Sessa Englund at Haul Gallery / Brooklyn

Sessa Englund / all made of tender flesh, all put together

27 April – 27 May, 2019

Haul Gallery

219 9th street basement
brooklyn, ny 11215

In all made of tender
flesh, all put togethe
r, Sessa Englund looked to the color yellow as a
symbol of duplicity. Throughout history, this color has been given almost
competing symbolic implications. In the Protestant Swedish Church, yellow
communicates withering and envy – but it also communicates the eternal light of
God. It is both illness in the color of bile, and health in the color of golden
wheat. Yellow can communicate wealth, when it resembles gold, and betrayal,
when Judas Iscariot is depicted wearing yellow garb. The yellow contagion flag
flown by ships in harbor was at one point used to signal that it was under
quarantine. This signal later reversed meaning, where a solid yellow flag meant
that the ship was not under quarantine and ready to be inspected.

In this exhibition,
Englund has focused on the in-betweenness of their chosen materials. Everything
is intermediate, shifting from one meaning to another. The color yellow acts as
a singular symbol for perpetual uneasiness. All of the work in this show has
been cast in this light, either literally or thematically. The floor of the
gallery will be covered in a golden-yellow carpet, creating a warm sickly aura

The artist’s choice of
materials embodies a tension between the natural and artificial. Spider-like
creatures made of glass rest on the carpet, covered with dots of silicone which
look like scales, or fur, or feathers. Curved yellow forms with burned flesh
seem to writhe. Their texture evokes the skin of a bell pepper, while their
shape resembles braided dough. The charred sections wither like discarded
snakeskin. Made from this same material, creatures with elongated faces open
their mouths, singing to the glory of God, or perhaps deformed screams, either
from pain, fear or demonic intent. An engorged, elongated ball-chain necklace
hangs rusted dark red and yellow from the ceiling, having lost its shine and
polish and crushing in weight. Glass castings of crossed fingers signal towards
hope and optimism, yet their pale transparent features feel empty. A looming
dead sunflower stands upright, emerging as a once-yellow carcass of an iconic
symbol of warmth and sunshine.

Sessa Englund

Sessa Englund (BFA from
School of Art+Design, SUNY Purchase, 2013) draws objects from personal
experience to create menacing yet seductive sculptural work. Utilizing the
initial lead of an autobiographical experience, Englund taps into and activates
the innate socio-political framework of a material. Past solo presentations
include ‘A suspended state in last’ at The Re-institute Baltimore, ‘Sympathy
for Trolls’ East of Elsewhere Berlin, and group shows: ‘Fatal Attraction’ at
Themes Studios London, ‘Games of Ceres’ King’s Leap NYC,  ‘Somethings come
between us’ at Songs for Presidents NY, ‘Changelings’ at the Flying Dutchman
Gallery in London, ‘AADK Residents Showcase’ at AADK in Blanca Spain,
‘Bodacioussss’ at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver Colorado, ‘Publish
or Perish’ at Transmitter Gallery in Brooklyn NY.