Zoe Leonard, Kayode Ojo

Curated by Laura Hunt
March 17 – April 14, 2018
529 W 21st Street

NEW YORK – Paula Cooper Gallery is pleased to present Zoe Leonard, Kayode Ojo opening March 17 at 529 West 21st Street. This is the fourth in a series of two-person presentations at Paula Cooper Gallery’s 529 West 21st Street space curated by Laura Hunt, the gallery’s archivist. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, March 17 from 6 to 8pm.

Both Zoe Leonard and Kayode Ojo have regarded the camera as a surrogate for the artist’s body, enacting, examining, and resisting desire. With the medium of photography both artists explore what society designates as private versus public, as well as why these designations persist or dissolve.

Since the late 1980s, Zoe Leonard has investigated with sensitivity and acuity how point of view drives visibility. On view by the artist is Wax Anatomical Model with Pearls, a photograph made in 1990. Taken at The Josephinum, a medical museum in Vienna, Austria, the black and white photo documents an eighteenth century anatomically female wax model laid out in a vitrine in a “semi-erotic”1 pose, wearing a pearl necklace and blonde wig, with internal organs exposed.

Kayode Ojo will show photographs taken in 2017 at after-parties for New York City gallery and museum exhibition openings alongside photos of the Ojo family in Cookeville, Tennessee, the artist’s birthplace. The after-party has become a subject for Ojo due to its prevalence, proximity, and ostensible production of release and freedom. In some cases, the events’ failure to reach this freedom becomes the content of the works. Ojo’s images of peer artists dancing, talking, and performing for each other are not institutional critique, but rather observations of the satellite social events cultural institutions yield. This exhibit marks the first time that Ojo, who has exhibited primarily sculpture and installations, will show his photographs in a gallery context.

Zoe Leonard (b. 1961, Liberty, NY) lives and works in New York. Among the most critically acclaimed artists of her generation, she has exhibited extensively since the late 1980s. Zoe Leonard: Survey, organized by The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles is on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art March 2—June 10, 2018. Previous solo exhibitions of Leonard’s work have been held at MoMA, New York (2015); Museum of Camden Arts Centre, London (2012); MuMOK, Vienna (2009); Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2009); Reina Sofia, Madrid (2008); Dia:Beacon, Beacon, New York (2008); the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio (2007); Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (2007); Philadelphia Museum of Art (1998); Kunsthalle Basel (1997); Secession, Vienna (1997); and the Renaissance Society, Chicago (1993). Major group exhibitions include Documenta IX (1992) and Documenta XII (2007), as well as the 1993 and 1997 Whitney Biennials.

Kayode Ojo (b. 1990, Cookeville, TN) lives and works in New York. His solo exhibition at And Now, Dallas, TX opens April 2018. Recent group exhibitions include Ormai, Galerie Balice Hertling, Paris (2018); Inflatable Tear, Ceysson & Bénétière, New York (2018); Invisible Man, Martos Gallery, New York (2017); Mortal Sequence, Brennan & Griffin, New York (2016); Natural Flavor, MINI/Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies Ludlow, New York (2015); Under the Volcano, LOMEX, New York (2016); and Hurt Me, FOUR A.M., New York (2015). In June 2017 Texte zur Kunst published a portfolio of Ojo’s work titled “Become What You Fear.”

  1. “La Specola Anatomical Collection,” Atlas Obscura, https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/la-specola 

For more information, please contact the gallery: (212) 255-1105 or info@paulacoopergallery.com