ExhibitionsPrevious Exhibitions

Transcendent Mess
to outwit representation
Friday, January 5, 2024 - Sunday, February 12, 2024

Transcendent Mess

A show of 5 artists that frames material exploration and abstraction as trans methodologies.
Opening Reception: Friday, January 5, 2024| 6-9pm | Free-To-Attend
Friday, January 5, 2024 – Sunday, February 12, 2024
Presented in Gallery Three

About the Exhibition

A show of 5 artists that frames material exploration and abstraction as trans methodologies.

Curated by Lane Timothy Speidel, opening in Gallery 3 at Vox Populi Gallery on January 5, 2024 until February 12, 2024.Kim Altomare, Mary Henjes, Mountain Pollen, Chenxi Shao, and Molly Thayer are all artists working in different mediums and methods.

Each artist uses multiple overlapping investigative processes; metalwork, papermaking, ceramics, weaving, and typography, among others. Dodging representation in the interest of something greater, stranger, more volatile, and perverse. With tactical and flamboyant improvisation these artists court failure in search of that which is beyond definition, each work accumulating in an explicit point upon an infinite spiral of human experience.

The works hold the contradiction of living in a trans body. Materials are worked both with and against their inherent natures, metal is made to curve softly and paper is made rigid, fiberglass nurtures and fire is cold, letters twist away from reading, and litter stands proudly.

Transcendent Mess is invested in illegibility as a means of clarity. To make clear, through a considered yet raucous struggle of material and form, the precise moment of looking, of living, of the appetite and satiety of both.

“I wanna look like what I am but don’t know what someone like me looks like.” Lou Sullivan
“If anybody asks what I am doing, tell them that I am directing matter.” Jack Whitten
“Of course I’d undress in front of you / And when I’m naked, what shall I do?” Prince

About the Artists

Kim Altomare (he/they) is a trans artist living and working in Philadelphia, PA. Altomare received their MFA from Yale School of Art (2019) and their BFA from Tyler School of Art (2013). He has taught at Lafayette College, where he was the inaugural recipient of the Experimental Printmaking Residency in 2019. Altomare’s work has been included in group and solo exhibitions at New Release Gallery (NYC), New Boone (Philadelphia), and the Icebox (Philadelphia). Residencies include the Ora Lerman Trust, Atlantic Center for the Arts, and Yale Summer School of Art
Instagram: @kimaltomare
Website: www.kimaltomare.com

Mary Henjes (they/them) is an artist, metalworker, educator, and butch located out of Pittsburgh, PA. Their current practice starts with an approach to art making-via material investigation of metal, and lands somewhere between painting, sculpture, and the unknowable Other.
instagram @reclaimed_lumber or at https://cargocollective.com/mhenjes

Mountain Pollen (they/them) is an artist and designer based in New York City. Their work employs drawing, tattooing, photography, and typography to see form emerge in ways at once familiar and alien. Their process teases out embedded logics, populating a brood of morphing iterations that project a future version.

Chenxi Shao (she/her/they/them) is an artist and designer originally from Beijing, China, now based in Philadelphia. Their work explores dynamic identity, humanism, and environmental ethics, bridging the realms of sculpture and animation. With a background in ecological research, Chenxi integrates ecological concerns into their art, addressing pressing societal and environmental issues. Their contributions have been showcased at various venues including the Fringe Arts, Flux Factory, Galleries at Moore, Vox Populi Gallery, Yavapai College Art Gallery, Worthless Studios, Atelier, Galleries at Delaware County Community College, and Jianshexiang Gallery. Chenxi holds degrees in Plant Genetics and Breeding (B.A.), Interface Ecology (Ph.D.), and an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania. Their remarkable accomplishments include receiving the Monument Lab MFA Fellowship at the Center for Public Art and Space in 2023.

Molly Thayer (he/any) is a Philadelphia based recycled fiber artist and art educator focused in weaving, fashion, and sculpture. His work seeks to decompose, soften, and adorn by playing with familiarity and reconfiguration. Molly teaches kids and adults at the Arts League and Spiral Q Puppet Theater. He received a BA from Oberlin College in Environmental Studies, concentrated in Innovative Community Recycling. Mainly self taught in art, Molly also earned a Fashion Certificate from École de Beaux Arts, Paris American Academy and studied Metal Sculpture at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts through continuing education. Molly’s fashion collection Plarn Ecologies was shown at New York Fashion Week in 2023.

Lane Timothy Speidel (they/he) is a Philadelphia based artist, curator, member of Vox Populi Gallery, and graduate of Tyler School of Art. They play with writing, sculpture, fabric, music, and movement to try to place themselves in the world. They patchwork these different methodologies together in freaky, funny, and sad installations, with seams visible. See more here: ihopeilikethis.com