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Kianja Strobert at Art Omi

Kianja Strobert: When is brunch? at Art Omi

An exhibition of new work by Kianja Strobert.

Titled by the artist, When is brunch? revisits motifs derived from the tradition of still life painting. Choosing brunch as the central point, the works spiral away from coherence as notions of pleasure calm, and luxury clash against suggestions of labor, class and mess.

Skillets, pearls, fruit, marbles, spring, green, and bread are among the icons visited here. Taken individually, each object is already a complicated depiction of trade and human interdependence. Bread—the most fundamental staple to emerge from the earliest agricultural and metropolitan societies—is a symbol of partnership, agreement, luxury, trade, labor and money. Marbles, small objects of fascination, blown up here to the size of mirror balls, have historically been organized into a game which introduces children to ideas of risks and ownership. Each is also accompanied by informal verbal meaning: one can “lose one’s marbles” or take “all the marbles” and be in need of “some bread”. Where is the artist in this? She is serving and sitting at the table with the viewer. Among her offerings are Braque’s black fish, Cleopatra’s pearl earring smoothie, panhandler cups in the place of mimosa flutes, piles of flying skillets in view, and imported desktop zen rakes to clean up after the petit fête is over.

Kianja Strobert (b. 1980) received her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA from Yale. She has had solo exhibitions at the Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; Marinaro, NY; Jack Tilton, NY; and the Santa Monica Museum of Art, California. Strobert has been included in numerous group exhibitions including shows at Olana State Historic Site, Hudson, NY; Kemper Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO; Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, NY; Lehmann Maupin, NY; and The Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX. Strobert lives and works in Hudson, NY.