A three dimensional view of the exhibition can be found here.


When Oli first came up with the title for his solo show at Carl Kostyal, “Oxymoron”, a good friend and curator shot back “oh, that’s perfect for you!” Picking up on the ‘moron’ portion of the word, Oli, characteristically, burst out laughing, enjoying the sincerity of that read.

But I thought that backhanded compliment was dead right. I know Oli pretty well and would struggle to conjure a more exact estimate of him and his practice.

In precisely the same way that Oli scarcely filters how he feels about or sees the world (which can be equally delightful and fatal), his paintings pour into it. His debut London solo show has all the trademarks that he is known for; it is, as ever, a semi-autobiographical account of this cheerful pessimist’s experiences, with which we can’t help but sympathise.

Over the past couple of year’s I’ve watched Oli’s style evolve. Oddly, for a sweet and generous guy, these days the recurring rubric seems to be that of the supervillain. In his wardrobe and interior design this amounts to a little flirtation with excess, exuberance and eccentricity (There’s a strong chance he’ll be wearing that Tangoed cow to the opening night). But in Oxymoron the supervillain takes centre stage.

Supervillains have captured Oli’s imagination for some of the same reasons they bring audiences to cinemas in numbers the heroes no longer seem responsible for. Manifest oxymoron, the supervillain is pointedly foolish for not seeing his vainglorious motives as villainy at all. But the villain isn’t merely the foil sent to suffer the retribution of the hero’s binary gauge of good and evil. Instead, in recent years, we’ve seen characters like Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker, whose insanity is presented as a reasonable response to a systemically chaotic and unjust world, in which uncertainty and anxiety reign. I mention this film in particular because I know Oli went to see it on three occasions during a time in which he felt personally and professionally wronged by some of the duplicitous characters that worm their way around the buying and selling of art. Because Oli wears his heart on his sleeve I have often watched and heard him learn things out loud and I think Oxymoron is an account of his coming to terms with the injustices that set reality and fiction apart. Paradoxically, however, in his paintings reality and fiction intermingle. In language an oxymoron looks fine at a glance but on closer inspection we realise two opposing ideas have been allowed to coexist. Oli’s non-Euclidean slips into Flatland are just like this, where, in terms of painting, the sense of order and hierarchy are upset, largely thanks to the epistemic challenges compounded by our digital lives.

This motely crew of unsavoury figures make for a sensual kaleidoscope of a show. In ‘Paddle’, a blind art collector recalling Blofeld caresses a hairless feline, surrounded by what might be an endless cornucopia of trophies worthy of Des Esseintes if he were at Sotheby’s today. In ‘Fool’s Gold’ a thief deploys superhuman elasticity to evade a laser grid, only to get away with a worthless rock. And, as if Botticelli had visited downtown LA, in ‘Aphrodisiac’ an ageing succubus adorns herself with mildly putrefying treats to compensate for the harsh reality that she’s no Jessica Rabbit.

Whilst thinking about this show I read that the word villain began as a description for the ‘low-born villagers’ in society who lacked manners and, therefore, morals. Over time this has mutated into the supervillain, who by means of some extraordinary virtue, such as intellect or physical prowess, tries to reach beyond their low origins, no matter the cost. And this is why we quietly root for them and why they are often so tragic.

Perhaps we sympathise with villains more than heroes because their world is not black and white. That is the shrewd dumbness of Oli’s oxymoronic characters  – they are clearly misunderstood. We no longer follow the heuristics set up by the archetypes we used to know from Hollywood. Perhaps we should be hesitant to vilify because we know that every character has motivations that go beyond the two dimensions we see on screen (often enough, the lives we share on screen ought to make us feel like virtue signalling hypocrites). Driven by neuroses and, all too often, the desire to consume, we see ourselves in these bittersweet paintings and I see them in Oli because I watched him chip his tooth, nervously chewing on a bag of drumstick lollies, whilst preparing for this show. Despite Oli’s encounter with injustice the paintings somehow present unbiased opinions about the shameless cretins they depict, the ambiguity of which feels accurate and deceptively honest.

Harrison Pearce




On the occasion of SPRINT–Independent Publishers and Artists’ Books Salon at Spazio Maiocchi, Carl Kostyál in collaboration with KALEIDOSCOPE present “Paradise”, a solo show by Austin Lee opening on Saturday 23 November.

On the occasion of SPRINT–Independent Publishers and Artists’ Books Salon at Spazio Maiocchi, Milan, Carl Kostyál presents “Paradise,” a solo show by American artist Austin Lee which also celebrates the launch of the artist’s first monograph, co-published with Kaleidoscope and designed by Bureau Borsche.

The show, organised in collaboration with Kaleidoscope, will consist of three paintings inspired by the enigmatic expression of Christ on the Cross (1600–1610) by El Greco. The three paintings, all made with airbrush paint on oil-painted backgrounds, aim to portray the remarkable example that El Greco provides in describing the interior mental space of human feelings. Originally meant to be three copies of the same work, they each acquired a specific emotional intention embodied by Lee while painting, therefore becoming unavoidably unique allowing for new meaning and feeling. In the courtyard of Spazio Maiocchi, a site-specific sculpture – a digital model 3D printed in aluminum and later hand-painted, figurative of a sun – completes the exhibition.

The work of the New York-based artist often explores the duality of technological advancement within reality and surrealism, creating uncanny and humorous figures by merging digital tools with traditional painting and sculpting techniques. Born in Las Vegas in 1983, Austin Lee received his MFA from Yale in 2013 and currently lives and works in New York City. During the past few years, he has presented solo exhibitions at Carl Kostyál, London; Peres Projects, Berlin; Deitch Projects, New York; and Kaikai Kiki, Tokyo.

Austin Lee’s monograph can be purchased here.

23–24 NOVEMBER 2019, FROM 1–9 PM


Spazio Maiocchi
Via Achille Maiocchi, 5, 20129 Milano, Italy



Curated by Oli Epp

Let the Freudian Finger point you to ​Zsófia Keresztes​’ mosaic crown jewels, and then to Sarah Slappey’s painterly perversions and fiery manicures before leading into the garden of unearthly desire in the work of Robin Mason. This trinity of artists, drawn together from three different locations direct you towards three perceptions of the body and mind with a Surrealist spirit.

A revert to Surrealism is inevitable given current times – an exploration of the mind as a mode to understand the human psyche and all its desires, quirks, kinks, angst and roaring humour. On one ‘hand’, Slappey’s paintings, featuring pearl necklaces that seek solace in the crevices of sapphic forms and on the other, Keresztes’ mosaic aliens bounce between portrayals of pixels and the digital world which mirrors the Surrealist fascination with technology and the New World. The bondage of Slappey and Keresztes seem innocent in comparison to their Surrealist forefather, Hans Bellmer, but hits that contemporary sweet spot, that dances on the lines of abject and endearing, a song to our modern super ego. Mason’s also pays homage to Freud, a surrealist inspiration, and his model of the psyche – id, ego and superego – with a gusto Andre Breton would raise his hat to.

Nostalgia comes to play and ties a knot between all the artists featured in Fingertips. Whether it is a play on memory, a haunting deja vu or a tongue in cheek anecdote, the works are imbued with a humour that both tickles and terrifies. Slappey, Mason and Keresztes have an unsettling familiarity that you can’t quite put your finger on.

An organ to manipulate, investigate and create sensation, the symbol of the ‘finger’ is found symbolically and physically in the works featured in the show. From a soft caress to the torturing sexual pleasures inflicted by these great hands, the works of these artists are a direct channel from mind to matter.

The body – and its parts, often separate – is an ongoing theme. Like a game of Operation, we invite you to walk between the works and put them back together; voluptuous derrieres, elongated fingers, sunken eyes, hollow orifices, breasts and naughty bits…


Sarah Slappey​

Slappey’s pervasive imagery takes on a more saccharine sensibility with the fleshy pinks – derived surely from Rubenes-que cherubs – are touched with icy greys cold against the blush of such voluptuous derrieres. Nipples, bums and tums writhe with silky emphasis and wrists flick with a Parisian flair as with a dash the cigarette turns into bullet silver tampons.

Robin Mason​

Stories and tales from a life well lived inform the theatrical backdrop of Mason’s altarpiece riddled with symbols, text and numbers that occur like cyphers and codes. The Tree of Life is taken with lust as its branches probe and caress the silky Sacred Heart. As the curtains are opened to Mason’s world the religious symbolism is clear – the symbol of the Sacred Heart, a ruby red vagina that also represents Christ’s gaping wound – is spread open on a tree. Childhood innocence is brought to the fore and abjection lurks in the shadows as icons from our Medieval past receive a contemporary reincarnation executed with Boschian drama.

Zsófia Keresztes​

Teal rope wraps and wriggles around Keresztes’ strange amorphous mosaic sculptures similar to the intricate tyings in the Japanese tradition of Shibari. Entrapped by the rough confines of aquamarine string the glossy surface is manipulated to create a dynamism as the form is almost alive in its construction but decidedly cold to touch.

Co-written by Aindrea Emelife and Oli Epp

Get It How You Live

Churning Refusal: Basil Kincaid on Money and the Black Body
By Sarah C. Murphy // @smurphotos // sarah.murphy.c@gmail.com

Standing naked, his living room carpeted in sheets of sutured dollar bills, Basil Kincaid’s paint-covered chest heaved and he wiped his brow with the back of his hand. A red streak cut across his brown forehead, got caught in a curl. “I’ve been thinking deeply about the historical impact of money, and the pursuit of it, on the black body. I’ve been thinking about how we house this emotional, economic, trauma in our flesh.” He’d just stamped his silhouette across the still-flat quilts, curled in fetal positions; the residual texture of the dollars creased into the acrylic left on his skin. “It’s gonna feel so good to slice these blood-soaked dollars up and bend them to my will.”

