Susan Inglett Gallery is pleased to present “Mind, Body & Soul,” an exhibition of recent work by gallery artist William Villalongo. A reception for the artist will be held Thursday evening, 10 September from 6 to 8 PM.
With “Mind, Body & Soul,” William Villalongo invites the viewer to return to his magical Otherworld of Nymphs and Sirens, offering us edgy, multifaceted vignettes framed and softened by floral and velvet flocked borders. The artist layers his canvas with figures and narratives that allow for multiple paths of entry. By engaging with the classic but historically problematic motif of the nymph or bather, he raises the question of who can represent idealized female beauty while reframing the absurdities and conventions of the male gaze. Villalongo’s many Muses perform acts from the banal to the extraordinary, at times undergoing anatomical transformations in bursts of color and light. A male audience watches, lurking among the velvety borders of the picture plane. The artist, in polarizing the concept of the visible and the invisible in his representations of female and male form, has constructed a visual metaphor that balances revelation and obscurity. This, along with the dismemberment and regeneration of the figure and reconfiguration of the narrative, has been essential to Villalongo’s revisionist retelling of the Art Historical canon as filtered through non-Western cultural influences.
Through narrative, Villalongo creates a picture in which figures—their interactions and gestures—bolstered by the physicality of the painting’s surface express the emotional and psychological where language often fails. The artist tells a story both familiar and fantastic woven with skewed perceptions and shaped by suggestive moments that tease the viewer into participating in a fiction that implicates reality within its idiosyncrasies. Willingly the viewer enters a surreal purgatory “Mind, Body & Soul,” trapped in the underbrush of Villalongo’s world.
The Gallery will publish a catalogue on the occasion of the exhibition with essay by LeRonn Brooks.
WILLIAM VILLALONGO was born in 1975 in Hollywood, FL. He received his B.F.A. from The Cooper Union School and his M.F.A. from Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Villalongo has exhibited extensively with recent appearances in MoMA PS1’s “Greater New York,” the Seattle Art Museum’s “Disguise: Masks and Global African Art” traveling to the Brooklyn Museum and “Affinity Atlas” at the Tang Museum, NY. Work has also been in included in recent shows at the Baltimore Museum of Art; the National Academy, NYC; the Aspen Institute and the Studio Museum Harlem. Reviews have appeared in Artforum, ARTnews, The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail and The Village Voice among others.
The exhibition will be on view at the gallery located at 522 West 24 Street Tuesday to Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM. For additional information please contact Susan Inglett Gallery at 212/647- 9111, fax 212/647-9333 or firstname.lastname@example.org