Usdan Gallery is proud to present The Body Stops Here, an exhibition prompted by an ongoing conversation between Keiko Narahashi and Sarah Peters about sculptural representations of bodies and parts of bodies—in particular, heads and faces. As an experiment, the artists five years ago photographed arrangements of Peters’s black-patina bronze figurines and Narahashi’s ceramics resembling face jugs and silhouettes. Following this impulse, The Body Stops Here mixes recent works by the artists on two large-scale tables and, on a long shelf, installs an expanded version of their 2014 photo shoot.
The result is a dialogue of formal relationships—color, texture, and form—and of historic, folk, and pop-culture sources. Narahashi and Peters share an affinity for traditional objects of practical and spiritual use, such as vases, masks and totems: things that resemble bodies and are meant for bodies to interact with. Other mutual references include the humor, power and sexuality in narrative characters from Medusa to Princess Leia. Taking its title from a poem by Eamon Grennan, The Body Stops Here considers metaphors of embodiment, as well as how a sculptural representation of a body can carry traces both delicate and forceful of the (artist’s) body that made it.
Co-curated by Josh Blackwell, faculty in visual arts, and Anne Thompson, director of Usdan Gallery, the exhibition features some three-dozen sculptures, in bronze, plaster, clay and metal. An accompanying catalog includes source-material images from the artists’ respective archives and a conversation among the artists and curators.
Keiko Narahashi was born in Tokyo, Japan, grew up in North Carolina, and lives in New York City. She received a BFA from Parsons School of Design, and an MFA in Painting from Bard College. Recent exhibitions include Jason McCoy Gallery, New York, NY; Underdonk Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Brennan & Griffin, New York, NY; Deli Gallery, Queens, NY; 106 Green, Brooklyn, NY; Eric Firestone Gallery, East Hampton, NY; and Longhouse Projects, New York, NY. She received the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation studio grant (2005) and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship Grant in Painting (2006). Her work has been reviewed in publications including The New Yorker, Vogue, and The Brooklyn Rail. An interview with Narahashi is featured in New York Studio Conversations, Part II, edited by Stephanie Buhmann and published by Green Box, Berlin (2018).
Sarah Peters lives and works in Queens, NY. She was educated at Virginia Commonwealth University (MFA), The University of Pennsylvania (BFA), and The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (Certificate). Awards and residencies include John Michael Kohler, Wisconsin (2014); New York Foundation for the Arts (2011); The Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, MA (2010); and The Sharpe-Wallentas Studio Program, Brooklyn, NY (2008). Solo and two-person exhibitions include Howards Gallery, Athens, GA (2019); Van Doren Waxter Gallery, New York, NY (2018); Halsey McKay Gallery, South Hampton, NY (2017); Eleven Rivington, New York, NY (2015); 4 AM, New York, NY (2015); Asya Geisberg, NY (2014); and John Davis Gallery, Hudson, NY (2013). Group exhibitions include Eva Presenhuber Gallery, New York, NY (2019); Objects Like Us, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT (2018); Perrotin Gallery, Seoul, South Korea (2019) and Rodin and the Contemporary Figurative Tradition, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, MI (2017). Her work has been reviewed and featured in publications including The New York Times, Art in America, Artforum, and The Brooklyn Rail.