With Themes of Remembrance, Resilience, and Renewal, ‘Snowdrops’ to Open at Fridman Gallery in March




Debra Cartwright, Untethered, 2022, Oil on Canvas, 48 x 48 in. Image courtesy of the artist and Fridman Gallery

Snowdrops is a multidisciplinary exhibition highlighting the work of six contemporary artists dealing with themes of remembrance, resilience, and renewal. The exhibition will open on March 13th, with an Opening Reception from 6-8pm.

Extract of snowdrop flowers has been used since ancient times to counteract memory loss and traumatic injuries to the nervous system. The plant’s poisonous bulbs procreate underground and bloom, through frost, in late winter. According to a Greek myth, Persephone, the goddess of spring and nature, was forced by her uncle Hades to inhabit the underworld for the fall and winter months, while nature withered, mourning her absence. Each spring she returned to Earth, bringing snowdrops with her. The exhibition is a meditation on death, growth, and transformation. 

Kazumi Tanaka, Kikui-Chrysantemum #4, 2024, Iron gall ink, Jewelweek ink, Callicarpa ink. Image courtesy of the artist and Fridman Gallery.

Katsuyo Aoki (b. 1972, Tokyo; lives and works in Tokyo) hand-sculpts elaborate skulls out of bone-white porcelain. The sculptures’ bright simplicity belies labyrinthine complexity of form and craftsmanship. The artist turns the skull – traditionally a symbol of mortality – into an object of awe and adoration, ultimately evoking a feeling of spiritual tranquility. 

Serwan Baran (b. Baghdad, 1968; lives and works in Beirut) centers his paintings on the turbulent history of his native Iraq, often referencing his military service. Baran depicts the camaraderie of his fellow soldiers using a palette drawn from the landscape, mythology and visual culture of ancient Babylon which stood in stark contrast to modern Iraq’s decades of instability and warfare. 

Eden Auerbach Ofrat, BAMA, 2024, Video Projection, 05:24 Minutes. Image courtesy of the artist and Fridman Gallery

Debra Cartwright’s (b. 1988, Annapolis; lives and works in New York City) bases her practice on research into the abhorrent practices of the “father” of American gynecology, J. Marion Sims, who performed experimental surgeries on enslaved Black women. Transcending violence and theft of selfhood, Cartwright’s paintings create space for re-embodiment, myth creation, and intimacy. 

Yashua Klos, Large Diagram of a Work/Life Balance, 2023, Woodblock prints on archival paper. Image courtesy of the artist and Fridman Gallery

Yashua Klos (b. 1977, Chicago; lives and works in New York City) creates intricate assemblages of woodblock prints representing African-Americans’ relationship to labor. The large-scale work in this exhibition references Art-Deco facades of early-20th century Detroit – home to generations of Black autoworkers. A woman’s hand, entwined with a flowering vine, breaks through the barrier.

Eden Auerbach Orat, Project melissa, 2022, Video Projection. Image courtesy of the artist and Fridman Gallery

Eden Auerbach Ofrat (b. 1979, Jerusalem; lives and works in Berlin and Tel Aviv) premieres a video trilogy, in which the artist constructs a flying machine from skeletons of bulls (symbols of masculine aggression). When their ribs turn into mechanical wings, thousands of bees (messengers of the gods) are released. She completes a nocturnal voyage to the place where the moon surrenders to the sun, and sets fire to a giant bull. A sacrifice begets ascension of the spirit. 

Kazumi Tanaka, Mandola, 2021 Channeled whelk shell, wood, metal string, animal bone, Bow: wood 1/2 in. Pedestal: 3 3/4 x 10 x 10 in. with mount. Image courtesy of the artist and Fridman Gallery.

Kazumi Tanaka (b. 1962, Osaka; lives and works in Beacon) makes tiny musical instruments from animal skulls, and draws with teas and inks handmade of wildflowers. Her new drawings focus on Kiku, a flower known in Japan for its medicinal properties and given as an offering to the deceased. Feelings of loss of ancestral and childhood memories give way to new connections with nature.

Snowdrops will be on view from March 13 to April 20, 2024 at Fridman Gallery, 169 Bowery, NYC. An Opening Reception will be held on March 13th from 6-8pm.