February 19 - 23, 2014

Leila Heller Gallery is pleased to announce its participation in ARCOmadrid, February 19 - 23, 2014. The gallery will be exhibiting work by Ana Laura Alaez, Reza Aramesh, Shoja Azari, Rachel Lee Hovnanian, Richard Hudson, and Iké Udé.
Among the highlights will be new sculptures by Spain-based multimedia artist Ana Laura Alaez. The bronze sculpture Loba (2014), which resembles a mythological sphinx, represents the mystery and the violence that, even today, female power exerts. Being a multiple disciplinary artist working in sculpture, photography, drawing, video, architecture, and music, Alaez always forms her installations with specific attention to space, shape and the human scale. This attention creates an oeuvre between all of these dialogues that is attractive, provocative and stimulates viewers into being physically immersed into the space, subjecting them to her design.
London-based sculptor and photographer Reza Aramesh will be exhibiting a sculpture from his recent series Action titled Study for Action 123. Aramesh’s Action series is highly choreographed, and combines emotive and haunting figures that are seemingly disconnected and alienated from their original surroundings. Painstakingly handcrafted in lime-wood and painted with polychrome, Study for Action 123 draws inspiration from both violent journalistic war photographs and Renaissance and Baroque master paintings. Aramesh carefully remixes and reconfigures these scenes to create a final work that challenges viewers to question whether the mass media’s portrayal of war has forced them to become attracted to images of violence.
Madrid-based sculptor Richard Hudson will also be debuting numerous new sculptures in bronze, marble, and wood. Hudson’s sculptures focus upon the coexistence and juxtaposition of the ancient and the modern, and create a persuasive argument to re-evaluate Western sculptures long tradition of creating beauty. His works are a free interpretation of forms that are at once strikingly contemporary and transcendent, eluding mystery, driven by Hudson’s intuitive creation process. His sculptures presences enhance their environments, as they are thresholds for energy and passion, leaving viewers with sensations of delight.
New York-based artist and filmmaker Shoja Azari will be exhibiting two of his paintings from his FAKE: Idyllic Life installation; Oriental Bath or Bunnies R Us, and Oriental Interior or Bunnies R Us. Both paintings convey overtly mythical portraits of the Arab world, that have become the fodder for a mischievous, multilayered critique of the traditional Western gaze into Muslim identity and its legacy. These oil paintings of a harem are fueled by notions of exoticism, and have received an updated, pin-up style makeover. Papering the surrounding area of the paintings Azari has created wallpaper composed of thousands of screenshots drawn from the Internet chronicling the sweep of ‘the Islamic World’ and a fear of terrorism onto the modern Westerner. The paintings paired with the wallpaper conclude that it is because of the online age’s tendency of context frequently trumping content that the West is unable to move beyond shallow assumptions of Islam.