76 Grand Street
Y. Z. Kami’s installation of sixteen portrait paintings transformed the gallery, creating the feeling of a memorial hall from the ancient world. His mysterious portraits seemed to embody two-thousand years of history, evoking both Alexandrian Egypt and contemporary New York. Kami’s solemn portraits of men and women of various ages were installed around the perimeter of the exhibition space.
Kami’s work references the earliest existing painted portraits, from Fayyum, Egypt in second century BC, as well as from contemporary portrait photography. The faces of his subjects seem to belong to people from the ancient Near East even though they might actually represent people the artist found in the streets of New York. The portraits also have a disconcerting mediated quality because they were painted from photographs rather than from life. The suspects hover in a timeless, disembodied state, neither ancient nor modern, neither dead nor alive.
“Who are these people?” viewers of Kami’s work often ask. They could be criminals or saints, oppressors or revolutionaries. They are intensely present, but their gazes are timeless. They are not immediate portraits but portraits of memories. Their subjects are both death and the persistence of life.
March 8 - 11, 2018
We will present a special solo project by the artist JR.
Image: JR, Migrants, Walking New York City, 2015
April - May 2018
18 Wooster Street
76 Grand Street
New York, NY 10013
Monday – Friday
10 AM – 6 PM
Tuesday – Saturday
Noon – 6 PM
The gallery reopens with People in April 2018.
+1 (212) 343-7300
View this website on a larger screen for the full experience.