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Minorly Magical

Oct 22 - Nov 24, 2020
Curated by Annette Hur

Baris Gokturk

Bradley Pitts

Cara Lynch

Catalina Antonio

Clare Koury

Eric Brittain

Erica Mao

Henry Anker

James Mercer

Jenn Hassin

Joan Hacker

Joanna C

Julian Day

Mónica Félix

Roni Aviv

Wai Lau

Yi Sa-Ra

Yifan Jiang

Curator’s Note


Actively doing things without a goal sounds difficult, but actively doing things without meaning sounds brutal. During the past eight months or so, I personally felt like a dog without its daily walks. A lost sense of smell, my biggest strength, my job, my joy, something I am alive with all its stimulation, motivation, ventilation, and satisfaction, have become non-essential. 


I made awkward eye contact with a stranger from the bus station—I live/work on the ground floor of an apartment in front of a bus stop between a mechanic and a motorcycle restoration workshop. I realized then while looking out the window with the luxury of time to ponder and complain about how the meaning of humanity seems utterly fragile—and that short, almost discourteous, eye contact made me feel very exposed. Not physically but emotionally. 


I savor the feeling of being exposed or vulnerable emotionally often even in my solitude. Painting—or art making in general—is a vulnerable act. Creating a piece is akin to stripping naked in front of others although the creation itself still usually happens in solitude. According to Picasso, ‘Without great solitude, no serious work is possible.’ It seems what happens in solitude is alchemistic or spiritual. What is it that agrees to the undeniable relationship between solitariness and great work?


Expression is as necessary to me as leaf and blossoms are to the black branches of the trees that show themselves above the prison walls and are so restless in the wind. Between my art and the world there is now a wide gulf, but between art and myself there is none. I hope at least that there is none.


Oscar Wilde, De Profundis


Have I in recent years made any work in complete isolation where there is ‘none’ between art and myself? Even if you are privileged enough to have a private studio to yourself, have we not been hearing those wheezing, poignant sounds in our head that constantly demand “clarity” and “appropriateness” whether it is political or aesthetical? When Wilde was longing for acceptance in bitterness and despair, brooding his forced quarantine from the world, he was doubtless faced with the quintessence of his own reflections upon art. 


I have spoken intimately with the exhibiting artists over zoom. In solitude, they have made things from rudimentary drawings to things they would have not thought to—one even designed the interior of a penthouse apartment! They have found dumb pleasure out of creating the meaningless and contemplating on what lies before them. Some days were good, some were untenable. This time would not be remembered as the best thing that has ever happened to them but the result seems minorly magical.


- Annette Hur

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Poster designed by James Mercer

Baris Gokturk

Fires_Riot 22, 2020, ink, acrylic, oil and image transfer on linen, 30"x24"

Baris Gokturk (b.1982, Ankara) is currently an MFA candidate in sculpture at Columbia University. He also holds an MFA in painting from Hunter College where he taught for seven years. He currently teaches at Pace University and runs an art program for Johns Hopkins University’s neurology department. He was recently an ApexArt fellow in Seoul, artist-in-residence at YADDO, and a participant in SOMA Mexico as well as Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Recent museum exhibitions include Pera Museum in Istanbul and SECCA in Winston-Salem, NC. He recently completed a mural for Columbia University’s Butler Library and a commission by the Public Art Fund as part of Art on the Grid. He is currently an artist in residence at LMCC Governor’s Island, working on upcoming projects in New York, Venice, and Eskisehir, Turkey. His debut solo exhibition in New York can be seen at Helena Anrather Gallery through November 8, 2020. The artist lives and works in Brooklyn.

Bradley Pitts

Crank Radio, 2020, Bronze, 11 x 3.25 x 7 inches

Bradley Pitts’ work speaks to loss without physical absence—related to both the precarities of the current moment as well as his experience growing up around addiction. His materials (whether found, purchased, made, harvested, or acquired for personal use) are employed as residue—of systems and cultures, of thoughts and beliefs, of lives lived and actions performed. The resulting sculptures are pile-ups of physical and mental forms in which the histories and associations of his materials are forced to meet and grapple with one another, producing moments of harmony, conflict, and/or contradiction. The internal tensions are often emotional, funny, serious, and ironic at the same time.


Educated at MIT, the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten (NL), and Columbia University, Pitts’ work has been shown at the Netherlands Institute for Media Art (NL), Kunsthalle Bern (CH), UC Riverside, Pioneer Works, and the Jewish Museum, among other venues.

Cara Lynch

Spirit Guide / It Might Be Okay, 2020,14 (h) x 6 (w) x 8 (d) inches, Concrete, shells, glass, beads, paint, porcelain, wood, light

Cara Lynch (born 1990, New York) studied at Columbia University (MFA 2020) and Adelphi University (BFA 2012). She works in sculpture, installation, and print. Recent exhibitions include shows at Steve Turner in LA, UrbanGlass, Morris Jumel Mansion Museum, and IPCNY. In addition to her studio work, Lynch has created large scale public projects, including a permanent installation for the NYC MTA. 


