John Ahearn: Sculpture from East 100th Street, part II
Jun 3 – Jul 28, 2000
John Ahearn will exhibit new sculpture at Alexander and Bonin beginning June 3, 2000.
Ahearn has titled the exhibition Sculpture from East 100th Street, part II considering it a continuation of his Fall 1998 exhibition in the gallery. For more than fifteen years, John Ahearn worked in collaboration with Rigoberto Torres in the South Bronx of New York and produced a body of work which, collectively, can be seen as a portrait of that neighborhood. In 1995 Ahearn moved his studio to a storefront on East 100th Street and began to establish contact with a new community. This new studio and a GSA commission for a health care building in Baltimore have led to several new developments in his work.
The exhibition will include painted cast plaster portraits of subjects ranging from a teen-age New Year’s Eve party to humorous self-portraits. Two figure studies of the physically impaired stress more formal qualities – each was extended or reduced from a previous work and here, the aspects of cropping and the relationship of the figure to the wall are emphasized. Also included in the exhibition are unpainted, plaster casts of a group of neighbors’ hands. The subjects were seated around a table joining hands for the casting. The resulting wall reliefs have a complex appearance which evokes architectural ornament.
This summer Ahearn’s work will also be shown, along with sculpture by Sunday Jack Akpau, Stephan Balkenhol and Katsura Funakoshi, in the Official Pavilion of the Holy See for EXPO 2000, Hannover, Germany from June 1 – October 31. These four contemporary figurative sculptors from North America, Africa, Europe and Asia will be exhibited in the context of Hellenistic marble sculptures and 6th Century A.D. icons from the collection of the Vatican museums.
John Ahearn was born in Binghamton, NY in 1951 and attended Cornell University. He was a founding member of Collaborative Projects, Inc. and co-organizer of the Times Square Show, 1980. South Bronx Hall of Fame, a survey of Ahearn and Torres’ work, was organized by the Contemporary Arts Center, Houston in 1991 and traveled to museums in Europe and U.S.A. Extensively exhibited and written about internationally, Ahearn’s work is included in more than twenty-five permanent museum collections.