An Adventure of Being

On View: September 9, 2023 - February 11, 2024 (extended)

Smith & Meyer Galleries, Main Level

Featured Artists: Vincent Cy Chen, Nicki Cherry, Jeremy Olson, and Stephanie J. Williams

An Adventure of Being explores blurred boundaries, physical breakdown, and states of in-between-ness. The painting, sculpture, and installations included in the exhibition incorporate materials and forms that bring to mind living beings. Sometimes fully formed, sometimes represented by parts or substances, these human forms, non-human animals, plants, and otherworldly creatures are unsettling and humorous, alien and familiar. Reflecting visual influences from surrealism, science fiction, technology, and popular culture, An Adventure of Being explores the experience of having a body through forms that exceed, break down, transcend, or blur the boundaries of the corporeal form.

The title of the exhibition, An Adventure of Being, is borrowed from Jean-Paul Sarte’s Being and Nothingness and comes from a roughly 6,000 word rumination on slime that appears towards the end of the book. Sartre’s analysis focuses on the in-between-ness of the slimy or viscous, its refusal to be either this or that, which is central to both its threat and its appeal.

An Adventure of Being is organized by Blair Murphy, MoCA Arlington’s curator of exhibitions.

Art After Hours
Saturday / September 9 / 5pm-8pm

An Adventure of Being catalog


b. 1993, Taiwan
Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY

Vincent Cy Chen creates illuminating sculptures that combine neon lighting with reimagined industrial materials, weaving a world of biological oddities and spiritual enchantments. Influenced by science fiction, mythology, speculative biology, and his queer identity, Chen’s shrine-like artworks evoke hybridized creatures and intersex lifeforms that blur the line between the primordial and the futuristic; they exist in a state of transmogrification, resisting earthly boundaries.

Chen received his MFA from New York University in 2019 and his BFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York, in 2015. His work has recently been exhibited at Harper’s, New York (2023); Harper’s, Los Angeles (2023); Steve Turner, Los Angeles (2023); Untitled, Miami Beach with Steve Turner (2022); RUSCHMAN, Chicago (2022); Kate Werble Gallery, New York (2022); Christie’s, New York (2022); Shin Gallery, New York (2022); Field Projects, New York (2021); Latitude Gallery, New York (2021); Spring/Break Art Show with Marisa Newman Projects, New York (2021); and Below Grand, New York (2020).

b. 1992, Lafayette, IN
Lives and works in Queens, NY and Chicago, IL

Nicki Cherry’s work has been presented nationally at venues including NARS Foundation, the Border Gallery, GHOSTMACHINE, the Boiler, Flux Factory, and Shin Gallery in New York; AUTOMAT and Icebox Project Space in Philadelphia; the Reva David Logan Center for the Arts and Slate Arts and Performance in Chicago. Their work has been written about in The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, ArteFuse, Coastal Post, and Floorr Magazine. Cherry is the recipient of fellowships and grants from Surf Point Foundation, the Bronx Museum of Art, Café Royal Cultural Foundation, Queens Council on the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. After initially studying to become a particle physicist, Cherry received their BA from the University of Chicago in 2014 and their MFA from Yale School of Art in 2019. Cherry lives and works in Queens, NY and Chicago, IL.

b. 1976, Ojai, CA
Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY

Jeremy Olson is a Brooklyn-based artist working primarily in painting, with excursions into sculpture and video. He has exhibited his work internationally, including solo shows in New York, Miami, London, Taipei, and Melbourne. Jeremy received a 2021 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship in Painting. Jeremy has been an artist in residence at Praksis Oslo in Norway, Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Nebraska, Oxbow School of Art & Artists’ Residency in Michigan, and the SVA Summer Residency in New York. Jeremy received a BFA from the University of Arizona and an MFA from NYU Steinhardt. He is represented by Mindy Solomon Gallery in Miami and Unit London in the UK.

b. 1981, Washington, DC
Lives and works in Washington, DC/ Baltimore, MD

Stephanie J. Williams is a tinkerer and doodler. Her work primarily navigates hierarchies of taste, unpacking how “official” histories are constructed in order to understand contemporary social coding. She received her MFA in Sculpture from RISD under a Presidential Scholarship, has shown in Fictions, part of the Studio Museum in Harlem’s F-show exhibitions, as well as with Washington Project for the Arts, Lawrence University, the Delaware Contemporary, and the Walters Museum as a Sondheim Finalist, with residencies at the Corporation of Yaddo, Sculpture Space, Williams College, the Nicholson Project, VCCA, and ACRE. Recent projects have screened at the New Orleans Film Festival (Best Animated Short, 2022), Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival (Jury Citation, 2022), the Atlanta Film Festival (2023) and Outfest LA LGBTQIA+ Film Festival (2023). She has received support from the Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund in Media Studies at Johns Hopkins University and multiple DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities Fellowships. She is based in DC/Baltimore and currently teaches stop motion as Full Time Faculty for Maryland Institute College of Art.


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