The process of making Get it How You Live required destroying Kincaid’s assets – the first money quilt took half the dollars in his bank account; he cut them up like cloth, rendering them useless as tender. But, he said, it was worth the catharsis he found in seizing control over what had been controlling him. “’…chasing money can detach you from some of the people closest to you. I’m thinking about how money leaves that mark. That scar. Now I’m marking back.”

These quilts represent a process of unlearning a deep, American, reverence for money; of attempting to heal the intergenerational trauma of capitalism that would have us believe that we are only as valuable as the cash we can stack. The visceral act of destroying dollars to create something of greater (symbolic and actual) worth is Kincaid’s form of alchemy. It’s an access point to the lineage of alchemists from whom he comes. The irony, perhaps, is that as he unweaves toxic attachment to money over everything from his heart he grows spiritually closer to the ancestors who survived and seeded him.

“I keep thinking about how quilting began, in the American context, as a practice of necessity, as winter wasn’t giving us quilts,” he said about the title piece for this show. For Kincaid’s ancestors, quilting was a practice of necessity, of taking small scrap fabrics and transforming them, with great care, into larger objects that gave warmth — and also, in the tradition of alchemy that is Black resilience, were symbols of family and storytelling. Each piece of fabric was a part of the narrative, each stitch an act of love. The warmth of an elder’s quilt extended beyond physical comfort; to be wrapped in her craft was to feel her love long after her warm-hearted being passed from this earth.

“The only necessity my quilts are born of is the need to connect with the ancestral energy, my foremothers, my lineage of creative tradition and genius.” The quilts of Kincaid’s ancestors were also tools of resistance — in a practical and spiritual sense. Physically hung on homes of the underground railroad, they signaled pathways to safety amidst terror. What looked like blankets to slave catchers were quiet flags of rebellion, covert signs of hope that relied on the oppressor’s disbelief in their brilliance.

Spiritually, they were gifts of inheritance. Passed down from generation to generation, family quilts are soft memory. They are reminders of Black mothers’ enduring will to believe in a future for their children. Like the sharecropper’s fruit grown on forcibly leased land, quilts are symbols of the persistent and creative longevity of American Blackness. Against unimaginable repression, these alchemists never stopped planting seeds or stitching together scraps into gorgeous gifts for their children. And their children’s children.

“But the money quilt doesn’t keep you warm,” Kincaid reminds us. Cold, and crinkly, dollars as objects are all but useless to the human body. Stitched together, their spectacle is the disbelief of seeing them as a medium. What dissonance! To witness these precious bills we spend so much of our lives striving for cut up, painted, shaped into forms – instead of stacked, intact, to be counted. And they are forms that evoke shame, bunched up like discarded notebook paper, or that mimic humans but stand (or hang) lifeless on display.

Where there are sensual curves in Kincaid’s cloth quilts, there are harsh edges and stark shadows in his money pieces. They are flags of resistance in a different way, spiritual salve born not from the warmth of a grandmother’s love – but the process of unclenching capitalism’s grip on the body.

Kincaid chooses fabrics that reference the vapid striving of the American Dream – like silk renderings of his father’s lotto tickets. They gesture at the dark side of Black American inheritance & hustle, and yet maintain a sense of the warmth of Black family. (Except “Corner of Alaska And Walsh Under Dist. 1 Surveilance,” whose cool monochrome face and woven concrete or cosmos or muscle fiber, or your dad’s favorite sweatpants, are gripped in headlock by Blue Lives Matter blue; it reads like Whiteness sucking the saturation from a technicolor film.) They’re still soft to the touch.

In contrast, the money quilts – especially those with Kincaid’s bloody body prints – are starched mirrors to our own addictions to money, reminders of how physically and spiritually draining chasing it can be. Hung adjacent to the cloth quilts, especially as they’re combined in “Self Portrait: I Am Not My Labor,” the reconstructed dollars call into question how and why we invest so much belief in the dollars themselves.

When the dollars are mixed in patchwork with cloth, like the in “Retired Drug Dealer” and “Fuck You Pay Me,” the money adds a dark motion in the pieces – it’s hard to say if it’s bursting out or slicing into the forms. Or if the forms are digesting the money, churning it as fuel, trying to scrub it clean. Grappling with a necessary evil, hoping its a temporary hustle. “Our ancestors picked the cotton that this money is printed on.” Kincaid engages with one cyclical American evil: this country was built on the backs of Black people, and continues to feed on their vibrance through systems that require they participate in their own destruction.

Treating dollars as his foremothers treated scrap cloth, like raw material to be transformed, with great care, into a precious object of greater material and spiritual worth, Kincaid offers us evidence of a process we’d all do well to engage in: releasing the deeply internalized belief that money itself is precious and that the more of it you have, the more precious you are. And even deeper, healing from the poisonous belief that our ancestors weren’t precious because they were cash poor. It’s these beliefs – especially when they’re held a bout us – that justify all the ways we’re overworked and undervalued, squeezed for every dollar by landowners, by bosses, by police. Strangled to death for attempting to control of our own assets. Manipulated to believe we deserved it.

Kincaid refuses these ideas, and calls on his ancestors and his elders and the bloody debris of his own body as source. With Get it How You Live, he says no. “These cycles end with me.”

Draw Jam 2019

“The Draw Jam 2019 was a real blast! 12 artists together for 5 days in the south of Italy hanging out at the beach, drinking colourful slurpies and making lots of  drawings- it was a dream. 

We were all staying at Masseria Pepe in these shared villas, bunked up together with artists from across the globe. We spent every evening as a group having dinner many aperol spritz, generous glasses of wine- and every morning recovering by the sea or by the poolside with our pastels and pencils.

So many great memories were made on this trip but some highlights include a raucous midnight game of Marco Polo, Paul Hipp’s after-dinner acoustic jams, laughing over a mass game of Slang Teasers, smoking all of Peter Schuyff’s Marlboro reds and watching the sun rise on the 4th of July. But best of all was the new connections made with incredible artists from so many different walks of life.

On the final day we had a lot of fun hanging all the drawings in the chapel at Masseria Fontana di Vita, where the ceiling was painted by artist Austin Lee the previous year! The Draw Jam 2019 was a huge success and we’re especially proud to have been a part of something that €4000 for the Comunità terapeutica Lorusso Cipparoli charity – a charity who support kids battling with serious addiction and drug abuse.”

Oli Epp, July 2019

Hook and Crook

Painter Ben Spiers (b. 1972) is one of London’s best kept secrets. Now he is stepping into the limelight to share his work at Carl Kostyál Gallery, with his solo exhibition, Hook and Crook; a presentation of new, unseen paintings from 2013 to present.

With an uncompromising mastery of traditional techniques, Spiers ducks and dives through the history or art, indiscriminately helping himself to hybrid abstraction and figuration.

The title of the show references the English phrase, ‘by hook or by crook’, which, dating back to 1380, means ‘by any means necessary’. Here, Spiers channels this irreverent urgency, and ditches traditional hierarchies and expectations.

The works feature nuns with flaming ginger pubes and testosterone charged bulls with shiny golden bollocks. A tangled tongue twisting kiss between zany eyed lovers. A face from Edo period Japan is rendered three dimensional with CGI precision. A sweating Tamara de Lempicka, built from the heavy musculature of one of Michelangelo’s women, recalls the war time poster ‘we can do it’. Munch’s Madonna, lit for the silver screen, ossifies from the fingers into a b-movie zombie. A deranged Miro-like, globular woman is pulled from the flatland, tormented by a decadent gilded mirror.

Lit by the mysterious glow of Tenebrism, Spiers’ figures adopt form like a protean substance that inconsistently borrows from historical visual references without deference to chronology. Hopping across antiquity, renaissance, classicism, baroque, romanticism, and just about all of modernism and cinema, Spiers mixes up familiar citations into a fresh and dazzling puzzle.

By Oli Epp

A limited edition print of Double Infinity, released to coincide with the exhibition, is available//contact Hat Kempton (hat@kostyal.com), edition 75 plus 5APs.



Echoes in the Neurochamber

in collaboration with Carl Kostyál Gallery


Echoes in the Neurochamber

Opening Preview
Thursday 2nd May 2019
6pm – 8pm

3rd May – 28th June 2019

Via Vincenzo Gioberti 1, 20123


Echoes in the Neurochamber

02/05 – 28/06, 2019

Castiglioni, in collaboration with Carl Kostyal, is pleased to present “Echoes in the Neurochamber”, first solo show in Milan by Henry Gunderson (b.1990).

For the exhibition, Gunderson presents a selection of unpublished works: four emblematic and vouyeristic reproductions of components and / or details Personal Computers.

The artist attempt to go through the intimacy and technology function of these lifeless objects showing them from afar, taking them out of their natural context; whereby their peculiarities become aesthetic details which the artist can intervene on, altering and making them elements that let the viewer humanize the object in the canvas.

A short circuit is created and it causes a sense of alienation within the works.

The computer, the basic element on which our contemporaneity is founded, becomes an element of anxiety: It became a reflection on the close correlation between us and our dependence to digital technologies.

Henry Gunderson’s works are a psychological reflection through his aesthetics on the contemporary. They are rigorous works and rich in details that give us a dissonant specter of emotions ranging from funny to disturbing, without ever losing their accuracy.


San Francisco, U.S.A., 1990.
Lives and works in New York, U.S.A.

