September 12 - October 17, 2009

"Once Removed"

Postmasters Gallery is pleased to announce "Once Removed" - an exhibition of new works by Anthony Goicolea.

"Once Removed" is the latest in an ongoing series in which Goicolea uses drawing, photography, and video installation to explore his family history and identity as well as larger themes of tradition, alienation and assimilation.

Goicolea confesses to feeling "a strange sense of nostalgia for something I have never been a part of or experienced directly." In May of 2008 he made his first pilgrimage to Cuba after having received a grant from the CINTAS Foundation. He visited the homes, schools and churches of his parents and grandparents. The resulting photographs are constructed landscapes populated only by vegetation, architecture, telephone poles, and strung lights. Throughout Havana, Goicolea found and photographed architectural evidence of his family's past life. He further manipulates these images by staging performances and scenarios in these settings.

Goicolea also works from photographs of family members, known and unknown, taken while they were still living in Cuba. In "Night Sitting," a large, cinematic, three-panel painting, he assembles four generations from both sides of his family on the family farm, or finca, for a night time portrait. The family members are rendered in their most idealized states:his great grandmother is the same age as his aunt or mother. The gathering casts his family as a troupe of actors surrounded by film equipment and lights. It memorializes and reflects a fictionalized family history distorted through time and oral tradition.
In the show Goicolea also includes several drawings of aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins imagined as portrait busts placed behind glass high on make shift pedestals. These images preserve and honor his family while simultaneously placing them just out of reach.

In the center of the gallery is an installation entitled "Transplant," a living island of non-indigenous greenery. This large grouping of battered and bandaged tropical plants, some shipped from the garden terrace of Goicolea's father's home in Key Biscayne, Florida, references many of the palms and tropical foliage depicted in the photographs and drawings. The wear and tear of their long journey is made evident by the makeshift splints and crutches to which this uprooted garden is bound and supported by.

A scale model of the home that Goicolea's parents left behind in Havana shortly after the revolution is displayed in the second gallery. Placed atop a pedestal of cement bricks and sealed under glass, the house projects a short video entitled "Displacement". The video, filmed at night with an infrared camera, marks the first appearance of the artist in his work in over seven years. Drifting on the water at night, Goicolea jettisons large cement blocks from a small boat and then disappears into the horizon.

The work Goicolea first become known for exuded a playful narcissism. However his more recent work is marked by an earnest, almost wistful search for roots or connections to his past. Here, as in his multiple self-portraits, Goicolea is exploring his identity; only this time he approaches it from a poignant awareness of the cultural ingredients and familial history that make us who we are.

Since his last exhibition at Postmasters in 2007 Anthony Goicolea has had solo exhibitions at Denver Museum of Contemporary Art, Galerie Aurel Scheibler in Berlin, Haunch of Venison in London and Sandroni Rey Gallery in Los Angeles. His works were included in exhibitions at The Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, MassMOCA, American Folk Art Museum in New York, Miami Art Museum, and North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh. "Fictions" - a book of his recent photographs and drawings was published by Twin Palms Publishers in June 2009.

Postmasters Gallery, located in Chelsea 459 West 19th Street (corner of 10th Avenue), is open Tuesday through Saturday to 11 - 6 pm. Please contact Magdalena Sawon at 212-727-3323 with any questions or image requests.


fall 2009 exhibitions at the gallery:

SPENCER FINCH (October 24)
OMER FAST (December/January)

Postmasters will participate in "Discoveries" at Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair with the works of EVA and FRANCO MATTES and concurrent exhibition "E-arts Beyond" curated by Zhan Ga with works by JENNIFER and KEVIN McCOY and WOLFGANG STAEHLE (opening September 9)


now on view:
GUY BEN-NER "Thursday the 12th" survey show at MASS MOCA SPENCER FINCH 3 installations in "Making Worlds" curated by Daniel Birnbaum at the 53rd Venice Biennale and "The River That Flows Both Ways" at The High Line, New York .

opening in September:
OMER FAST Prize of the National Galerie at Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin and solo exhibitions at Lund Konsthall, Lund,Sweden and Indianapolis Museum of Art