Frieze Seoul 2023
September 6-9, 2023
Jessica Silverman is pleased to announce the gallery’s inaugural participation in Frieze Seoul and Woody De Othello’s first solo exhibition in Asia. Running from September 6 to 9, the exhibition is comprised of new ceramic, bronze, and wood sculptures as well as new oil paintings by the Miami-born artist of Haitian descent.
Titled “Mineral Memory,” Othello’s show explores home as a space where time and personal history are anchored. The first edition of a bronze sculpture titled the healers gathered around (2023) has two pairs of legs, seated ritualistically, emblematic of a small supportive community, which upholds others as well as themselves. On top of the bronze rests an exquisitely glazed ceramic head besieged by three hands, which suggest the figure is deep in thought, in the process of being molded in clay, or both. Among other things, the healers gathered around is about collective idea formation.
Installed around the edges of the room are six freestanding ceramic sculptures, dynamic forms caught in moments of mutation. As they say the bones of the earth are the stones (2023) comprises a hand-carved, long-limbed wooden base and a ceramic vessel, which is all arms and legs. In the diviner pointed at me (2023), Othello continues his investigation of the body and the magic of the natural world. In it, a rabbit wearing a mask perches on top of a leafy ceramic base next to a top hat. Was the rabbit wearing the hat or was the rabbit pulled out of the hat? Either way, the character and the artist himself demonstrate a flair of humor and mischief.
Five new paintings line the walls of the booth, parodying windows on the world and fusing domesticity and nature. The oil-on-canvas works depict dense arrangements of flowers and trees that the artist recalls from childhood and sees while running through forests near his home in the San Francisco Bay Area. Water among trees (2023) is an imagined landscape awash in a spectrum of green, located somewhere between Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County and Mt. Pelée in the Caribbean. The artist bisects the composition horizontally, rendering the bottom half underwater – an homage to the source of all life. Trees protect and shield (2023) and Holding Form (2023) show this fantastic forest, one at sunrise, the other at moonrise – reflections of the artist’s fascination with the passage of time.
A series of four undulating ceramic wall-works reinterpret the form of traditional face-clocks. Combining nostalgia with surrealism, the works’ primary colors, disruption of numerical iconography, and non-function ask the viewer to consider how our understanding of time has changed and how memories are structured and shaped.
Woody De Othello (b. 1991, Miami) holds an MFA from the California College of Arts, San Francisco and BFA from Florida Atlantic University. His work is in the permanent collections of Whitney Museum of American Art; Pérez Art Museum Miami; ICA, Miami; SFMOMA, San Francisco; Seattle Art Museum; LACMA, Los Angeles; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; San José Museum of Art, CA; John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI; and MAXXI National Museum of 21st Century Art, Rome, Italy, and many more. Othello has exhibited widely in group exhibitions at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; SFMOMA, San Francisco; Hayward Gallery, London; The Met, New York; Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery, Washington D.C.; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Fabric Workshop, Philadelphia; FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial; 33rd Ljubljana Biennial, Slovenia; and Center for Craft in Asheville, NC, among others. Large-scale public art commissions include San Francisco International Airport; de Young, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; and Cityline, Sunnyvale. He is represented by Jessica Silverman, San Francisco; Karma, New York; and Stephen Friedman, London. Othello lives and works in Oakland, CA.