Garvey|Simon is pleased to present Melissa Stern: Chat & Chew opening March 24, 2022 at DFN Projects, 16 E 79th Street, NYC. Chat & Chew features a collection of drawings, assemblages, and sculptures from interdisciplinary artist, Melissa Stern. Stern uses her outlandish figures as a mechanism through which to explore social decorum. Visual puns and historical pop-culture cues proliferate in Chat & Chew, emphasizing all that is said; and more importantly, what goes unsaid. The inhabitants of Chat & Chew are both loquacious and tight-lipped, baiting conversation with their reticence. An opening reception will take place Thursday, March 24th from 5-7pm at DFN Projects. The artist will be present.
Psychological friction cross-cuts the artworks in Chat & Chew. Stern imbues her figures with histories and opinions, filling their mouths and minds to the brim with dialogue. Subtle weight shifts and postural asymmetry reveal relationships and ambivalence not only between figures within the same pictorial plane, but also beyond compositional boundaries. Never one to be deterred by the edge of panel or paper, Stern allows her figures to stare and often reach out to one another, weaving a network of narratives amongst the works. Taciturn and furtive figures cloak themselves in the cacophony of their peers. Fragments of dialogue are whispered by mouthless faces and unmoored limbs; deep wells of inner monologues that counterbalance external chatter. And at the same time there is refined sense of equilibrium and elegance in the artworks. Stern reflects, “this creative tension, this ambivalence about my relationships– to myself and those with whom I am close– expresses itself in every piece of art I make, and every day that I make it. I grapple with duality in a kind of tag-team wrestling match with myself; but look at the upside–even when I lose, I always win.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Melissa Stern lives in NYC and the Hudson Valley. She studied Anthropology and Art History at Wesleyan University. Her mixed material sculpture and drawings are in a number of corporate and museum collections including The International Center For Collage, News Corp. Inc. JP Morgan Chase, The Fine Art Museum, The Racine Art Museum, The Museum of Art and Design, New York, and The Wiseman Museum in Minneapolis.
Stern has had solo shows at The Akron Museum of Art (Ohio), Redux Contemporary Art Center (Charleston), The Weisman Museum (Minneapolis) Real Art Ways (Hartford), The Kranzberg Art Center (St. Louis), and most recently, The Fuller Craft Museum (Boston). Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Stern had three solo shows in the past eighteen months. Does She or Doesn’t She at Firecat Projects in Chicago, STRONGER THAN DIRT a twenty-year retrospective at The Lockwood Gallery in Kingston, NY, and HOUSEBROKEN at – the gallery LTD – in Brooklyn.
Melissa Stern was a Senior Critic, writing about art and culture for The New York Press and CityArts for eight years, and is a Contributing Writer to Hyperallergic and artcritical.
For viewings, more information, high resolution images, or sales inquiries please contact Elizabeth Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 917-796-2146.