Grove Collective is pleased to present the upcoming group exhibition Confluence of Tongues, featuring artists Amy Bravo, Lily Kemp, and Danielle Klebes, on view in the gallery’s Battersea space and through the Grove Collective website, from December 2nd to December 18th, 2021. This is the first time that Grove Collective has worked with these artists, and marks the first time that they have shown together.
The works of Bravo, Kemp, and Klebes can be said to share a common root; each examines notions of womanhood, bolstered by concerns of its histories, modes of contemporary support or subversion, and in many respects, its futures. However, if this root is common amongst them, the fruits of their respective labours appear much different, each prisming their own work through their individual experiences and artistic practices.
Bravo, for one, utilises her heritage as a Cuban/Italian-American artist to examine the inherent sense of dislocation such an identity begets. Using her own conception of familial matriarchs she was not able to meet, Bravo crafts works that exude both a strength and iconoclasm, foregrounding uncompromising women through her unique mode of myth-making. Bravo’s frequent insertion of family heirlooms (or, in the case of their unavailability, proxy heirlooms) into her sculptural works creates points of intersection between the artist’s fiction and objective reality, crafting histories that hold the weight of family lore.
In turn, Kemp’s work often circulates around the hyper-sexualization and fetishisation of women’s bodies within a broader context of Western-centric art history and modes of economic production. As these themes expand and morph alongside concerns of self-determination and confrontation on the behalf of Kemp’s subjects, they do so against the backdrop of her trademark palette and “collaged” style. As such, aesthetic choices – using an homage to collage to signifying the re-contextualisation of female bodies – bring the ideas within Kemp’s work full circle, leaving each detail a lead to a larger thought, all while being an end unto itself.
Finally, Danielle Klebes uses her particular mode of realism to evoke both the intense energy of youth along with the unchecked vulnerability youth can bring. When considering Klebes’ work, Carl Dreyer’s charge to “use artifice to strip artifice of artifice” seems particularly apt; it the artist’s ability to interrogate otherwise casual moments for glimpses of her subject’s stark humanity which often resonates most strongly. To be sure, fire, a recurring motif for Klebes, captures this sentiment: destructive and at times harrowing, it is also common, and when controlled, disregarded – making its power all the more shocking.
For Grove Collective, Confluence of Tongues finishes an annual program of seventeen exhibitions in 2021. Marking the end of the gallery’s first full calendar year in operation, the exhibition is poised as a true capstone to the work done by Co-Directors Jacob Barnes and Morgane Wagner, gathering both American and British artists to examine pressing cultural and aesthetic themes. As the gallery looks forward to future programming, the three artists on display aptly capture the strength and diversity of artists the gallery looks forward to exhibiting.