Dike Blair,Untitled, 2020, oil on panel, 7 1⁄2 × 10 inches; 19 × 25.4 cm
Henni Alftan & Dike Blair
Karma × VSF Zoom Walkthrough
with Henni Alftan, Dike Blair, and Linda Norden
Friday, December 4, 6PM EST / 3PM PST
Saturday, December 5, 12AM CET / 8AM KST
Registration required. Register for the Zoom Walkthrough here.
Henni Alftan, Precision, 2020, oil on canvas, 21 1⁄4 × 25 1⁄2 inches; 54 × 65 cm
Henni Alftan & Dike Blair
Karma × VSF
Opening November 28, 2020
Various Small Fires
79 Dokseodang-ro, Hannam-dong
Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Various Small Fires is pleased to present a two-person exhibition with Henni Alftan and Dike Blair in collaboration with Karma, NY in its Seoul location.
Featuring six new paintings by each artist, the work of Alftan and Blair negotiates the pure rendering of an image and the conceptual grounding behind a painting’s creation. Their explorations of the everyday share a similar focus on small, simple moments, and offer unassuming scenes without commentary: a delicately folded scarf, a hand in a coat pocket, a bowl of Cheez-It crackers. Yet both their practices are also strongly tied to notions of process; their preparative stages cross over into different mediums and methods. Alftan’s paintings begin as a text description of the subject she has in mind, from which she synthesizes a visual plan. Blair’s pieces start as photographs taken by the artist, who uses them as other painters would use a preliminary sketch. The resulting works are translations, both from one medium to another and from the realm of life into that of the picture.
The focus on the artistic process itself is explicitly incorporated in Precision (2020). Self-conscious in its subject matter, the work’s depiction of a paint brush, hand, and surface recall the action that birthed it. As Alftan states: “small perceptions of the everyday will merge with reflections on looking, painting and image making: the motif of my works is equally painting itself, its history, the paint as a physical substance, the tableau as an object.” Her dimensional handling of her medium further alludes to the visual deception that is representational painting; her brush work faintly recalls the fine grain wood of the paint brush handle. Alftan’s livening of her surface through variations in texture breaks the pictorial illusion, and invites the viewer to consider her work as examinations of the qualities of paint itself. As Elizabeth Buhe states, “Rather than pulling the onlooker into illusionistic space, the paintings project into lived space.”
Precision also introduces the formal elements that characterize Alftan’s oeuvre. The picture closely focuses on an action, heightened and made tense by the framing. Her work is visually defined by cinematic cropping and simplified forms; their unusual perspectives imbue even the smallest moments with a sense of gravity. Pockets and coats play with notions of concealment and exposure: a hand is hidden inside plaid folds, a collar is upturned to obscure the bottom of a carefully cropped face. Other elements resemble static freeze frames: scissors are held open in mid motion, and papers, lifted by the wind, are unnaturally frozen while falling through space.
On the other hand, Blair creates images that, while meticulously constructed, appear candid. He fuses the visual language of the quick snapshot with the laborious, careful study of figurative painting. The outcome is equally diaristic and cerebral; while paintings are understood as fiction, photographs imply fact. Blair manipulates the way his materials signify, contending with their respective historical legacies. His slow, painterly consideration of quickly documented subjects further creates an air of nostalgia, reflection, and wistfulness. The beauty of the everyday is laid bare, and documented with sincerity.
As Helen Molesworth states, Blair’s paintings log “the intensity of human habit.” Half eaten food, a used match, a lighter casually laying on the table—the work evokes universal memories. An open door, bright and blurred against a dark room, prompts a recollection of squinting, bleary eyes. Lenses folded on top of a book echo the routine of wearing and removing reading glasses. Traces of human activity can be read throughout Blair’s oeuvre, with the appearance of flash further alluding to the artist’s layered process. The result is at once new and familiar, personal and collective, and a reminder of the beauty of deliberate, close looking.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated publication featuring a newly commissioned essay by Linda Norden.
Henni Alftan (b. 1979) is represented in the public collections of the Helsinki Art Museum, Helsinki; Amos Anderson Art Museum, Helsinki; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas; JNBY Art Center, Shanghai; and the Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art, Vaasa; among others. Recent exhibitions include Karma, New York (2020); Studiolo, Milan (2019); TM-Galleria, Helsinki (2018); and Z Gallery Arts, Vancouver (2017).
