Margaret Curtis: This, too. opens Friday, June 21 in the Street Gallery

Rona Pondick and Robert Feintuch: Heads, Hands, Feet; Sleeping, Holding, Dreaming, Dying.

Feb 3, 2017 – Jul 15, 2017

This exhibition brings together sculptures by Rona Pondick and paintings by Robert Feintuch. A couple since the mid-1970s, the artists share interests in making work that uses the body to pursue psychologically suggestive meanings.

Each uses their self, though neither makes traditional self-portraits. Heads, Hands, Feet; Sleeping, Holding, Dreaming, Dying the first exhibition to present a substantial body of each of their work together, includes nine sculptures and a series of prints by Pondick and eleven paintings by Feintuch. After premiering at UMOCA the exhibition will travel to the Bates Museum of Art.

Both Feintuch and Pondick believe that the body speaks. Their work embraces gesture, posture, naturalism, and expressive distortion as “elements in a visual language for subjective experience.” In their search for psychological meaning the artists found that a broad history of art became useful and that historical references could speak to contemporary experience. Pondick’s animal/human hybrid sculptures have a long lineage across a range of cultures, and many of Feintuch’s paintings play with historical mythological and religious imagery.

Influences have moved back and forth between the artists, and both have paid close attention to heads, hands and feet in their separate searches for embodied metaphoric meanings that are based in lived experience. Feintuch paintings have been described as combining myth and cartoons to make images that are simultaneously “tragicomic,” “tender,” and “subversively ironic,” and Pondick’s sculptures have been described as “a dreamlike melding of human, beast, and steel,” “visceral metaphors” that are “excruciatingly unique,” “provocative and psychologically charged.”

Rona Pondick’s work has been shown extensively in museums and galleries internationally since 1984.  She participated in many group exhibitions including the Whitney Biennial, Lyon Biennale, Johannesburg Biennale, Sonsbeek, and Venice Biennale. Her work is in the collections of prestigious institutions worldwide including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Art, Centre Pompidou and the Israel Museum. Pondick has received numerous awards and grants including fellowships from the Rockefeller and Guggenheim Foundations and she was the recipient of an Anonymous Was A Woman Award in 2016.

Since 1985 Robert Feintuch’s paintings have been shown in solo exhibitions in galleries internationally.  He has participated in numerous group exhibitions in museums including The Peggy Guggenheim Foundation, Ca’ Pesaro Galeria Internazionzale d’Arte Moderna, Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, The Rupertinum, Museum für modernzeitgenössische Kunst and the Venice Biennale. Feintuch has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim, Bogliasco, Rockefeller and Leube Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Robert Feintuch and Rona Pondick met at the Yale University School of Art in 1975 and they live and work in New York City.

This exhibition is organized by Dan Mills at the Bates Museum of Art, and is accompanied by a fully illustrated 96-page catalog with an essay by Terry R. Myers and an interview with the artists and Phong Bui. 

Supported by ZAP and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts.