Ceaphas Stubbs, ...Disappearing Act…, 2018, latex inkjet print. Courtesy of the artist.
May 24th from 5 to 7 p.m., with an artist talk at 5:30 p.m
Phantom Limb is a solo exhibition of recent works by Ceaphas Stubbs. The works in Phantom Limb suggest the experience of desire and loss as altered states of embodiment. Stubbs creates sculptures from found, commonplace materials, such as discarded plastic bottles, scraps of fabric, bits of wire and yarn, chemically stained photographs, and pornographic magazine clippings. These sculptures are then arranged in and photographed against colorful, patterned backdrops, and the final image is printed at large scale.
The viewer is drawn to a photograph by its use of high key color and the flashes of flesh, like the line of a long neck or a muscled leg bent at the knee, all arranged in a fragile framework of string and scraps. The initial pleasure in looking is quickly followed by crisis of vision: determining the scale of the sculptures and the depth of the picture plane is a difficult task. This ambiguity is drawn out in the titles of works, with their repeated use of ellipses, pointing to the state of uncertainty and the temporality of anticipation. When in love or loss, the field of vision and feeling narrows dramatically. Phantom Limb pulsates with the claustrophobic effect of desire and puts the viewer in the position of the lover, always waiting, ever uncertain, obsessively analyzing the beloved’s words and gestures.
Phantom Limb is the culmination of Stubbs’ six-month residency at the Paul Robeson Galleries at Express Newark. The Artist-in-Residence is selected by a jury of art professionals and receives a stipend and free studio located in the former Hahne and Co. Department Store. During their six-month tenure, the artist is an active member of the dynamic community of Express Newark and Rutgers University – Newark.
Stubbs holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. His work has been shown widely, including in exhibitions at FiveMyles Gallery, Brooklyn; Reginald Ingraham Gallery, Culver City; Czong Institute for Contemporary Art Museum, Gimpo-si; Aljira Center for Contemporary Art, Newark; The Print Center, Philadelphia; and The Center for Photography at Woodstock, amongst others. He was the recipient of a Christopher Lyon Memorial Award from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013 and nominated for the Master of Fine Arts Fellowships in Painting and Sculpture from the Dedalus Foundation in 2012. Stubbs has previously participated in residences at Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning; Express Newark; and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. His works have been reviewed in The New York Times; Brooklyn Rail; SPACE/LAUNCH; Expose Magazine; and Agave Magazine. Stubbs lives and works in Newark, New Jersey.