2018 Exhibition Dates and Events
Kori Newkirk creates mixed media artworks often inspired from cast-off objects found in his local environs of downtown Los Angeles. Newkirk harnesses these rescued objects in thought-provoking works that comment on our society. These unexpected impetuses provide a spring board for Newkirk’s investigations into art, as he intersects these creative materials into a fruitful dialog with art history, providing a cogent commentary on our everyday world and what it says about us as a culture.
By using unpredictable materials such as pony beads, pomade and hair extensions, Newkirk astounds us by articulating complex ideas about our cultural memory. For example, in an early work Newkirk suspends old tires from nooses in the gallery, evoking simultaneously the idyllic memories of swinging from a tire as a child and the terrifying legacy of our nation’s racist history; the memories of horror inflicted upon and endured by his African-American ancestral family contrasted by his own joyful memories as a child in the summer. Newkirk’s provocative works, inflected and informed by his African-American heritage, poignantly remind us of our racist inhumanity. Further, his work addresses the on-going alienation of the black community in our contemporary society. Newkirk continually reinvents his practice, rethinking cultural notions of beauty, exploring issues of narcissism, celebrity and spectacle in the political arena, and taking his practice into new unexpected directions.
This exhibition of Kori Newkirk’s work offers a suite of recent works, in hopes that the viewer may witness this dialog between life and art that characterizes Newkirk’s unique vision.
Kori Newkirk received his MFA from the University of California, Irvine in 1997 and his BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1993. In addition to a monographic survey at The Studio Museum in Harlem (2008) and the Pasadena Museum of California Art (2008), Newkirk has had solo exhibitions at The Project, New York (2009, 2006), LAXART, Los Angeles (2008), MC, Los Angeles (2006), the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (2005), and Locust Projects, Miami, Florida (2005). Group exhibitions include Blues for Smoke, MOCA, Los Angeles (2013), Meet Me Inside, Gagosian Gallery, Los Angeles (2010), Selections from the MCA Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago (2010), the 2006 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, DAK'ART: 7th Dakar Biennial, Dakar, Senegal (2006), Uncertain States of America, Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, Norway (2005-6), the 2004 California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California, and Freestyle at The Studio Museum of Harlem (2001).
Pasadena City College launched an ambitious program in 1987 that brings prominent artists for a week long stay on campus, where the artists interact closely with students, faculty, and the larger campus community. In addition to his exhibition in the PCC Gallery, Kori Newkirk will spend the week of March 19-23, 2018 on campus, during which time he will present a public lecture and meet with PCC students in the classroom. Through this program, PCC has hosted celebrated artists such as Tim Hawkinson, painters Masami Teraoka and Wayne Thiebaud; installation artist Alexis Smith; quilt maker Faith Ringgold; eco-political art collective Futurefarmers; illustrator and “futurist” Syd Mead, and photographer William Wegman, each of whom also donated works of art to the college. These works are displayed in the college’s Shatford Library and Boone Sculpture Garden.
This exhibition is made possible by the support of the Pasadena Art Alliance, the Student Services Fund, the Office of the President and the PCC Foundation, and the Division of Visual Arts and Media Studies.