Images (from left to right): Chris Martin. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen; Uman. Photo: Joe Perez; Ilka Scobie

Uman in Conversation

  • Tue 30 January 2024
  • 5 – 6 pm

On the occasion of ‘Uman. Darling sweetie, sweetie darling,’ join us on the opening night for an a conversation with Uman, Ilka Scobie and Chris Martin, moderated by Tanya Barson, Curatorial Senior Director at Hauser & Wirth.

This event will be followed by the private view of the exhibition from 6 – 8 pm. Attendees are welcome to join the private view with no need to book in advance.

About Uman
Uman’s dazzling visual vocabulary reflects her life and expansive cross-cultural experiences. Born in Somalia and raised in Kenya, she migrated to Denmark as a teenager and later to New York NY as a young adult. Now, with a home and studio in upstate New York NY Uman paints richly-hued worlds replete with gesture, geometry and the sublime. An intuitive artist, her influences abound from memories of East African childhood, a rigorous education in traditional calligraphy and a fascination with kaleidoscopic color and design. With nods to self-portraiture and fictional topographies, Uman’s paintings speak fluently of liminal navigation. Her work contemplates both the physical and spiritual, intertwining abstraction, figuration, meditative patterning and a reverence for the natural world.

Uman has had solo exhibitions at Nicola Vassell, New York NY; Eleni Koroneou Gallery, Athens, Greece; Fierman, New York NY; Anne De Villepoix, Paris, France; and White Columns, New York NY. She has been featured in group exhibitions at the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, Canada; For-Site Foundation at Fort Mason Chapel, San Francisco CA; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, UK; Karma, New York NY; and Ramiken Crucible, New York NY.

In 2022, she was the recipient of the inaugural grant for The Cube at TRIADIC’s FORMAT Festival in Bentonville AR.

About Ilka Scobie
Native New Yorker Ilka Scobie is a writer, poet and educator. Her work has been published in Artlyst London, Artnet, Brooklyn Rail, Marie Claire Italia and La Stampa. Recent catalog essays include Uman: My Paintings are My Children for Nicola Vassell Gallery and Sky Kim: xxxx for Chase Contemporary. Her poetry collection Any Island was published in 2021 by Spuyten Duyvil Press.

In 2010 Ilka Scobie and her husband, Luigi Cazzaniga began to work with the Soncino Biennale to promote cross-cultural exchange/dialog between Italian and American artists. The exposition is held in various historical locations/sites in Lombardia, Italy. The Soncino Biennale 2023, Art Am, featured artists including, Uman, Chris Martin, Ugo Rondinone and Alighiero Boetti.

About Chris Martin
Chris Martin (b. 1954, Washington D.C.) is an American artist who lives and works between Brooklyn and upstate New York. Martin is known for his vibrant, colorful paintings, which alternate between graphic figuration and ambient painterly abstraction. His paintings have been critically acclaimed for their immediacy and aesthetic diversity, fusing autobiographical elements with a wide-ranging visual lexicon equally grounded in playful pop-cultural referents and twentieth-century art history. The artist’s focus on deep, layered color fields, abstract forms, and gestural brushstrokes can be seen as emerging out of the legacy of Abstract Expressionism and Color Field painting, yet his radical use of non-traditional materials—such as craft glitter, collaged commercial photographs, and domestic objects like LPs, tabloid newspapers, and slices of bread—is distinctly individualistic, and lends his pieces both a visceral texture and physical depth. Thematically, his paintings reflect the cycles of his wide range of personal interests, from astrology and rock music to Eastern mystical traditions, postwar European painting, and philosophical texts. Many of Martin’s recent works are inspired by his observations of the pastoral landscape outside his Catskills studio. Martin has been the subject of numerous solo museum presentations over his more than four-decade career, most recently at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.

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