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Character Traits

Nel Aerts, Brian Scott Campbell, Austin Eddy, Austin English, Ryan Michael Ford, Dawn Frasch, Raina Hamner, Sojourner Truth Parsons, D'Metrius Rice

July 9 – August 14, 2015

Installation of wall pieces
Installation of wall pieces
Installation of wall pieces
Installation of wall pieces

Press Release

Asya Geisberg Gallery is pleased to present Character Traits, a group exhibition curated by Matthew Craven, with Nel Aerts, Brian Scott Campbell, Austin Eddy, Austin English, Ryan Michael Ford, Dawn Frasch, Raina Hamner, Sojourner Truth Parsons, and D'Metrius Rice.

Character traits are the myriad of distinct qualities that, in tandem, define our individuality. In isolation, each trait can seem predictable or cliché, yet within the context of art, these traits transcend their fixed entities to become infinitely idiosyncratic gestures, recombined in limitless ways to determine a unique point of view. Disembodied, and allowed to interact and mutate, these characteristics can evolve into an original visual language. Each artist in this exhibition evokes a surreal world inhabited by a litany of unorthodox and bizarre characters, creating a paragon of sui generis interpretations.

Character Traits brings together nine young artists who reinvigorate the rich intersection of figurative abstraction via distinctive compositions, materials and processes. Each artist channels a unique range of influences that capture the characteristic spirit of a culture, movement, or a specific time period, while representing an aesthetic very much in the now. Motifs reminiscent of modernism, outsider assemblage, thrift store paintings, psychedelic cartoons, and zine culture permeate the work. These artists are not defined by their inspiration, but rather by the way each one has refined their influences and impulses into something entirely personal, creating fascinating languages and symbols, from the eccentric to the mundane, in order to tell their stories. 

Nel Aerts lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium, and received her MFA from Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent. Aerts has had numerous solo exhibitions in Belgium and abroad, including Trampoline Gallery, Antwerp, KIOSK Gallery, Ghent, Carl Freedman Gallery, London, MOTInternational, Brussels, and Kunsthalle Charlottenborg, DE. Her work has been exhibited at Liste Basel and Art Brussels, and in group exhibitions including L'Europe des Artistes in Oslo, curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Levy Delval, Brussels, and Galerie Bernhard, Zurich, with upcoming exhibitions planned at De Bond, Bruges, and De Chocoladefabriek, Tongerren, BE. She has published numerous artist books, and currently has a residency at the Van Gogh Museum in Zundert, NL.  

Brian Scott Campbell was born in Columbus, OH and lives and works in Los Angeles. He received a BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design and an MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, NJ. He has been included in exhibitions at TSA Los Angeles, David Shelton Gallery, TX, Jeff Bailey Gallery, NY, and Circuit 12 Contemporary, TX, among others. Awards and residencies include Atlantic Center for the Arts Residency with master artist Dana Schutz, a McColl Center for Visual Art Full Fellowship, and the Artist in the Marketplace Program, Bronx Museum, NY. His work has been reviewed in ArtInfo, Whitehot Magazine, and Flaunt.  

Austin Eddy was born in Boston, MA and lives and works in Brooklyn. He received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL. Eddy has had solo exhibitions at Roberto Paradise Gallery, San Juan, PR, Christian Brest, NY, Get This Gallery, Atlanta, Bendixen Contemporary Art, Copenhagen, DK, and Important Projects, Los Angeles. He has been included in group exhibitions at Cheim and Read, NY, Morgan Lehman Gallery, NY, Left Field Gallery, CA, Minotaur Projects, CA, Josee Bienvenu Gallery, NY, and Freight and Volume, NY, among numerous others. Eddy has several upcoming exhibitions scheduled for 2015 including Denny Gallery, NY, Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe, NY, Kravits Wehby Gallery, NY, and Coburn Projects, London, UK. 

Austin English was born in San Francisco, CA and lives and works in Brooklyn. He studied lithography at The Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, Sweden. His work has been exhibited in New York at galleries including The Hole, Greenpoint Terminal Gallery, 247365 and Beginnings Gallery, as well as internationally in Sweden, Croatia, Montreal and Toronto. He has also published solo books of drawing and cartooning, including Christina and Charles, The Disgusting Room and the forthcoming Gulag Casual. His illustration work has appeared on The New York Times Op Ed page. Most recently, he was awarded a residency in the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program, NY. 

Ryan Michael Ford lives and works in New York. He earned a BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design, GA, Magna Cum Laude. He has exhibited internationally at the Essl Museum in Vienna, AT, and Gallery Poulsen in Copenhagen, DK. In New York his work has been included in shows at Luhring Augustine, Greene Naftali, Parlour Gallery, Harbor Gallery with Regina Rex, Outlet Gallery, Storefront, Graham Gallery, Rivers Gallery, Rare, and Factory Fresh Gallery, among others. Most recently Ford exhibited with 500X Gallery in Dallas, TX.

Dawn Frasch lives and works in New York. She has been included in exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Museum, MO curated by Nicole Eisenman and A.L. Steiner, The Lodge Gallery, NY, Galerie Protégé, NY, Cindy Rucker Gallery, NY, RARE Gallery, NY, Koenig and Clinton, NY, Ten Haaf Projects, Amsterdam, and Polad-Hardouin, Paris, among many others.

Raina Hamner lives and works in New York. She received her BFA at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2003. She performed in "The Hostess Never Lies" at the Sculpture Center in collaboration with artist Agathe Snow in 2007. Hamner exhibited at Bellwether Gallery in 2009, and has contributed to the 2010, 2012, 2014 Brucennials. In 2015, she has been included in group exhibitions at Shoot The Lobster, NY, and Gavin Brown Enterprise, NY. She is currently included in the exhibition All Types of Characters at Joshua Liner Gallery, NY.

Sojourner Truth Parsons lives and works in Los Angeles, and received her BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She was recently included in a group exhibition at Jessica Bradley, Toronto, and has been included in group exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Ottowa, Halifax, and Copenhagen. Parsons has been awarded residencies at the Santa Fe Art Institute, The Rooms at Terra Nova National Park, and the Ross Creek Center for the Arts. She currently has work in a group exhibition focused on contemporary drawing at Oakville Galleries, ON.

D'Metrius Rice lives and works in Baltimore, MD, and received his BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. Solo exhibitions in Baltimore include The Windup Space, Metro Gallery, and Terrault Contemporary. Group exhibitions in Baltimore include Nudshank Gallery, John Fonda Gallery, Charles Theater, among others. Rice has had site specific installations commissioned at The Whole Gallery, Baltimore, and The Hexagon, Baltimore.