January 15 - February 3, 2021
An Open Myth:
reimagining gender and femininity
37-39 Clinton St NEW YORK
New York, NY- Space 776 is pleased to present an exhibition of 19 new paintings by Los Angeles based artist Nina Klein at Space 776 New York in collaboration with Uncommon Beauty Gallery, on view from January 15 to February 3, 2021.
Using various media such as acrylic, gouache, and enamel paint on paper or unprimed canvas, Nina Klein creates her signature visual lexicon of symbolic shapes within the female body. The symbolic and iconographic shapes found within Klein’s paintings serve as vehicles to express themes of sex and identity and pose questions about traditional gender roles and expectations. Klein subverts the male gaze by representing female experiences such as the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and birth as well as reimagining archetypal mythic female figures, such as the witch or the Virgin Mary, as subjects seen and created through a female lens.
Klein’s preoccupation with images that express careful attention by obscuring and disorienting the quotidian represents her investigations into the ineffable female experience. The title of the exhibition, An Open Myth, reminds us that redefining the conditions and ambiguity we encounter day to day is ours to tell and indicates Klein’s way of confronting and naming the low-level ambient buzz of silence. Only by enumerating these painful, awkward, human moments are we able to take agency of them and ourselves. This unblinking and confident gaze stands in stark contrast to the exuberant color and the brash cacophonous beauty of Klein’s imagery. An Open Myth ultimately bears witness to a secret history. One that conveys the intimate thrum of discovering treasure after the dark, solo dives we make, searching for truth.
By creating enigmas, Klein tackles the long-time myth of sex and gender. And during this process, femininity is not all what Klein sees. Her most recent works, also included in this exhibition, unpack human experiences of fears, struggles, and contemplation, and the emergence of universality distinguishes her recent works from previous ones. For example, Horror Vacui (2020), Latin for “fear of empty space,” continues her intimate visual language and yet is underpinned by the kind of unease and longing shared by all of us during this global pandemic. While Klein keeps refining her skills and aesthetics, she is also heading towards a broader horizon, or perhaps, a larger black hole, as she revolves around a greater myth.
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ABOUT THE ARTIST
Nina Klein (b. 1987, Southfield, MI) expects a graduate BA from UCLA in 2022 and currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Her works have been shown widely in the U.S., including Aqua Art Fair Miami, Glass Rice Gallery San Francisco, Uncommon Beauty Gallery New York, and Barrett Gallery Santa Monica.