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.

November 12-January 9, 2021

Inman Gallery is pleased to present Yevgeniya Baras and Julia Haft-Candell: Parts of Speech, a two-person exhibition featuring paintings by Baras and ceramic sculpture by Haft-Candell. The exhibition will be on view from Wednesday, November 12 through January 9, 2021 and is accompanied by a brochure with essay by Clare Elliott, Associate Research Curator at the Menil Collection, Houston.

Parts of Speech brings together a sculptor and a painter whose working process is intuitive and whose tactile abstractions straddle the symbolic and the mystical. Baras' paintings are assembled, with new elements and layers added over time, resulting in idiosyncratic objects with strong bas-relief textures and sumptuous surfaces. Haft-Candell's ceramic sculptures marry two surface treatments: one, unglazed black clay with a white slip into which the artist has carved a woven sgraffito motif, and the other, layers of glaze over organic forms. Seen together for the first time in Parts of Speech, the artists' parallel approaches are made clear. Additionally, Haft-Candell's sculptures bring out the objecthood of Baras' paintings, and Baras' paintings invite closer inspection of the surface treatments and undulations of Haft-Candell’s sculptures.

Uri Aran, ektor garcia, Julia Haft-Candell, Adam Henry, Steffani Jemison, Sahar Khoury, Marlene McCarty, Joan Nelson, Em Rooney and Didier William

For its inaugural exhibition at 1 Rivington Street, CANDICE MADEY is pleased to announce an exhibition titled There Will Come Soft Rains.

The exhibition title comes from a short story by Ray Bradbury published in The Martian Chronicles in 1950, in which a fully automated house continues its daily routines devoid of human life. The domestic setting symbolizes humanity’s more ambitious attempts to control time and the environment, and the disastrous outcome of excessive productivity, consumption, and competition. The story concludes with the mainframe repeating the same date and time endlessly, linear concepts of time and progress having become obsolete. Rather, entropy and nature reclaim what remains of built human architecture.

The exhibition examines the tenuous logic of human lexica—such as language, architecture, taxonomies, or timelines—and the anthropic arrogance inherent to systems that are created to uphold existing hierarchies. Artists in the exhibition explore the tensions between structure and chaos, culture and nature, reason and instinct—ultimately embracing a strategy of fissure, decay, chaos, and rebirth.

The gallery is open to the public Thursday–Saturday, 11am to 6pm, in accordance with city guidelines and with enhanced safety measures in place. A limited number of visitors will be permitted at a time, so advance appointments are recommended.