Solo and Two-Person Exhibitions:
2018 “Formula One”, Carl Kostyál Gallery, London, UK; 2017 “Emancipation Affirmations”, Loyal Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden; 2016 “Shoes”, Etc, 247365, New York, NY; 2015 “Two & Two”, 247365, New York, NY; 2014 “ +0-000-000-0000”, Ever Gold Gallery, San Francisco, CA; Group Exhibitions: 2019 “Malmö Sessions”, Carl Kostyál Gallery, Malmö, Sweden; 2018 “Body, Curtain, Advance”, Loyal Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden; “The Ashtray Show”, Fisher Parish Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; 2017 “Pharmacy for Idiots”, Rob Tufnell, Cologne, Germany; 2016 “No Free Tax Art Month”, 247365, New York, NY; “The Lamp Show”, 99¢ Plus, Brooklyn, NY; 2015 “Anderson’s Hidden Game”, Loyal Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden; “Believe You Me: Frank Benson, Dora Budor, Henry Gunderson, Jamian Juliano-Villani, Ryan Trecartin”, 247365, New York, NY.

1. Henry Gunderson Casing, 2019 Acrylic on Canvas 157.50h x 71w cm

2. Henry Gunderson Back (plugs), 2019 Acrylic on Canvas 157.50h x 71w cm

3. Henry Gunderson Neurochamber, 2019 Acrylic on Canvas 157.50h x 157.50w cm

4. Henry Gunderson Hard Drive, 2019 Acrylic on Canvas 157.48h x 157.48w cm



Summer Artist Residency at Fontana di Vite 2019

A Lover by Ben Spiers

“A Lover is an expression of my on-going preoccupation with the ambivalence and ambiguity of the ’inner-life’. It’s getting harder and harder to feel like the monarch of one’s psyche. My sense of solidity is constantly being reshaped, threatened, and enlarged by the tidal wash of virtual possibility flowing from my phone. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, though – one’s just got to improvise, like a surfer carving a line through a lumpy wave. My instincts tell me what to grab: some glassy tears, glossy lips, backlit hair – and the deeper mystery of painting transforms them; makes them truly belong to each other, and, just for a second, holds back the tide to reveal something more elemental – something that sticks, gluey in the mind; like an uncanny rock that’s only revealed on the very lowest of tides.”

– Ben Spiers

Ben Spiers Testimony

“I made the slightly crazy decision to drive to Matera from London. I set off from London 20 hours after crawling home, elated, but exhausted, from the opening of my solo show at Carl Kostyal gallery.

I had been working in a fever the weeks leading up to the opening and wasn’t entirely in my right mind. As the miles ticked away and I wiggled over the passes of the Alps,  Northern Europe began to disappear and the roads were flanked by flowering Oleander bushes and Cyprus trees. The browner and hotter it got, the further I felt from the red-eyed midnights in my London studio.

The masseria itself is one of those buildings that owns the landscape. It sits on the edge of a plateau and the landscape drops and waves away to the horizon in a series of dramatic swoops.

The light is extraordinary. During the day it can be almost painfully bright, with a whitish haze, but as the evening comes on it takes on a crystalline clarity and a surprising warmth.

The enormous warehouse/studio is a really atmospheric place to work. It damps the heat and light to manageable levels and the muffled sounds of people swimming in the pool is great background music.

I found it a really easy place to slip into my work and the hours flew. I managed to finish the underpainting on 6 pictures, produce numerous drawings and even do some writing. My time there felt charmed, and work flowed out in an effortless way.

Fausta and her brother Gia-Lo are the most astonishing hosts. Within hours it felt as if we’d been friends for life, and after the month I knew that they are people to whom I will always feel close. They are generous, creative, funny and loving; as warm as the landscape in which they live.

The long evenings of talking, talking, more talking, card games, occasional dancing, drinking of ‘papa Joseph’  and one post midnight 5k run through the fields were some of the most pleasurable of my life.

Anyone lucky enough to spend time on this magical residency will have something wonderful to look back on, but more importantly, they’ll have friends for life in one of the most beautiful places in Europe.”

Ben Spiers and Sara Cwynar

Sara Cwynar Testimony

“The matera residency was a totally unique experience in my life, I will always remember it. At its heart, it is about being in Fausta’s world at her Masseria. Fausta is someone who cares about and invests in artists unconditionally, and whose support felt really life altering and special. This part continues to resonate, I think she will be in my life for a long time. During my month in Matera I spent a lot of time thinking, reading and editing, and talking to Fausta, to her family and friends, and to the other wonderful artists on the residency. It was a time to get some space from the production cycles of making work (though I did make some videos in the beautiful Italian countryside!), to think about things as a larger picture, and to experience another culture in a way I would never have been able to in another context. The residency also began with a week of parties and beach time when a larger group of artists and friends visited the residency which was really fun. I am so grateful for this experience, it was just so beautiful, I still can’t believe I got to be there, and I’m still thinking about everything I saw and learned there.”

Canyon Castator

Canyon Castator Testimony

“Time is one one the most valuable resources that can be afforded to an artist. Time to think, experiment, make mistakes, watch a 32 year old Italian farmer chase flies with an eclectic death paddle… Time is a precious resource, but it isn’t finite, it can be made from nothing by removing something. During my month long stay in Matera, I was given time, for the first time in a long time.

Finding ways in which to fill the long summer days seemed to be impossible. I’d toil around in my studio in the morning, working on small passages of a painting or burning through drawings in my sketchbook. I’d wander out to peak over Ben Spiers’ shoulder in an attempt to understand his methodically masterful approach to underpainting. I’d find myself sitting poolside with Sara Cwyar, helping her squeeze lemons over her increasingly blonde hair before we went to the dinning hall to put back multiple servings of cavatelli. I’d listen to Peter Schyuff riffle off romanticized stories about underdog life in a gritty 80’s New York, interjected with startlingly informed questions from an ever studious Gina Beavers. All this, and it’s just barely 4pm, a time marked daily by the first round of drinks, brought out by our incredibly generous host and the owner of the masseria, Fausta.

She made this time for us by removing the commutes, the chores, and the stress filled inconveniences of normal life. I can’t thank her enough for that. I plan to make this masseria, and these people, a reoccurring part of my life (as long as I keep LETTING Fausta beat me at cards I don’t think it will be a problem).

Also, thank you Carl Kostyál, the ambidextrous marionette master who put us all in this puppet show.”

Spring Artist Residency at Fontana di Vite 2019

The Matera Artist Residency is a collaboration between Masseria Fontana di Vite and the gallerist Carl Kostyál.

The residency was founded to provide a space and home for visual artists from around the world to create art while experiencing Italian life. Artists will found here time and place to retreat from the routines and pressures of everyday life within a unique geographical and cultural context as well as the added flair of the southern Italian hospitality.


Peter Schuyff testimony

” The masseria Fontana di Vite has been a conduit to clarity. The wind blew away the riff raff, the light exposed the details and the air made it all real. It was a great place to both work and explore. My next paintings are going to benefit from these last weeks. Like rehab, 28 days and you go home seeing clearly. I’m going to miss you! X Peter “.


Daniele Milvio testimony

“A Month in Basilicata for someone that has grown up in Rome makes the experiment especially dense in terms of historical meanings, the war between the prechristian society of farmers and the state, that they were used to calling just Roma, is still on, silently. I concentrate myself on the hidden predisposition to rebellion that farmers preserve since 3000 years, this predisposition found very rarely a way to express, and only in very serious situation of danger for farmers as a class, from the rebellion against the earl Tramontano, that I painted on site, to the brigandage after the unification of Italy, to the not so rare cases of lynching.

This month has been to me a journey through time, helped by Carlo Levi, and also a very precious moment of unaltered peace in very good company”.


Virginia by Daniele Milvio

Daniele Milvio

Malmö Sessions

Malmö Sessions

Organised with Erika Hellman and Svenska Hus AB

19.05.2019 – 11.08.2019

Ystadvägen 22, 214 30 Malmö, Sweden

Please email malmo@kostyal.com for more information.


Carl Kostyál Gallery



Carl Kostyál Gallery presents Malmö Sessions
Organized with Erika Hellman and Svenska Hus AB

Press preview: 18.05.2019 10:30am–12:30pm (RSVP to malmo@kostyal.com )
Private view: 18.05.2019 (RSVP necessary)
Exhibition: 19.05.2019–16.06.2019
Opening times: Saturday–Sunday 12am–4pm

Ystadvägen 22
214 30 Malmö

The multi-faceted exhibition, Malmö Sessions, brings almost fifty artists to Malmö, many for the first time. With an obsolete analogue image production facility as backdrop, the wide range of mediums and techniques presents an exhibition on image-making and portrayal in the digital era.

Participating artists:

Zachary Armstrong, Gina Beavers, Ellen Berkenblit, Anna Bjerger, Alfred Boman, Petra Cortright,
Canyon Castator, Sara Cwynar, Alex Da Corte, Maja Djordjevic, Buck Ellison, Oli Epp, Travis Fish, Gerasimos Floratos,
Al Freeman, Alex Gardner, Aaron Graham, Justin John Greene, Henry Gunderson, Haley Josephs, Cheyenne Julien,
Ilja Karilampi, Jordan Kasey, Botond Keresztesi, Basil Kincaid, Absalon Kirkeby, Hilma af Klint, James English Leary,
Jason Matthew Lee, Austin Lee, Éva Mag, Stephen McClintock, Joel Mesler, Jill Mulleady, Robert Nava, Karl Norin,
Oliver Osborne, Matthew Palladino, Jon Rafman, Loup Sarion, Ben Spiers, Constance Tenvik, Jim Thorell, Jake Troyli,
James Ulmer, Austyn Weiner, Cameron Welch and Chloe Wise.


In collaboration with collector Erika Hellman and Svenska Hus, the series of large exhibitions of new and international art, previously done in Stockholm by Carl Kostyál Gallery now reaches an audience in the whole Öresund region. Located in a building complex familiar to those locally that are interested in art, the project wishes to contribute to an already healthy art scene in Malmö.