Link to resume is here:

Catalina Antonio Granados

antes o después, 2020, found rock, 4.5 x 3 x 2 inches

Catalina Antonio Granados was born in Mexico City in 1990. She studied a BA in Spanish Literature at UNAM and did her BFA at NYU Steinhardt. Currently she is pursuing her MFA at Columbia University. She is interested in analyzing the performance of colonial tools that the US empire uses over Latin America and its people, especially the control of discourse through politics of translations in asylum applications of Latin Americans in the US, and the narratives imposed on immigrants within the courtrooms. She approaches this by trying to develop tools influenced by radical theories from Latin American pedagogues, Greek theatre and toys.
She currently lives in Crown Heights.

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Clare Koury

Fly Trap #2, 2020, Glass light fixture, silicone trapping funnels, antifreeze, 9 1/2” x 9 1/2' x 5 1/2”

Clare Koury was born in Kentucky and lives in New York City.

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Eric Brittain

Untitled, 2018, pen on paper, 18" x 24"

Eric Brittain (b. 1984) is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in New York.

Erica Mao

Fountain of Knowledge, Oil on panel, 16 x 20 inches, 2020

Erica Mao (b.1994)  is best known for her atmospheric layered paintings that stitch together disparate spaces into alternate realities. Depictions of desolate landscapes explore the feelings of fear, tension, and suspense by following the path of her characters as they weave their way in and out of the narrative. Mao has exhibited throughout New York City in galleries such as IPCNY and Madison Park Gallery. Awards include the Keyholder Residency at Lower East Side Printshop, the Leroy and Janet Neiman Award at the Leroy Neiman Center for Print Studies, and the Glasier Fellowship at Columbia University. Born in Maryland, Mao attended Parsons School of Design and received her BFA in 2016. She has also received her MFA from Columbia University in 2020.

Henry Anker

California Forest Fire, 40" x 30", acrylic, graphite, and colored sand on cotton, 2020

Henry Anker is an American Landscape painter. He grew up in Northern California where the natural geography and environmental crisis shaped his perception of the world around him. He moved to Los Angeles in 2013 where he received his B.A. in Visual Art at UCLA. In 2018 he moved to New York City to pursue his M.F.A. at Columbia University School of the Arts.

James J.A. Mercer

B U N N Y, 2019, oil on canvas, 22x22 inches

James received a bachelor’s degree from RISD in 2007 and an MFA from Columbia University in 2020. In 2014 he was a resident at Clocktower Productions and has exhibited at Pioneer Works and the Drawing Center.

Jenn Hassin

Remnants 3 
Collaged handmade paper remnants and fibers primarily made from clothing with a history that stems anywhere from violence to a celebration of life, 12 x 9 inches (30.5 x 22.9 cm), 2020

Remnants 5
Collaged handmade paper remnants and fibers primarily made from clothing with a history that stems anywhere from violence to a celebration of life, 12 x 9 inches (30.5 x 22.9 cm), 2020

Jenn Hassin (born 1986, Texas) served in the United States Air Force before receiving a BA from Saint Edward’s University and an MFA at Columbia University(2020). She has had solo exhibitions at the United States Military Academy(2018-2020), Texas A&M University(2018), Long Island University(2018), Elisabet Ney Museum(2016-2018) and The Pantagon(2015-2018). Hassin Currently lives and works in Austin, Texas and New York, New York.

Joan Hacker

DreamStream [Purification], 2020, 11"x5", Old t-shirt, staples, glow-in-the-dark puff paint, rubber bands

With a background in experimental music, Joan Hacker uses performance and media materials to confront cognitive dissonance surrounding notions of oppression and liberation. Her work examines sexuality and gender, drawing upon propaganda techniques to criticize corporate media culture and its values. Hacker has exhibited and performed through online advertising, at the New York Public Library, Times Square, Anthology Film Archives, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Fridman Gallery, Experimental Intermedia Belgium, Garner Arts Center, Governor’s Island, Q Galeria Brazil, and her work has been featured in publications including Vice, Art Forum, The Wire, Kerrang!, Detroit Metro Times, Bizarre, Decibel, Brooklyn Vegan, Denzatsu, Cvlt Nation among others.

Joanna Cortez

Supernatural Beings, Graphite and Acrylic on Paper, 2020

Joanna Cortez (born 1990, Escondido, California) studied at Columbia University and the Rhode Island School of Design. They work in printmaking, sculpture and ceramics. She currently resides in New York City. Since needing to vacate my studio in New York, I’ve been working in an apartment in Providence, RI. I live and work in New York and Providence.

Julian Day

(I Want) To Be Held, 2020, LED signs, each 40 x 8 x 2

Julian Day addresses the complexities of how we form, maintain and relinquish social bonds. They typically facilitate temporary communities or cohorts of participants who, through open workshops, develop non-verbal vocabularies within civically-resonant spaces such as parks, libraries and town halls. Day works across performance, sculpture, installation, video and text. Their work has featured in the California Pacific Triennial, Asia Pacific Triennial, NEW16 (Australian Centre for Contemporary Art), MATA Festival, Bang On A Can Marathon and Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art. Their work has been collected by Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Orange County Museum of Art and Wollongong Art Gallery.

