Jude Griebel, Revenants, Massey Klein Gallery, (February 10, 2024 – March 23, 2024)

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Massey Klein Gallery is pleased to present Revenants, a solo exhibition of new sculptures and works on paper by Jude Griebel. The exhibition will be on view from February 10th through March 23rd. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, February 10th from 4-7pm. This is the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery. For press inquiries, please email hayley@masseyklein.com.

Merging human forms with those of animals, insects, architecture, and the natural environment, Jude Griebel’s sculptures become intricate cosmologies of real and imagined spaces. These complex hybrid forms construct idiosyncratic narratives that explore new and fantastic understandings of eco-anxiety and speculate on possibilities beyond planetary collapse. Using an elastic sense of anatomy and scale, the artist visualizes rampant cycles of human consumption and the resulting detriment to both the human self and the surrounding world. 

In Revenants, animals in various states of preparation are restored a sense of individuality and agency. Reanimated in their gastronomically transformed states, they are able to walk away from the table and demand accountability. Walking a line between the grotesque, the tender, and the humorous, the work draws on animated foods from popular culture and history to reflect on contemporary consumer culture, erasure of living identity, and interspecific relationships. 

Building on past works that focused on cycles of human consumption and animal equity, Revenants is a further exploration of our relationship to the animals we consume and how they are perceived within the popular psyche. As a species we are often able to divorce living beings from our use of them. It takes a quick search engine run to see the identity of a living bird eclipsed by its prepared body as a consumable good. Reading the word “chicken” might call forth crisp imagery and olfactory reminiscence before we envision another being, walking, breathing, and experiencing this world in our midst. 

Over the past years, the mechanics of consumerism has been a driving theme behind Griebel’s sculptures, with a specific focus on the factory food system and its implications for land depletion and climate shift. These interests have broadened from the artist’s family’s farming history on the Canadian prairies to the complexities of global food challenges and ecosystem depletion. Past works have addressed animal life within the factory food system and research has included travels and residencies focused on specific sites, including farms, marketplaces, feedlots, and a recent residency at the Toyosu Market in Tokyo, the largest wholesale seafood market on the planet. The works draw from broad cultural references, including historical Dutch and Flemish paintings by artists such as Jan van Kessel the Elder and Pieter van der Heyden depicting excessive marine and terrestrial bounties, to contemporary cartoon avatars that function as garish mascots for the fast food industry. 

Revenants forwards Griebel’s research to highlight the sense of erasure we create as a species when consuming other beings. Through packaging, marketing, processing, and preparation, corporeal transformations are engineered to appease our sympathies and comfort levels, as well as our palates and budgets. In these sculptures, Griebel aims to subvert this sense of transformation inherent in meat preparation to re-empower bodies as fantastic revenants, reinvested with agency and possibility. Standing in their cooked and prepared states, these hybrid bodies demand a sense of reckoning. At once tragic and humorous, these sculptures operate within the emotional landscape of consumption that is suppressed by the corporate food industry. 

Jude Griebel graduated with a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, Canada. He later completed an MFA International Exchange at the University of Lapland in Finland before completing his Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture and Ceramics from Concordia University in Canada. He has participated in numerous artist residencies, including those at AIR 3331 in Tokyo, Japan; Le Carmel de Pamiers in France; the College Art Galleries at the University of Saskatchewan; Pioneer Works in Brooklyn; The International Studio and Curatorial Program in Brooklyn; MAAS MoCA Studios at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art; Kunstnarhuset Messen in Alvik, Norway; Halle 14 Center for Contemporary Art in Leipzig, Germany; Yaddo in Saratoga Springs; Ted Harrison Artist Retreat Society in the Yukon, Canada; The Vermont Studio Center; and the Banff Center for the Arts in Canada, to name only a few. 

Throughout his career, Griebel has been awarded several notable grants and honors, namely the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Project and Marketing Grants, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts New York Artist Residency Grant, the Canada Council for the Arts Project and Travel Grants, The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant, the Leo Paul Rampsperger Award in Sculpture and Ceramics, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Graduate Scholarship, and the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation Visual Arts Grant. The artist has been a guest lecturer at institutions including The School of Visual Arts in New York, the Alberta University of the Arts in Calgary, The University of Alberta in Edmonton, The University of Calgary, and Dawson College in Montreal.

Griebel has been extensively featured in exhibitions at cultural institutions across Canada, most recently the Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton, the Southern Alberta Art Gallery in Lethbridge, the Illingworth Kerry Gallery at the Alberta University of the Arts in Calgary, Esker Foundation in Calgary, the Kenderdine Art Gallery at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, The Beaty Museum of Biodiversity at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, the Redpath Museum in Montreal, the Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History in Nelson, the Esplanade Arts & Heritage Center in Medicine Hat, and the Nickle Galleries at the University of Calgary. Additionally, his work has been featured in institutional exhibitions internationally at El Museo de Los Sures in Brooklyn, NY; the Rochester Center for Contemporary Art, NY; the Holter Museum of Art, MT, the Spinnerei Archiv Massiv in Leipzig, Germany; The City of Jyväskylä, Finland; and at Le Carmel Pamiers, France. 

Griebel’s work has been featured in numerous print and online publications including CBC NewsGalleries WestThe Edmonton JournalThe Star PhoenixHyperallergicRACAR Canadian Art ReviewCalgary HeraldSwerve MagazineCanadian Art MagazineArt + Design MagazineMagenta MagazineVue WeeklyThe Concordian, and The National Gallery of Canada Magazine. Griebel’s work is now found internationally in permanent collections including but not limited to the Alberta Foundation for the Arts (Canada), the Art Gallery of Alberta (Canada), the Frans Masereel Centrum (Belgium), the Colart Contemporary Canadian Art Collection (Canada), the Sakima Art Museum (Japan), the Equitable Bank Group (Canada), the Shaw Center for Contemporary Ceramics (Canada), Silpakorn University (Thailand), the Canada Council for the Arts Art Bank (Canada) and the Volpert Foundation (USA). The artist is based in New York, NY. 

Massey Klein Gallery is located at 124 Forsyth St. New York, NY 10002. Gallery hours are Thursday – Sunday 12pm-6pm. To schedule a private viewing, email hayley@masseyklein.com.

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