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Curated by Alison Saar, November 11, 2021 through January 8, 2022

SeenUNseen builds its energy around the idea of Spirit Portraiture. The belief that spirits can be captured in visual form predates ancient history, but emerged forcefully around the turn of the 20th century with the advent of popular photography. This new medium ushered in manipulations of image that could “capture” spirits and evoke other phenomenal presences on film. Extending this idea into the present day, the artists gathered here are believers, agitators, healers, and mediums, channeling power and narrative from history, folklore, politics, and ancestral inheritance. They catch hold of something from the great beyond and bring it to life within their work, giving face to the intangible energies that infuse our world.

JOJO ABOT , Rina Banerjee, Vanessa German, Kathy Grove, Julia Haft-Candell, Kenyatta A.C. Hinckle, Ricardo Vicente Jose Ruiz, Alison Saar, Keisha Scarville, Arthur Simms

L.A. Louver: 45 North Venice Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

Installation view of SeenUNseen, photo by Jeff Mclane

September 10 - October 16, 2021

CANDICE MADEY is pleased to feature the work of Julia Haft-Candell in two presentations this fall: at NADA x Foreland in Catskill, NY–during Upstate Art Weekend from August 28 to 29–and in the gallery at 1 Rivington as part of the gallery’s Front Room project from September 10 to October 22.

Combined, these installations present ceramic and bronze sculptures and related works on paper, offering a broad view of the LA-based sculptor's experiments in new materials, including recent work in which Haft-Candell combines her signature processes for working in clay with novel approaches to bronze.

Haft-Candell’s work often reads as anthropomorphic–not so much by taking the shape of the human body (although hands and legs recur), but rather by evoking through physical material a desire to connect, to touch, or to relate disparate parts. Her interest in science fiction lends a distinctly narrative component to her work, which creates the sense that her sculptures are set in motion and part of a larger story. Language features prominently, both directly through the use of text, and indirectly through the use of a lexicon of forms that the artist returns to recurrently.

In 2014, Haft-Candell started the infinite school, offering classes and programming to encourage alternative and experimental methods and voices from within her studio. the infinite school has evolved into an in-person experimental space for ceramic education outside of the institution. the infinite is an evolving fictional world invented by Haft-Candell to recontextualize our present moment. It provides a space to experimentally build new systems, both in artwork and pedagogy. Learning, analyzing, reevaluating and adapting are central to the infinite.

Haft-Candell lives and works in Los Angeles. In 2020, she presented her first solo exhibition in New York with CANDICE MADEY, Carrier Bag of Fiction. Other recent solo exhibitions include Night Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Parrasch Heijen Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; and group exhibitions at CANDICE MADEY, New York, NY; Inman Gallery, Houston, TX; Grand Central Art Center at California State University, Fullerton CA; the Craft Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA; Interface Gallery, Oakland, CA; Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York, NY; among others. Her work has been written about in Artforum, Surface Magazine, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times. She received an MFA from California State University Long Beach and BA in Studio Art and International Relations from University of California Davis.

above: Expanding Turquoise and Orange, 2021, bronze

November 13 - January 23, 2021

CANDICE MADEY is pleased to introduce Julia Haft-Candell’s first solo exhibition in New York, Carrier Bag of Fiction. The exhibition title references Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction, in which Le Guin explores millennia-old storytelling traditions that favor conflict and violence, weaponizing fiction to reinforce the myths of the hero and the strongman. Alternatively, Le Guin proffers a concept of fiction as a carrier bag or vessel used to gather the collective activities of everyday people.

Haft-Candell’s work often references science fiction and feminist writers. The epigraph of her Glossary of Terms and Symbols, a book and related series of watercolors started in 2017, also cites Le Guin:

I talk about the gods; I am an atheist. But I am an artist too, and therefore a liar. Distrust everything I say. I am telling the truth. The only truth I can understand or express is, logically defined, a lie. Psychologically defined, a symbol. Aesthetically defined, a metaphor.

― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness (1976).

Glossary of Terms and Symbols shares Le Guin’s interest in the slippery and often gendered meaning of language and symbols. Examining the subjective origins of storytelling and how dramatized retellings become inscribed as history, Le Guin prompts writers to scrutinize the visual cues and symbols we accept as historical truth–a charge Haft-Candell takes up in her work. Haft-Candell’s Glossary redresses universally-recognizable themes such as infinity symbols, combs, hands, and chains through a personal and poetic lens. The series of sculptures featured in this exhibition originated with a rewriting of a glossary entry titled “weaving,” paying homage to the commonplace material of baskets and bags.

Haft-Candell works primarily in ceramics, a material that the artist is drawn to for its ostensibly contradictory states: fluid and malleable when wet, and fixed when fired. Her attraction to clay’s transmutability corresponds to acts of redefinition at play in her evolving lexicon, elevating to ritual importance objects predefined as ordinary. Here, Haft-Candell’s inscribes “weaving” into the surfaces of her work in sgraffito patterns of warp and weft–the artist’s hand attempting to track with exactitude the volume of clay.

The work often reads as anthropomorphic–not so much by taking the shape of the human body (although hands and legs recur), but rather by evoking through physical material a desire to connect, to touch, or to relate disparate parts. Here, Haft-Candell pays heed to Le Guin’s suggested heroism, in which human nature may still refuse thoughtless oppositions and embrace the complexity of an ever-changing world.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Haft-Candell will offer a reading list. Periodic reading circles will be hosted via zoom, with the artist, gallery and the public in conversation on topics of world building, the role of storytelling in history and the inventive potential of science fiction. The first reading will include Le Guin’s The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction (1986) and the introduction to The Left Hand of Darkness (1976). Please visit the gallery website for dates and details.

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