Dike Blair (b. 1952) is featured in the collections of the Whitney Museum, New York; Brooklyn Museum, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; and the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, among others. Recent solo exhibitions include The Modern Institute, Glasgow (2019); Karma, New York (2018); Frieze, New York (2018); Secession, Vienna (2016); and Jüergen Becker Gallery, Hamburg (2016).
Dike Blair, Untitled, 2020, gouache and pencil on paper, 12 × 16 inches, 30.5 × 40.6 cm; 13⅛ × 17⅛ inches, 33.3 × 43.5 cm (framed)
Dike Blair in Artists for Biden
October 2–October 8, 2020
Platform by David Zwirner
Artists for Biden is an online-only sale of works by leading contemporary artists to support the Biden Victory Fund. Register for early access to the sale that includes donations by Carol Bove, Cecily Brown, Sam Gilliam, Jenny Holzer, KAWS, Ed Ruscha, Tavares Strachan, Carrie Mae Weems, Kehinde Wiley, and others. Artists for Biden features donations by a diverse group of more than one hundred artists.
The Biden Victory Fund is a joint fundraising committee authorized by Biden for President, the Democratic National Committee, and forty-seven State Democratic Parties to put Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the best position to beat Donald Trump and to ensure Democratic victories up and down the ballot. One hundred percent of proceeds from Artists for Biden will provide resources needed to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the White House and support other Democrats across the country in the lead up to Election Day.
Featuring artists represented by a range of galleries, this sale inaugurates the launch of Platform, a standalone website and initiative developed by David Zwirner to host online sales for industry peers and partners.
Dike Blair, oil paint on Priority Mail envelope, 12 1⁄2 × 9 1⁄2 inches; 31.7 × 24.1 cm
Dike Blair, Paul Lee, and Nicolas Party in
USPS Mail Art Fundraiser
This Long Century
August 25–September 8, 2020
In order to raise funds for the support of the USPS, This Long Century is raffling of a series of unique mail art works by 60 artists, including Dike Blair, Paul Lee, and Nicolas Party. To enter, purchase an $11 book of stamps from the USPS and email your receipt to email@example.com
Terms & Conditions:
– Buy an $11 book of stamps from the USPS
– Receipt should be dated between Aug 25 – Sept 08
– E-mail the receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org
– Include your full name and mailing address
– One entry per person
– One artwork per winner
– You must currently reside in the U.S.
– Winners drawn on 09/08/20
If you don’t need stamps, please consider donating them to NYC Books Through Bars
Dike Blair, Untitled, 2018, gouache and pencil on paper, 10 1⁄2 × 14 inches, 26.7 × 35.6 cm; 12 × 15 1⁄2 inches, 30.5 × 39.4 cm (framed)
Dike Blair in The Glass House Benefit Auction 2020
July 31, 2020—August 15, 2020
Hosted online by Artsy
Dike Blair, Untitled, 2018 oil on wooden panel, 10 × 7 1⁄2 inches; 25.4 × 19.05 cm
Dike Blair, Robert Duran, Marley Freeman, and Paul Mogensen in TWO × TWO for Aids and Art Auction
October 26, 2019
The Rachofsky House
8605 Preston Road
Dallas, TX 75225
The 21st annual benefit dinner and art auction that jointly benefits amfAR and the Dallas Museum of Art. The black-tie gala dinner will feature a live and silent auction of significant contemporary art, as well as the presentation of amfAR’s 2019 Award of Excellence for Artistic Contributions to the Fight Against AIDS. Sponsored by Sotheby’s, Highland Park Village, Headington Companies, Neiman Marcus, Chubb Personal Insurance / IMA | Waldman, and Todd Events.
Untitled, 2018, charcoal, gouache, gesso on paper, 12 × 9 inches; 30.4 × 22.8 cm
Dike Blair at Linn Lühn
September 6–October 26, 2019
D – 40233 Düsseldorf
Dike Blair, Untitled, 1990, gouache and pencil on paper, 7 × 10 inches; 17.7 × 25.4 cm
Dike Blair in “One Day at a Time: Manny Farber and Termite Art”
Curated by Helen Molesworth
October 14, 2018 — March 11, 2019
MoCA, Los Angeles
250 South Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012