Rithika Merchant "Lilith Births the Djinn" 2015
Romano Gallery has relocated to fresh Bushwick digs, and the inaugural shows in the new space look to be rather auspicious. The solo show in particular is making me swoon, as it's Rithika Merchant's pictorial celebration of the moon in her many mythic guises. "LUNA TABULATORUM" includes images of goddesses, werewolves, psychopomps, and serpents, all painted with exquisite imagination and sensitivity upon the artist's signature folded papercraft. Though her work is lovely to behold on screen, it is utterly sublime in person, thanks to her attention to dimension, third and otherwise. Her statement about the exhibition is as follows:
"For nearly all of the recorded history of mankind, the moon, the brightest object in the night sky, and the only celestial body with features visible to the naked eye - has captured the imagination and interest of people everywhere. There are countless odes to the moon in music, literature, art and religion. The moon had been linked to madness, transformation, femininity and the occult.
The moon was also thought to be the resting place of the gods, hence the moon’s earliest significance was sacred. The moon and the sun are the foundations on which many of the world’s ancient religions have been founded.
Islam follows a lunar calendar, In Kabbala Judaism the moon is the symbol of King David. In Hinduism, Shiva is symbolized by the moon. Many well known mythologies feature lunar deities as well, such as Greek goddesses Artemis and Selene and male gods such as Sin of Mesopotamia and Ibis of Thebes.
The monthly cycle of the moon has also been linked to the menstrual cycle by many cultures. There are links between the words for menstruation and moon in many languages. I see the moon as a meaningful universal object that links humanity by its importance, its presence and its significance. Being particularity interested in creating links between cultures the moon has been a very enlightening muse."
The catalog for the show features an interview with the artist by Decadence Darling, as well as texts by Randall Morris and Allison C. Meier.
Romano Gallery also has a group show opening at the same time, called LEXICON INFERNALI. It features work by an eclectic gathering of visionary artists, both contemporary and historic:
El Gato Chimney, Colin Christian, Jel Ena, A.W. Sommers, Barry William Hale, Lori Field, Loic Lucas, Alessia Iannetti, Cecilia Avendaño Bobillier, Caitlin Karolczak, Limor Gasko , Caitlin McCormack, Shawn Thornton, David Molesky, Cendrine Rovini. Hunter Stabler, Stephanie Lucas, Steven Bradshaw, Elizabeth Shupe, Gigi Chen, Nyahzul Blanco, Kalyana Thiru, Bree Jonson, Ray Robinson, Samuel D Gliner, Eric Richardson, Andreas Cellarius, Darcilio Lima, A. Fiorello, Heiko Müller, Charles Dellschau, William Mortensen, Brittany Markert, Erna Kd, Matthew Dutton, Romney De Hooghe, Jen Jones, Ellen Stagg, Jacob Bohmer, Rob Bowen, Masea Shimoichi, Joel Lorand, Kim Bo Yung, and Tine Kindermann
And it is described thusly:
The inaugural exhibition "Lexicon Infernali" makes a nod to the 17th century French book "The Infernal Dictionary", of which an original rare copy of the coveted 6th edition will be on display, an illustrated catalogue of apparitions of the underworld. The exhibition functions in a similar manner, as an encyclopedic lexicon of artists whose works have a shamanic sensibility, whose art is highly personalized - as are the works of genuine outsider artists (Stephen Romano's biography includes several years as manager of a prominent "Outsider Art Gallery" in Manhattan. Romano also produced with DAP a well received monograph on Charles A.A. Dellschau of which Tom Paterson wrote in Raw Vision magazine, "[Dellschau is] widely acknowledged as an outsider art master in the same league as Darger, Wolfli and Ramirez."), vernacular photography, folk art, as well as works by several international contemporary artists who are producing some of the most challenging works today.
The exhibitions open tomorrow, September 3rd, via a reception from 5-9pm, and will be up through October 15th. Very excited to see both of these, and to ogle at the new gallery space in general. The address is now 117 Grattan St #112, Brooklyn, NY 11237, so do give it a visit or several.