Mark Joshua Epstein, Stina Puotinen: Hold Tight
In ‘Hold Tight’, Mark Joshua Epstein and Stina Puotinen invite the viewer in for a necessary respite from recent world events. The space they have created references both the physical space of the waiting room and the corporeal sensation of waiting, and aims to provide a place for solace, reflection and reconnection. A world away from the neutral colors and decor we associate with institutional waiting rooms, Puotinen and Epstein have instead created a saturated scheme, a bunker of excessive visual delight and seduction.
As the title implies, the artists invite the viewer to hole up, hunker down, and wait. However, in this case the act of waiting is imbued with a sense of purpose, a sense that this time of collectively held breath thrust upon us by forces outside of our control is meant for rebuilding and regrouping. The artists implore: hold tight to yourself, hold tight to your beliefs, hold tight to each other. Hunker down with compatriots and start plotting for the future.
Mark Joshua Epstein was born in Washington DC, USA, in 1979 and lives in New York, USA. He attended Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto (2000-01), School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University, Boston (1998-2002) and Slade School of Fine Art, London (2002-04). Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include ‘Excavators’ (with Will Hutnick), Demo Projects, Springfield, Illinois, ‘House Proud’, Biquini Wax, Mexico City (2016), and ‘A Risky Investment for Boys on the Move’, Brian Morris Gallery, New York (2014), ‘I Can’t Remember Where I Live’, Center for The Visual Arts, Illinois State University (2013), and ‘All of me is asking, all of me is thinking…’, Vane, Newcastle upon Tyne (2012). Recent group exhibitions include ‘Small Victories’, School 33, Baltimore, ‘Vox XII’, Vox Populi, Philadelphia, ‘PPP: Painters Painting on Paper’, Schema Projects, Brooklyn (2016). Epstein has had residencies in Féral Space, México City, Illinois State University, Millay Colony, Austerlitz, New York, and Saltonstall Foundation, Ithaca, New York.
Stina Puotinen was born in New York, USA, in 1983, and lives in Manchester. She is currently studying for an MFA in Collaborative Practice at Manchester School of Art (2015-17). Recent exhibitions and performances include ‘One of One’, Caustic Coastal, Salford, ‘Minibar’, Material Art Fair, Mexico City (2016), ‘Spiritual Sausage’, Abrons Art Center, New York, ‘Secret Tinas’, Cheim and Read, New York (2015), ‘(Re)Forming Education’, Museum of Art and Design, New York, (2014), ‘CHERYL at The Window at 125’, Roger Smith, New York (2013), and ‘Pop Rally presents CHERYL’, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2012). Puotinen has had residencies in La Escocesa, Barcelona, Museum of Art and Design, New York, and Center for Contemporary Arts Santa Fe, New Mexico (2013).
Vane was founded in 1997 in Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England. Vane opened a permanent gallery space in Newcastle city centre in 2005. In October 2011 Vane launched a gallery space on the first floor of Commercial Union House, 39 Pilgrim Street in the centre of Newcastle. Vane represents the work of a number of artists, both from across the UK and internationally, as well as showing the work of invited artists in collaboration with other galleries. The gallery directors are Paul Stone and Christopher Yeats. Vane is supported by Arts Council England.
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