Gone Was the Glow | Group show Amanda Barker | 1969

Gone Was the Glow | Group show Amanda Barker | 19691969 Gallery Tribeca, 39 White St, New York, NY 1001305MAYAll Day18JUN


(Thursday May 5th, 2022) - (Saturday June 18th, 2022)


a group exhibition featuring the works of Amanda Barker, Sung Hwa Kim, Justin Liam O’Brien, Sarah Schlesinger, Velvet Other World, and Andersen Woof. Taking its name from a line in Bobby Vinton’s song “Blue Velvet,” Gone Was the Glow is an exhibition about nostalgia, loss, and unrequited love — all of the things that make us human.

Ours a love I held tightly

Feeling the rapture grow

Like a flame burning brightly

But when she left, gone was the glow…

In Vinton’s song, he reminisces about his former lover, basking in the fiery memories of a relationship now lost to time. Gone Was the Glow explores the fading image of the past — of something that we once loved and held dearly. These feelings are painful rites of passage that everyone must experience. The desired outcome, to never feel the pain of loss, is forever unattainable.

Sung Hwa Kim and Sarah Schlesinger both explore these themes through landscapes. Inspired by natural and industrial spaces in Brooklyn, Sung Hwa Kim’s paintings capture quiet, often lonely, atmospheric moments. In Silent night. Listening to Tom Waits while all the world is racing past me, a glowing snow globe sits on a dark city windowsill. Painted during December 2021, this autobiographical image illustrates a holiday spent alone during the COVID Omicron wave, which prevented Sung from seeing family. Sarah Schlesinger paints obstructed landscapes. Blocked by objects, such as bushes, she creates scenes that are filled with metaphor and mystery. Psychologically and emotionally, we are also blocked from experiencing the moment that we long for, to see what is hidden. Wanderer depicts a glistening, setting sun on a beach, concealed by a large blue bush. In both of these paintings, hope lies on the other side.

Relying heavily on themes of nostalgia and devotional love, Amanda Barker and Velvet Other World’s works mark monumental moments in the life of past relationships, becoming forever etched in time and memory. Amanda Barker’s I have loved you for the last time and Velvet Other World’s The Vows of Eternal Love Flow Just as Naturally from the Lips of Lovers as Scent from the Chalice of a Flower II mirror each other, both portraying a similar intimate embrace between two lovers. Amanda Barker’s paintings are diaristic narrative scenes, often using the self-portrait as a vehicle to express emotional turmoil and her relationships with the people in her life. Velvet Other World (artists Josh Allen and Katrina Pisetti) creates black and white paintings and works on paper, which depict regal, ornamented figures, often in loving embraces. Touch, or the longing for a touch now lost, is the activating force in these works.

Justin Liam O’Brien and Andersen Woof’s paintings in the exhibition use gesture to represent emotionally charged scenes between figures. In both of their paintings, two figures are in exterior environments with trees and fields in the distance. In Lost, Justin Liam O’Brien’s figures stand anxiously apart — the man in the background gazes at the man in the foreground, as if trying to read his thoughts, while the other man looks out, completely lost in them. In Andersen Woof’s Tell Me Sweet Little Lies, two figures are enmeshed in a tight embrace beneath a gnarled tree — one figure cries while the other drools, drunk with love. The tree frames them in the image, provoking a sense of capture. These paintings both explore unrequited love, specifically through an imbalance of power in a relationship. One person in the couple is deeply in love, while the other is emotionally unavailable and seeking an escape.

The works in this exhibition culminate to create a multilayered look inside of deeply intimate thoughts and experiences about loss and love. The haunted past glows bright for a time as we mourn all of the things that we had, wanted, and lost — but it fades behind us as we forge paths into the future; into new possibilities.