Malmö Sessions is an intense exhibition in the spirit of participation. The exhibiting artists are active and known on an international art scene and three of them will also be participating in the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019 (Da Corte, Mulleady and Rafman). What connects the artists is a radical and expressive method in portraying the people, objects and subjects in our contemporary culture.

Carl Kostyál brought an extensive presentation of the work by Alex Israel to Stockholm in 2013. This was followed by large and institution-style exhibitions by Petra Cortright and Alex Da Corte in 2014, Austin Lee and Zhao Zhao in 2015 and Jon Rafman in 2016, to name but a few. A local group of artists headed by Alfred Boman, Jim Thorell and Karl Norin has also been shown in various constellations. Group exhibitions has shown the work of Klara Lidén, Matias Faldbakken, Jana Euler, Yngve Holen, Katja Novitskova, Fredrik Vaerslev, Ed Atkins, Oscar Murillo, Timur Si-Qin, Pamela Rosenkranz and many more. Carl Kostyál Gallery has its headquarters on Savile Row in London, where solo shows by Gina Beavers, Dora Maurer, Austin Lee, Jonathan Binet, Alfred Boman, Piotr Lakomy, Yu Honglei, Sara Cwynar, Peter Schuyff, Gedi Sibony, Helen Marten, Peter Coffin has taken place amongst many others. Since 2018 Carl Kostyál is also running an artist residency at Masseria Fontana di Vite close to Matera in south Italy.

Erika Hellman, collector and CEO of Gullringsbo Egendomar, has been working closely with Carl Kostyál for over a decade and has not only built a prominent collection of art by international and young but established artists. She has also actively co-produced exhibitions, done donations to museums and an enthusiastic lender to exhibitions. For this occasion, Erika Hellman is releasing a catalogue over Gullringsbo konstsamling, the first in a series to come.

Svenska Hus AB is one of Sweden’s biggest privately owned real estate companies. It develops properties in a sustainable manner and shares the eternal perspective for business with its’ mother company Gullringsbo Egendomar. The collaboration with Carl Kostyál comes from the insight that supporting contemporary art is a contribution towards a sustainable society.

Press is welcome to the private view on 18 May, 6–8pm, in the company of many of the artists, such as Jon Rafman, Gina Beavers and Austin Lee. The opening is followed by an afterparty organized by artist Ilja Karilampi with the danish act Erika de Casier performing along the dj SWEYN from London. RSVP necessary.

For images and artist interview enquiries, contact Oscar Carlson, stockholm@kostyal.com or +46(0)76 030 99 44
For all other enquiries, contact Harriet Kempton, hat@kostyal.com or +44(0)7971 924 322

Petra Cortright, “18 febbraio 1983” n 16 legge_future+shop”gai+noir”_HARDLINE , 2018
Digital painting on Belgian linen 121 x 231 x 3 cm


Sara Cwynar, Cover Girl , 2018
16 mm film on video with sound, 9 min. 17 sec.

Accrochage Salon Hang and Dinner in honour of David Ostrowski during MiArt 2019

David Ostrowski

Interior and Furniture works from 2010 – 2019

David Ostrowski (*1981) lives and works in Cologne. Ostrowski studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf with Albert Oehlen from 2004–2009. He was awarded the Atelierstipendium by the Kölnischer Kunstverein and the Imhoff-Stiftung, Cologne, in 2012. Upcoming solo exhibitions, Political Correction at Piece Unique, Cologne and Sundogs, Paris. Recent solo exhibitions include Bei mir geht es in den Keller hoch at Blueproject Foundation, Barcelona (2017), The Third Mind (a three man show with Jean-Marie Appriou and Anthony Linell) at Carl Kostyál in Stockholm (2017), To Lose (a two man show with Michail Pirgelis) at the Leopold-Hoesch-Museum, Düren (2016), The F Word at the ARKEN Museum, Copenhagen, and I want to die forever at Kunstraum Innsbruck (both 2015), as well as How to do things left at Rubell Family Collection, Miami and Just do it at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (both 2014). Ostrowski’s work has also been included in group exhibitions at the M Woods Museum, Beijing (2015) and at Carl Kostyál in Stockholm (The Medium of Intensity, 2013-2014), Halle für Kunst & Medien, Graz (2014), and at the ICA, London (2014). Ostrowski’s work also featured in DONT the Music and Art Performance at Halle 9 Kirowwerk, Leipzig (2017).


A Warmer World

Justin John Greene
A Warmer World
Carl Kostyál, London

In Justin John Greene’s latest body of work, visions of heaven and hell are brought down to earth, in a manner that feels contemporary yet timeless. Focusing on his home of California, this new collection of paintings blends fantasy with reality, defying popular representations of the state as a modern-day utopia. While commonly associated with the promise of glamour, wealth, and sunshine, the lived experience for most Californians is much more precarious and complex. Greene explores this tension and collapses the corporeal and celestial realms to depict a new space where these elements interface.

The artist’s distinctive painting style combines aspects from social realism, German expressionism, Dadaism, religious iconography, and American animation, among a diverse range of sources. His reference points are equally vast, leaving room for the viewer to create their own connections between subject matter. In preparing a composition, Greene pulls photographs of friends, family, and his surroundings for inspiration, as well as found and popular imagery. He adds his own invented characters and landscapes, resulting in a visually rich tableau with nuanced details.

In ​Lost Angels (​2019), Greene portrays a group of people—both real and fictional—seated among a table in a backyard gathering. A young man donning a robe, wings, backpack, and sneakers walks among the party, taking central charge of the scene. If he’s an angel and this is heaven, then it sure does feel familiar. Greene leaves this open to interpretation, creating a vision of paradise that appears convivial but curiously commonplace. ​Woolsey Fire (​2019), by contrast, addresses a recent local tragedy, reflecting on the dystopian dimension of the Golden State. Using documentation from the 2018 wildfires as source material, the work is another record of this major event. While current news and social issues have always informed Greene’s process, such an explicit reference marks a turn in his practice.

In the aftermath of the wildfires, California Governor Jerry Brown declared that we are living in “the new abnormal”—where horrendous natural disasters spurred by climate change are increasingly prevalent. Although it is difficult to have faith in such turbulent times, we remarkably continue forward and prevail. Greene’s works display an anxious tension, with disparate figures shown in various states of action. Whether engaged in the day-to-day, a celebration, or modes of crisis, we relate with these characters and the environments in which they are placed—neither heaven or hell, but ​A Warmer World​ they must navigate.

– Paulina Samborska

Jan Ziemski

Jan Ziemski

Jan Ziemski, the first Polish artist to deploy the signature Op art “moiré” effect in his works, debuted in the mid-1950s as a member and co-founder of the Lublin artistic group Zamek. A key representation of structural painting and op-art, Ziemski’s exquisite artworks create the illusion of movement by using colour and 3- dimensional slotted overlays that are optically separated and animated by the colours.

Ziemski’s works are objects rather than paintings. Each piece constructed with several thin planks of bent wood protruding outwards. Interestingly, some of his work even use the shape of an eye, literally illustrating their engagement with the sense of sight. His artwork includes internal painting whereby the eponymous painting hides playfully inside the outer case; always out of reach of the viewer, leaving an option for individual interpretation.

He debuted with pictorial metaphorical compositions and in the years 1960-1964 created “formations” or paintings – objects with a complex texture, cast in a cast. From the mid-1960s, he experimented with the visualization of space, light and motion (e.g. he mounted spherically curved slats on the image plane, causing optical illusions).

A two-time winner of the award presented by Ministry of Culture and Art (1966, 1977), Ziemski actively participated in projects focusing on avant-garde artists, like Osieki (1965-1978), I Biennale of Spatial Forms in Elbląg (1965), Symposium of Artists and Scientists in Puławy (1966), Symposium Wrocław’70, and Złote Grono Symposium in Zielona Góra (1975).

Ziemski’s artwork is reflective of the interdependence between science, technology and art. Spontaneity of artists like Ziemski changed the perspective on art in Poland and made a creative reference to achievements of the pre-war avantgarde.

Jan Ziemski’s works can be found in museum collections in Warsaw, Krakow and Poznan Wrocław, Łódź, Lublin, Chełm, Bydgoszcz, Białystok, Koszalin, Słupsk, Szczecin, the Guggenheim Museum in New York and in cultural institutions and private collections in Poland and abroad.

1966 – Award of the Minister of Culture and Art

1975 – Medal V of the “Golden Grono” Exhibition in Zielona Góra

1977 – Award of the Minister of Culture and Art in the field of painting



FLAT: Al Freeman + Daniel Boccato

November 30th 2018 – January 17th, 2019

Preview, November 29th , 6:00 – 8:00 pm


Carl Kostyál is pleased to present FLAT, an exhibition of new work by Al Freeman and Daniel Boccato. Comprising three soft sculptures by Freeman, and two wall-mounted works by Boccato, the presentation will be on view from November 29th 2018 through January 17th, 2019.


On view in the gallery are two sets of large format sculptures, mounted to the walls. The first group pairs Freeman’s “Soft Slide” with Boccato’s “gulface.” In the second group, Freeman’s “Soft Vaseline” and “Soft Hose” are joined by Boccato’s “fossface.” The works in both groups take their forms from familiar domestic objects. Freeman’s sculptures faithfully reproduce a tub of vaseline, a garden hose, and a slide sandal, respectively. Boccato’s works take formal liberties with other household fixtures, exaggerating the shape of a faucet, and abstracting the silhouette of a teacup. Taken together, the presentation assembles a wonky quotidian vision, in which everyday objects are enlarged to humorous, exaggerated scales. The exhibition’s title, “FLAT,” makes reference to this subject matter, borrowing the colloquial British term for an apartment.


