotional, and mental empowerment. This body of work will be shown from February 22 to April 1, 2017.
The HeLa Project, 465 W. Broadway, New York, NY
HBO officially launches “The HeLa Project,” a culturally-grounded, multi-media exhibition inspired by the highly anticipated HBO film, THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS, starring Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne. Directed by George C. Wolfe, the film is based on Rebecca Skloot’s critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller of the same name. “The HeLa Project” is designed to celebrate Henrietta Lacks, the woman – to give her a voice and to humanize and recognize this wonderful being. The exhibition features an original portrait by two-time Caldecott Honor Award winning artist Kadir Nelson and a touching, original poem by Saul Williams. Additional art, curated by Lewis Long of Long Gallery Harlem, includes works by Zoë Buckman, Derrick Adams, Madeleine Hunt Ehrlich, Doreen Garner, and Tomashi Jackson. The product of these elements, plus an educational, sculptural installation about the HeLa cells, all converge in this engaging experience. The multi-market exhibition will run April 7th – April 9th in SoHo, New York (465 W. Broadway, Fri – Sat, 11am – 7pm, Sun 12pm – 5pm). “The HeLa Project” will be making additional stops in Atlanta, GA on April 13th – April 16th at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and finally in Washington, DC at the National Museum of African-American History & Culture.
MARCH MADNESS, Fort Gansevoort, New York, NY
Fort Gansevoort presents March Madness, the second of two exhibitions that focus on the culture of sport as represented in the visual arts. Curated by the duo, Hank Willis Thomas and Adam Shopkorn, this year’s exhibition centers on the realm of athleticism from the perspective of women. The show features a roster of 31 artists, all women, whose artwork subvert masculine archetypes, and challenge more docile notions of femininity by highlighting the qualities of strength, fitness and agility that are characteristic of physical skill and capability. These aesthetic observations of the physical form become metaphors by which to consider broader issues about empowerment, gender roles, beauty, politics, labor, pop culture – as well as ethnic and racial histories. Featured artists include Zoe Buckman, Gina Adams, Emma Amos, Kathryn Andrews, Kristin Baker, Sadie Barnette, Elizabeth Catlett, Pamela Council, Renee Cox, Sylvie Fleury, Rin Johnson, Miranda July, Catherine Opie, Cheryl Pope, Leni Riefenstahl, Faith Ringgold, Deborah Roberts, Martha Rosler, Alison Saar, Betye Saar, Collier Schorr, Laurel Shear, Cindy Sherman, Deborah Willis, and many more. March Madness will be on view from March 17 to May 6, 2017.
RE-IMAGINING A SAFE SPACE, Nathan Cummings Foundation, New York, NY
Re-imagining A Safe Space explores critical questions regarding the idea of a safe space. We hope to reach deeper and richer understanding of our needs as a public—and how those needs differ depending on demographics and who we are individually. The Spring exhibition will include works by 22 photographers, video artists, and visual artists who explore the theme of the exhibition through their works: Zoë Buckman, Mangue Banzima, Martin Bell & Mary Ellen Mark, Nina Berman, Cause Collective, Elizabeth Colomba, Bruce Davidson, Erika deVries, Donna Ferrato, Samara Gaev, Caran Hartsfield, Lili Holzer-Glier, Jessica Ingram, Michael Koehler, Barbara Kruger, Lorie Novak, Gordon Parks, Alice Proujansky, Safe Space Collective, Scheherazade Tillet, Sophia Tsanos, and David Wojnaorwicz. Re-imagining A Safe Space will be on view from March 30 to October 16, 2017.
TRANSPARENCY SHADE, Projects+Gallery, St. Louis, MO
Projects+Gallery presents TRANSPARENCY SHADE: Seeing Through the Shadow, a group exhibition curated by Modou Dieng featuring artists Zoë Buckman, Philip Aguirre y Otegui, Kendell Carter, Kahlil Irving, Ayana Jackson, Michael Riedel and Hank Willis Thomas. The mixture of two-and three-dimensional artwork within the show conveys post-identity semiotics, or the use and interpretation of visual and linguistic signs and symbols that function to form identity. The artists use cultural appropriation and hybrid materials to articulate the concept, engaging with and also problematizing such appropriation to investigate how meaning is and has been created in a postcolonial world. TRANSPARENCY SHADE: Seeing Through the Shadow will be on view from April 7 to May 27, 2017.
