Fables of the Reconstruction

Peter Burns, Mary DeVincentis, Lizbeth Mitty, Helen O’Leary

May 12th, 2017 – June 4th, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, May 12th, 6pm-9pm


Mary DeVincentis “Sea Space” (2016, acrylic on canvas, 54″ x 40″)


DAVID&SCHWEITZER Contemporary is proud to present Fables of the Reconstruction, a group exhibition opening May 12th, 2017 and on view through June 4th, 2017.


The exhibition, featuring works by Peter Burns, Mary DeVincentis, Lizbeth Mitty, and Helen O’Leary, takes its title from musical group R.E.M.’s 1985 masterpiece album of the same name. The album was so deeply imbued with southern narrative that it was originally named The Sound and the Fury, a title it would have shared with William Faulkner’s novel. R.E.M.’s lead singer Michael Stipe said during a radio interview in 1985 that, “Up to the last minute, it was titled something else that we stole from Shakespeare but we decided against it because William Faulkner had already stolen it.” The quote in question comes from Macbeth. (Don’t forget to read it with a hillbilly accent):


Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Peter Burns “The Ends of the Earth”


Peter Burns, a 2015, Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant recipient, lives and works in Ireland and has over 15 solo shows in Europe and his work can be seen during Frieze week this May, at Context Art Fair with Gibbons & Nicholas, and we at DSC are very pleased to be among the first galleries in the USA to bring Peter’s work to wider audience.


Mary DeVincentis is currently working on Dark Matters, a series of paintings exploring the shadow side of human experience and Sin Eaters, a series that depicts society’s saints, martyrs, scapegoats and outcasts. Her work has been exhibited at Life on Mars Gallery, the International Print Center, the New York Public Library, White Columns and the Brooklyn Museum. It is represented in numerous public and private collections. She received her BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art and a Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Printmaking from St. Martins College of Art in London, UK. She lives and works in Brooklyn, and is preparing for her one-person exhibition at DAVID&SCHWEITZER Contemporary in the spring of 2018.


Of Lizbeth Mitty’s work it has been written “Acutely observed, remembered and then reimagined, these futuristic scenes are not so much renditions of a specific location as they are dizzying translations in paint of Mitty’s wonderment at the endless variety of visual information offered up by her subjects.” – Art in America, January 2006


Mitty has been exhibiting in galleries and museums in both the US and abroad and is held in numerous private and public collections since 1983. Her work can be found in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the US State Department and Trierenberg Holding AG (Austria).She is a recipient of the Adolph and Esther Gottleib Grant, among others, and has received an MFA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Mitty is currently preparing for a one-person exhibition at DAVID&SCHWEITZER Contemporary in the fall of 2017.


In an interview with Diana Copperwhite Helen O’Leary remarks, “I’m very aware of the collision between the old and new, destruction and rebuilding are very much a part of my practice. I think of how people construct lives and I construct paintings with awareness of the failures and foibles that are part and parcel of being alive. Painting is a language, we push it forward to keep it going.”


O’Leary has participated in group exhibitions around the world including the National Gallery of Art in Limerick, Ireland; the Glasgow Museum of Art in Scotland; the Scott Pfaffman Gallery in New York City; the Galerie le Petit Port in Leiden, The Netherlands; the Contemporary Arts Centre in Sydney, Australia; and in Shanghai, China. The Zolla/Lieberman Gallery in Chicago; the Michael Gold Gallery in New York City; the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, Australia; The Beverly Art Centre in Chicago; the Sanskriti Foundation in New Delhi, India; the Kerlin Gallery in Dublin, and the Catherine Hammond Gallery in Cork, Ireland are among the many venues that have mounted solo exhibitions of her work. Helen O’Leary’s art has been honored with two Pollock-Krasner awards (1989, 1996) and a Joan Mitchell Award for painting and sculpture ((2000), several grants from the Arts Council of Ireland, a Guggenheim Fellow in 2010 and most recently (this spring) a recipient of the Art Purchase award from The Academy of Arts and Letters.


Lizbeth Mitty “Twinkle Two” (2017, oil on canvas, 96" x 66")

Lizbeth Mitty “Twinkle Two” (2017, oil on canvas, 96″ x 66″)

In the DSC Project Space we will be featuring a Fable of a Different Reconstruction:



Ayakamay Hotel Kamikaze

After World War II the word “Kamikaze” became synonymous with Japanese suicide pilots and filled Americans with anger and hate.


The traditional meaning of “Kami Kaze” is a completely different and a positive one. “Kami Kaze” is sacred figure of the Divine Wind an ethereal being, a deity whose breath and wind creates energy that moves weathervanes, fans and flags, birds and insects, a positive deity creating a temporal freedom for all touched by this spirit.


Ayakamay’s installation in Hotel Kamikaze creates eternal temporary non-space: a comfortable place to address this still-present discomfort in the common past between East and West, between Japan and the United States. This sacred wind, still trapped, threatens to be caught in the lightness of the air like a cloud or a mirror that shows us how difficult it is to find commonalties when we hold onto our preconceptions and cannot reconcile our histories.


Ayakamay will present a stand-alone long-duration performance in the DSC Annex on the evening of Friday, May 19th.  The artist invites us to penetrate this singular hotel, a place dyed to a certain redness between the sanguine and the carnal, an unsettling surface that we see crossing the planes of image and the space, a red that seduces and deceives us with its violent passivity that emulates our voyeurism making us blind to what is secreted in the being of things.


Ayakamay combines image-making with fantastically constructed but intimate live experiences. The staged, costumed worlds of studio photography and videography are combined with interactive performances engaging the unpredictability of encounters with strangers and exchanges of physical senses and emotional states. Ayaka’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Japan.