Ghost Stories

May 11 - June 9 2019

Opening Reception Saturday, May 11 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Ortega y Gasset Projects is pleased to present Ghost Stories, a two-person exhibition featuring recent work by Norm Paris and Mark Shetabi, curated by Ortega y Gasset Projects Co-Director Lauren Whearty. The opening reception is on Saturday, May 11th, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM.  The exhibition will close with a catalogue launch and closing event on June 9th.

Ghost Stories presents Paris’ and Shetabi’s investigations into the inexplicable, the ghostly, and the ominous. Their works access viewers’ experiences of the familiar, transforming it into a haunting encounter. Norm Paris’ Monuments series of large-scale graphite drawings and plaster sculptures show the material and psychological making and unmaking of his subjects in ways which look to the past for glimpses into the future. Mark Shetabi’s sculptures based on movie theatres and hotel lobbies evoke a sense of a space that feels both distant and intimate as one discovers their eerie charms from a very close range. The play in both bodies of work between monumental and miniscule scale flips our expectations of things both epic and intimate.

Story and history converge and resurface as images and forms are unearthed through material processes, selected subjects, and obstructed views. Each artist’s work is alive and in a constant state of flux, where the viewer feels the residue of the artist’s process of making, unmaking, reframing, and editing.

Mark Shetabi (Philadelphia, PA) was born in New York, and as a child lived for five years in Tehran, Iran before his family returned to the United States in 1979, on the eve of the Iranian Revolution.  The experience of straddling two cultures often in conflict is an enduring subtext for much of his work. Shetabi’s paintings and sculptures are made with the same materials and tools and as a result, share a skin. Through his work, Mark uses representations of familiar subjects to provide a visual access to a subjective and disjointed overview of Iranian and American histories, politics and possible futures.

Norm Paris (New York, NY) is an artist from Cleveland, Ohio. He creates sculptures, drawings, and mixed-media works that explore his complicated relationship to popular culture of the recent past, focusing on objects, iconography, and mythology that alternately aggrandize and diminish historical figures over time. Paris re-envisions once heroic figures as relics, ruins, and absences; these bygone icons—once-celebrated athletes and musicians sourced from a mix of personal and public mythologies—are used as vessels to be modeled, covered, crated, or redacted. He alternately renders and obscures his iconography through labor-intensive processes of drawing, casting, and erasure

Open Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM and by appointment


The Skirt 

Winnie Sidharta Ambron: Boundless

May 11 - Aug 25 2019

Opening Reception Saturday, May 11 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

“You and I are close, we intertwine. You may stand on the other side of the hill once in awhile, but you may also be me while remaining what you are and what I am not”
- Trinh T. Minh-ha. Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism

Boundless’ is an installation of wall paintings and collage pieces addressing identity,  and how to represent one’s position and cultural experience through painting. Inspired by the highly vigorous and refined textile traditions within Javanese vernacular style — most of which are executed by women — the patterns on the walls evoke a similarly organic and living quality balanced somewhere between the decorative and something more evocative. The pieces, though contained within themselves, extend into the space through these patterns, loosening the boundaries between them.  This constant expansion and contraction creates an environment where fragments and colors ’speak’ to each other. These fragments and edges draw forth excerpts of time, impressions of space, temperature and the metamorphosis of bodies as landscapes; a portrayal of collective history and emotive cultural experiences. The (female) bodies have been transformed into vast and unrestricted landscapes.
These pieces offer my interpretation of selfhood through the language of painting; a language that comes from my personal experiences of living in a diaspora, rediscovering identity, and learning to inhabit two worlds at once: the present and the past, internal and external, microscopic and macroscopic. In these works, I find an association with a body that I have become, something that is both inside and outside of the margins, a manifestation of that which is other.

Winnie Sidharta is a painter based in Queens, New York. Born and raised in a minority Chinese community in East Java, Indonesia, Winnie eventually relocated to the United States in 2010. She studied painting in Indonesia and in Beijing, China, where she lived and worked as an artist before moving to the United States to pursue a graduate degree in Painting and Drawing. She received her MFA from The Ohio State University and later taught in the Painting and Drawing Department before settling in New York City.

Winnie’s formative years were set against a complex cultural background— a multi-ethnic and multi-lingual society imbued with religious pluralism— that shared an awareness of the long history of colonialism and the many revolts against it. She experienced directly and indirectly the fragile socio-political systems that manifested in the nation’s post-colonial search for identity.  This took the form of the eradication of ethnic and religious minorities during her upbringing. As a recent U.S. citizen, Winnie examines the experience of immigration and the kind of outsider complex it produces. This force is ever-present in her work as she continues to revisit her roots and build her identity as an artist.