Freeman’s work is marked by a deflationary impulse, visible in both her methods of production and her selection of subject matter. Her soft sculptures reproduce and exaggerate items traditionally associated with masculine domestic settings. She drains these objects of their virility in order to reinvest them with humor, replacing rigid geometries with flaccid forms. Juxtaposing a jar of Vaseline, notable for its use as a personal lubricant, alongside an oversized garden hose, Freeman subtly skewers toxic masculinity by letting the air out of its common accessories.


Boccato makes brightly colored sculptures from epoxy, fiberglass, and polyurethane. His process begins by sketching outlines of forms he encounters in the world and blowing them up to human scale. Based on these forms, Boccato makes rough molds out of cardboard and tape, which he lines with plastic tarp. He paints the tarp a solid color and applies layers of fiberglass to the mold, which binds to the paint and registers the wrinkles from the tarp. Removing the mold, Boccato is left with a dimensional, monochromatic shell that appears alternatively heavy and plush. The works on view ape the silhouettes of a leaky faucet and an oversized teacup, in a manner that creeps between abstraction and figuration.


Al Freeman (b. 1981, Toronto, Canada) lives and works in New York. She received her B.F.A. from Concordia University in 2005, and her M.F.A. from the Yale University School of Art in 2010. Her work has been the subject of numerous solo presentations, including recent exhibitions at Bortolami, New York; and 56 HENRY, New York. She has been featured in numerous group exhibitions, including recent presentations at Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, New York; Chateau du Feÿ, Bourgogne; CUE Foundation, New York; Almine Rech, New York; Marlborough Contemporary, New York; Reyes Projects, Detroit; Galeria Alegria, Madrid; and Stems, Brussels. In 2017, Freeman published Comparisons with Flat Fix, Brooklyn.


Daniel Boccato (b. 1991, Campinas, Brazil) lives and works in New York. He received his B.F.A. from The Cooper Union in 2013. His work has been the subject of numerous solo presentations, including recent exhibitions at Ribot Gallery, Milan; Tabacalera, Madrid; Sorry We’re Closed, Brussels; Formatocomodo, Madrid; and Kasia Michalski Gallery, Warsaw. He has been featured in numerous group exhibitions, including recent presentations at he.ro, Amsterdam; Carl Kostyál, Stockholm; Art Academy of Cincinnati, Cincinnati; The Journal Gallery, Brooklyn; Arsenal, Toronto; and Division Gallery, Montreal.


Press release written by Zachary Fischman

No Politics at the Dinner Table

He said his name was Columbus

an’ I just said good luck

-Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream[1]


The title of Canyon Castator’s show, ‘No Politics at the Dinner Table’ makes me think of the meta, fourth wall-breaking scene in Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles[2] when an entire western town’s worth of brawling cowboys spill over into another set shooting what looks like a Fred Astaire genre movie and continue their rumble, this time with dancers in top hats and tails. While it’s a gag and a novel narrative set-up for the time, the implication is that the cowboys are too dumb to know they are acting and just keep beating up whoever they see, on Brooks’ behalf.


In Canyon’s version, an American family is sitting down to a long-awaited meal (God knows we like to eat!) and as a discussion begins to brew about (insert any aspect of American life, it all appears politicized at this point) an elder at the table orders: ‘No politics at the Dinner table!’ and silence ensues. As the camera pans out, the characters from Canyon’s newest suite of five paintings break through the wall-papered wall, knocking over the sideboard and engulfing the room and family in their unfettered, brawling presence. The verbal warning stands as an ineffective stopper, a band-aid and a truly un-self-aware objection, as the culture is too far gone, a reality TV show carnival barker at its head, for the protestation to make any sense at this late hour.


The mood in America right now is of feeling at least disconnected from and at most in total opposition to, the Government. And yet Americans historically haven’t had a popular culture of social political argument. I once sat in a cafe in Paris until the wee hours of the morning arguing with Parisians and Belgians about politics. But Americans have tended to not care as much, or to care in pockets. Is it the size of our country? The fact that we have less representation per capita than other Democracies? We’re litigious and rely on the courts not the Government to settle our scores? I think it’s at least partly that intellectualism is seen as rudeness in the US, it’s not polite to know more than other people.


I was lucky to get the opportunity to draw next to Canyon this summer, in a free-form Draw Jam in a beautiful Southern Italian garden, with a dozen other Artists. Canyon is a natural, intuitive, inspired drawer who invents entire characters from a suggested line, truly intimidating and awe-inspiring to be looking over his shoulder as you try to make something look like anything! It took me back to an earlier visit I had with Canyon at my studio in Brooklyn. We had shared our processes and he described his as starting with formal elements, in the case of a painting, color, and creating figures and loaded objects on the spot, based in the associations of a particular green or brown or yellow occurring to him in the moment. In this way, these paintings that might appear specific and planned, turn out to be expressionistic and reactive, all-over compositions, what a de Kooning or Pollock might have made if they lived in the era of the 24hr news cycle or Twitter.


The forms are painted in a range from cartoon to realistic, usually residing in an uncanny middle ground, reminiscent of 3D animation but most properly described as Pop Surrealism. Who Framed Roger Rabbit?[3] turns out to be an influence for Canyon and you can see it in his novel renderings of figures and objects, combining the real and unreal. The narrative influence of the movie is there too in his affection for creating a range of highly expressive characters.


Canyon texted me that much of his process is also influenced by the rollicking, surreal song, ‘Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream.’ A Dylan fan myself, I looked it up excitedly, thinking I might use a line or two to title this piece. It begins with the narrator reaching land in America with Ahab, the famous whaler from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick at his side and then follows him through various locations in what appears to be 60’s New York City: Bowery slums, a bank, a restaurant, a cab. In every place he finds himself, he has an interaction with someone in which the singer is either not understood or rejected and then unfailingly, a cop shows up. It ends with him deciding to head back to sea and seeing Columbus on the way in. Is the implication a metaphor for Dylan getting somewhere first, artistically? Or is the character so frustrated with the failures and contradictions of ‘the more perfect union’ that he’s giving it up in disgust?


The song unspools the way a dream would, with nonsensical interactions and random characters appearing and reappearing. Canyon’s paintings follow a similar beat. Dylan’s cops appear throughout and for Canyon too, there is at least one in every painting, trying to quell the mostly desperate characters acting out, and reacting as usual, with excessive force. Uncle Sam appears, Jesus appears twice, there are skateboarders, George Washington, along with weapons, fire and explosive devices, and is that Ahab (?) red-faced and Napoleonic, in his red long underwear.


It turned out it was much more difficult than I originally thought, to isolate a few lines of Dylan’s song, to serve as a heading for this essay. The song functions as such a complete whole with various elements supporting or referring to themes that came before or after. In the same way, you couldn’t extract a figure or two from Canyon’s paintings without taking out a huge section of the painting, they are symbiotically and narratively entwined with each other. If you tried to remove one or contemplate it on its own, the meaning would be lost. Canyon’s characters go about their grim tasks alone and yet fully dependent on each other.


There is an interesting orientation to Canyon’s figures, most seem to be facing East, intriguing because Canyon makes them on the West Coast, in Los Angeles and because in the piece ‘Moving Right’ (Oil and spray paint on canvas, 2018) Uncle Sam holds a ‘Manifest!’ (Destiny) flag (I at first mis-read the command as manfest.) The common personification of the U.S. Government leads the charge to the right, but also…Eastward, as though undoing or reversing the Westward expansion of the original ‘Manifest Destiny’ aspiration. If the original settlers were trying to create a ‘kind of heaven,’ by expanding West across the United States, it’s clear that Canyon’s advancing characters are moving backwards, through a kind of hell of their own making.


-Gina Beavers, East Village, NYC, September 2018



[1] Dylan, Bob (1965). Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream on Bringing it All Back Home (Album). New York, NY: Columbia Records

[2] Blazing Saddles. Dir. Mel Brooks. Perf. Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Slim Pickens, David Huddleston, and Claude Ennis Starrett, Jr. Warner Brothers, 1974.

[3]Amblin Entertainment ; Silver Screen Partners ; Touchstone Pictures ; producers, Frank Marshall, Robert Watts ; writers, Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman ; director, Robert Zemeckis. Who Framed Roger Rabbit? [United States]: [Burbank, CA :] :Touchstone Pictures ; [Distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment]

Constant Joy

Austin Lee’s latest solo exhibition, Constant Joy, revolves around a focused visual language, using the ‘flower’ as a continuous unit. Austin’s flowers are symbols for beauty, growth and kindness. They greet us like a generous flower shower, channelling the sense of joy Austin derives from his practice. On another layer, these flowers are representational reflections of the essence inherent within each of us. Their simplified uniformity emphasizes universal bonds and common experiences. As though lit from within, these works radiate an interior liveliness. For Austin, this exhibition’s resonance is expressed through the words of Japanese poet Matsuo Basho: “There is nothing that you can see that is not a flower; there is nothing you can think that is not the moon”.

According to the teachings of introspective spiritual practices across different cultures (such as Zen and Sufism), the ‘state of joy’ comes from experiencing wholeness: a state created by feeling connected to a source, from which all beings and experiences derive. However, this state of joy is not exclusive to any specific belief or practice. Creative pursuits with introspective nature and continuity are one of the many gateways through which people nourish that state. In Constant Joy I observe a similar exploration of unity, with an extra pinch of yearning for harmony. Through playful repetition, re-arrangement and re-interpretation, the exhibition embodies both an inquisitive and a declarative nature; building multiple expressions of a harmonious whole. This pursuit is reflected both in the compositional structure of the individual works, and in the fluidity with which Austin incorporates different modes of expression such as painting, music, digital animation and sculpture.

Some flowers come together as if to form a structured sentence or a march voiced in unison by a persistent crowd. Other flowers hover towards our environment like notes vibrating at different frequencies. From still paintings that evoke sound and motion, to a song Austin has recorded on his piano, Constant Joy is a celebration of creativity as a continuous renewal strategy in the midst of decay and destruction.

