SOUTHFIRST 60 N6th Street  Brooklyn, NY  11211     ph 718 599 4884





Curated by José Lerma

17 September - 18 October, 2010


SOUTHFIRST is proud to present “Laughing as a Young Man: New Art from Chicago,” a selection of painting, video, and drawing curated by José Lerma. The show will be on display until October 18, 2010. The curator writes: “Apart from the fact that they are all recent graduates of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the artists in the exhibition share little stylistically or conceptually. It was never my attempt to endow the show with an overarching theme, but rather to present a modest selection of some of the great work that I have seen come out of the institution in the past two years. For this reason also, I asked the artists to write a few sentences on their own practice.”


Timothy Bergstrom: “My works compress, shift, and mix several visual languages with the aim of creating a sense of discord.” Samantha Bittman: “My paintings follow a predetermined set of guidelines dictating color, pattern, and texture in order to explore the relationship between structure and image. Zebra 1 and Zebra 2 are on stretched her own hand-woven cloth.  A balance of play and logic becomes evident as underlying texture and form melds with a rational but imperfect overlay of painted areas. This subtle juxtaposition often gives way to an optical buzz that breaks down upon close inspection, making perception elusive and fully dependent on the viewer's physical proximity to the work.” Jonathan Gardner: Most of what I paint is culled from memory, or invented as I go along. The characters in my paintings seem familiar because of their dress and hairstyles. I recognize them as contemporaries or people from the past and possibly our future. Although very little of what is happening in these paintings is actually possible, I try to follow a consistent logic within each painting. Nothing is quite right, and that is always easy to believe.” Fatima Haider: “Consider the difference between ‘looking’ and ‘staring.’ A look is (at least, in part) voluntary; it is also mobile, rising and falling in intensity as its foci of interest are taken up and then exhausted. A stare has, essentially, the character of a compulsion; it is steady, unmodulated, ‘fixed.’” Jang Soon Im: “The world is always at war.  This war is not to be won, but is war for its own sake.  No start, no end.  It is  a performance.”


José Lerma has worked previously with SOUTHFIRST on two exhibitions of painting and has a show upcoming in December at Andrea Rosen gallery, New York. He has shown his work extensively with a recent exhibition in Milan. He is an assistant professor of painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


SOUTHFIRST is located at 60 N6th Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn between Wythe and Kent Avenues. Gallery hours are Thursday - Sunday from 1-6 PM and by appointment. Subway: L train to Bedford Avenue.  For more information, please contact Maika Pollack at 718 599 4884 or