The third exhibition of Abner Preis at Harlan Levey Projects is as reductive as the title suggests. Both profoundly existential and light-heartedly humorous, three bodies of new works reiterate the artist’s signature style, which employs hyper-naivety and pulls the public into his story as they become reflective material for a collaborative performance piece.
His new performance “Songs of Hope,” brought the artist into the rehearsal studios of different choirs around Europe. Do you have a song about strife, voyage and hope? Do you sing about a journey that shaped your community? Will you teach them to me? Can we sing them together?
The drawings in the exhibition, build on past works like “Spots and Stripes,” “Donkey Dan,” “Java Jesse,” “Charlie the Clown” and others. This time the story is removed. All that is left are thin smiles, franticly waving arms and the reality that whether you are a Syrian refugee or a Hollywood star, you eat, you shit, you smile… and on a good day (and perhaps a bad one), sometimes you sing.