SEIZAN Gallery New York is pleased to announce a two-person exhibition featuring artists Alexa Hoyer and Moeko Maeda, opening May 4 and on view through June 24, 2023. The opening reception with the artists is Thursday, May 4th, 6-8 pm in SEIZAN Gallery’s newly opened space on the ground floor of 525 W 26th St. The exhibition juxtaposes two contrasting bodies of work: “Targets” by Alexa Hoyer and “Oharae” by Moeko Maeda.
“Targets” is an ongoing series of photographs by Hoyer featuring homemade gun targets in the Nevada desert. The artist visited unregulated shooting sites adjacent to Las Vegas, where people shoot guns recreationally, bringing random everyday items — wood cut-outs, plastic containers, and signages — to use as targets, which are left behind and riddled with bullet holes. The mysterious assemblages are then discovered, framed, and “shot” again with Hoyer’s camera. The result is unsettling yet imbued with dark humor and unexpected whimsy. The targets resemble readymade sculptures or quasi-shrines, alluding to mass consumerism, environmental crisis, and American gun culture. The exhibition includes new photographic works produced in January of this year.
“Oharae” is a set of intensely textured abstract works by Japanese artist Moeko Maeda. Newly made for what will be her first exhibition in New York, the series is comprised of three monolithic panels and four sculptural wall pieces, all in purest white. Hidden beneath mysterious and serene surfaces are subterranean layers produced by the labor-intensive process unique to Maeda’s practice. She began each piece by calligraphing on a wood panel “Oharae-no-Kotoba,” (or “Oharae”), one of the “Norito” prayers or blessings in Shinto rituals. It is a lengthy prayer that recounts the mythological events related to the Shinto deities. The purpose of Oharae-no-Kotoba is for spiritual purification and to remove impurities or negative energies from individuals, communities, and the land. After the wood panels were covered with calligraphies, they were painted white. The artist used her own hair as a paintbrush for the large panels. Pigments, tree sap, and salt water mixturewere layered on after. Maeda’s work connects with the power of nature and echos spiritual rituals of Eastern cultures. The exhibition also includes three works from “Erupt,” her series from 2021 to 2023.
Alexa Hoyer (born in Hamburg, Germany) is a NYC-based Visual Artist working in photography. She has exhibited internationally, including at Mana Contemporary, NJ, the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, TX, Arles Les Rencontres de la Photographie, Arles, France, PHOTO IS:RAEL, the Inside Out Arts Museum in Beijing and a video installation at the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, PA. She participated in LMCC’s Governors Island Artist Residency and was recently awarded the 2023 Queens Arts Fund (QAF) New Work Grant. Her photography has been published in Vice, Wall Street International, DOMUS, and Harper’s Magazine. In 2022 her project “Wegweiser” was published by Kenektid in Seoul, Korea. Alexa received a BFA from Webster University in St Louis, MO and an MFA from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, PA.
Moeko Maeda (born in Hyogo, Japan) is an LA-based artist who makes paintings and performance pieces. While working as an assistant at the studio of Paul McCarthy, Maeda began creating performance pieces of a stoic character, involving her body and mentality. Her practice expanded onto canvas using water, salt and various natural materials. Maeda’s works have been included in many exhibitions, including at Speedy Gallery, LA, Chimento Contemporary, LA, LAVA Projects, LA, THREE, LA and SCOPE Miami. This is her first exhibition in New York.