Devening Projects’ current two-person show Exo featuring the sensorial works of artists Elnaz Javani and Annette Hur, curated by Azadeh Gholizadeh is alluring, invoking haptic sensations. The exhibit is spread between the two rooms of the gallery, artworks adorn both the walls and occupy the floors. Each work in the show makes a revelation of its surface be it muslin, fabric, Korean silk, a bedsheet or a starched white collar and provokes you to think about what that surface would feel like to touch. This acknowledgment of each differing surface reveals how receptive, and in surprising ways, it is to its manipulation. Thread is the mark making material used most often by both artists, but also, ink, acrylic and watercolor. The curator Golizadeh pulls the show’s title from the Greek word exotikos, meaning “foreign”, which comes from the prefix exo, meaning “outside.” As Andrea Lee of the New Yorker states, “All dictionary definitions of “exotic” have two strands: “from a distant place,” and “striking and attractive because unfamiliar.” So, a simple conflation of strangeness and desire”.
Exo, Elnaz Javani and Annette Hur, curated by Azadeh Gholizadeh at Devening Projects
Amanda Joy Calobrisi, ADF web magazine, January 21, 2021