—Romina Meric

Coccaro on Paper

“The draw jam at Torre Coccaro was 15-30 international artists drawing in a gorgeous garden among massive olive trees at Masseria Torre Coccaro. The staff would bring us drinks and amazing meals and we would hang out all day and draw. Lazlo, Julia and George Kostyal (5, 6 and 5 at the time) joined us and kept us focused on maintaining our purest drawing instincts. We had every drawing material at our disposal and endless stacks of the hotel’s stationary to work on. Some of us had just met so we spent the day talking over our drawings. Canyon Castator spun out amazing webs of characters, Timur Si Quin made tree rubbings, Jon Rafman drew wildly expressive figures, Constance Tenvik poured out colorful writhing surrealisms, Peter Shuyff worked on delicate abstractions, everywhere you looked someone was doing something cool. A group of us decided to do exquisite corpses as a way to have fun and kind of loosen up. It’s a really non-precious, non-competitive way to work and lead to many laughs and bonding. We included the kids in these and made some amazing things. And then, our drawing hands exhausted, we jumped in the pool! “

Gina Beavers, July 2018


Carl Kostyál Gallery donated all proceeds to AmoPuglia,

a local charity which provides free home care to oncological patients


Inaugural Artist Residency at Fontana di Vite 2018

The Matera Artist Residency is a collaboration between Masseria Fontana di Vite and the gallerist Carl Kostyál.
The residency was founded to provide a space and home for visual artists from around the world to create art while experiencing Italian life. The residency offers these artists the time and place to retreat from the routines and pressures of everyday life within a unique geographical and cultural context with the added flair of the southern Italian hospitality.
Masseria Fontana di Vite is a boutique hotel located on a country estate close to the ancient city of Matera in the Basilicata region of southern Italy. The original Masseria structure, which is a fortified farmhouse typical of the area, dates back to the 18 th century. An expansion in 1816 by its original owners, the aristocratic Gattini family, saw the construction of a noble house residency, a warehouse with barrel vaults used to store wheat, and several rooms around the courtyard used as wine cellars as well as small storage depots. More buildings were added under the subsequent ownership of Giovanni Lorusso including a chapel, an outdoor oven, two large warehouses to store tobacco leaves, and “Lamielle”, which is a farmhouse characterized by small barrel vaults.
The artist’s studio is a spacious warehouse originally used to dry tobacco and stands as a truly incredible building. The many historic structures on the estate serve as an inspiration for the artists. In fact, the chapel was used by the first artist-in-residence Austin Lee in July 2018 for a ceiling fresco titled “I fiori del cielo”.
This contemporary site-specific work is a tribute to the spiritual architecture of the church and stunning nature surrounding the Masseria.
The artist residency aims to create a sculpture park surrounding the property and to become a destination site for the international art world in the hidden gem of Matera, the third most ancient city in the world, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site as well as the European Capital of Culture in 2019.
In 2018, the summer residency hosted Austin Lee and Gina Beavers during the month of July, while the autumn residency hosted Violet Dennison in September. The 2019 program will host two month-long sessions, one in spring and the other one in summer, with each hosting two artists per session.


Summer Session 2018: Gina Beavers and Austin Lee

Autumn Session 2018: Violet Dennison



I found the residency in Matera at the Masseria Fontana de Vite truly life-changing! The first couple weeks were a non-stop party, a bunch of artists came out for the draw jam and we went to Puglia to hang out and draw with them. It was incredibly fun, swimming, hanging out at the beach and drawing in the garden during the day.

It sort of hit me about halfway through my time in Matera, after the Draw Jam, that I really only had two weeks to make my own work, but I was able to work about 5 hrs a day at that point, a couple hrs betweenbreakfast and lunch and a couple when everyone was siesta-ing in the late afternoon. Dinner was usually not until 10, so the days felt amazingly long.

The studio was maybe not the most optimal, in terms of light and facilities like tables etc, and Austin and I kind of had to scrounge around for furniture in the barn to get set-up. And if you have definite materials you will need I would definitely work that out ahead of time, they do get Amazon deliveries there. Also, they are talking about renovating the studios, so maybe it will be a little more finished by next year. Having said that of course, the building we worked in, a giant old warehouse for drying tobacco, was a really incredible, gorgeous building in an of itself, so it was pretty magical to get to work in it, in any case!

The best part for me was getting to know Italy and oh my God, the cheese !! No but really, Fausta and her brother are really cool and beyond generous. She’s 33, he’s 30 and they are well-travelled, and cosmopolitan, so there’s a very new world/old world vibe happening there. She runs the hotel side, he runs the farm…

The area and the Masseria itself are beautiful. I was kind of curious driving in from the airport because this region is dotted with old factories and appears kind of run down and economically abandoned at first glance. But then Fausta would take us to the nearby towns and you realize Southern Italy has all of these ‘jewels’ in the form of beautiful, historic towns. Matera, Altamura, Taranto are so amazing and special ! Taranto has a really insane Archeological museum (MarTA) with TONS of amazing things, the town used to be part of Greece so there’s a lot of interesting overlapping history and fascinating objects there.

Also the beaches! We went to several beautiful ones on the Adriatic and the Ionian side!!! And the food and the coffee!! We had these long lunches and late dinners of the most amazing food !!! Most of all the people, they were so generous and adventurous and relaxed, really wonderful !

I think you would find a ton there to inspire you! And if not the pool is really lovely 🙂 I swam everyday! It was a really special time, I feel incredibly centered and peaceful after it, and I was already thinking how jealous I am going to be looking at other resident’s photos in the future !



In many ways the residency is more about learning a way of life than relocating one’s art practice. It is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. Time slowed down for me. I was mesmerized by the strange landscape where snails grew on tall grass, the soil seemed volcanic, and ancient history embedded itself in the rock. Fausta, her family and friends were so incredibly open and generous. I loved getting to know all of them. I toured many different farms and nearby towns. I learned how to weave bamboo from a local man when I stopped by his home one day. The things I experienced and learned in Italy have influenced my work greatly. I will remember that time very fondly and of course the food is incredible.

“Journal Entry #3: Italian Disco”

Excerpt of Journal Entry constructed of pvc coated brass woven into knotted binary code translated from English and Lounge Chair. I have been working on developing a series of work which translates my memoir into a binary knot code. One of the initial inspirations of this is ancient knot systems, like the Inca Quipu. Some scholars believe that Quipu was one of the first forms of binary code, which is a two symbol system used by most computers. Others have described it as one of the first versions of artificial memory. While those types of knot systems create a language to be shared, in this work the information is structural and inaccessible. The weaving here was developed and influenced by Inca, Mexican, and then Italian weaving which I learned in a nearby town during my stay.

This particular sculpture is a translation of a journal entry I wrote at the Masseria and the lounge chair is also an ode to the location. It was woven together with Italian clothing lines.

Masseria Fontana di Vite
Studio Space


Gina Beavers
Gina Beavers


Austin Lee’s work on the Chapel’s ceiling, “I FIORI DEL CIELO” 2018
Austin Lee’s work on the Chapel’s ceiling, “I FIORI DEL CIELO” 2018
Austin Lee’s work on the Chapel’s ceiling, “I FIORI DEL CIELO” 2018
Austin Lee and Fausta
Austin Lee
Austin Lee
Austin Lee
Austin Lee
Austin Lee
Austin Lee


Violet Dennison


Violet Dennison


Violet Dennison


The Knot Pieces, based on ideas developed during her Matera Residency, shown at Kunsthall Stavanger – her solo exhibition  -April 13 – June 2, 2019.
– (Madlaveien 33
4009 Stavanger



Formula One

In Henry Gunderson’s pictures, there are subjects that deviate, clash and contradict, yet co-exist with one another. A slithering snail takes on the form of a framing device overlooking an expressway. A checkerboard platform shoe covered in chess pieces morphs together with a dragster to create a hybrid consumer object with the buttons of a video game controller embedded into it. A reptilian sunglass model gazes ominously in our direction. A school of camcorders are entangled in plastic six-pack rings. Various colored lamps light up a rave. The inner workings of a computer system reveal a cybernetic union of mushrooms, wires, and ants complete with hippie photo memorabilia. Gunderson’s subjects are deliberately dissonant and anti-formulaic. The image of a knotted bolt on the cover of a diagnostic statistical manual of mental disorders that is covered in oil fingerprints and titled ‘The Mechanic’ sets a tone. Does this image depict a literal entanglement of the mental process suggesting that disorder needs to be straightened out? Or, does Gunderson counteract this thought and instead ask does the ideal mind exist? Does our obsession with order and normalcy prevent us from effectively navigating the rich chaos of our experience?


The eight pictures operate idiosyncratically within their own rules and regulations, each playing its own distinct role in an arena of absurdity. Together they create a volatile dynamic like that of a dysfunctional family at a dinner table. Each one expressing distinct themes such as, time, speed, technology, excess, surveillance, psychology, branding, and conspiracy, in a democratic fashion. All these individual disparate, but coherent viewpoints have a validity and a poetry of their own. An evolutionary process fluctuating in a 24-hour cycle of progression and regression is pictured on a business card composition, ‘Same Time Tomorrow’. From ape to man and back to ape again, Gunderson provides us with no answers, only presents us with a survey of questions needed in order to analyze the chaos and absurdity of the world around us.



