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Press Release

James Wright Gallery is proud to announce _topia, a group exhibition of artists Nilay Lawson, Samantha Greenfeld, Charlie Engelman and Molly Tierney. The opening reception will be held on Friday, February 8th at James Wright Gallery in Downtown LA, with artists in attendance.

Defining the subjectivity of one’s place results in using affixes; a way to enact and hone-in, to indicate further and to be closer to or to control the presentation of.


That line. That space. That prefix not filled-in; seemingly left blank. This absence is a place too. What sort of world can we strive to create when the opportunities and institutions we were told to believe in have ultimately failed us? Breaking the rules of engagement, integration, and presentation we have collectively distanced ourselves from past models. We discuss, edit, curate, write, and install together. Syncretically using form, materiality, and imagery to explore and contextualize this liminal uncertain space.

Charlie Engelman’s sculptures perform a mimesis, using mold making and casting to recontexulize objects of everyday life. In Engelman’s negative casts, form separates from function, imbuing new meaning and narratives.

Samantha Greenfeld’s Midden series moves between states of fragmentation and wholeness, unifying independent relics into singular interconnected bodies. In the same way trash middens allow archaeologists to learn about and understand ancient civilizations, the amalgams of memories from found materials transform into portraits of a life, a community, a time, a place.

Nilay Lawson obliterates the picture plane with imagery and figuration. Lawson’s baseball-cap shaped painting, Can’t Hide What The Sun Can See depicts horrors of contemporary American urbanity on the front side, as the back explodes with flora camouflaging the entire surface. Lawson has developed a pictorial language of symbols that speaks to current political, cultural, and social tensions.

Using decomposition and assemblage as her process, Molly Tierney creates compositions that rethink the materiality of painting. In Vanguard Sentiment, she adheres unearthed canvases, weathered personal print ephemera, and a latex impression from her studio floor, converting the value of the surface into time and memory.

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Participating Artists:
Nilay Lawson
Samantha Greenfeld
Charlie Engelman
Molly Tierney

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