For Independent 2020, Andrew Edlin Gallery presents a cosmic-themed grouping of works by American artists Eugene Von Bruenchenhein (1910-1983), Karla Knight (b.1958) and Paulina Peavy (1901-1999). Knight’s first solo exhibition at the gallery, “Notes from the Lightship,” is running concurrently with the fair from February 28 – April 11, as is a separate exhibition, “Eugene Von Bruenchenhein: Drawings 1964-67.”
According to The New York Times’s Roberta Smith, Karla Knight’s “large beautifully textured drawings in graphite and colored pencil resemble mysterious codes and alphabets— or a spaceship’s complex control panel.” The artist grew up in a household where the existence of supernatural forces was readily accepted: Her father was an author of books on the occult, UFOs and ESP. Eugene Von Bruenchenhein’s drawings from the mid-1960s are precise geometric designs and organic looking shapes reminiscent of some of the otherworldly creatures found in his paintings from the late 1950s. More than anything, they feel as if they have been beamed in from science fiction—technologically opaque alien craft, or the circuitry of some insectile cyborg from the vast reaches of space. Paulina Peavy’s conceptual abstractions are the result of her collaboration with Lacamo, her spirit muse first encountered at a séance in 1932. Peavy’s artwork and writings deal with future-sex, post masculine gender roles and humankind’s place in the universe, sitting in a long trajectory with Joseph Campbell, Forest Bess, Larry Mitchell, Valerie Solanis, and according to Nicole Rudick in her 2019 Art in America review, Hilma af Klint and Agnes Pelton. A selection of Peavy’s intricately constructed beaded masks, which she wore while painting in order to better channel Lacamo’s teachings, is also included in the booth display.
Karla Knight holds a BFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work is included in, among others, the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Brooklyn Museum, and the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis). Eugene Von Bruenchenhein’s work has been featured in major exhibitions including two solo retrospectives at the American Folk Art Museum (New York, 2010-11) and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (Sheboygan, WI, 2017), as well as notable group exhibitions like After Nature (New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, 2008), Alternative Guide to the Universe (Hayward Gallery, London, 2013), The Encyclopedic Palace (55th Venice Biennale, 2013), and Outliers and American Vanguard Art (National Gallery of Art, Wash. DC, 2018). His work is included in many permanent collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum and the American Folk Art Museum, New York. Paulina Peavy’s oeuvre surfaced in the artworld only recently. Her work has been reviewed in Art in America, Artforum, The Washington Post, Time Out New York, and The New York Times, and is included in the permanent collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Art.