Art Brussels | Booth A.30: Trenton Doyle Hancock, Gladys Nilsson, Maja Ruznic, Gray Wielebinski
VIP preview: Thursday 28 April 2022
Public days: 28 April – 1 May 2022
For Art Brussels 2022, Hales is delighted to present a selection of works by international artists Trenton Doyle Hancock, Gladys Nilsson, Maja Ruznic and Gray Wielebinski. Exploring themes of identity the works form new narratives from the artists’ experience of the world around them — drawing from personal histories, mythologies, comic books, toys, sports, travel and more. In figurative and scenic works, the artists reconfigure and transform iconography to recontextualise universal notions of human connection and the body.
Trenton Doyle Hancock (b. 1974 Oklahoma City, OK, USA) has through painting, sculpture, and video, created a mythological world, one in which an ongoing epic battle rages between good and evil. Hancock has developed intricate stories around the birth, death, life, and afterlife of a set of characters he has conceived over decades, with each new work contributing to the epic saga. The grand narrative explores life’s complexities, current events, and existential conundrums. Water Ground Hell Sky (2021) gloriously exemplifies this, masterfully depicting the artist's alter ego Torpedo boy. In 2021 Hancock was included in the Texas Biennial, and in 2019, had solo exhibitions across the US at MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA; the Menil Collection, Houston, TX; and Locust Projects, Miami, FL.
Gladys Nilsson (b.1940, Chicago, IL, USA) first came to prominence in the 1960s with the artist group, Hairy Who, now cited as one of the defining moments of Chicago Imagism. She is known for her complex, humorous, figurative compositions full of life and joy. In these four meticulously constructed collages, teeming with tiny figures, Nilsson’s alternative realities play out. The drawn women of Nilsson’s collages are somewhat timeless, surrounded by a multitude of references in constant dialogue, from the mosaics of Pompeii, the architecture of a shopping mall to the bright lights of Las Vegas. A self-proclaimed voyeur, the artist looks closely at human interactions which she transforms into her own creations. Nilsson’s work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions at prestigious institutions, and she was among the first women to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY, USA.
Maja Ruznic (b. 1983 Bosnia & Hercegovina) is known for lyrical paintings which seamlessly coalesce figures in their environments. She draws on personal and collective memories to create paintings that deeply connect with human psyche. In new works created for Art Brussels, Ruznic continues to weave themes of trauma and suffering with mythology and healing. In small-scale colour studies, Ruznic reflects on her childhood and feelings of loss, at the time of fleeing the war in Bosnia with her mother. The large-scale painting, Mother, Tower, Spider (2022), continues her explorations into family and the archetype of the mother, created as a love letter to her own breastfeeding journey, and Louise Bourgeois. In 2021, Ruznic had her debut institutional show In the Silver of the Sun at The Harwood Museum of Art, Rosewell, NM. Her work was recently acquired by Portland Museum of Art, ME, and EMMA - Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Finland.
In Gray Wielebinski’s (b. 1991 Dallas, TX, USA) expansive practice, they explore the intersections of mythology, identity, gender, nationhood, and memory. Reconfiguring and transforming iconography and visual codes, their work seeks to navigate and question society’s frameworks and belief systems. In four new works on paper, Wielebinski depicts restrained figures in athletic wear, directly challenging our obsession with ‘reading’ bodies — they combine symbolically masculine and Americana imagery with classical antiquity to form dichotomous heroic and monstrous figures. Sports provide a rich area of exploration for Wielebinski, who uses sport for both the aesthetic and as an entry point to discuss gender, surveillance, desire, race, national identity, the body, celebrity, costume, and power dynamics. In 2021 their debut solo exhibition, Oil and Water, opened at Hales London, and their commission for Bold Tendencies, London, UK will open in the summer of 2022.