5-50 Gallery is proud to present TWILIGHT, a two-person exhibition featuring works by Mathew Zefeldt and Naomi Nakazato. The show will be on view from October 30 through November 29, with a reception on Saturday November the 14th, 3 – 7pm*.
TWILIGHT includes meticulously painted virtual landscapes by Mathew Zefeldt combined with layered multidisciplinary works and an immersive installation by Naomi Nakazato. Zefeldt’s multi-image compositions are strictly aligned on the gallery walls, in contrast with Nakazato’s work, which is placed unexpectedly within the space. By asking the viewer to kneel or look up, she enhances the feeling of longing. Together, coalescing into a fragmented reality.
The ever expanding imprint of digital media and technology in our everyday life has opened up a new set of aesthetic principles and possibilities. By treating concepts with tools taken from the virtual realm, with a similar importance as traditional strategies, the physical and the virtual worlds, seemingly become equals.
Zefeldt states that he paints en plein air, but in the virtual world. Starting with computer generated imagery, utilising screenshots from all kinds of different games, a single image is selected and repeatedly painted in a grid on the canvas. Repeated images like a tiled desktop on the computer, painted again and again using a very labour intensive process that opposes the analog world. While each representation appears identical, up close, the brushstrokes give way to subtle variations and a warmth of painterly gesture. The images are not only repeated, but are alternations of each other, like variations of motives in music pieces. The same image is skewed, or stretched, like rhythms changing in an improvisation. When stepping back from the work the painting borders to abstraction.
Nakazato’s work traces and maps the duality of her biracial Japanese-American identity, exploring authenticity and belonging through a layered multidisciplinary process. Departing from an objective starting point; stock photographs and screenshot from google maps street view, physically unaccessible and idealised versions of place. A synthetic neutrality paralleled by the sentimental idiosyncratic memories and interactions Nakazato experienced in Japan.
Framed within gamified virtual scenarios, linguistic fragments written in Japanese and English and elements of landscape are rendered through analog and outdated digital media, gritted and flattened through printmaking processes, such as screenprinting, lithography and cyanotypes. Nakazato recently introduced a new material into her practice, this material, thermoplastic, moulds to anything using heat. Nakazato engages with physical places, moulding the material to different spaces, surfaces and objects, translating them directly into her work.
In our current reality, in an ever increasing digital world, where the pandemic is forcing us even further into the virtual realm, TWILIGHT both honors and questions the emergence of screen culture.
Mathew Zefeldt (Minneapolis, MN) received his MFA in Studio Art from the University ofCalifornia, Davis in 2011 and went to undergrad at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His work has been exhibited at Celaya Brothers Gallery, Mexico City; The Hole Gallery, NY; Joshua Liner Gallery, NY; Big Pictures, Los Angeles, CA; Hair + Nails, Minneapolis, MN. Zefeldt is currently a professor at the University of Minnesota. Zefeldt was an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center and has been awarded multiple Image Fund Awards, by the University of Minnesota.
Naomi Nakazato (Brooklyn, NY) received her MFA from the New York Academy of Art and a BA from Anderson University, South Carolina. Her work has been exhibited at Field Projects, NY; Tiger Strikes Asteroid New York; Geary Contemporary, NY; Paradise Palase, NY; VACATION Gallery, NY; Nakazato was awarded two Elizabeth Greenshelds Foundation Grands, an initiate Brandon Fellowship at the Greenville Centre for the Creative Arts in Greeville, SC. A Key Holder resident at the Lower East Side Print Shop, NY, in 2018/19; in 2017 she was a summer resident at the Leipzig International Artists Program in Leipzig, Germany.
*Reception on the 14th of November will be re-scheduled if needed, due to the political situation or the COVID-19 Pandemic