Pen + Brush is pleased to present to the public two concurrent exhibitions: Multi in the main floor gallery and a focus space, Miriam Kruishoop in the lower-level gallery, opening Thursday, May 13, and on view until July 31, 2021.
Multi features work by six different women artists in an array of media. Works shown range from mural painting to sculptures and span through spirituality, aging, race, and isolation all with an otherworldly touch. Featuring work by veterans and newcomers alike, artists Donna Festa, Anya Kotler, Christine Mace, and Judith Modrak, Lola Flash, and Michela Martello present a multitude of perspectives and techniques on the walls of Pen + Brush’s upstairs gallery.
Donna Festa’s small scale aging portraits set against their dark backgrounds are offset by Anya Kotler’s three-dimensional surrealistic canvases while both comment on the passing of time. Judith Modrak’s anthropomorphic, neuroscience inspired, sculptures along with Lola Flash’s cross-color AIDS-era photographs highlight a surreal truth that comes with our humanity. Christine Mace captures the intimacy of a city healing in her black and white photograph that finds a way to be both documentary and narrative. Finally, Michela Martello’s mural Decolonized Mary and the permanence of affection, 2021 captures a unique universality of religious iconography that only Martello can project.
Miriam Kruishoop is featured in a focus space, highlighting the artist’s ability to use a combination of visual media: film, photography, and the visual culture of branding, to tell intimate stories of people, in this case, Gen-Z black teens, that society does not always hear. Kruishoop, a Dutch native who is currently represented by NL=US, explores cultural narratives and focuses on diversity and inclusion by highlighting those that society has deemed invisible throughout her body of work. Works here are pulled from Kruishoop’s Living in America series and do not shy away from dialogue within difficult and complicated topics. It is the artist’s stylized, yet empathic celebration and amplification of societal conversations surrounding isolated communities that Pen + Brush displays in this immersive exhibition.
About Miriam Kruishoop
Miriam Kruishoop is a Dutch/American award-winning visual artist and filmmaker. She graduated with honors from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and won the “Citroen Award” at the Dutch Film Festival for “Best Graduation Film”, for her short Da Silva, despite the fact she was only in her 3rd year.
She wrote and directed her first feature film Vive Elle when she was in her 4th year, on an exchange program in Paris. While still in school she won multiple awards for her short films Sometimes it’s Hard to be a Woman and Da Silva. She was nominated for a “Tiger Award” at the International Film Festival Rotterdam and multiple “Gouden Kalf” Awards at the Dutch Film Festival for her second feature Unter Den Palmen, which was unprecedented.
Miriam Kruishoop’s work, from the stylized features Vive Elle and Unter Den Palmen, starring 70’s film icon Helmut Berger, to the politically conscious immigrant story Greencard Warriors, centers around individuals who struggle with their isolated, sometimes alienated existence. Fiction or reality, Miriam Kruishoop focuses on people and their stories, using their narrative to amplify the conversation about the ‘invisible’ people in our society. In her earlier work Miriam Kruishoop’s ‘stories’ evolved mainly around women addressing mental and physical abuse and isolation.
Having lived in the US for over a decade, Miriam Kruishoop has been strongly influenced by her surroundings and American society at large—the disparity and the deliberate suppression of minorities, police brutality, and racism. Miriam Kruishoop’s passion for exploring the cultural narratives in America spans a diverse set of creative genres. For example, in her feature film Greencard Warriors she focused on the issue of army recruitment of young undocumented Latinos.
In her newly created video installation Living in America, Miriam Kruishoop teamed up with teenager Niaya Jones, a prominent ‘krumping’ dancer from Nickerson Gardens, Watts. Through dance, the video helps us experience what it’s like being African American in today’s America and the pain Niaya feels growing up in the projects. Like a film script Miriam Kruishoop’s works are carefully choreographed and edited. She doesn’t use any special effects or computer manipulation.
Miriam Kruishoop works in different media, including film, video, neon, light, installation art and photography. Her work has been exhibited by Reflex Modern Art Gallery, by The Witzenhausen Gallery in New York and is currently represented by NL=US. Miriam Kruishoop has participated in numerous group shows and international art fairs and film festivals around the world. She lives and works in Los Angeles.
About Pen + Brush
Pen + Brush is a 127-year-old publicly supported not-for-profit organization fighting for gender equity in the arts. P+B provides a platform to showcase the work of female artists and writers to a broader audience with the ultimate goal of effecting real change in the marketplace. We encourage and mentor emerging professionals and aim to expose the stereotypes and misconceptions that perpetuate gender-based exclusion, lack of recognition and the devaluation of skill that is still experienced by women in the arts.