Did you think you could program the flowers to serve you? ▢Yes ▢No


Did you think you were large in relation to the ant? ▢Yes ▢No


Did you think that having a pet ride in the passenger seat would grant you access to the carpool lane? ▢Yes ▢No


Did you think your joyride on the expressway to oblivion would be a pleasurable experience? ▢Yes ▢No


Did you think the laws of aerodynamics did not apply to you? ▢Yes ▢No


Did you think that those shoes would be appropriate attire for the funeral? ▢Yes ▢No


Did you think that by inhabiting a body you were making some kind of a fashion statement? ▢Yes ▢No


Did you think that I would stoop so low as to be fashionable? ▢Yes ▢No


Did you think the planet you’ve been standing on was the earth? ▢Yes ▢No


Did you think you could hack into the mainframe and go undetected? ▢Yes ▢No


Did you think the current operating system was obsolete? ▢Yes ▢No


Did you think you could stare directly into the sun for guidance? ▢Yes ▢No


Did you think you could carry a rhythm with your retina? ▢Yes ▢No


Did you think new lenses would correct the damage done? ▢Yes ▢No


Did you think this was a race that could be won or lost? ▢Yes ▢No



Text by Water McBeer & Niru Ratman


Plato Combinato

MK:  Your work is not narrative. Does that mean that it is basically abstract?

PS:    No, not really. A woman telephoned me and asked me, “What are your paintings about?” And I said,

“Don’t worry about that now. Just be thankful they are there.” I thought about that afterwards, and that really describes to me how my paintings are about nothing. How they deal with the problem of nothing.

– Interview with Peter Schuyff by Michael Kohn from Flash Art International no. 123, 1985


‘Some of my best abstract painting were reduced to a clearly simple set of rules which I simply had to follow till the end. I have to pay a lot of attention while taking little or no responsibility.’

– Peter Schuyff in conversation with Julia Crottet, 23 March 2017


‘Other animals do not need a purpose in life. A contradiction to itself, the human animal cannot do without one. Can we not think of the aim of life as being simply to see?’

– Straw Dogs, John Gray


Carl Kostyal is proud to present the first solo show in the UK by Peter Schuyff.

Schuyff came to prominence in 1980’s New York, alongside the likes of Philip Taaffe, Peter Halley and Ashley Bickerton, part of the loosely defined ‘Neo Geo’ movement.

His signature (though not exclusive) style is a kind of proto-digital, geometric abstraction.

Three small, exquisite, watercolours (all 1986) display a quiet, crazy, monastic intensity in the precision of their invested labour – each of them a fine grid filled by incremental movements through chromatic shades and gradients of luminosity.

The same intensity and tension between the fallible human hand and the idea of mathematical perfection animates the three large, bright, beautiful oil paintings of undulating linear and square patterns (all 2017).

Undulations, carved into hefty tree trunks, ripple also, apparently effortlessly, through Schuyff’s three wooden sculptures (all 2016).

Elsewhere an extraordinary, insoluble tangle of infinite spaghetti floats expansively upon the surface of Big Gold (2011).

United by a stoner Zen aesthetic each of these works claims nothing more or less than being the thing in itself.


Barn Burner

The pictorial alphabet of James English Leary is comprised of recurring forms enacted as monochromes of various sizes and colors. Constructed as shaped canvases, the works loosely trace the outlines of truncated four-fingered hands, which in their profusion constitute a vocabulary of gestures giving each work (along with the color) its title: Red Middle Finger, Grey Sign of the Horns, Green Pointer, Lemon Yellow Double Middle Finger, etc.

The pieces are often placed on the floor leaning against the wall and are sometimes installed upside-down or at 45 degrees as if they were turning in on themselves. The arrangement of these works does not have a predefined meaning; rather they play off of themselves, pointing and gesturing to rearrange the spaces they inhabit. Similarly, various canvases are stacked by size forming random compositions of color. These configurations are not fixed and can be changed depending on the circumstances.

It is an open language, akin to a game of signs offering a multitude of possibilities without true restrictions. Their soft appearance (there are no hard-right angles) invites an experience of semi- figuration which depending on their orientation and relations can invoke a torso, a face, breasts, or a penis and balls. Occasionally other body parts are added to the hand: a pair of lips or a nose that seem to want to escape the frame.

The palette used by Leary begins with the primary – red, yellow, blue – which, once mixed, produce ranges of violet, green and orange. The juxtaposition of colored masses and the volume of painted objects that vibrate and burst are not unrelated to the Pop Art of the design firm MEMPHIS. Leary’s forms seem equally indebted to American comic artists, like Robert Crumb, as to 3D forms conceived in a craftsman style. But it is undoubtedly in Philip Guston that we find the strongest influence. The diptych Totalitarian Bebop (2015), which depicts five hands with smoking cigarettes, is a direct reference to the master’s themes. Further influence can be seen in the use of red and pink found in Cameo (2014) and in the few works of unambiguous figuration Emo Figure (Orange and Brown heads) (2017), Emo Figure (Love Streams) (2017), and Emo Figure w/Groove (2017). The painting Emo Figure (Orange and Brown Heads), which is missing a corner and a part of the head, is not a portrait of a particular person, but a mood piece which thwarts the plan of the rest of the paintings. This figure both observes the rest of the exhibition and is woven into it.

In this puzzle of abstract figures, there is a semantic where the signified – the hand – points to what the artist creates but also to what he wishes to express beyond form:

The hand is an instrument of invention, self-expression, agency and destructive will. The hands point, signal, gesture, reach out. There are little stories you can start to project onto them (especially when they are in groups with each other) – affection, submission, protection, communication, protest. And I like that when they are piled up they become a ‘crowd’ all clamoring for attention.

One can therefore understand the title of the exhibition, Barn Burner, which refers to a radical political group of the 19th century New York Democratic Party.


Text by Nicolas Trembley

The Third Mind

For The Third Mind artists, David Ostrowski and Jean-Marie Appriou present abstract paintings and figurative sculptures together with music by DJ and producer Anthony Linell / Abdulla Rashim at Carl Kostyál gallery in Stockholm. The 3-hour-long event marks the inauguration of the gallery’s new space located in Nacka Strand.

The project constitutes a further iteration in an ongoing series of events in which Ostrowski, electronic musicians and other visual artists participate in ambiguous formats that are neither exhibitions nor easily catagorised as collaborative performances. These events have taken place in a multitude of forms and settings ranging from an evening-long DJ set at his own studio in Cologne to a sound intervention in a two-person exhibition held at the Leopold Hoesch Museum in Düren. Most recently a two-night long music festival took place below his hovering paintings at a defunct factory building in Leipzig.

What all these different occasions have in common is that DJs and musicians perform in close spatial proximity to Ostrowski’s paintings, which in turn become vulnerable to a crowd that, fuelled by the music, might leave gallery etiquette behind. Hung above the floor (a recurring motif in the artist’s display strategies), the artworks are confronted by the profane technical infrastructure of electronic sound transmission: cables, speakers, and mixers. This decision, at first appearing to be born from technical necessity, amplifies the way these projects try to abolish a hierarchy between visual artists and musicians, which further becomes apparent in the way both are equally mentioned in the description of the event.

Artworks are usually not specifically made for the event; neither are the musicians presenting a soundscape that was directly developed in dialogue with the artist or necessarily reacts to the works on view. Instead, collaborators are given a maximum degree of autonomy, possibly leading to coincidences and misunderstandings that add to the difficulty in predicting in advance the way the event is received by the audience.

Collaborations between art and experimental and electronic music are nothing new. Since the 1960s, music has started entering the exhibition space to such a degree, its institutionalization has been paralleled by museums developing sophisticated infrastructures and techniques to accommodate the medium. Driven by an awareness of this history, in recent projects Ostrowski has reversed this by placing artworks in situations and locations which become subject to the systematic spatial organization of a club: all eyes towards the DJ booth. This leaves the visitor uncertain as to whether they attending a real club night, or bearing witness to a strategic staging of its allegedly emotional authenticity in an art context. At other times, events are set up to intentionally create an atmosphere that moves between a usual art opening accompanied by music, the respectful silence of a sound performance, or the ecstasy of a dance party.

It is through their uncertainty and openness that these projects ask about the ways in which the space shapes the experience of music, how music shapes the perception of the art, and how it has come to be immersed in the content of contemporary art.

How It’s Made

How It’s Made brings together twenty-three artists in the inaugural exhibition at the new Carl Kostyál gallery premises in Nacka Strand, Stockholm. It takes its title from the ongoing documentary television programme, How It’s Made, which is broadcast on Discovery Channel, revealing various industrial manufacturing process of everyday consumer items.

The exhibition presents a range of artworks in a variety of mediums that reflect upon numerous art movements and current trends in artistic practice to collectively demonstrate the performative potential of materials to actively disrupt and transform fixed cultural perceptions. Exploring artistic attitudes, methods and motivations towards formal, cultural, socio-political and technological approaches within contemporary art production.

It includes Ed Atkins 19hr durational video work How It’s Made (2016), which also takes its name from the TV programme and consists solely of appropriated footage. However, unlike the original, the outcome or the visibility of the end product is consistently withheld by Atkins, intentionally denying the viewer established or prescribed procedures of reception and consumption.

Interspersed throughout the gallery are a series of geometric sculptural interventions by Nina Canell; meticulously cast from gum, the works gradually collapse from their original embodiment and are reshaped by the architecture of the building. Fluidity and the shifting context of objects is further explored by Violet Dennison, whose contribution consists of a reconfigured industrial water cooler wall mounted onto silver plated copper foil. Once ubiquitous within U.S institutions, it’s protective surface is removed to reveal a complex, fragile and arguably obsolete set of working components that are contemplative of its economy at the time of manufacture.

