The Burning Kite, Curated by Dolly Bross Geary, Michelle Y. Loh, and Kristen Lorello

June 16 - July 25, 2021

As the three organizers began their collaboration, they discovered emotional and philosophical resonance in a poem by a member of a group of Chinese writers referred to as the Misty Poets.

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The poem “The Burning Kite” by Ouyang Jianghe served as a guide as they chose the artists for the exhibition.

The poem speaks with a kind of ironic toughness, distrustful of consoling illusions.  The works in this group explore uplifting feelings and the freedom to create, while at the same time acknowledge the difficulty of letting go; a mood of the times.  Ouyang’s poem offers a way to process this moment of living during the pandemic; to reflect not only on what has been lost, but also on what has been given and transformed during this past year.

Ouyang Jianghe
The Burning Kite
Translated from the Chinese by Austin Woerner

What a thing it would be, if we all could fly.
But to rise on air does not make you a bird.

I’m sick of the hiss of champagne bubbles.
It’s spring, and everyone’s got something to puke.

The things we puke: flights of stairs,
a skyscraper soaring from the gut,

 the bills blow by on the April breeze
followed by flurries of razor blades in May. 

It’s true, a free life is made of words.
You can crumple it, toss it in the trash, 

or fold it between the bodies of angels, attaining
a permanent address in the sky. 

The postman hands you your flight of birds
persisting in the original shape of wind. 

Whether they’re winging toward the scissors’ V
or printed and plastered on every wall 

or bound and trussed, bamboo frames wound with wire
or sentenced to death by fire 

you are, first
and always, ash. 

Broken wire, a hurricane at each end.
Fire trucks scream across the earth. 

But this blaze is a thing of the air.
Raise your glass higher, toss it up and away. 

Few know this kind of dizzy glee:
an empty sky, a pair of burning wings.

On view at Geary Contemporary, Millerton, NY, and Kristen Lorello, New York, NY

Geary, Millerton, NY, June 12 – July 25:
Scott Alario, Eve Biddle, Olivier Catté, Lisa Corinne Davis, Catherine Haggarty, Christopher Saunders, Ping Zheng

Kristen Lorello, New York, NY June 17 – July 23:
Noa Charuvi, Cui Fei, Francesca Gabbiani, Goldschmied & Chiari, Jacob El Hanani, Mahmoud Hamadani, Nancy Lorenz, Alan Prazniak, Katy Schimert, Sun You

Catherine Haggarty is an artist based in Brooklyn, New York.

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Catherine Haggarty

Her paintings and curatorial work have been reviewed by and featured in Bomb Magazine, Artnet, Hyperallergic, Two Coats of Paint, Brooklyn Magazine, The New York Times, Maake Magazine, Art Maaze Magazine, Art Spiel, Final Friday Podcast, Sound and Vision Podcast, The Black and White Project, Curating Contemporary’s book Eraser, and The Observer.

Haggarty has been a visiting artist & critic at MICA (2022), UCONN MFA (2022), Pratt BFA (2022), The University of Oregon (2021), Boston University MFA (2021), SUNY Purchase MFA (2020), Hunter MFA (2020), Denison University (2020), Brooklyn College MFA (2019) and in 2018 Haggarty was the Anderson Endowed Lecturer at Penn State University. Solo exhibitions include Massey Klein Gallery (NYC), This Friday Next Friday (Brooklyn), Bloomsburg University (PA), One Main Window (NYC), One River School of Art and Design, Proto Gallery (NJ), and Look and Listen in Marseille, France. Haggarty earned her M.F.A from Mason Gross, Rutgers University in 2011. Currently, she is an adjunct professor at The School of Visual Arts (SVA), and is the co-founder and director of The NYC Crit Club.