EVERY CURVE, PAPILLION ART, Los Angeles, CA
PAPILLION ART presents Every Curve, Zoë Buckman’s debut Los Angeles exhibition, realizing an ongoing body of work, three years in the making, which explores the contradictory and complimentary influences of Feminism and Hip-Hop in her upbringing. The installation of hanging vintage lingerie reveals the artist’s fascination with femininity throughout time. Buckman hand-embroiders the lingerie with lyrics that refer to women from the iconic rappers Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. The text spans from the violent and misogynistic to the wholly sympathetic and pro-choice. This juxtaposition is witty in its provocation and empowered awareness while comparing the Janus-faced relationship between feminism and Hip-Hop both in the 90’s and today. This body of work will be shown in its entirety at PAPILLION ART, LA, from March 12 to April 30, 2016.
PROJECTS – CHAMP, PULSE Miami Beach, Miami, FL
PULSE Art Fair’s signature PROJECTS program is committed to the presentation and promotion of audience-engaging large-scale sculptures, installations and performances. This year Zoë Buckman’s Champ, 2016 will be featured in the program. From the series Mostly It’s Just Uncomfortable, the work is part of Buckman’s response to the attack on Planned Parenthood in the United States, the consequent deprivation of access to free sexual health care for underserved women, as well as the attempted curtailing of a woman’s right to make choices concerning her own body. Champ will be on view for the entire duration of the fair, December 1-4, 2016.
ONE ROUND – SoundScape Park Evening Film Program, Art Basel Miami Beach, Miami, FL
Nightly from November 30 to December 4, 2016 outdoor screenings will take place in SoundScape Park on the 7,000-square-foot outdoor projection wall of the New World Center, a three-minute walk from the Miami Beach Convention Center. Admission to Film at SoundScape Park is free. Visitors are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs. Sounds works in SoundScape Park will occur every evening from 6pm to the start of the first film screening. A compilation of six artists’ sound works will be presented in SoundScape Park, including: Ain Bailey, NSD/TSD, 2016; Zoë Buckman, One Round, 2016; A.K. Burns, Leave No Trace (Side A), 2016; Jonathan Montague, Plundaphonic, 2016; Molly Palmer, Sirens, 2016; Susannah Stark, The Wheel, 2016.
The following is a description of the sound work One Round:
The audience stand amidst the sound of a speed bag being rhythmically hit in a boxing gym. The sound of the leather hitting the wood: hard and succinct, builds to an almost aggressive quality as it is picked up in surround sound, yet the repetition of this specific sound allows for an almost hypnotic or meditative experience. The sounds one hears in a boxing gym have a testosterone-heavy quality to them. However during the time Buckman has spent in these spaces, she has drawn parallels between the strength, endurance and confidence needed to survive there, with female-centric experiences such as childbirth.” – Zoë Buckman
Harlem Postcards Fall/Winter 2016–2017 is the latest installment in an ongoing project that invites contemporary artists to reflect on the many sides of Harlem: as a site of cultural activity, political vitality, visual stimulation, artistic contemplation and creative production. This season, Harlem Postcards features work by Gail Anderson, Nayland Blake, Zoë Buckman and Talwst, whose images, both intimate and dynamic, reflect the idiosyncratic visions of artists from a wide range of backgrounds and locations. Buckman’s contribution is a piece called The Oxford. In the winter of 2012 in Harlem, Buckman had a loaded encounter with a Hindu spiritual leader that prompted her to write a poem entitled Swami-ji. Here Buckman revisits the piece, but this time explores the relationship between sculpture and written text by imposing an excerpt from the poem onto a gynaecological examination table from the 1800’s which she has reupholstered with vintage lingerie. This work is part of Buckman’s on-going series Mostly It’s Just Uncomfortable, which is her response to the recent attacks on Planned Parenthood in the U.S., the attempted curtailing of women’s access to sexual health, as well as their right to choice.
Each image has been reproduced as a limited-edition postcard and is available free to Studio Museum visitors. Harlem Postcards Fall/Winter 2016–2017 will be on view from November 17, 2016 to March 5, 2017.
OFF THE WALL – FOR FREEDOMS, Monique Meloche, Division St and Oakley Blvd, Chicago, IL
Monique Meloche Gallery present its third annual off the wall exhibition, featuring works from the first ever artist-run super PAC, For Freedoms. Scheduled over the course of the 2016 presidential election season, works by Zoë Buckman, Paula Crown, Maria Gaspar, Nari Ward, and Carrie Mae Weems will be displayed on public bus benches throughout Wicker Park Bucktown, for this exclusive engagement with a Chicago audience. Zoë Buckman marries the stereotypically masculine to the feminine, through the use of polarizing iconography. In this instance, the artist’s own boxing gloves are joined with a neon diagram of the uterus, thereby transforming a traditional image of fragility into a symbol of resistance. A continuation of Buckman’s ongoing series Mostly It’s Just Uncomfortable, the piece raises questions about health care, sex education, and women’s rights, while promoting female positivity. off the wall – For Freedoms will be on view from September 1 to November 30, 2016.
