Livingston Manor, NY – Catskill Art Space is pleased to announce Front of House, an exhibition of new work from Michele Araujo, Joy Episalla and Carrie Yamaoka. The exhibition will be on view in the ground floor galleries of Catskill Art Space, 48 Main Street, Livingston Manor, NY, from December 2 – 30, 2023. Exhibition hours are Friday and Saturday, 11am – 5pm, and Sunday 11am – 3pm.
Front of House
Michele Araujo, Joy Episalla and Carrie Yamaoka have known each other since they waited tables together at what was probably the first Cajun restaurant in New York City, La Louisiana. It was the 1980s and they were all in their twenties. The restaurant was small and there were many times when it was just the three of them working the floor with one busboy. Restaurant staff are divided between front of house and back of house. Back of house prepares and cooks the food and does the dishes. Front of house delivers and presents the food to the customers. Waiters are like ambassadors for what the kitchen creates. An exhibition is a front of house activity. It is when the work, what artists do, is presented to the viewer. The work delivers the artists’ investigation, exploration, failures, and successes.
Michele, Joy and Carrie all interact with material in a way that interrogates and challenges our definitions of painting, sculpture, or photography. They combine ingredients and submit them to processes, as much culinary as aesthetic, resulting in much food for thought. In a way that strains the restaurant analogy, this exhibition offers more than a feast for the senses, although it certainly does offer that. The work in the exhibition also delves into the areas of agency, cognition, phenomenology, authorship, and subject/object relations.
Sometimes an exhibition can feel like a disruption of the artistic process, as if a chef were suddenly required to stop cooking and become a waiter, or more aptly, when the chef ventures out of the kitchen to interact with the diners. Ultimately the chef and the artist need you, the public, to complete what they make, to take their experience and make it your experience, to consume and enjoy.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Michele Araujo is a painter living in Brooklyn, NY. Her paintings function within a contradiction. The beauty achieved through paint, color and gesture is interrupted by the inclusion of external material, collaged images from an array of sources -wallpaper, photos, contact paper, suggesting both a resistance to making meaning explicit and a love of possibility. She has shown most recently at Osmos Address (New York) and Studio 10 (Brooklyn). She has twice been a fellow at Yaddo and has received fellowships from both the National Endowment for the Arts and Art Matters. She is a co-founder of Four Walls, an artists’ forum and exhibition space whose archives are housed in the Smithsonian Archive of American Art. Writing about her work has appeared in Bomb Magazine, Two Coats of Paint, Tussle, and Talking Pictures Blog.
Joy Episalla (she/they) is a New York-based interdisciplinary artist, whose work repositions photography and the moving image into the territory of sculpture. Episalla is interested in transgressing and challenging photographic fixity. Their engagement with the dynamics of transformation, multiplicity and hybridity comes out of the queer feminist position they occupy, and from which the work is activated. She has been exhibiting in the US and internationally since the 1980s, including at MoMA/PS1(New York), Artists Space (New York), the ICA (Philadelphia), the Wexner (Columbus), Centre Pompidou and Palais de Tokyo (Paris). Writing about her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Artforum, the New York Times and Two Coats of Paint. They are represented by Tibor de Nagy Gallery (New York). Episalla is a member of the queer art collective fierce pussy.