HOWARD FONDA, EMILY MULLIN, FAYE WEI WEI
To a God Unknown
November 18, 2017 - January 20, 2018
Mrs. is pleased to announce, To a God Unknown, with works by Howard Fonda, Emily Mullin and Faye Wei Wei, November 18, 2017 through January 20, 2018. An opening reception will be held Saturday, November 18, from 6 - 9pm.
‘The deep needle beds muffled her footsteps and the forest swallowed every other sound except the whispering of the needles in the tree-tops. For a few moments she walked on, unimpeded, and then the screen of vines and brambles barred her way. She turned her shoulder to them and forced a passage through, and sometimes she crawled through an opening on her hands and knees. There was a demand upon her that she penetrate deep into the forest.
Her hands were scratched and her hair pulled down when she came at last through the bramble wall and straightened up. Her eyes grew wide with wonder at the circle of trees and the clear flat place. And then her eyes swept to the huge, misshapen green rock.
She whispered to herself, “I think I knew it was here. Something in my breast told me it was here, this dear good thing.” There was no sound at all in the place except the high whispering of the trees, and it was shut out, which only made the silence deeper, more impenetrable. The green moss covering of the rock was as thick as fur, and the long ferns hung down over the little cavern in its side like a green curtain. Elizabeth seated herself beside the tiny stream, slipping secretly away across the glade, and disappearing into the underbrush. Her eyes centered upon the rock and her mind wrestled with its suggestive shape. “Some place I’ve seen this thing,” she thought. “I must have known it was here, else why did I come straight to it?” Her eyes widened as she watched the rock, and her mind lost all sharp thought and became thronged with slowly turning memories, untroubled, meaningless and vague. She saw herself starting out for Sunday School in Monterey, and then she saw a slow procession of white-dressed Portuguese children marching in honor of the Holy Ghost, with a crowned queen leading them. Vaguely she saw the waves driving in from seven different directions to meet and to and to convulse at Point Joe near Monterey. And then she gazed at the rock she saw her own child curled head-downward in her womb, and she saw it stir slightly, and felt its movement at the same time.
Always the whispering went on over her head and she could see out of the corners of her eyes how the black trees crowded in and in on her. It came upon her as she sat there that she was alone in all the world; every other person had gone away and left her and she didn’t care. And then it came upon her that she could have anything she wished, and in the train of this thought there came the fear that she most wished for death, and after that, for a knowledge of her husband.
Her hand moved slowly from her lap and fell into the cold water of the spring, and instantly the trees rushed back and the low sky flew upward. The sun had leaped forward as she sat there. There was a rustling in the forest now, not soft but sharp and malicious. She looked quickly at the rock and saw that its shape was as evil as a crouched animal and as gross as a shaggy goat. A stealthy cold had crept into the glade. Elizabeth sprang to her feet in panic, and her hands rose up and held her breasts. A vibration of horror was sweeping through the glade. The black trees cut off escape. There was the great rock crouching to spring. She backed away, fearing to take her eyes from it. When she had reached the entrance of the broad trail, she thought she saw a shaggy creature stir within the cave. The whole glade was alive with fear. She turned and ran down the trail, too frightened to scream, and she came, after a great time to the open, where the warm sun shone.
The forest closed behind her and left her free.’
-excerpt from John Steinbeck, To a God Unknown, 1933
Howard Fonda received a BS from Nazareth College of Rochester, Rochester, NY and the Sorbonne, Paris, France and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He was a recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant to attend the Atlantic Center for the Arts, in 2007. His works have been included in permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Exhibitions include Stems Gallery, Brussels, Belgium; The Dot Project, London, UK; Mixed Greens, New York, NY, EDDYSROOM and Bannerette, Brooklyn, NY; Chicken Coop Contemporary, Portland, OR; Roots and Culture, Chicago, IL; ICA at Maine College of Art, Portland ME, among others. Fonda lives and works in Portland, OR.
Emily Mullin was born in Santa Monica, CA and studied painting and sculpture at Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA and Goldsmiths, University of London, London, UK. Recent exhibitions include solo shows at Lucien Terras and Sunday Takeout, New York, NY and group exhibitions include Kate Werble Gallery and Casey Kaplan Gallery, NY, New York. Mullin lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
British painter, Faye Wei Wei graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art in 2016, London, UK, where she was awarded the Cass Art Painting Prize. Her first solo exhibition was held at Cob Gallery, London, UK in 2017. Group exhibitions include Siegfried Contemporary, Lychee One Gallery, Mall Galleries, London, UK; and Mom’s Favorite Space, CA. She completed the Hoy Hoy residency in New York in 2016. This will be Wei Wei’s first exhibition with Mrs.
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