Art Nerd New York | Los Angeles

That Side of Paradise: Katya Grokhovsky and Nyugen E. Smith

Don’t miss two incredible artists tomorrow night in a performance on a roof in Central Park! Katya Grokhovsky and Nyugen E. Smith share new performative works as part of Other Homes, curated by Antecedent Projects, from 6:00-8:00pm. The Arsenal Gallery is located at 64th Street and Fifth Avenue inside Central Park, Third Floor of the Arsenal Building.
Press release below!

**Event is FREE – RSVP Required **

As part of the Antecedent Projects-curated exhibition Other Homes on view through June 15 at Arsenal Gallery, artists Katya Grokhovsky and Nyugen E. Smith will be presenting new performances from 6-8 pm at the New York City Parks Dept’s Arsenal Gallery rooftop space. The program will consist of brief remarks on the exhibit and the Parks Dept, followed by 20 minute performances by Katya Grokhovsky, a short intermission, and a 20 minute performance by Nyugen E. Smith. Refreshments will be provided after the event. These performances will take place on a rooftop terrace, and audience participation may be encouraged as per the individual artists’ direction.

The title of this evening of performances, That Side of Paradise, responds to the fading concept of Nature as paradise. As humanity’s relationship to nature assumes a beleaguered sense of uncertainty in our current moment with issues such as climate change, this concept of nature as a paradise comes under fire. This latent tension between the human presence and nature is a prominent theme in the work of Ana Mendieta (b.1948, d.1985), a Cuban-American artist whose impactful Silhuetas series expresses a longing to be present in nature where, paradoxically, eventually only a memory of someone can exist. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, nature first existed as Eden, a paradise offered to humanity in exchange for obedience and submission. Exile was the result of asserting autonomy. Mendieta’s work echoes the tension and longing associated with belonging and expulsion, inextricably linked with our own identities today in an expanded, multitudinous discourse. How can one reclaim a space that was never anything but fantasy? If this side of paradise was pure and perfect, how does the body create a space for development on that side of paradise as exile, corrupted body?

Katya Grokhovsky is an interdisciplinary artist, born in Ukraine and based in New York City. She holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA from Victorian College of the Arts, Australia. Grokhovsky has been awarded many residencies and awards such as Wassaic Artist Residency, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Studios at MASS MoCA, BRIC Media Arts Fellowship, Residency Unlimited, NARS, Santa Fe Art Institute, Watermill Center, Asylum Arts Grant, Dame Joan Sutherland Fund and others. Her work has been exhibited extensively nationally and internationally.

Nyugen E. Smith (b.1976) is a Caribbean-American interdisciplinary artist and educator who lives and works in Jersey City, NJ. Drawing heavily on his West Indian heritage, Nyugen is committed to raising the consciousness of past and present political struggles through his practice which consists of sculpture, installation, video and performance. He is influenced by the conflation of African cultural practices and the remnants of European colonial rule in the region. He holds an MFA in Studio Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is a 2016 Leonore Annenberg Arts Fellow.

About Antecedent Projects – Antecedent Projects (AP) is an arts platform founded in 2014 by independent curator and art critic Audra Lambert in response to New York City’s eroding cultural legacies. By partnering with contemporary artists and cultural partners, we can examine critical parts of our artistic heritage while also mounting engaging exhibitions and projects which create compelling stories for diverse audiences.


About Arsenal Gallery – The Arsenal Gallery is located at 64th Street and Fifth Avenue inside Central Park, Third Floor of the Arsenal Building. Gallery hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. (Closed municipal holidays.) Admission is free. For further information please call (212) 360-8163.

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