SPURS Gallery is pleased to present the group exhibition “Apostolic Succession”, featuring 17 artists. This exhibition is the first exhibition curated by Bill Powers in Asia, a New York based curator, writer and gallerist. The exhibition will open on November 6, 2021.
I believe it was the painter Peter Nadin who first introduced me to the idea of “apostolic succession.” Religious in its origin – Jesus handing down certain rituals to his apostles and them in turn carrying on those traditions – is here in use in a secular sense translated into the cultural field of art and it’s evolution of visual history, like: Would we have Manet’s “Olympia” without Titian’s “Venus of Urbino” as a precedent? Or in relation to this exhibition, would Asif Hoque ever have thought to create his winged American loverboys without Raphael’s iconic cherubs in the painting “Sistine Madonna”? A painting like Joshua Petker’s “Nightsong” for example owes a direct debt to European masters like Federico Andreotti and Eugene de Blaas. Which is to say that it’s a fine line between the derivative and the transformative. Or as critic Roberta Smith pointed it out, “If you’re lucky you can escape your influences.”///
For the viewer, it is undeniably exciting to witness how young aspiring painters grapple with art history, free themselves from their burdens and design new contemporary images, placing them in the reference space of the historical and current world of images. Can Mark Yang reveal a new facet about wrestlers to us which Carroll Dunham hadn’t previously disclosed? Nathaniel Mary Quinn draws a portrait of his art dealer the way Pablo Picasso and Elizabeth Peyton once depicted their gallerists. Hiejin Yoo embeds a “Wizard of Oz” reference in her nature scene as so many other artists from Peter Doig to John Currin have looked to cinema. Anna Weyant makes us think anew about the loneliness of vegetables as we see one solitary “Pea” in her pod. Jay Miriam takes perhaps the most literal approach to this exhibition theme showing a mother gifting pearls to her daughter, the birth of an heirloom.