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Two for Today

Nov 3 - Nov 24, 2022

Xiangni Song

Dancing on His Own (2020)

Oil on canvas

24 x 30 in. (61 x 76.2 cm.)

Press Release

"Two for Today" is a two-person show featuring Hilary Devaney and Xiangni Song. The connecting thread between the two artists is an interest in the eerie and the unsettling. Devaney, in works such as Like Yelling In a Dream (2021) goes about this with expressionist abstractions: smear-blotched, impasto-scorched shadows of muddy faces gasp and breathe into one another. Song is more figurative in her pursuit of the uncanny, with works like Dancing on his own (2020) staging moments of loneliness; the harrowing smile on the eponymous figure’s mouth crown into a mysterious grin (suspended, we know not whether to read it as bemused merriment or the face of a lapsed craze).

Song notes that their works, which they call "weird and vivid scenes" mostly come from dreams, novels, folktales, and films. Devaney also notes that her works attempt to illuminate the shadows of thought that resist anchoring in space and time. While it is tempting to read Dadaist or Surrealism vim into these works (after all, what contemporary artist worth their salt can escape the stronghold of these two critical movements that prodded Western art into the subconscious), the stylization that both artists' works proffer is resolutely contemporary.