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ALPHABET SOUP

Curated by E.E. Ikeler
Saturday, November 11 - Sunday, December 10, 2023
Opening Reception: Friday, November 10, 6-8pm

Image Caption: (Left) AI generated using the prompt “alphabet soup.” Credit: craiyon.com. 
                        (Right) Herbig-Haro 46/47 (actively forming stars) that seem to form the shape of a question mark (Image captured by the James Webb Space Telescope) Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA.

Essex Flowers is thrilled to present this group exhibition featuring works by Raque Ford, Rebecca Watson Horn, Lauren Anaïs Hussey, Blake O’Brien, Alyse Ronayne, Sarah Tortora and Ken Weathersby, curated by E.E. Ikeler.

About the Artists:

Raque Ford (b. 1986, Columbia, Maryland) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. A solo exhibition of her work is currently on view at The Print Center, Philadelphia, through November 11. Recent solo presentations include Good Weather, Chicago (2023); Greene Naftali, New York (2022, 2020); 321 Gallery, Brooklyn (2019); CAPITAL, San Francisco (2017); and Shoot the Lobster, New York (2017). Significant group shows include Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo (2022); MoMA PS1, New York (2021); Morán Morán, Mexico City (2021); Kai Matsumiya, New York (2019); Roberta Pelan, Toronto (2017); SculptureCenter, Queens (2016); and Division Gallery, Montreal (2016). Ford’s work is in the collections of the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Rebecca Watson Horn (b. 1981) received a BFA from The Cooper Union, an MFA from Rutgers University, and attended The Mountain School of Arts, Los Angeles. Forthcoming solo show will be presented at Galeria Marta Cervera, Madrid; Horn’s solo exhibitions include Sigils, Auroras, São Paulo; letters as such, Deli Gallery, New York; White Columns, New York; and Rub It In, Soloway Brooklyn. She has participated in several group exhibitions including The Practice of Everyday Life, Derosia, New York; Forland, Catskill, NY; Pure Joy, 1969, New York; Personal Effects, Rumpelstiltskin, Brooklyn; spaceless, Deli Gallery, Brooklyn; ZEBRA, LaKAJE, Brooklyn; Flower Sermon, Yui Gallery, New York; Objectified, Bromfield Gallery, Boston; X, Lyles & King, New York; Canaries, Cleopatra’s, Brooklyn, and at Hotel Pupik, Scheifling, Austria. Horn lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Lauren Anaïs Hussey is a Brooklyn based artist whose work considers the thresholds of intelligibility in abstraction as a formal language. She attended the University of North Florida for her BFA and holds an MFA in Painting from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Her work has been included in shows at Below Grand,Taymour Grahne Projects, Nexx Asia, Subtitled NYC, Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, Johnny Utah Projects, SHAG, Marvin Gardens, Carol Corey Fine Art, Conduit Gallery. Hussey is a Co-director of Underdonk gallery in Brooklyn.

Blake O’Brien (born 1993; Gulfport, MS) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. O'Brien received an MFA from Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, and a BFA from The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS. O'Brien's recent exhibitions include: Staring into the Sun (solo), Kent Place School, Summit NJ; Spooky Show, Greene House, Brooklyn, NY; The Patriot, O’Flaherty’s, New York, NY; Tactile Sublime, Dōdōmu Gallery, Brooklyn, NY. Recent awards include an Artist Fellowship Grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a Chapter Career Award from the National Society of Arts and Letters, and the Mary Jane McIntire Endowed Fellowship at Indiana University. O'Brien's work has been included in New American Paintings issue #141 and Artmaze Magazine issue #20.

Alyse Ronayne received a BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland in 2008 and an MFA from the Milton Avery School of the Arts at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York in 2015. Solo exhibitions of Ronayne’s work have taken place at: Smoke The Moon in Sante Fe, New Mexico, Belle Isle Viewing Room in Detroit, Michigan; Luxembourg Institute for Artistic Research in New York City; the Fuller Gallery at Indiana University School of Art, Architecture and Design in Bloomington, Indiana; 321 Gallery in Brooklyn, New York; and Jeff Bailey Gallery in Hudson, New York; among others. She lives and works in Sante Fe, NM.

Sarah Tortora is a visual artist living and working in New York City. Through sculpture, writing, and digital photography, her work addresses Classical archetypes and museological display, accepting the premise that every equestrian monument is truly a Trojan horse. She received an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania and attended residencies at Skowhegan, MacDowell, and Ox-Bow School of Art, among others. Some group and solo exhibitions of her work have been on view at Wellesley College (Massachusetts), Tiger Strikes Asteroid in New York and Los Angeles; Fjord in Philadelphia, and Stove Works in Tennessee. Sarah is represented by Ulterior Gallery in New York City, and recently held a yearlong residency fellowship at ISCP (International Studio and Curatorial Program) in Brooklyn. In 2024, Tortora will be the Windgate Artist in Residence at Purchase College.

Ken Weathersby has exhibited his work nationally and internationally, with notable solo shows at Minus Space (Brooklyn), Pierogi Gallery (New York), One River Gallery (Englewood, NJ), NIAD Art Center Gallery (Richmond, CA), Some Walls (Oakland, CA), and the John Cotton Dana Gallery, Rutgers University (Newark).  His work has been included in group exhibitions at the National Academy of Art Museum (New York), Honey Ramka (Brooklyn), ODETTA Gallery (Brooklyn), 57w57Arts (New York), Parallel Art Space (Ridgewood, NY), Mixed Greens (New York), Aljira Art Center (Newark), the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Gallery (Morristown, NJ), Barbara Walters Gallery at Sarah Lawrence College (Bronxville, New York), the Visual Art Center of NJ (Summit, NJ), Seven (Miami), Toomey Tourell (San Francisco), and I.S. Projects (Leiden, Netherlands), among many others.