TRUTH TO POWER, Democratic National Convention, 990 Spring Garden St. Philadelphia PA 19123, July 25 – 27
Curated by Yosi Sergant, former White House Liaison for the Arts and the former Director of Communications at the National Endowment for the Arts, Truth to Power, a large scale, pop-up exihbition from July 25-27th in Philadelphia will be presented as a part of the Democratic National Convention. Rock the Vote launches the Truth to Power campaign in order to engage and mobilized young people in the 2016 election. The show will present artworks that comment on the host of issues facing communities across our nation. In partnership with #Cut50 and other national and community partners including Planned Parenthood, the exhibition brings together some of the nation’s most prolific and talented visual artists, young activists, musicians, poets, policymakers and community leaders and features hundreds of inspiring works of art and over 25 hours of programming and events.
FRAMING BEAUTY, Grunwald Gallery of Art, Indiana University
Curated by Professor Deborah Willis, Ph.D. of New York University, Tisch School of Arts and with catalog essay by Brooklyn Museum of Art curator Rujeko Hockley, this group exhibition is a response to Indiana University’s Themester on Beauty. The artworks within the exhibition can be viewed as interventions, explorations, musings and documents of framing a story on beauty and it’s complex forms. The exhibition will enhance the Themester goals by showing works by artists who are among the most influential and creative working today. They examine the differing notions of beauty through the body, music, community, fashion, and history using diverse media, including photographs, video and new technology. These works focus on the notion of individuality and what comes together is a collective pursuit of the idea of “framing beauty” in a complex society. Framing Beauty will be on view from August 26 to October 7, 2016 at the Grunwald Gallery of Art.
MAKING & UNMAKING, Camden Arts Centre, London, UK
Curated by celebrated fashion designer and curator Duro Olowu, this group show brings together over sixty international artists working in diverse media. The exhibition places antique West African textiles and Bauhaus tapestries amongst contemporary works and new commissions. Individually, the works address themes that include portraiture as well as representations of beauty, gender, sexuality, innocence and the body. Collectively, their coming together reveals a common thread that Olowu describes as a “process of personal ritual experienced by artists in creating their work.” Artists include Zoë Buckman, Caroline Achaintre, Marina Adams, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Anni Albers, Tasha Amini, Hurvin Anderson, Polly Apfelbaum, Tony Armstrong Jones, Walead Beshty, Alighiero Boetti, Louise Bourgeois, Carol Bove, Lisa Brice, James Brown, Claude Cahun, Lygia Clark, Tommaso Corvi-Mora, Alexandre da Cunha, Andreas Eriksson, Meredith Frampton, Hassan Hajjaj, Chie Hammons, Sheila Hicks, Diane Itter, Isaac Julien, Neil Kenlock, Peter McDonald, Rodney McMillian, Eric Mack, Hamidou Maiga, Brice Marden, Ari Marcopoulos, Wangechi Mutu, Alice Neel, Nobukho Nqaba, Chris Ofili, Horace Ové, Irving Penn, Tal R, Michael Roberts, Ibrahim El-Salahi, Yinka Shonibare MBE, Malick Sidibe, Lorna Simpson, Daniel Sinsel, Christiana Soulou, Dorothea Tanning, Bill Traylor, Francis Upritchard, Al Vandenberg, Brent Wadden, Rebecca Ward, Kehinde Wiley, Masaaki Yamada, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, and more. Making & Unmaking will be on view from June 19 to September 18, 2016.
Related exhibition publication featuring Buckman, Making and Unmaking, can be purchased here.
FOR FREEDOMS, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, NY
Artists Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman created the first artist-run Super Pac, For Freedoms, in the run up to the 2016 presidential elections. Their mission is to change the way candidates and citizens participate in conversations about politics in the United States. Jack Shainman Gallery will host the super PAC headquarters and organize a group exhibition at their 24th Street location. For Freedoms believes that art and artists, like other civic institutions and citizens, have an important role in shaping our society. Art embodies many of the ideals to which politicians aspire. It envisions the future, it has the power to change beliefs and to impact positive change. Artist Zoë Buckman will participate in the show as her work and practice strives to achieve the same goal. Other artists include Nina Chanel Abney, Edgar Arcenaux, Shimon Attie, Paula Crown, Wendy Ewald, Chitra Ganesh, Maria Gaspar, Mariam Ghani, Jim Goldberg, Pablo Helguera, Sohrab Hura, Mathew Day Jackson, Rashid Johnson, Titus Kaphar, Marilyn Minter, Trevor Paglen, Michelle Pred, Norman Rockwell, Kameelah Rasheed, Kelly Sherman, Xaviera Simmons, Bayeté Ross Smith, Alec Soth, Will Steacy, Mikhael Subotzky, Mickalene Thomas, Fred Tomaselli, Mark Tribe, Nari Ward, Leslie Wayne, and Carrie Mae Weems. For Freedoms will be on view from June 7 to August 5, 2016.
