The Beauty of the Burden
Mindy Solomon Gallery and Curator Ché Morales are pleased to present a new digital experience designed by Hanna Ali on the occasion of Genevieve Cohn’s first solo exhibition, Beauty of the Burden.
As social practices continue to be restricted due to COVID-19, Morales and Solomon were met with the dilemma of activating the digital frontier. With the influx of online shows that seemed to include everything but creativity regarding atmosphere and space, Morales asked ‘why recreate a gallery online, when you can recreate the world instead?’ The resulting concept was to fully harness the limitless potential of virtual reality, and literally create a parallel world, echoing Cohn’s painting practice which has long been concerned with world building. Solomon approved the digital build out, and Morales recruited Hanna Ali to design the intricate companion piece that ultimately presents a translation of Cohn’s paintings as an experience, rather than a literal exhibition space. While the corporeal world battles with new limitations and the nuances of social fabric, Cohn’s Beauty of the Burden world sets the viewer free into a space that revitalizes the psychological context of objects and society — making the paintings at once new and familiar.
The universe within, defies expectations of physics and social normalities, and writes a new history (or future) of the women in Cohn’s paintings. Enter the dilapidated atrium standing on a lone island bathed in rosey light — a world saturated in a rich palette of jewel tones. Paintings, books and plantlife populate the matrix of shelves and architectural beams in Cohn’s library of babel, which gives way to an underground chamber or perhaps, a bower. Throughout the crumbling structure, the painted women continue to build, collect and adorn their surroundings, harkening to the practice of the bowerbirds — no trace of life, aside from Ally Young’s poems and recordings that live within each piece that has oddly survived the deconstruction of this parallel world.
Artwork by: Genevieve Cohn
Curated by: Ché Morales
Designed by: Hanna Ali
Poetry by: Ally Young
The Beauty of the Burden
“Art is a space of vulnerability from which what is social is deconstructed to construct what is human”
—Manifesto on Artist’s Rights, Tania Bruguera
Mindy Solomon gallery and curator Ché Morales are pleased to present the solo debut exhibition of artist Genevieve Cohn.
Genevieve Cohn constructs communities. Female centric settings where girls and women carry, gather, braid, comb and pray. They assemble in a bower- a utopic setting of climbing plants deep in shade and nest-like. In her most recent body of work, Cohn explores the idea of nests, specifically the bowers of Satin Bowerbirds. Cohn describes the unique mating ritual of the male bowerbird as he collects and curates a structure with the hopes of attracting a mate. The female bowerbird then chooses her partner based on the bower that she finds most beautiful. Considering these ideas of collection, adornment, beauty, and choice, Cohn re-imagines this mating practice instead as a community practice. Much like bowerbirds, the women in her paintings collect objects of affinity and use them to construct sacred spaces that engage ideas of ritual and practice.
Cohn works in a deeply saturated palette – warm pinks, yellows, and reds play against cool indigo blues, greens and purples. Painted patterns occupy space in juxtaposition with designs crafted with sgraffito technique. Hidden landscapes, pools of water and low hanging branches create a paradise where women toil and assemble. Unlike the bowerbird, ornamentation is minimal, pretense absent. Concepts such as vulnerability, reconstruction and labor inhabit these images. The viewer is invited to ponder a new society; a place where women forge alliances and create a world free of avarice. Where the “Beauty of the Burden” is its own reward.
About Genevieve Cohn
Genevieve Cohn grew up in rural Vermont and received her MFA in Painting from Indiana University. She has attended residencies at The Fiore Art Center, The Vermont Studio Center, The Ragdale Foundation, and AiRGentum and is the winning recipient of the Hopper Prize.
Her work has been featured in New American Paintings, Create Magazine, Art Maze Magazine, and she has exhibited work in New York, Boston, Chicago and Seville, Spain. She is currently living and working in Boston, MA.
About Ché Morales
Ché Morales is a Brooklyn-based curator, experiential designer, and self-proclaimed art junkie with an insatiable appetite for unique, mind-blowing aesthetics. Morales’ curatorial approach is to present groundbreaking material in new and thought provoking ways. He believes art should be a seismic experience to remember.
Ranging from large-scale murals and art installations to branded cultural events, Morales’ curatorial work has been covered by Artnet, Juxtapoz, The Creators Project, The Huffington Post, W Magazine and Whitewall Magazine. In 2017, he housed his practice by founding ABSTRKT, a creative studio with a focus on art, design, and experiences. Clients include Nike, New Balance, Adidas, The Standard Hotel, VR’t Ventures, StockX, New York City Ballet, and more.