Ernesto Caivano, After the Woods: A Selection

Mar 10–Sep 20, 2004


P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center presents a cycle of new drawings based on an ongoing story New York-based artist Ernesto Caivano (b. 1972, Madrid, Spain) has been developing entitled After the Woods.

In the narrative, the woods symbolize an alternative reality informed by folklore, fairytales, and contemporary technology. The epic tale is centered on the reunion of a young man and woman after a separation of 1,000 years. During their time apart, the man becomes a knight and the woman transforms herself into a spaceship. While her metamorphosis represents the advancement of intelligence culminating in technological development, his transformation triggers the evolution and expansion of the natural landscape. All of the creatures, and the forest itself, grow and change with the pair, all learning how to reconcile their individual abilities to alter the environment. Each of his skillfully rendered drawings informs the others and all are subsumed by a coherent, total experience that is motivated by the imaginative narrative Caivano has constructed.

For P.S.1, Caivano debuts a "selection" of new drawings from the chapters of After the Woods: Love of Philapores; Traps, Screens and Offerings; and Last Escape. The drawings depict various scenes of the knight, the princess, the landscape, and struggling birds named "philapores" on whose feathers information and code is transferred between the separated couple. Thus, in order to reunify with his lost wife, the knight is obsessed with acquiring these magical feathers. The birds, incapable of conventional flight but able to traverse through dense matter, struggle to release the feathers from the bags and to decipher the code they carry. The philapores are ultimately after the same end as the characters and the inhabitants of the woods: the control and dispersion of information and the way it affects the land.

Ernesto Caivano was born in Madrid, Spain and currently lives and works in New York. He has studied at Cooper Union and Columbia University in New York. Selected recent group shows include My Sources Say Yes, Guild & Greyshkul, New York; Terrarium, Bronx River Art Center, Bronx, New York; Druid Wood as a Superconductor, Brooklyn, New York; Game Over, Grimm/Rosenfeld, Munich, Germany; Group Show, curated by Clarissa Dalrymple, Grant/Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles, California; and Shallow Interiors, Rivington Arms Gallery, New York. Upcoming exhibitions in 2004 include the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and a solo show at Richard Heller Gallery in Los Angeles.

This exhibition is curated by P.S.1 Assistant Curator Amy Smith Stewart.

Ernesto Caivano: After the Woods, A Selection is made possible by James Family Foundation.



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