Mónica Félix

Temporal (Viewmaster Series), 21 x 14 inches, Inkjet Print, 2014

Mónica Félix (b. 1984) is an interdisciplinary artist, professional photographer, and yoga instructor based in Brooklyn since 2010. She has a BA in Communications from the University of Puerto Rico, a Photography Certificate from Pratt Institute, and is currently finishing her MFA in Visual Arts at Columbia University. She moved to New York City to pursue a career as a visual artist and a professional photographer. In 2013 she was the recipient of the Lexus Grant for Artist at the Museum of Art of Puerto Rico. She has participated in solo and group exhibitions in Puerto Rico, New York, California, and Spain. 


Learn more about her work by visiting or on her Instagram: @monicafelix

Roni Aviv

Erasure Shaving, Inkjet Print, 17x22 inch, 2020

I understand's, Inkjet Prints, 13x17 inch, 2020

Roni Aviv (born 1992, Tel Aviv) is a visual artist, based in New York. Her work is a visual and psychological inquiry into the underaddressed surfaces and experiences that are ubiquitous in our everyday lives. Aviv’s photo-installations combine text, drawing, and household materials with photography. She is a part of the 2020 MFA Visual Arts class of Columbia University. She earned a BFA in Photography from Bezalel Academy (2017), and has also studied at Cooper Union, New York (2015). She had a dual exhibition in Indie Gallery, Tel Aviv. Recent group exhibitions include Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Steve Turner Gallery, The Jewish Museum, Nancy Hoffman Gallery, and LeRoy Neiman Gallery, New York.

Lau Wai

Visibly Invisible (velvet blue), 2020, 3D printing with PLA, 17 cm x 18 cm x 18 cm

Born in Hong Kong, Wai currently resides in Hong Kong and New York. Her work utilizes photography, video, drawing, and installation exploring the multilateral constructions of identity in relation to race, gender, and the notion of belonging. She attempts to investigate how history, fiction, personal memory, and virtuality collided in the process of identity formation through personal and historical archives, cinematic imagery, popular culture, and digital media. 
Her works are in the permanent collections at M+ (Hong Kong) and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (United States). She has exhibited in Europe, Asia and the United States, including Kunstmuseum Brandts (Denmark); Power Station of Art (Shanghai, China); Para Site (Hong Kong); Tai Kwun Contemporary (Hong Kong); Kuandu Biennale (Taiwan); Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale (Japan); The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (United States) and Yokohama Triennale 2020 (Japan), among others. She studied at BA (Hons) Fine Art program at Goldsmiths, University of London (United Kingdom) and MFA Visual Arts program at Columbia University, New York (United States).

Yi Sa-Ra

Clinch (2019) is a short film portraying an intergenerational, inter-Korean conflict between landlady and tenant as they share a small apartment in Washington Heights, New York City. Engaging both characters’ fear of displacement, the film reveals the tension between them through a series of domestic still lifes captured by the tenant’s camera and continuing voicemails from the landlady.

Yi Sa-Ra (born Seoul, South Korea) is currently an MFA candidate at Columbia University School of the Arts. She received a BFA with honors from the Rhode Island School of Design (2011) and attended the Yale Summer School of Art and Music in Norfolk (2010). Addressing issues both intimate and societal, including unemployment, family dissolution, immigration, and discrimination, Yi produces videos that stride the fine line between documentary and fiction. Her work has been exhibited and screened in venues including Wallach Art Gallery, Lenfest Center for the Arts, New York (2019), Insa Art Space, Seoul (2017), Weekend, Seoul (2017), CHAPTER II, Seoul (2016), Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale, Japan (2015), Hangaram Art Museum, Seoul (2013) and Roger Williams National Memorial, Providence (2011).

Yifan Jiang

Highway(1), oil on canvas, 28x28in, 2020

There is something strange about walking around and being human. We use mouthy movements, to eat, to sing, to kill each other, and to get to the moon. Chairs are shaped like butts. There are billions and billions of butt-shaped objects across the globe. 

Yifan Jiang (b. 1994, Tianjin, China) is a Canadian artist currently based in NYC. Jiang is an MFA candidate at Columbia University (2021) and holds a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design. A project-based artist, Jiang uses elements of painting, animation, sculpture, and performance. Taking an irreverent approach to epistemology, she explores the grey intersection of the scientific, the psychological, and the magical. Jiang works by honing in on quotidian moments and combining them seemingly unrelated elements from multiple cultures and disciplines. Her recent exhibitions include Art on the grid at New York Public Art Fund, NYC; M.I.O.K  at Leroy Neiman Gallery, NYC; Commiserate Chicago at Media Art Festival, Chicago.

Installation @ K&P Gallery, NYC

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