This formally connects to artworks by Jonathan Binet, Ayan Farah and Sergej Jensen, whom consciously reveal the economy of their making by adding and subtracting existing materials, employing a reduced aesthetic language that traces the manipulation of their respective surfaces and original material purpose. It is also evidenced in Matias Faldbakken’s assisted readymade artwork of a crudely tiled car dashboard. A fundamental component found within all vehicles that have evolved from being a protective barrier for horse-drawn carriages to become a sophisticated modem for communication, now purposely undermined and rendered impotent by his application of a ceramic skin. Other featured readymade artworks are less conspicuously altered, such as Yngve Holen’s industrially produced CT Scanner casing that intrinsically links technology with the human desire for well-being. An earlier artwork that engages with questions about the influence of consumer culture and technology upon the individual is Lynn Hershman Leeson’s pioneering video work Lynn Turning into Roberta (1978), which documents her invention and subsequent fabrication of her fictional alter-ego Roberta Breitmore. The exhibition is composed from a range of materials that manifest as painting, sculpture and video, which are connected by the shared interests of artists working today.

The exhibition preview will be preceded on the 2 December 2017 by a new site specific performance entitled The Third Mind. It will feature an installation of artworks by David Ostrowski and Jean-Marie Appriou within an electronic music soundscape by Anthony Linell aka Abdulla Rashim.

 Text by Matt Williams

Tennis Ball Yellow

My Instagram feed is full of paintings. In recent weeks, they have been paintings from the Frieze Art Fair or from FIAC, or from gallery shows taking place in London or Paris at the same time as those art fairs. The images of these paintings appear on my phone at all the same size, determined by the Instagram app on my phone. They are usually taken from a respectful distance by the people who post them and the alignment is usually as horizontal as possible. The images are mostly of a whole painting rather than a detail.

My Instagram feed tells me nothing about how the paintings that appear on it have affected the viewer who makes the post. I have little idea what they felt or what happened in that moment of encounter with that painting. Instead these images tell me about the art-travels of those who have posted, or tells me which exhibitions the instagrammer has visited. The images signal to me that the instagrammers are people who diligently seek out interesting exhibitions, look at works and have the ability to discern between bad works, which don’t get posted and good works that deserve a post of their own.

There are a number of paradoxes at work on these images of paintings on my Instagram feed. Over a hundred years ago, painting started to become more difficult to look at and describe. This was when modern art turned away from the attempt to represent the world the artist could see in what was thought to be a realistic way. Paintings that were deemed most worthy of critical attention turned towards abstraction or avant-garde strategies that moved them away from being mere representations of the world in front of the painter. Shepherds and hillsides and portraits of aristocrats no longer held critical interest. Sophisticated viewers of art did not look at paintings for their representation content – they did not look at Picasso’s Les Demoiselles D’Avignon to get an accurate representation of what French prostitutes looked like in the early decades of the twentieth century, or if they did, they were making a mistake in doing so.

Yet, bizarrely, representation has returned to contemporary painting although not as the triumphant return of representational painting, but instead in the way the encounter with paintings is rendered in a straightforwardly representational way – in the way that this moment is presented on Instagram. The painting on the walls of my instagrammers posts might or might not be representational themselves, but the representation of them is flattened out, reduced to the same size, presented in the same dreary narrative of uniformity. All those avant-gardes, all those manifestos, all those statements about the triviality of representation carelessly blown apart by an app. Swipe down for the end of the modernist painting.

Gina Beavers’ paintings resist this careless, conservative dismantling of modernist, avant-garde and later strategies in painting through a very simple strategy – they depict something that is flat, that is Instagram posts, in a way that is insistently not flat. The paintings are three dimensional reliefs, with contours, edges and bits which stick out from the canvas. Her works insist on physicality, on the actual encounter between a viewer and an object on a wall, not the representation of that encounter. Her subject matter tends to be drawn from popular genres of Instagram – ‘food porn’ for example. Yet she renders these generic Instagram images, sometimes with their generic layouts from popular Instagram-related apps, in a way that works against their previous status as generic Instagram images because their three-dimensionality means something very simple: they are almost impossible to conventionally Instagram in an accurate way.

At the heart of modernist painting was resistance. This sometimes took the form of a resistance to a literal reading of the painting, or a resistance in terms of an avoidance or negation of subject matter. There was a resistance to straightforward consumption. The high moment of abstraction, Malevich’s black square, does not look like a perfect black square. It looks like a cracked, painted black square. These are works that insist on their status as paintings first and foremost and this entails the act of looking, of standing in front of these objects in order to see what affect they have on you. There is resistance when there is nothing easy to hang onto, or to interpret, noting that is a straightforward representation. But now that unthinking representation has emerged again in the screens of our devices, how then to resist? Instagram this, Beavers’ paintings seem to say, and after all, why wouldn’t you? These are the very images that have been popular with Instagrammers – food porn, make-up tips, body art. But there’s a twist. With their insistence on their three-dimensionality and their insistence on the moment of encounter, the paintings are saying something slightly different: Instagram this, and fail.

My Instagram feed is full of paintings, and each of those images fails those paintings.  For Beavers, this is a starting point.

Text by Niru Ratnam


An early title for this show was going to be 1-888-NYC-Well, that’s the number for the depression hotline in New York where I live, making these works was like dialing that number and feeling better every time.

When I first saw the Carl Kostyál space, I thought immediately of Sherlock Holmes’s library but the green floor in that wood paneled room also reminded me of images I had seen of the first tennis courts, paneled rooms that eventually gave way to grass green surfaces.

I went to buy birthday balloons and in the midst of all the pink, purple and brightly colored festive Mylar, helium balloons, there was one clearly designated for boys, with soccer balls, basketballs and baseballs on it, on a blue and white background.

I scrawled ‘tennis ball yellow’ as an instruction on a photo/sketch for my assistant Rachel, and she showed me how she mixes it, with light cadmium yellow and a touch of viridian green. This was a revelation to me, I would have tried yellow with little black, which would have been too muddy and dark, her combo makes a very accurate, vibrant hue.

I learned from an article in the Sun* that tennis balls used to be white, the contrast of the white ball against the dark grass worked well on black and white TV, but with the advent of color television, viewers found the white balls hard to make out. Different hues of bright, neon balls were tested and a greenish yellow ball was settled on in 1972. Side note, the All England club adopted this version of the ball in 1986.

I used to have a mean backhand, although I couldn’t make the tennis team in high school. I would be winning a match and then choke. It’s really true when people say tennis is a mental game.

-Gina Beavers, Brooklyn, NY 2017


*Newton, J. (2017, July 6). NEW BALLS PLEASE This is surprising reason why Wimbledon tennis balls are yellow…and how they were very nearly neon pink. The Sun. Retrieved from https://www.thesun.co.uk


Gina Beavers lives and works in New York City. She holds a BA in Studio Art and Anthropology from the University of Virginia (1996), an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2000) and an MS in Education from Brooklyn College (2005).

She creates paintings and installations from photos culled from the Internet and social media and rendered in high acrylic relief. Series include paintings based on the creative realms of body painting, social media user’s photos of their meals, make-up tutorials, memes, and body builder selfies.

Gina has exhibited solo projects at GNYP (Berlin), Frieze (New York 2016), Michael Benevento (Los Angeles), Clifton Benevento (New York), Retrospective (Hudson, NY), Fourteen30 (Portland, Or), James Fuentes (New York), Nudashank (Baltimore, MD), and Material Art Fair (Mexico City). She has participated in numerous group shows, among them, MoMA PS1  (Long Island City, NY), Lumber Room (Portland, Or), Kentucky Museum of Contemporary Art (Louisville, KY), Nassau County Museum of Art (Long Island, NY), Flag Art Foundation (New York), William Benton Museum of Art (Storrs, Ct), Abrons Art Center (New York), Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York), Cheim and Read (New York), JTT (New York), Canada Gallery (New York), Valentin (Paris), Galerie Opdahl (Norway), and Night Gallery (Los Angeles). Her work has been reviewed in the New York Times, Artforum, Frieze, the New Yorker and Modern Painters, among others.


This Frieze luxury book publisher Assouline will collaborate with art-world power couple, Simon & Michaela de Pury and Carl Kostyál to present a curated show of never before seen works by Austin Lee. The exhibition, launching on 2nd October and running until 14th October, will be hosted at Maison Assouline.

Maison Assouline is a one-of-a-kind ‘culture concept’ store, located in the heart of Piccadilly, and has firmly established itself within the London scene. It has become a sanctuary of culture and style for Londoners, making it the perfect place to host this year’s most exciting Frieze London show. The store will host a curated selection of art installations, sculptures and paintings chosen by the de Purys and Carl Kostyál which will be displayed throughout the Grade II listed building by Edwin Lutyens.

Simon de Pury comments, “We are thrilled to be exhibiting new work by Austin Lee. He is an exciting young artist whose work is already being collected by some major collectors around the world. We are very happy to collaborate on this with our friend Carl Kostyál and are most grateful to Prosper Assouline for lending us his spectacular building on Piccadilly. It is one of my favourite houses built by the great architect Edwin Lutyens.”

The exhibition ‘Alight’ will showcase a new sculpture and paintings by American contemporary artist Austin Lee. Lee is an internationally recognised artist based in New York and is famed for his playful, airbrushed acrylics that illustrate the experience of living life through screens in the traditional medium of painting. Lee creates drafts of his idiosyncratic pictures on an iPad, transferring them to paintings and drawings using airbrush and conventional painting techniques.

Together with the exhibition Lee will also launch the second edition of his book, “SPHERES” and a corresponding App. Readers can discover Austin Lee’s work and process with the app using augmented reality. The publication Spheres is the creative documentation of a close collaboration between Austin Lee and the editor, graphic designer Philippe Karrer.

Prosper Assouline comments, “We are delighted to be partnering with de Pury de Pury and Carl Kostyál to bring Maison Assouline, our culture concept store, alive for Frieze London this year”

The exhibition will be open 7 days a week, 10am to 8pm with free entry from 2-14 October at Maison Assouline, 196A Piccadilly, St. James’s, London W1J 9EY.