GAME ON!, Children’s Museum of the Arts, New York, NY
A group exhibition focusing mankind’s passion for sport and how it has defined our individual and collective identities. Throughout history, the world of games — with its inversions of mastery, dependence on chance and reliance on both verbal and physical play — has intrigued and inspired visual artists. Game On! presents works by contemporary artists who take a reflective, critical or inspired look at sport and how we play the game. Addressing issues of identity, power, heroism, nostalgia, popular culture and gender, Game On! highlights a variety of media that reminds us that within every ruled system, there exists potential for creativity and exploration. Artists include Louisa Armbrust, Zoë Buckman, Dario Escobar, Norm Paris, David Rathman, Christin Rose, and Jean Shin. Game On! will be on view from May 31 to September 4, 2016 in the Cynthia C. Wainwright Gallery.
MARCH MADNESS, Fort Ganesvoort, New York, NY
Fort Ganesvoort presents March Madness a group show curated by Hank Willis Thomas and Adam Shopkorn featuring 27 artists who use sports and art to comment on political and social issues. The artist’s eye finds the corruption, violence and racism behind the scoreboard, and the artist’s hand enhances the protest. Artists include Zoë Buckman, Derrick Adams, Sadie Barnette, Michael Ray Charles, Pamela Council, Emory Douglas, Derek Fordjour, Jeffrey Gibson, Satch Hoyt, David Huffman, Alex Israel, Rashid Johnson, Glen Kaino, Jeff Koons, Robert Longo, Shaun Leonardo, Charles McGill, Gordon Parks, Paul Pfeiffer, Raymond Pettibon, Cheryl Pope, Ronny Quevedo, Robin Rhode, William Scott, Gary Simmons, Hank Willis Thomas, and Nari Ward. This exhibition will be on view at Fort Ganesvoort from March 18 to May 1.
Present Life is a collection of works that explores the liminal space between life and death and cycles of genesis and decay through varied media including photography, sculpture, neon and installation. As a series, its starting point is one directly informed by the artist’s highly personal experience of childbirth from which relational questions pertaining to transience, permanence, and mortality are explored. This body of work was shown in its entirety at Garis & Hahn, New York, from February 24 to March 28, 2015.
Related publication featuring Buckman, How We Do Both: Art and Motherhood – Second Edition edited by Qiana Mestrich and Michi Jigarjian, can be purchased here.
DARE YOU TO LOOK: RADICAL REALIZATIONS IN PORTRAITURE, Burning in Water, New York, NY
In collaboration with Kenya-based non-profit UHAI EASHRI, Burning in Water, a partner of Free Arts NYC, presented a group exhibition curated by Alexandra Giniger celebrating the right of all people to be free of abuse or oppression based on gender or sexual orientation. Dare You To Look highlighted a collection of works by a diverse range of artists who embrace portraiture and figuration to explore expansive representations of identity. The artworks selected envision both radical representations of the body and conceptions of self to realize such iconographies. Artists included Zoe Buckman, Mickalene Thomas, Wangechi Mutu, Malick Sidibe, Cheri Samba, Robert Mapplethorpe, Lorna Simpson, Shirin Neshat, Richard Mosse, Nan Goldin, Chris Ofili, Cheri Cherin, and many more. Dare You to Look was on view from November 19, 2015 through January 30, 2016. A portion of the proceeds from this show benefited Free Arts NYC & UHAI EASHRI.
YOUNG, GIFTED, AND BLACK, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
The group show, titled after the song “To be Young, Gifted, and Black” by Nina Simone with lyrics from Weldon Irvine and written in the memory of Simone’s late friend Lorraine Hansberry author of Raisin in the Sun, surrounded ideas and issues of racial, sexual, and historical identity in contemporary culture since 2010. Willis chose a selection of works from Buckman’s Every Curve series, along with works from Derrick Adams, Titus Kaphar, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Adam Pendleton, Shinique Smith, among others. The Goodman Gallery, located in Johannesburg, South Africa, is passionate about making the influence of artists from Africa and the African diaspora on global art culture felt in South Africa and internationally. Young, Gifted, and Black was on view from September 26 to November 11, 2015.
