Castor Gallery is pleased to announce Stranger in a Strange Land, a group exhibition featuring the work of Ara Cho, Deborah Brown, Emma Stern & Ilana Savdie. This exhibition gathers an intergenerational group of artists investigating issues of representation with regard to the female body across the spectrum of abstraction and figuration at a critical cultural moment, processing questions of sexism, gender and identity. The artists reappropriate aesthetic codes from digital and classical imagery to speculate on new carnal forms and figures, reprogramming their self-concepts, reinterpreting and contesting internalized stereotypes relating to notions of femininity. This group of paintings create a vibrant and chimerical conversation reclaiming the female figure to regain agency over cultural and commercial standards.

Ara Cho recreates pictorial languages by intersecting traditional work processes with digitally reconstructed images to explore power dynamics assumed by gender roles. Deborah Brown revisits themes commonly found in the canon of Western Art, explored by male artists, changing the dynamic of the “male gaze”. She features a female protagonist in contemporary re-enactments of myths from antiquity and the Bible replacing the male figure with a Jacques Russell Terrier. Emma Stern reimagines the tradition of chiarosco portraiture in our digital era by using preloaded 3D female avatar as her muses, expanding the traditional relationship between the painter and the model, questioning those figures themselves. Ilana Savdie’s paintings function as perversions of stock photography for health and beauty put through digital disembodiment, which result in the distortion of the canons of commercial images.

Ara Cho (b. 1991 in Seoul, Korea) was raised in Moscow and Chicago, she now lives and work in New York City. She graduated in 2015 with a BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago. She had solo exhibitions at Rotunda Gallery, New-York, Kweyeonjae Ceramic Museum, Yeongwol, South Korea. Her work has been exhibited at Space 776 Gallery, Asian Contemporary Art in Hong Kong, Zhou B Art Center and Sullivan Gallery. Deborah Brown (b. 1955, California) lives in New York and works in Bushwick, Brooklyn, a neighborhood she helped pioneer as an artist and where she started Storefront, one of the first artist-run galleries in the neighborhood. Brown has an MFA from Indiana University and a BA from Yale. Recent exhibitions include Geary, New York; Lesley Heller Workspace, New York; Mike Weiss Gallery, New York; Life on Mars, Brooklyn, NY; BravinLee programs, New York, NY; Ober Gallery, Kent, CT; and Angell Gallery, Toronto, Canada. Her work has been written about in The New York Times, Art Forum, Art in America, The Wall Street Journal, ARTnews, Artnet, Madame Figaro, Hyperallergic and ART-Das Kuntsmagazin. Her work is represented in New York by GEARY.

Emma Stern (b.1992, New-York, NY) lives and work in NY. She graduated in 2014 with a BFA from PRATT Institute, Brooklyn, NY. She recently had solo exhibitions at Jorge Andrew Gallery, Superchief Gallery, Stream Gallery,and Inter-Space in New York, NY. She was recently part of group exhibitions at OJ Gallery, Istanbul Turkey, Gallery Manque, Brooklyn, NY, Left Field Gallery, San Luis Opisbo, CA. Her work was included in 2016 at the Super Fine Fair in Miami, Florida.

Ilana Savdie (b. 1986, Miami, FL) was raised in Barranquilla, Colombia and Miami, FL and is now based in New Haven, CT. She is an MFA candidate at Yale School of Art in Painting/ Printmaking where she will graduate in May 2018, she earned her BFA in 2008 from the Rhode Island School of Design. She had solo exhibitions at Stream Gallery, and International Playground, Brooklyn, NY and Ars Antiqua Galería, Barranquilla, Colombia. She was recently awarded the HP Blended Reality Grant Fellow from Yale University Center for Collaborative Arts and was an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center.