An island called Everything
Sept 7 - Sept 10, 2023
The Armory Show
Harkawik is pleased to announce our participation in the 29th edition of The Armory Show with a joint presentation by Katarina Janečková Walshe (b. 1988, Bratislava) and Constance Tenvik (b. 1990, London). Foregrounding their capacity to adopt an outsider's perspective on the absurdities of American culture and the contested status of the familiar figure in contemporary painting, here Tenvik and Janečková Walshe focus their talents on their immediate surroundings.
Janečková Walshe implicates members of her nuclear family in her work, proposing a world not unlike her own, but free of social conventions that compartmentalize sexuality, motherhood, creative prowess and scholarly pursuit. Her newest paintings demonstrate a remarkable facility for the binding capacities of the frame, the lyrical pleasures that accompany dramatic shifts in scale, and the productive tension that arises from a judicious approach to color and texture. In Enjoying Every Minute of It, the body is delineated by layered splashes of color, contorted by bones that mimic an underwire bra, painted with blood, cosmetics, or otherwise flushed from a generous exhaustion that always borders on subjugation. Above all, Janečková Walshe's project is marked by discovery, willingness, and wholly unfettered thinking.
Tenvik employs research and reactivity, creating impossibly flat and intricately detailed scenes of decadence, debasement and social contrivance. Invested more fully in the dynamic between painter and subject than the subject itself, she is forever catching herself in the act of bringing about, prompting, staging and re-staging encounters. Her recent work begins with the raucous imagery of "Gargantua and Pantagruel," François Rabelais' epic 16th century satire, transposing his predilection for heretical stoicism onto today's New York, and suggesting a new interpretive frame for the shambolic opulence of the city's public spaces. In Lashings of Mustard and Vinegar, a scene born of fluid motion and gleeful malice, intestinal brigands do battle with condiments worthy equally of Oscar Mayer and traditional andouillette. Tenvik's paintings crackle with material pleasure, compositional wit and astute observations about human behavior that come exclusively from relentless intellectual pursuits and an encyclopedic knowledge of the intersecting worlds of fashion, decor, film and the plastic arts.