Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, a new contemporary art gallery, opened its doors in New York in September 2003 and has since held two successful group exhibitions: ArtApparatus and L'attitude. The gallery will continue its programming with a new exhibition entitled Across Borders featuring the work of video art pioneer Juan Downey and installation artist Francesc Torres. Across Borders will be on view from January 16 through February 21, 2004.

Across Borders will feature artworks by internationally acclaimed artists Juan Downey and Francesc Torres who both embody a passionate belief in the power of ideas.  Both artists share in a radical reopening of the geographies of the nation state and the enclosures that hide and then reveal the pasts. The artworks brought together for this exhibition feature Juan Downey's About Cages (1987), first shown in the Venice Biennial in 2001.  Downey's powerful and evocative sculpture speaks with the force of the eternal present to the ever-present past.  In addition, Downey's drawings from the Yanomami series included here show an iconographic power and lucidity, reflecting the eternal myths embodied in the rich culture of the Yanomami with whom the artist lived in the 1970's.  These works typify the cross-cultural, multidisciplinary discourse that has made Downey one of the most significant avant-garde artists of the twentieth century.

Francesc Torres will present two new works, both addressing the elemental mechanisms of human desire on their common subject.  Torres' sculpture It Was About to Happen (2003) has at its center a life-size woman suspended in the gallery, her skirt covered by flames projected on to it.  This piece captures the uncanny power of Torres' installations: they surprise and disturb as they evoke the dangers that threaten the body and self.  His wall sculpture Now (2003) derives from the artist's keen interest in archeology and is a textual metaphor for memory.  Together both works embody the fragment as a whole, emblems of history as the fractured genealogy of power.

Background on the Artists

Juan Downey was born in 1940 in Santiago, Chile. He received a BA in Architecture from the Catholic University of Chile and studied at SW Hayter's Atelier 17 in Paris and at the Pratt Institute in New York. He was a pioneer of video art and installation through his experimentation with various technology based mediums. He was first introduced to kinetic sculpture in Paris during the early 1960s and in 1965 settled in the United States until his death in1993. During this time, he used his art and the available technologies to question the architectural ideal along with other New York avant-garde contemporaries. This exploration lead him into the performance art that would become the focal point of his later works. Downey has exhibited solo shows at prestigious U.S. venues such as the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, TX; The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA; and the International Center of Photography, New York, NY. Downey  was the recipient of numerous awards including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, and earned grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts. He acted as Associate Professor at both the School of Architecture and the media department of Pratt Institute. In 2001, Downey represented Chile at the 49th Venice Biennale.

Francesc Torres was born in1948 in Barcelona, Spain and has lived and worked in Paris, Chicago and Berlin. He currently resides between New York and Barcelona. Torres works in and combines various media such as sculpture, photography, printing and media installation to communicate revolutionary human experiences. In many of his installations, Torres metaphorically reproduces closed contexts in which social and political situations are examined. In addition to major video, film, and multi-media installations, he has produced sound works and theater projects. Torres' media projects have been exhibited at museums such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gardens, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City, Mexico; and Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech Republic. Torres has received fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Massachusetts Council for the Arts and Humanities, the Spanish Ministry of Culture, and the D.A.A.D. Berliner Kunstprogramm. Torres is also the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship.