Protean

Protean brings together a selection of post-war and contemporary works that explore the primordial development of both language and physical being. The presentation’s title takes its name from the shape-shifting Greek sea god, Proteus, who came to be regarded as a symbol of the original matter from which the world was created. Alluding to the dawning of life and guided by metaphysical reference, the presentation invites contemplation on the ways in which artists continue to grapple with ontological inquiry. Protean features work by 15 artists and will be accessible via the gallery’s Viewing Room from May 18–June 8, 2020.

Many of the works in the presentation conceive of their subjects in states of emergence or transmutation, recalling the quiet manifestation of form from the darkness that recurs in origin stories. Though the persistence of curved lines, biomorphic shapes and outcropping limbs combine to suggest the presence of bodies—human or otherwise—their uncanny juxtapositions and amalgamations refuse a simple figurative reading. Just as this sense of physicality in flux nods to the poetic narrative of evolution, the recurring use of symbolism and invocations of myth encourage a consideration of the presence of the divine.

These symbols, combined with ambiguous mark-making, evoke alphabets that are rudimentary or otherworldly, exploring the conceptualization of language and the stage of development at which intelligent beings begin to conceive of themselves and each other. Ruminating on both the material of spirit and the spirit of material, these reflections on the genesis of existence reaffirm the mystery of the world and the wonder it can inspire.

Included in the presentation are works by Alma Allen, Theodora Allen, Ali Banisadr, JB Blunk, Constantin Brancusi, Saint Clair Cemin, Max Ernst, Barry Flanagan, David Hockney, Robert Motherwell, Elie Nadelman, Elliott Puckette, Bosco Sodi, Dorothea Tanning, and Tezontle.

Dorothea Tanning

Different People

1986

watercolor and graphite on paper

40 x 30 inches
101.6 x 76.2 cm

$40,000.00

1
2
3
1

Saint Clair Cemin

The Mystery of Language

2020

ink on watercolor paper

11 3/4 x 8 1/4 inches
29.7 x 21 cm

$10,000.00

What an artist does in the studio is more primordial than religion. What an artist is doing is re-enacting the most primordial act, the “Acte Par Excellence,” which is the act of perception. Think about a bacteria or any living creature, the first requirement for this creature to live is to perceive. There will be nothing, there will be no action without perception.


—Saint Clair Cemin

Theodora Allen

From Dark Into Light and Back Again I

2019

oil on linen

40 x 34 inches
101.6 x 86.4 cm

$21,000.00

1
1
2
3
4
5
6
7

Max Ernst

Jeune femme en forme de fleur, Great River, Long Island

1944

bronze with black patina

14 3/8 x 14 1/4 x 5 5/8 inches
36.4 x 36.2 x 14.3 cm

$275,000.00

360 View

Before he goes into the water, a diver cannot know what he will bring back.


—Max Ernst

Constantin Brancusi

Le Nouveau-Né [II] et Tête d’enfant endormi (Newborn [II] and Head of a Sleeping Child)

ca. 1923 (printed 1930s)

gelatin silver print

11 3/4 x 15 5/8 inches
29.8 x 39.7 cm

$225,000.00

1
1
2
3
4
5
6

Alma Allen

Not Yet Titled

2014

grey marble with wooden base

44 x 30 x 30 inches
111.8 x 76.2 x 76.2 cm

$40,000.00

360 View

My world is worth returning to.
I’ll enter and exit empty-handed.
And my proof I was there
will be only words,
which no one will believe.


Conversation With A Stone by Wislawa Szymborska

Barry Flanagan

Organic Structure

2002

bronze

6 x 12 x 5 1/2 inches
15.2 x 30.5 x 14 cm

$13,000.00

360 View
1
2
3
4
5
1

Elliott Puckette

Untitled

2017

ink on paper

25 3/4 x 33 3/4 inches
65.4 x 85.7 cm

$28,000.00

Bosco Sodi

Untitled

2017

clay

31 1/2 x 31 1/2 x 31 1/2 inches
80 x 80 x 80 cm

$50,000.00

1
2
3
4

Language is a part of our organism and no less complicated than it.


—Ludwig Wittgenstein

1
2
3

Robert Motherwell

Black Leaves

1950

oil on Bone Board

25 x 30 inches
63.5 x 76.2 cm

$400,000.00

David Hockney

Washington

1961

pen, pencil and pastel on paper

18 x 24 inches
45.7 x 61 cm

$210,000.00

1
1
2
3
4

Elie Nadelman

Head of a Woman (Emerging from Stone)

c. 1915-1920

marble

9 3/4 x 10 3/4 x 8 3/4 inches
24.8 x 27.3 x 22.2 cm

$175,000.00

Ali Banisadr

World Upside Down 6

2018

ink on paper

24 x 30 inches
61 x 76.2 cm

$25,000.00

1
2

Visual philosophy is how I deal with questions in life. I can deal with things that I can’t describe in words.


—Ali Banisadr

1
2

Tezontle

Textile blocks II

2020

wood and mixed media

29 1/8 x 21 1/4 x 2 inches
74 x 54 x 5 cm

SOLD

JB Blunk

Untitled

ca. 1990

basalt

12 1/2 x 19 x 5 inches
31.8 x 48.3 x 12.7 cm

$85,000.00

1
2
3

Terms & Conditions:

Copyright for all artworks retained by artist estate and representative gallery. Please contact archives@kasmingallery.com for more information.

close button close button Kasmin Gallery Instagram Kasmin Gallery Facebook Kasmin Gallery Twitter Kasmin Gallery WeChat
close button close button Kasmin Gallery Instagram Kasmin Gallery Facebook Kasmin Gallery Twitter Kasmin Gallery WeChat