Buckman’s work was included in the first annual benefit auction for Africa’s Out!, a nonprofit founded by artist and activist Wangechi Mutu. “It’s hugely important to me to be a part of something as unique, necessary, and timely as Africa’s Out! As artists in the West, we are afforded certain freedoms that those in other parts of the world are robbed of, and I believe it is one of our duties as image-makers to challenge the status quo and inspire activism and radicalism both on our shores and abroad.” Africa’s Out! is as a far-reaching platform to change the way we ALL engage with Africa and, more specifically, the way Africans reach out to empower one another.
IN YOUR DREAMS, Spring/Break Art Show – Spring 2015
curated by Marina T. Schindler
Drawing from artworks ranging in culture, time period and medium, In Your Dreams, curated by Marina T. Schindler, was a group exhibition that probed the taboo topics of sex, sexual fantasy, intimacy, romance and desire. Inextricably tied to what it means to be human, sex and sexuality have long held their significance as two of the most discussed and considered subjects within our individual relationships, as well as in society’s broader dialogue. In Your Dreams invited the viewer to reflect on the human being’s diverse relationship to sex and sexuality through art that references the romance, hilarity, kink, frivolity, roughness and tenderness associated with the thought, fantasy or act of sex.This exhibition at the Spring/Break Art Show – Spring 2015 included artists Zoë Buckman, Louise Bourgeois, E.V. Day, Tracey Emin, Walter Robinson, and Tom Wesselmann, among others.
ABSTRACTION NOW, Leila Heller Gallery, New York, NY
This group exhibition, which included Buckman’s neon hourglass, focused on abstraction in contemporary art and benefited Free Arts, an organization that provides underserved children and families with arts education and mentoring programs. It featured other such artists as Tauba Auerbach, Ethan Cooke, Sarah Crowner, Sam Falls, Roman Liska, Israel Lund, David Ostrowski, Lucien Smith, Wangechi Mutu, Kasper Sonne, Ned Vena, Christopher Wool, and Dustin Yellin. The exhibition was made possible by Burning in Water, Contemporary Art Trust in conjunction with Leila Heller Gallery in the Fall of 2014.
WHAT IS, ISN’T, Alan Koppel Gallery, Chicago, IL
Uprise art for Norwood, The Norwood, New York, NY
While much contemporary work is devoted to reinventing abstraction and representation, the artists in this exhibition chose to subvert both medium and gesture to conceptualize and identify notions of what is and what is not in unlikely forms. They instead embraced contradictions, dichotomies, and reconstructions of past cannons. What is, Isn’t explored works in which messages are not readily apparent. Although the images are familiar and accessible to the viewer, the underlying implication leads one to question the complexities of contemporary life. Curated by Megan Green and Anne Huntington, What Is, Isn’t was a group exhibition at Alan Koppel Gallery on view during EXPO Chicago, September 18 to October 31, 2014. It included works by Zoë Buckman, Zoe Crosher, Brendan Fernandes, Katie Fischer, Elsa Hansen, Margaret Lee, Andrea Mary Marshall, Patrick Meagher, and Shelter Serra.
PUBLIC PROJECTS & INSTALLATIONS
PULSE PROJECTS, Pulse Art Fair, New York, NY
Buckman presented a selection of four large-scale photographs from the series Present Life, which explores time and life’s transient nature, investigating themes of mortality and examining the fleeting moment when something living begins to perish. The series itself aims to explore that which creates but also ceases, highlighting the temporary nature of life and the passage of time. Capturing the intricate detail of the flowers in large-scale photographs, Buckman created a visceral experience, allowing the viewer to almost smell the decay of beauty and life. This installation took place at PULSE Projects May 8 to May 11, 2014.
SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL, Flowers East Gallery, London, UK
This annual exhibition has been held at Flowers Gallery’s London locations since 1974. It challenges contemporary artists working in all media to produce works with a fixed economy of scale, each piece measuring approximately 9 x 7 inches. This group show provides a great opportunity for unrepresented or neglected artists to exhibit alongside more established artists.
HIDDEN GEMS, Getty Images Gallery, London, UK
The Hidden Gems Project was a group exhibition held at The Getty Images Gallery for Christie’s, one of the world’s largest auction houses.
LOOS, Milk Gallery, New York, NY
Buckman’s first solo exhibition, Loos creatively captures bacchanalian bathroom culture by recreating scenes the artist overheard while working as a cocktail waitress in London nightclubs. Buckman’s images, often paired with funny captions, celebrate a spectrum of emotions and show the contrast between the private self and the public persona one assumes within the often cramped and mirrored walls of the loo. The exhibition took place in June 2010 at Milk Gallery in New York.