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CHEIM & READ:  Bianca Casady | Alex Van Gelder - 28 June 2012 to 8 Sept 2012

Current Exhibition

28 June 2012 to 8 Sept 2012
Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 6pm
547 West 25th Street
NY 10001
New York, NY
New York
North America
T: 212 242 7727
F: 212 242 7737

Bianca Casady, Lonely Moonshiner 2011
watercolor, colored pencil and crayon on paper
49 7/8 x 38 1/4 in 126.7 x 97.2 cm

Artists in this exhibition: Bianca Casady, Alex Van Gelder


Reception Thursday June 28 from 6 to 8 pm
Exhibition continues through September 8, 2012

Cheim & Read is pleased to announce an exhibition of recent works by multi-media artist Bianca Casady. The show will present installation works, drawings, collages, photographs, audio and projected video works. Casady's recent group of works address ideas of gender and race, especially as they are played out in prison. Themes of wounds/scars/reconstruction, monsters, power and subordination are explored. The feminization of the male as a means of domination is depicted in a Genet-like fantasy.

Casady's collages employ rough techniques, often sewn or taped together, with erasures which can transform a prison's stark reality into a metamorphosized stage of beauty and horror. A flower blooms where once existed a phallus. The Harmless Monster suite of large drawings morph from one work to the next. We see images of Cinderella, slaves, maids, widows, black widows, veils/burkas, rainbows and butterflies, wild flower gangs, prison fairies, mops and brooms, hankies and rags, hairnets and do-rags, broken teeth, jagged crystals, moon worshippers, thugs in dresses and swamp monsters.

Born in 1982 in Hawaii, Bianca Casady, whose mother is an artist and sister is her musical partner in the duo Cocorosie, had no formal education after the age of 16. She studied linguistics, sociology, visual arts and writing on her own. Her work, both as a musician and a visual artist is highly varied, experimental, subversive, yet integrated. Casady is responsible for the visual components of her band Cocorosie - designing album art, background projections, makeup and costumes. Her gallery and museum installations elucidate a multifaceted design. Casady's music and art are radical developments in today's contemporary art mix.

Recent projects include choreographing and directing two dance works, performed in March at Kampnagel in Hamburg. She and her sister, Sierra, curated the Donaufestival 2012 Festival, a music and performance festival in Krems, Austria, held in April. In February, Casady, in collaboration with her mother and sister, participated in the Arts in Marrakech International Biennale (4th Edition).

Bianca Casady's Daisy Chain is the first major New York exhibition since her 2007 Lil Girl Slim "Cosmic Willingness" Pipe Dreamz A Revelation exhibition at Deitch Projects. A catalogue, Daisy Chain, will be published by the gallery, with texts by the artist and Diego Cortez. A storytelling and dance tableau vivant by the artist, will take place during the opening reception.

Alex Van Gelder
Line of Inquiry

Cheim & Read is pleased to announce an exhibition of recent work by photographer Alex Van Gelder.

Van Gelder's most recent photographic series is a meditation on death, disintegration, and decay. In subtly toned platinum prints, he takes as his subject matter glass-printed sepulchral portraits found on gravestones, mausoleums, and family tombs, depicting those now buried below. The original images, exposed to the elements, have distorted with time; their surfaces are pocked and cracked, the once-crisp features blurred as apparitions. Often oval-shaped (Van Gelder retains the format), as in reference to the engraved cameo of a loved one, the portraits are memorials not only to the buried, but to the grief of those left behind.

The "representation" of death and its many iterations has long fascinated Van Gelder. Past series, like this one, have depicted the effects of transformation, in turn referencing the ultimate transition from life to death. He has photographed extensively in slaughterhouses, where animal cadavers, skinned and disemboweled, have been rearranged and abstracted; their resultant beauty belies the grotesqueness of their fate. Intimate photographs of Louise Bourgeois's hands, sinewy and gnarled, echo the artist's sculptural compositions while also exemplifying the results of her work and age. Van Gelder's focus on metamorphosis and transmutation reflects his deep interest in the photographic portraiture of West Africa, where he spent much of his career as a collector and expert in the genre. Specifically interested in the "death-bed" portraits of Bénin, Van Gelder brings sympathy for the culture's belief in voodooism and animism to his own work, imbuing his images with talismanic qualities. In West Africa, many believed that the soul of photographed subject was forever "trapped" in the image, therefore providing the photograph itself with powerful connotations.

Van Gelder's images are haunting and evocative. They seem to reference the blurred black-and-white canvases of Gerhard Richter, or the poignant, almost pointillist photographic works of Christian Boltanski, sharing a sense of introspection and yearning. The uncontrolled manipulation of the cemetery portraits by outside, unseen forces confronts notions of individuality and selfhood, providing additional layers of psychological depth to their original purpose. By re-photographing photographs, Van Gelder enforces these themes: "freezing" the subject once again, he comments on the way photography is used as an aid of identity, mourning and remembrance, while simultaneously provoking this understanding by removing the circle of intimacy from which the initial images were born.

Van Gelder resides in Paris. His work has been shown internationally, most recently in Zurich and Venice. His remarkable collection of West African photographs was shown in 2005 at the Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (Life and Afterlife in Bénin) and was accompanied by full-color catalogue published by Phaidon.

For more information please contact the gallery at 212-242-7727 or


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