G Fine Art Gallery Info Selected Archives Artists

Iván Navarro and Courtney Smith | Remake

May 17 - June 28, 2008


press release:

Opening Reception: May 17, 6:30 - 8:30pm

G Fine Art is pleased to announce REMAKE, Courtney SMITH and Iván NAVARRO.

The singular title REMAKE refers to the concept and method that joins Smith and Navarro’s work. They are connected both in their re-working of existing materials and in the medium of sculpture: building objects, creating environments or making videos depicting live sculpture.

Courtney Smith’s work begins with deconstructing and reconstructing furniture, ranging from fresh elaborate carving into old worn pieces, separating whole pieces into manipulatable parts, or hiding obvious functions behind mysterious redesigns. Smith’s recent work has split in two directions, completely breaking down the furniture into modular fragments that become building blocks to create new settings and designing new hybrid objects with plywood and old furniture parts.  Smith’s solo work in the show is based on the shapes and proportions of the Chinese Tangram game. The Tangram puzzle is fabled to have originated from a multi-piece furniture set during the Song Dynasty. Smith’s own hybrid objects will each represent a piece of furniture and a shape that can be arranged like the Tangram in order to create different domestic arrangements. Her minimal aesthetic combined with the existing decorative designs creates work that is curiously familiar and foreign, and incisive in its marriage between order and disorder.

Iván Navarro will be doing an installation in the project room based on Victor Jara’s poem Estadio Chile. Victor Jara was a Chilean teacher, theatre director, poet, singer-songwriter and political activist who was tortured and killed in a 1973 US-backed military coup that led to General Pinochet’s military dictatorship over Chile for 20 years. Navarro’s sculptures often translate music, design, and symbolic objects like ladders and wheelbarrows into neon light works that then reflect the association between hope and fear. Navarro describes the dichotomy of his materials in saying, “neon is very fragile, but it can electrocute you.” The light itself inherently stands for truth, while the darkness of his subjects is based on the fear of death or during the political repression of Navarro’s childhood, “disappearing.”

Together the artists will lay a floor in the gallery. Smith will set down narrow planks made of furniture fragments interwoven into a diminishing rectangular form that will surround a neon and mirror Floor Hole piece by Navarro. The viewer will be allowed to tread cautiously over this uneven area to peer into the plunging black hole in the center.

Courtney Smith began her career in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where she lived for 10 years before relocating to New York in 2000. Her work has been shown at the Museu de Arte Moderna-São Paulo; Museu de Arte Moderna-Rio; Museu de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires; Centro de Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico DF; the São Paulo Biennial and the Havana Biennial; the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid; Culturgest in Lisbon; the Wilhelm-Hack Museum in Germany; PS1/MOMA and the Chelsea Art Museum in New York.

Iván Navarro was born in Santiago, Chile in 1972. His work has been shown at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; Moscow Museum of Modern Art at Petrovka,  Art Center Winzavod, and Bloomberg, NY; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Santiago, Chile;, VCU Anderson Gallery, Richmond, VA; MOCA at Altria, NY; Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea, Santiage de Compostela, Spain; Witte de Witt, Rotterdam, Holland; Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales, Montevideo, Uruguay; El Museo del Barrio, NY; Museo de Arte de San Marco, Lima, Peru; SITE Sante Fe, New Mexico; Centro Cultural Matucana 100, Santiago, Chile; and Museo de Arte Moderno, Bogota Colombia.


Gallery Hours are Thursday - Saturday, Noon - 5pm
(and by appointment)

4718 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20011
T. 202.462.1601
F. 202.462.1604