Artists Leah Guadagnoli and Kenichi Hoshine join contemporary program at Hollis Taggart
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Artists Leah Guadagnoli and Kenichi Hoshine join contemporary program at Hollis Taggart
Kenichi Hoshine, The Magician and The Thief, 2019. Acrylic on wood, 36 x 48 inches. Courtesy the artist and Hollis Taggart.

NEW YORK, NY.- Hollis Taggart announces its representation of artists Leah Guadagnoli and Kenichi Hoshine, both of whom have been featured in recent presentations at the gallery. Guadagnoli was included in the gallery’s group show Breaking the Frame in the fall of 2019 as well as in its first presentation at Untitled Miami that same year, while Hoshine was the subject of a solo exhibition, titled The Magician and The Thief, at the gallery in the winter of 2020. Both artists have also participated in Hollis Taggart’s popular Instagram LIVE series, Taggart Time, which is hosted weekly by the gallery’s Director of Contemporary Art Paul Efstathiou. The announcement also comes as the gallery is poised to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the formal launch of its contemporary program, which has grown to include the representation of a wide range of artists, including William Buchina, Hollis Heichemer, André Hemer, Dana James, and John Knuth, among others. The gallery will announce dates for new exhibitions featuring works by Guadagnoli and Hoshine as its reopening schedule clarifies in accordance with health and safety guidelines.

“We are delighted to welcome both Leah and Kenichi to the gallery. Their distinct conceptual and material approaches to abstraction highlight the ongoing interest and intricacy of the genre. We have been enthusiastic about their work for quite some time and are very much looking forward to having them as part of our program and to engaging new and growing audiences with their visions and practices,” said Paul Efstathiou, Director of Contemporary Art at Hollis Taggart. “We are also excited to be celebrating the first year of our contemporary program, which has seen incredible growth and response. Even with the current necessary shutdown, we have continued to work with a spectrum of artists and are enthusiastic about the exhibition and project ideas currently in development.”

Leah Guadagnoli’s whimsical sculptural paintings are inspired by an eclectic array of aesthetic modes and cultural references, from Art Deco stained glass to the colorful and bold designs of The Memphis Group, and from Swahili architecture to the stylings of public spaces in the American Midwest from decades past. Guadagnoli reinterprets this imagery through the lens of her own experience, creating abstract works that are fresh, often humorous, and utterly contemporary in their visual language. Using a diversity of materials, including painted pumice stone, plexiglass, acrylic-painted canvas, polyurethane foam, and textiles, she creates balanced compositions that meld hard-edged geometry with fluid free-form gesture. In Guadagnoli’s hands, these disparate inspirations and approaches result in works that burst with joyful energy. At the same time, her re-mixing of imagery and materials strikingly challenges the long-held boundaries between art and design; high and low culture; and mass production and individual creativity.

Of her practice, Guadagnoli says, “People often find my works difficult to ‘define,’ asking whether they are paintings or sculptures or how and from what they are made. I intentionally blur these categorical lines to spark a sense of wonder and curiosity. At the same time, nothing can be truly abstract. We cannot help but see something even in the simplest shapes and assign personal meaning to them. That’s why abstraction excites me, because I can incorporate myself but also leave the door open for someone else’s interpretation and sense of meaning.”

Kenichi Hoshine paintings are characterized by a fluid melding of figural elements and painterly, free-form gestures that evoke a spectrum of moods and narrative possibilities. Inspired by a wide range of subjects—from film and television, to theatrical sets, to found imagery—Hoshine’s practice is grounded in the experiences of his daily life. Expressed through the formal vocabulary of abstraction, these seemingly common images and scenes take on newfound emotionality and a sense of underlying story. While Hoshine’s early work incorporated a variety of materials, including charcoal, tea, beeswax, oils, and acrylics, his recent work has become increasingly pared down, focusing on the layering and erasing of acrylic paint. By physically scraping, covering, layering, and editing his paintings, Hoshine is able to more fully examine notions of revelation and obscurity—themes that have long been critical to his practice. His use of a limited number of materials has also infused a new spontaneity into his approach, yielding a wider range of gestural actions and effects.

Of his work, Hoshine says, “I’m inspired by the images, experiences, and ideas that arise from my day-to-day life. A book, a movie, or a set from play can become the jumping off point for a much larger formal and conceptual exploration. There is an open-endedness to all of my paintings—a kind of beginning to a conversation between the materials and me; the current moment and future ones; and the viewer and the canvas. This is in part why I have always found a fragment of an image more compelling than a whole picture. There is space for continuous interpretation and evolution.”

Leah Guadagnoli (b. 1989) has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Asya Geisberg Gallery (New York), Victori + Mo (Brooklyn), Sadie Halie Projects (Minneapolis), and 247365 (New York). Her work has also been included in a wide range of group presentations, including at Allouche Benias Gallery (Athens), Hollis Taggart Contemporary (New York), Freight and Volume (New York), Hashimoto Contemporary (San Francisco), Ortega y Gasset (Brooklyn), and White Columns (New York). She has been an artist in residence at Yaddo, Lighthouse Works, Vermont Studio Center, Wassaic, and Tilleard Projects. She received her BFA in Painting and Art History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her MFA in Visual Arts at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. She lives and works between Brooklyn and the Hudson Valley.

Kenichi Hoshine (b. 1977) has been exhibited widely in the U.S. and abroad. In 2016, his paintings were exhibited as part of the Colección Solo at the Espacio Solo Gallery in Madrid, as well as the two-person exhibition Untouchable: Dérive de l’espirit at the Galerie Guido Romero in Paris. Most recently, his work was presented in a solo exhibition at Hollis Taggart; a group show at the Harpy Gallery in New Jersey; in collaboration with Pt. 2 Gallery at the Juxtapoz Clubhouse in Miami; and in the solo exhibition Amawalk in California. In addition to his studio practice, Hoshine has taught at the Pratt Institute in New York. Hoshine was born in Tokyo, Japan; grew up in New Jersey; and studied in New York, where he attended the School of Visual Arts. He currently lives and works in New York.

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