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Lesley Heller Workshop Presents 'Jade Townsend: Leviathan' & 'Inside, Outside - Outside In' Galleries, 4/22-5/25

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On April 22 – May 25, 2012 (Opening Reception: Sunday, April 22, 6-8 pm) Lesley Heller Workshop will present Gallery 1: Jade Townsend: Leviathan and Gallery 2: Inside, Outside - Outside In Dawn Clements, Theresa Ganz, Björn Meyer-Ebrecht, Fran Siegel.

Gallery 1: Jade Townsend's new body of work, Leviathan, assembles an absurd and fragmented narrative. As told by an amalgam of outcasts – the rebel, the orphan, the mystic – a coalescing set of stories manifests as a sculptural passageway through which to pass and return. Similar to his past mixed media sculptures and installations that critique and intensify tragic sociopolitical realities, Leviathan layers multiple myths and allegories, along with their archetypal characters, to pursue the conflicting destinations of contentment and rebellion. Whether or not such a goal is achievable is of little concern. Rather, as Townsend has continued exorcise in his work, it is the failure to see what is given up as we seek what we wish to gain.

"Now, from this peculiar sideway position of the whale's eyes, it is plain that he can never see an object which is exactly ahead, no more than he can one exactly astern." Moby Dick

In Townsend's account, the inevitable blind spot of futile pursuits is reified in the gallery as an Jade Townsend abandoned commercial box truck. Entered through the rear of its empty corpus and delivered to the decapitated head, the everyday Leviathan is simultaneously the whale and  the ship that sought its demise. As it lies in state, the delivery truck serves as a prop of triumph and defeat. Surrounded by drawn imagery of misguided rebels, reckless strivers and their delusional conquests and superstitions, the gutted beast foretells their fate. Unable to see what is in front of them, the vision-impaired Ahab, Sisyphus, and the tarot reader mingle together, each interrupting the others' tales of implacable affliction and curse.

Jade Townsend lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Recent shows include 'New Image Sculpture' at the McNay Museum in San Antonio, TX and 'Drawn to You' at Gallery Poulsen in Copenhagen, DK. He is currently working on a collaborative exhibition with William Powhida in Denmark.

Gallery 2: Inside, Outside - Outside, In highlights the work of four artists Dawn Clements, Theresa Ganz, Björn Meyer-Ebrecht, and Fran Siegel, who are informed by the space and structure found in architecture and nature. Through an organic process of cutting, pasting, drawing and taping each artist takes the visible and transforms it into a psychological representation of space.

Taken from an aerial perspective, Fran Siegel's drawings investigate the complexity of urban landscapes and structures. Using cross hatching done with pen and graphite, combined with washes of ink, the work has a map like quality. Abstract spaces and shapes are formed by a process of cutting and pasting, and through collage, forms overlap and reclaim space.

Familiar patterns in nature are amalgamated with shapes found in architecture in the work of Theresa Ganz. New structures are created by cutting up photographs of the natural environment which are then layered and assembled into low sculptural reliefs. Each form becomes an invitation: a tree branch becomes an arch, a wreath of leaves becomes a portal. "My work becomes an expression of cognitive dissonance-it comes from a desire for, and a wariness of, a dark, magical forest."

Björn Meyer Ebrecht views his work as a documentation of social and historical change. "I am especially intrigued by the absence of history, a form of collective amnesia, which reverberates in these images." Based on imagery of postwar buildings, his interior and exterior views examine the relationship between architectural structure and the natural environment. Drawing and taping are essential to his process.

Dawn Clements' sumi-ink and ball point pen drawings are glimpses into her personal interiors, and more intimately, into her mind. At times, she may cut and edit the work, adding paper necessary to achieve a certain scale. The drawings are her journals of what she "sees, touches and desires." Whether in the environs of Los Angeles, an apartment in New York City, Post-War Germany, or a walk in the woods, each work has a quality that is familiar to us, yet we are left questioning our sense of place.

Lesley Heller Workshop is located at 54 Orchard Street, New York NY 10002. For more information visit www.lesleyheller.com.

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