Petzel is pleased to announce that on Thursday, May 19th, at the gallery’s parlor floor location at 35 East 67th Street, Dana Hoey and Caitlin Cherry will present Hello Trouble, a joint exhibition addressing the subject of the great American West. These two artists, from different generations, will unveil wildly different, yet related takes on the problem of how to best represent femininity. Cherry will show paintings, Hoey will show photographs. Cherry and Hoey decided to mount their work, which traffics in, and updates, deeply American iconography, next to each other so that the rich connections and differences between their unique creative processes, can be activated and clearly visible. Hello Trouble will be on view from May 19th until June 25th.
“Power, sex and the image in culture are subjects that transfix me,” says Hoey. “Caitlin Cherry’s work engages with these themes, but from the perspective of a younger, more digital generation. I’m thrilled to show with her.” Says Cherry: “Dana and I met on social media and we were introduced as collaborators by the writer Aruna D’Souza. I appreciated her artwork’s investment in representations of women, particularly she was depicting women fighting and at the time I was into weightlifting and considering getting into fighting as a hobby. We both share a deep love for unruly women and their complex relationships.”
Hoey has a long history of pirating masculine tropes as a response to what she sees as flaws in traditional conceptions of femininity. She re-imagines forms of power that are not included in the conventional lexicon of femininity, often substituting aggression in places where one would normally encounter passivity. In Hello Trouble, Hoey uses herself, her karate coach and her longtime collaborator Mary C. Greening to embody icons of American masculinity typically pictured using white men: the cowboy, the flag-waver, the gun-toter and the bodybuilder. Against the backdrop of the American sublime landscape, these cinematic photographs raise questions of American feminine identity, beauty and power.
Cherry’s paintings promote porous and fluctuating notions of gender, sexuality and racial performativity with contemporary celebrities as her “bannermen”. The practice considers the digital interfaces where these images are sourced. Her paintings read like a glitched and chaotic LCD laptop’s desktop screen, with overlapping tabs and browser tabs of research, memes, Tiktoks and porn open simultaneously with Youtube music videos. The idea of the iconic subject, is deterritorialized and information is found on the periphery. Her work captures the destabilized nature of Black femininity, particularly as it is surveilled and performed online, where it exists as an engine of culture to be mined and turned into reaction .gifs. Black femininity is networked with every instance it is performed in past, present, and future and this expanded idea of gender and race, but Cherry’s perspective does not exclude drag queens and trans women. To quote Aria Dean’s perspective in her essay “Rich Meme Poor Meme” on Laur M. Jackson’s “The Blackness of Meme Movement,” “blackness is the living tissue of memes, then memes, so black in so many ways, black as hell, constitute something similar to Robinson’s ‘ontological totality,’ a black collective being.” Through a thorough investigation of the “Yee Haw Agenda”, Cherry in Hello Trouble expresses how if a certain underinvested history is not given due service, it becomes a vehicle for futurity and a malfunction of culture in the present.
Dana Hoey is an American photographer born in San Francisco and based in the Hudson Valley, New York. She received a B.A. in Philosophy from Wesleyan University and an M.F.A. in photography from the Yale University School of Art. Hoey has exhibited in museums and galleries internationally. Solo exhibitions include Dana Hoey: Five Rings, Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit, MI (2017); Dana Hoey & Em Rooney, Raising Cattle, Montreal (2016); Love Your Enemy, at the Albany Institute of History & Art, NY (2014); Experiments in Primitive Living, organized by Maurice Berger, at the Center for Art Design and Visual Culture, University of Maryland in Baltimore, MD (2010); and Dana Hoey at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. (2000). Selected group exhibitions include Live Dangerously, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C. (2019); Moving Women, Analix Forever, Geneva Switzerland (2018); Love Job: Kieren Seymour and Dana Hoey, Sutton Gallery, Victoria, Australia (2017); We Pictured You Reading This at Redux Contemporary Art Center in Charleston, SC (2010); Muse at the Wildenberg Art Center, Tulane University in New Orleans, LA (2010), among many others. Her work is held in various public collections including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, CA; Middlebury College Museum of Art, VT; Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL; Princeton University Art Museum, NJ; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Caitlin Cherry draws on painting, sculpture, and installation in her multifaceted practice, coalescing into articulate and alluring representations of Black femininity. Filtering these media through layers of digital manipulation, her work draws parallels between Black femme bodies, frequently commodified and positioned as sexual assets, and the seductiveness of art objects in the commercial gallery circuit. Cherry is currently an Assistant Professor of Painting and Printmaking at Virginia Commonwealth University and the founder of the online program Dark Study, a contra-institutional space for radical learning about art and theory. Her paintings have been exhibited at the Bronx Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Performance Space, and The Studio Museum in Harlem, among other institutions of note. She is a recipient of a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Fellowship Residency and Leonore Annenberg Fellowship. Caitlin has recently participated in the group exhibitions “Convergent Evolutions: The Conscious of Body Work” at Pace Gallery in New York, collaborating with poet, musician, and activist, Moor Mother in a performance designed around her painting installation; “Late Night Enterprise” at Perrotin Gallery in New York, and “Luncheon on the Grass” at Jeffrey Deitch in Los Angeles.