P! presents Power Structures, a three-person exhibition featuring Leslie Hewitt, Karel Martens, and Zia Haider Rahman. Additive and exponential, the show offers an oblique look at acute questions troubling our political moment. The exhibition is curated by Prem Krishnamurthy.
Leslie Hewitt exhibits three works: a black horizontal line bisecting the viewer’s gaze and the space it circumscribes; a color photograph that collapses archival documentation and personal memory; and a white sheet metal sculpture from her current project at the Studio Museum Harlem, which evokes paper through its planar folds.
Printed on discarded Belgian identity records, a new body of letterpress mono prints by Karel Martens extends his signature technique of overprinting metal forms on found materials. Through this combination of figure and ground, past and present, Martens’ layering reactivates the remainders of a vast bureaucratic archive.
Zia Haider Rahman’s remarkable novel, In Light of What We Know, resonates throughout the exhibition. A meditation on colonialism, epistemology, friendship, mathematics, and more, the book will be on sale here at cost. Through this economic gesture, the space reframes itself as a distribution point without profit, a single position from which timely ideas may multiply their dividends into the world.
When Karel Martens began studying art in Holland in the late 1950s, “graphic design” did not even exist as its own course of study. Today he is widely recognized as one of the most important practitioners of that very discipline, with an esteemed client list that includes major publishers, architects, and institutions. His accolades include the H.N. Werkman Prize (1993) for the design of the architectural journal Oase, the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Art (1996), the Gold Medal at the Leipzig Book Fair (1998), and numerous other distinctions. Martens has taught at the Yale School of Art, Jan van Eyck Academie, and co-founded Werkplaats Typografie in 1997.
SPECIAL EVENT: LESLIE HEWITT AND ZIA HAIDER RAHMAN IN CONVERSATION ON THURSDAY, 8 JANUARY 2015, 7PM.