Reyes | Finn Announces Solo Exhibitions by Artists James Benjamin Franklin and Marcellus Armstrong

Reyes | Finn Announces Solo Exhibitions by Artists James Benjamin Franklin and Marcellus Armstrong

This summer, during the second annual Detroit Art Week, Reyes | Finn is opening solo exhibitions by Detroit-based artist James Benjamin Franklin and Detroit/Baltimore-based artist, Marcellus Armstrong. The gallery will also debut two outdoor sculptural installations by Dmitri Hertz and Nick Jaskey. The opening reception is Saturday, July 20, from 6-8PM.

In the main gallery, James Benjamin Franklin: Whole in the Dust features Franklin's new and never-before-seen sculptural paintings on playful, indefinably shaped canvases the artist has become known for. Delivering unwieldy textures, glazed with bright colored acrylic and epoxy, Franklin's style is untethered by traditional narrative. The materials are symbols of self-expression and creative freedom, varying from carpet, muslin, rubber, and sand, to bath mats and kitchen rags found in thrift stores in and around Detroit.

In the side gallery, Marcellus Armstrong: Smoke Garments features a new body of work directly inspired by the art direction and set of the classic 80s film, Coming to America starring Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall. Using resin, bubblewrap, wax, and deco mesh, the works explore movement and transition, the chase and folly, and the truth and myth of "seeking better opportunities." The exploration relates to Armstrong's own family's history of arriving to Baltimore during the Great Migration, when millions of African Americans migrated from America's rural South. Invested in the poetics of material, his works are composed of language culled from personal, found, and symbolic items.

Outside the gallery, Dmitri Hertz presents Snakes, Dice, Sticks, Rocks, which features an installation of new outdoor sculptures inspired by the Michigan's natural landscape and those who inhabit it. Across the outdoor space on the galleries exterior, Nick Jaskey presents a new wall bound sculpture and adjacent free-standing form. These works emerged from the artist's well known series featuring outdoor sculptural interventions around the city of Detroit.

James Benjamin Franklin (b. Tacoma, WA) received his BFA from Art Center College of Design in 1999. In 2017, he received his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. His artistic influences include Shirley Jaffe, Thornton Dial, Richard Diebenkorn, Alexander Calder and Agnes Martin among others. Recent exhibitions include Useless Utility, curated by Jova Lynne, Ford Curatorial Fellow at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD). Franklin lives and works in Detroit.

Marcellus Armstrong (b. 1987, Baltimore, Maryland) is an interdisciplinary artist invested in the intersection of archives, blackness and representation. His work is inspired by the poetics of hard and soft material. Drawing from personal, fictional and historical ephemera, his projects explore the dialectics of narrative and identity through material and form. Marcellus shares his time between Detroit and Baltimore.

Dmitri Hertz is a Los Angeles born artist based in New York. He has participated in exhibitions at Night Gallery (Los Angeles, CA), Rachel Uffner Gallery (NY, NY), and Cleopatra's (Brooklyn, NY) among others. Hertz was a 2016 recipient of the Emerging Artist Fellowship from Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens, NY. He received a BFA from Cooper Union (2009) and MFA in sculpture from Bard (2014).

Nick Jaskey is a self-taught artist from Detroit. Inspired by the subtleties of his environment, Jaskey creates paintings, murals, sculptures, installations, photographs, and collages that reflect and respond to his surroundings. In addition to existing in a number of public spaces, his work has been shown in galleries across the U.S., Europe, and at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. Most recently he self-published the book Signs of Life, chronicling fifteen years of Detroit documentary photography.

Reyes | Finn is a contemporary art gallery in Detroit, MI, established in 2017. Reyes | Finn reveals multiple exhibitions a year dedicated to emerging and mid-career artists. It is with such presentations that the gallery seeks to reveal a profile both internationally renowned and regional in dialogue. Collaborating with artists, patrons and institutions alike, the gallery hopes to continue to diversify and strengthen Detroit's arts community.

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