Anat Ebgi is pleased to announce Forklore, an exhibition of new paintings by Marisa Adesman. On view at 6150 Wilshire Blvd, opening Saturday, July 24, 2021. This is Adesman’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles and with the gallery.
In Forklore, hard objects become inexplicably limp—fainting, bending, curling, writhing—viewers are thrust into an unstable reality, where utensils seem to be agents unto themselves. Adesman’s humorous, thought-provoking paintings often depict ordinary objects in bizarre contexts and striking states of shapeshifting and mystical liquefaction. Many paintings prominently feature forks, tangled and twisted, peering from kitchen drawers as in Midnight Snack, or submerged in a basin of dishwater floating among vegetables as in That Sinking Feeling.
Having no author, folklore emerges from constant retelling. Preserved through oral traditions, these community stories offer wisdom and valuable lessons about courage, perseverance, and other virtues. Similarly, the iconic and dramatic imagery in Adesman’s work spin folk tales of their own—laden with exaggerations, conflicts and insights into the human condition.
The largest canvas, Opening Night, depicts the only human form in the exhibition—two hands draw back the curtain-like tablecloth to reveal a nude torso reflected, or perhaps trapped within the table. Meanwhile two feet are planted in the grass below surrounded by blooming poppies. Above the scene, a full moon illuminates the darkened sky. The work is a mysterious allegory of appetites, equilibrium, immortality, femininity, and the dark side of nature.
Adesman’s highly detailed scenarios evoke surrealist painters of art history such as Leonora Carrington and Méret Oppenheim as well as dark 1980s animated cartoons. Precise draftsmanship and delicate brushwork draws viewers into the fantasy and challenges our perceptions of reality. Background details such as the hand carved frieze on the wooden table in Forkplay or the tiled mosaic wall in All’s Fair… receive masterful attention and vigorous technique. Through Adesman’s vision new stories of heroes and monsters emerge.
Marisa Adesman (b. 1991, Roslyn, NY) received her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI in 2018 and her BFA from Washington University, St. Louis, MO in 2013. She has exhibited work widely including at the Contemporary Art Museum (CAM), St. Louis, MO; Black Mountain College Museum, Ashville, NC; and Mead Art Museum, Amherst College; Amherst, MA. The artist has completed a number of residences including the Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT; Brooklyn Art Space, NY; Wassaic Project Residency, Wassaic, NY; ChaShaMa Residency, Pine Planes, NY; Jentel Foundation Artist Residency, Banner, WY; and Tongue River Artist Residency, Dayton, WY. Adesman lives and works in St. Louis, MO.