The term ‘beaver fever’ doesn’t lack for associations in excess of its primary meaning (as a common name for giardia), especially when questions of gender and feminism are at play. The phrase’s convulsive suggestibility fits these three painters—Angela Dufresne, Pia Dehne, and Elizabeth Bonaventura—who are showing together for the first time. Their work shares a punning play on the natural world in which realism quickly turns unreal. Dufresne borrows from history painting, the Hudson River School, and mythology to present a world replete with the pleasures of the flesh (and fish: Dufresne is a keen fly fisher).
Dehne veers from figuration to abstraction and back again, creating a haunting sense of what lies behind her paintings and asking the viewer to reckon with our tendency to wrest abstract visuals into images as a way of making sense of the world. Bonaventura can use a single line or color—the simplest of forms—to evoke feelings of alienation in nature, while her uncanny twinned portraits mine a fascination with doubles and doubling. ‘Beaver Fever’ is guest curated by writer and critic Jennifer Kabat and titled for a fictitious fanzine—celebrating beavers, their lodges and upstate life—she has long hoped to publish.
Above: ‘Catch Directions and Toys.’ Angela Dufresne, 2015
‘Mr. Cash’ (2012) and ‘Stalker’ (2017). Pia Dehne
‘Two People Standing.’ Elizabeth Bonaventura, 2016
Angela Dufresne has been the subject of twenty-three solo exhibitions, including at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, CA, and Macalester College in Minneapolis, MN, and has shown in group exhibitions at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in NY, the National Academy of Arts and Letters in NY, the RISD Museum in Providence, RI, the Kemper Museum in Kansas City, Brooklyn Academy of Music in NY, the University of Richmond Museum in VA, the Aldrich Museum in CT, Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers, NY, the Rose Museum in Waltham, MA, Mills College in Oakland, CA, Minneapolis School of Art and Design, and elsewhere. She has received grants from the National Academy of Arts and Letters in NY, the Jerome Foundation in Minneapolis, and the Guggenheim Foundation. An assistant professor in the Painting Department at the Rhode Island School of Design, Dufresne also organizes exhibitions across the country and writes about art for Art 21 and Hyperallergic. She lives and works in Halcottsville and Brooklyn.
Pia Dehne received her MFA from from the Düsseldorf Art Academy in 1994 while studying under Professor Markus Lüpertz. Dehne’s work has been the subject of several solo exhibitions, including ‘Naked City’ (2004) at Deitch Projects, and her most recent show at AJL Gallery in Berlin 2013. She currently lives and works in the Catskills.
Elizabeth Bonaventura has shown work at Kinkead Contemporary Gallery in Los Angeles, SLC Contemporary Gallery in Albuquerque, NM, the Educational Alliance in downtown New York, Schroeder Romero & Shredder Gallery in Chelsea, and Green Gallery in Brooklyn, NY. Bonaventura was a recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship Award in Painting in 2012. She lives and works in Halcottsville and Brooklyn.
Jennifer Kabat contributes frequently to Frieze and her essays have appeared in Granta, Harper’s, Virginia Quarterly Review and The White Review. Recipient of a 2013 Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for her criticism, she teaches at NYU and the New School, and her writing has been included in exhibitions at Arnolfini (Bristol UK), Index (Stockholm Sweden), and The Poor Farm (Little Wolf, WI), where her ongoing collaboration with Kate Newby was featured. She is working on a book of linked essays, ‘Growing Up Modern,’ which explores civic values from the modernist suburb where she grew up to where she lives now in the Catskill Mountains.
Paintings by Angela Dufresne, Pia Dehne, Elizabeth Bonaventura
September 3–October 1, 2017
Sunday, September 3, 5-7pm
with wine from our partner, Dandelion Wine
Guest curated by Jennifer Kabat
Open for viewing during Open Hours and events (see the Calendar for event listings), and by appointment.