Anat Ebgi is pleased to present new works by native Angeleno Greg Ito and Paraguayan born Faith Wilding for Art Basel Miami Beach. Though generationally distant these two artists are joined by their explorations of rebirth, renewal, and revitalization. The collaborative installation brings together works that examine family histories, the environment, and cultural upbringing through distinct usage of material and symbology.
The installation transforms the booth into an elemental space, rich painted umber walls and carpeting recall fertile soil. Ito’s paintings, articulated with his unique graphic vernacular, serve as windows into a future world born of devastation. Wilding’s totemic sculptures covered in arcane symbology float on elevated pedestals. Flora and earth as subjects hold significance to both Ito and Wilding.
Whereas Wilding’s pieces reference her growing up in the jungles of Paraguay and lost knowledge of indigenous plants and language, Ito’s work draws from personal and family history as a Japanese Americans, including his grandparents’ experience of being forcibly relocated to an internment camp during World War II. Ito’s latest works, created for Art Basel Miami Beach, meditate on shifting family roles, birth, death, and generational turnover with memories passed on and others lost to time. Among his repeating symbols: flames, cocoons, and the moon, gingko leaves especially draw a personal connection to his family’s origin—symbolic of longevity and used for medicines. Suggestive of narrative, the works marry themes of life’s dualities such as the cycle of destruction and regrowth.
Wilding’s papyrus sculptures harken back to a series of ‘cocoons’ she made in the 1980s which were burned and filled with dirt to sprout seeds. Similar to Ito’s burning vistas, Wilding utilizes fire as a symbol to insist on renewal—a chance to begin again. In this new body of work, the chrysalis or bodily form and metaphoric sprouted seeds turn outward to the viewer. As archaeological forms they present a tactility, something akin to a fetish or effigy. The runes and text incorporated within the sculptural objects speak of the loss of the natural environment within the anthropocene. The ritualized objects suggest transformation and power through knowledge and poetics of the earth—a recurring motif of Wilding’s ecofeminist practice. Through fusing written word and visual iconography, Wilding’s works create an apparatus for the viewer to engage with an alternative way of seeing nature and its forces.
Greg Ito (b. 1987, Los Angeles, CA) earned his BFA from San Francisco Art Institute. His work has been exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions including at Institute of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA; Maki Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles, CA; SPURS Gallery, Beijing, China; Lyles and King, New York, NY; Jeffrey Deitch, New York; NY and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), San Francisco, CA. Ito’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami. Ito lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
Faith Wilding (b. 1943, Paraguay) has exhibited extensively worldwide since the late 1960s. A 2014 retrospective of Wilding’s work, Fearful Symmetries, travelled to five venues across the United States. Wilding’s work was also included in the seminal survey WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, organized by Cornelia Butler, which traveled from the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles) to the National Museum of Women (Washington DC), PS1 Contemporary Art Center (Long Island), and the Vancouver Art Gallery. This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Womanhouse, an influential Los Angeles exhibition, installation, and performance space organized through the CalArts Feminist Art Program. At Womanhouse, Wilding’s Womb Room fiber installation and performance, Waiting, are some of the best known and highly influential works of the 1970s Feminist Art Movement. Wilding’s book By Our Own Hands, catalogues this important era experimentation and collaboration that defined west coast Feminist art during the early 1970s.
Wilding has exhibited at museums such as The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; The Drawing Center, New York, NY; Documenta X, Kassel, Germany; the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, MA; the Singapore Art Museum, Singapore; the Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid, Spain; Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, Scotland; and the Bronx Museum of Art, New York, NY. Wilding is Professor Emerita of Performance Art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has taught at institutions Cooper Union, New York University, the Woman’s Building in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Art Institute. While teaching at Carnegie Mellon University in the 1990s and 200s she was a co-founder of the cyberfeminist collective, subRosa. Wilding was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2009 and has been the recipient of numerous grants for the past five decades. In 2014, she was awarded the prestigious Women’s Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Hammer Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, Minneapolis Institute of Art, RISD Museum, University Club of Chicago, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Wilding lives and works in Rhode Island.