FAUNA: Juan Antonio Olivares and Kelly Akashi

17 June - 24 July 2021 London
Galerie Maria Bernheim LONDON is pleased to present Fauna, an exhibition of new works by Kelly Akashi and Juan Antonio Olivares exploring interactions of the human and natural worlds across time and space.

Continuing his ongoing interest in the microscopic and the cosmic, Juan Antonio Olivares presents a series of graphite drawings based off scanning electron microscopic scans, animal and telescopic imagery. Playing with the accuracy of scientific renderings, the works fuse objectivity with emotive gesture. 

Through his wide-ranging practice encompassing video and sound installations, sculpture, and drawing, Olivares visualizes relatively common subjects through an unfamiliar lens. These existential works remind us how as individuals we are much more connected to the natural world than we are separated.

Juan Antonio Olivares (b. 1988, Bayamón, Puerto Rico) received a BA in Visual Arts and Philosophy from Columbia University in 2011 and attended the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf with Prof. Christopher Williams from 2015-6. The Whitney Museum of American Art held his first institutional solo show Moléculas in 2018 and he has exhibited widely internationally including at Sadie Coles HQ, London, ChertLüdde, Berlin and Bortolami, NY. The artist lives and works in New York.

Since 2014, glass has been an integral component of Kelly Akashi’s work. Evoking the historical and emotional significance of objects, the artist’s glassmaking is one of several processes—including assembling and casting - that embody the passage of time.

Through her practice, Akashi consistently highlights the history of her materials, reinterpreting the different ways that they have been used by generations before her; looking back at glassmaking and its origins in Mesopotamia, the Island of Murano, and the Studio Glass Movement, the versatility of this material and its history through thousands of years is a fundamental staple in her work. Featuring casts of shells and hands, the timeline represented by these sculptures is an investigation by the artist into these object’s ability to contain and transmit emotion.

The show elicits a conversation into consciousness, humanity, and the timeline of our own history and the works aim to engage the viewer in conversations surrounding the different facets of time.

Kelly Akashi (b. 1983, Los Angeles) lives and works in Los Angeles, California. She graduated with an MFA from University of Southern California in 2014. Akashi studied at the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste - Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main and received her BFA at Otis College of Art and Design in 2006. Her work can be found in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles;Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; CC Foundation, Shanghai; X Museum, Beijing; The Perimeter, London; David Roberts Art Foundation, London; Sifang Museum, Nanjing, among others.
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