Stewart Bird, Chris Comfort, Genevieve Goffman, Dana Greenleaf

February 29th April 7th, 2024

Press Release
Behold! Checklist

Regarding etymology, the notion of looking (rather than seeing or observing) is unique to English. To behold is to maintain a type of looking related to awe, to cherish with one’s eyes what one is seeing. To behold is grandiose, old-fashioned, an act of shock, egotistical on another’s behalf. Behold! Four artists, Stewart Bird, collaborators Chris Comfort and Dana Greenleaf, and Genevieve Goffman, showing with the gallery for the first time. Each has created works of fantasy that negotiate the relative necessity of the ego through its disintegration, creation, and absolution in the surreality of modern times. In painting, sculpture, and video, included works utilize machinic processes to describe humanistic experiences.

The figureless works of Stewart Bird’s are created using AI-generated images, particularly a deep-learning model that uses Latent Diffusion in an expansive technique focused on uncovering novel outcomes. The generative system Bird has developed is a recursive, runaway operation that churns itself through different patterns rather than following deliberate guidance from the artist. He carefully tracks and documents image production and changes through the system, ultimately gathering a cache of potential images for collage. Once collaged and printed, the arrangements are covered in encaustic, merging new processes with traditional techniques. Bird’s methodology removes his own hand, creating veiled, stream-of-consciousness compositions.

In a new work of two-channel video by collaborators Dana Greenleaf and Chris Comfort, it is never clear if the protagonist is a real person. The unnamed central figure in Bill Williams (2024) shifts interchangeably between a real-time simulation of himself and his “true” flesh, troubling whether either is the original. The video hinges on the skill of Ed Malone, a formally trained Vaudeville clown and actor with a gift for gutting and shameless portrayals of impolite emotions. As he negotiates the harsh setting and a progressive emotional breakdown, his struggle generates a dialogue about the conditions of watching, viewing, and being observed in digital spaces. Utilizing green screen, filmmaking, and game production engines, the work plumbs the instability of a digital self-constructed against deteriorating social structures. Online, personhood and reality are liquified, and all elements of being are subject to change and reprogramming at any moment.

Genevieve Goffman is a sculptor who expresses storytelling through composite architectural forms produced from real and imagined histories. The castle compound, Miss Astor Throws A Tantrum, 2021, describes a boiling point between the old-moneyed Astor matriarch who wanted nothing to do with the nouveau riche Vanderbilt family in 1840s New York. Goffman has imaged this petty drama between new and old money to illustrate the role of exclusion and feeling of invasion that appear when foreign entities challenge normative culture. Goffman’s other featured works, The Key and The Dog, reference significant items and events from a short story written by the artist. Separated from their original context, these three sculptures act as misleading clues. With their contexts scrambled the histories and stories the artworks reference become obscured.

When “things” change — culturally, politically — reality becomes disorienting. It becomes difficult to feel sure what the solid substrate of reality is. Whatever continues to exist is immediately understood as temporary. New clarity ushers new frustration, or inspires more elaborate and grandiose fantasies to escape to. Technology is especially adept at undermining what was once imagined to be permanent and certain. Behold! We are in an exhausting moment of crisis.


STEWART BIRD (b. 1990, Palo Alto CA) lives and works in New York, NY. He received an MFA from Pratt Institute in 2020 and a BA in Emergent Digital Practices from the University of Denver in 2013. Recent exhibitions include Shown work at Plaxall Gallery, 11Newel Gallery, Yve YANG Gallery, Parent Company Gallery, RAINRAIN, and Intima in New York NY, Talion Gallery in Tokyo JP and online exhibitions for SCREEN_ and Theaphora Editions.

GENEVIEVE GOFFMAN was born in Washington D.C. and is based in New York City. She graduated from the Yale MFA in 2020. Goffman recent solo exhibitions include Before it all Went Wrong at Hyacinth Gallery in New York in 2022, Grind at Money Gallery, St Petersburg, RU, 2021; Here Forever at Alyssa Davis Gallery, New York, NY, 2020. Goffman’s installation The View, was exhibited in 2023 at the Museum of Applied arts in Vienna Austria. She has also shown work with Canada Gallery, Thierry Goldberg Gallery, Fragment Gallery, Lubov and Foreign and Domestic in New York, EXILE in Vienna, Austria, Patara Gallery in Tbilisi, Georgia, Workroom.Daipyat in Voronezh, Russia, and Harawik in Los Angeles. Goffman has exhibited at NADA x Foreland in 2021 with Alyssa Davis Gallery and Bienvenue Art Fair (Paris) in 2021 with Lily Robert.

CHRIS COMFORT, DANA GREENLEAF are collaborators from Denver, Colorado who have worked together since 2010. Their films have been exhibited by Rockaway Film Center, Do Not Research, Nobudge, Institute of Modern Art, Sarah’s, The End, and KUNSTRUM FYN in Copenhagen.