ART:NYC: "Scarlets in Ghent"
Through June 12th

In contrast to the booty queens and misogynist rap-masters of our day, Xiomara De Oliver's new paintings are symbolically and literally filled with praise of the feminine.

She paints her female figures in decadent settings: beaches; luxurious rooms; lush, ambient gardens. Painted in a manner that balances the naive and the expressionistic, her work demands to be read intuitively.

Depicting only women, and surrounding them with metaphorically female objects, she creates realms that are visually opulent and sexually charged. Seemingly utopian, her paintings engage the viewer with their beauty, only to belie their intensely psychological content.

In “Queen Me”, (2004), the central figure (self-portrait) is attended to by smaller figures, her portrait on the wall mirroring her place in this self-enclosed society. She is adorned with a rose on her ankle and eats rings of calamari, testament to the sea, which emphasize her significance as a source of creation.

Similarly fertile is Xiomara's use of color, as evinced in “I Never Got to Do a Spa Weekend in Palm Springs”, (2004). A vivid field of blues and greens creates an atmosphere reminiscent of Qing Dynasty landscapes. This undulating space is dotted with female figures indulging in bright red strawberries. Mirroring this opulence are flowering trees, beds, and red bathtubs.

This is the artist's third one-person show at RARE. De Oliver exhibits regularly at MW Projects in London and at Galerie Anne de Villepoix in Paris.

In the accompanying “Rare Plus” event, Karsten Krejcarek creates a tableau of calamity, half-scaled, in which a lone female figure lies sprawled on a green tennis court with racket and tennis balls by her side.

Her diminutive size and disjointed posture implies a crestfallen state of tactical emotional withdrawal.

Using tennis as a metaphor for interpersonal relationships, the installation suggests the nature of botched adoration, the demoralizing quality of loss, and the resulting incapacity for reconciliation. This is Karsten's first
one-person exhibition at Rare.

Find it: Rare
521 West 26th Street
New York, New York 10001
Get info: (212) 268-1520

Find more art events worldwide in the June 2004 issue of "Arte Six".