Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, 54 Ludlow Street
Friday, May 12, 2017
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Alum Sam Contis (BFA '04) is opening her first solo exhibition in New York City at the Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery this May. The exhibition, Deep Springs, engages the mythology and iconography of the American West. Contis explores how the American West is traditionally associated with ideas of freedom, rugged individualism, and an often aggressive masculinity in her work.
The exhibition's images were developed in the remote Deep Springs Valley of California at one of the last all-male colleges in the United States. Contis takes viewers to this educational community in the wilderness, where students work on the school's farms and ranches, photographing the young men in the iconic role of cowboy. Through this lens, she alludes to a nuanced and ambiguous experience of gender. In the Deep Springs series, Contis presents a reimagined lanscape of the American West as a site of possibility and transformation, reflecting on the shared history photography holds in the creation of place and self in the region.
This show coincides with Contis's first American museum exhibition at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and with the publication of her first monograph, Deep Springs, which will be available for purchase at the gallery. Contis is an oakland-based artist who has recently exhibited her work in Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Antwerp, and London. She has work in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and is the recipient of a 2017 Nancy Graves Foundation Artist Grant.