As a prequel to the much-anticipated opening of its permanent gallery in Midtown in 2023, UTA Artist Space is presenting two pop-up exhibitions this fall in Pullman Yards in Kirkwood. Each will feature the work of one artist, the self-taught Mario Joyce in September and ceramic artist and painter James Bester in October. UTA Artist Space Atlanta is the second art gallery founded by UTA, the powerhouse Beverly Hills talent agency. The first is in Los Angeles.
In “A Stranger’s House That Is Our Own” (running Aug. 26-Sept. 24), Joyce investigates Afro-Atlantic histories in the United States, using genealogical research to better understand the social history of discrimination. His paintings are characterized by vibrant colors, strong lines and heavy texture.
In “A Stranger’s House,” he reassembles American iconography, particularly the American flag, and combines expansive pastoral elements with interior spaces, creating a sense of home, comfort and security, qualities which for generations Black Americans have had to construct themselves. Opening reception is Aug. 26 from 7-9 p.m.
Paintings by Bester, a former Division II football player, are the focus of the second exhibit, “Fluent” (running Sept. 30- Oct. 29). The artist’s work is influenced by the face jugs that first appeared in the American South in the 1800s and features harsh lines, distorted figures and a turbulent sense of motion to depict his and his family’s struggles. In his “Beheading of Judith,” he places a Black figure in the role of the iconic avenger, and a white figure in the place of the Assyrian oppressor. Opening reception is Sept. 30.
“Mario Joyce and James Bester speak to the history of the American South,” said Tony Parker, UTA Artist Space Atlanta sales director, in a press release. Adds UTA Artist Space Atlanta director Bridgette Baldo: “Both Mario and James grapple with the ‘unresolved’ in their work as a result of intergenerational injustice – which is especially vital in the context of Atlanta and its own history.”
IF YOU GO
11 a.m.-4 pm. Thursdays-Saturdays. Mario Joyce, Aug. 26-Sept. 24 and James Bester, Sept. 30-Oct. 29. Historic Rail Park at Pullman Yards, 225 Rogers St. NE, Atlanta. pullmanyards.com/railpark.