Milano Chow and Torkwase Dyson
June 16th- August 11th, 2018
Howard’s is excited to present the work of Milano Chow and Torkwase Dyson together for our inaugural show. The exhibition will open on June 16th from 5-7 pm, and will run through August 11th.
Drawing is fundamental to the work of both artists. In different ways, they utilize the simplicity of the medium with a surprising complexity. Through interconnected marks in gouache or pen and renderings in graphite, they create architectures that play with notions of drawing. We are encouraged to consider our place in these systems of space, which simultaneously highlight imaginary subjective realities and an objective observation. They fluctuate between theatrical surroundings and distanced architectural structures. We are both observer and participant, as are the artists.
Milano Chow presents fictional architectures and framed narratives with pencil drawings and collage. Her buildings are delicately constructed and employ a deliberate flatness that toys with two-dimensionality in subtle illusionistic rendering. Alluding to film, fashion photography, and theater, the work is keenly aware of public display. Solitary women often appear through windows or moving through rooms, exhibiting an air of alienation. The distant interiority of her figures is complicated by a hint of exhibitionism and voyeurism, offering an entanglement of public and private realities. We indulge in fragments of the intimate interior spaces her characters inhabit, and the ornamental facades behind which their dramas play out. There is subtle longing in this exchange between viewer and viewed, and the slow continuous narrative that is never resolved.
Torkwase Dyson’s abstract paintings, drawings, and sculptures function as a distillation of natural and built environments. She will include four works on paper in this show. With a deceptive ease in line, shape, and gesture, she unlocks both the conceptual architecture of drawing and a more visceral visual architecture. They are enveloping spaces, sometimes with the grandness of a great hall or landscape, sometimes with the intimacy of a small dwelling. She invites us to consider our place in these structural systems, and rely upon a corporeal understanding of space. With an improvisational energy, she finds a precarious balance of order and disorder. Dyson spent her developmental years between North Carolina and Mississippi, forming a sensitivity to the southern landscape, urban development, and black spatial justice. A recent exhibition in New York was conceived as a letter to Henry “Box” Brown, an American slave who escaped to freedom by mailing himself in a crate. Despite a sense of formal play, her work considers personal identity, history, and politics in relation to space; and from the viewer, it asks for empathy and self-reflection.
Milano Chow lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She received her BA from Barnard College, New York in 2009 and completed a residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2013. She has had solo exhibitions at Chapter NY, Galleria Acappella, Naples; Mary Mary, Glasgow, UK; and Young Art, Los Angeles. Additionally, she is currently included in a current group exhibition at Crystal Bridges, Bentonville, AR and a forthcoming show at Drawing Room London & Modern Art Oxford, UK. Chow’s work has been included in recent group shows at Andrehn-Shiptjenko, Stockholm; Michael Benevento, Los Angeles; and Romeo, New York. In 2018, Chow was the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Artforum, Frieze, and Art in America.
Torkwase Dyson is based Jersey City, NJ, recently relocating from Brooklyn, NY. She received a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1999, and an MFA from Yale in 2003. She is currently featured in Between the Waters at the Whitney Museum of Art, and The Last Place They Thought Of, at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA. She also had 2018 solo exhibitions at Davidson Contemporary, NY, and The Drawing Center, NY. She has a forthcoming show at Cooper Union, NY, and will be included in the 2019 Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah Museum, United Arab Emirates. Her work has been exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Corcoran College of Art and Design, the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. She was recently awarded the Graham Foundation Inaugural Fellowship, and has been awarded the Nancy Graves Grant for Visual Artists, Visiting Artist grant to the Nicholas School of the Environment, the Culture Push Fellowship for Utopian Practices, and the FSP/Jerome Fellowship. Her work has been written about in The New York Times, Brooklyn Rail, Art in America, Hyperallergic, Art Papers, and many more.