Kin at Accola Griefen Fine Art

Gina Adams, Caroline Burton, Nancy Cohen, Mary Beth Edelson, Jee Hwang & Patsy Norvell

September 23 - November 22, 2019
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Accola Griefen is located near the Brooklyn Museum and open only by appointment. To schedule a visit please contact

“Let us speak of the beings of Earth as the “kin” they are,” writes biologist, Indigenous knowledge keeper and author of Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer. This exhibit is inspired by Kimmerer’s writing and by the concept of kinship and community between all life on the planet.

The artists in KIN, address our relationships with water, land, animals and with each other. Highlights of the first installation opening in September include early altered Polaroids by Feminist Artist, Mary Beth Edelson; new works in glass, paper and reclaimed materials by Nancy Cohen; “hairquilts” from the 1970’s by A.I.R. Gallery founder, Patsy Norvell; and recently completed ceramic Ancestor Medallions by Gina Adams.



Gina Adams is a descendant of both Indigenous and colonial Americans whose hybrid art practice often addresses kinship and our responsibilities to each other. Her work has recently been acquired by museums including The Boston Museum of Fine Arts, The Peabody Essex Museum, The Hood Museum and The Asheville Art Museum. Her work has been featured in numerous publications including the New Yorker, Hyperallergic and the Art Newspaper and others. As a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow in 2016, Adams located photographs of her ancestors in the museum’s archive which she has made three-dimensional. The Ancestor Medallions series consists of editions of five portraits in porcelain that were created when Adams was working at the prestigious John Michael Kohler Residency.

Caroline Burton’s work in this exhibition is inspired by experiences from her childhood in the Colorado mountains. The work memorializes life after death via the symbolism of the containers of life: skins; tails; heads and sometimes the cage, all of which she has incorporated in previous series. Burton’s work is included in numerous collections including Duke University Medical Center, NC; Noyes Museum, NJ; Zimmerli Museum, NJ; Jersey City Museum, NJ; Montclair Art Museum, NJ; Morris Museum, NJ; Museo de Art Moderno de la Republica Dominicana, Dominican Republic; New Jersey Public Library, NJ; and Connecticut College, CT.

Nancy Cohen explores our relationship to water: rivers; marshes; oceans and the life they contain. Her last critically acclaimed traveling museum exhibition, Hackensack Dreaming, was the culmination of a multi-year examination of some of New Jersey’s most beautiful and ecologically compromised waterways. Cohen is widely known for her innovative work with hand-made paper and sculpture which also incorporates glass, and reclaimed materials. Cohen’s work is in the permanent collections of the NJ State Museum, the Zimmerli Museum, the Montclair Art Museum, and Yale University Art Museum among others. She has been exhibiting extensively in NYC, NY, NJ and has received numerous prestigious awards and residencies.

Mary Beth Edelson is a celebrated American artist, activist and an originator of the Feminist Art Movement.  Path-breaking earth body work and land art have been significant aspects of her practice since the early 1970’s. For the past 50-years Edelson has created iconic artworks – ranging from photography, painting, sculpture and drawing to performance, book/print making, collages and murals – often using her own body as canvas and subject matter. Edelson has been the subject of retrospectives including at Malmö Kunstmuseum, Sweden and Migros Museum, Zürich, and international survey exhibitions: including ‘WACK! Art of the Feminist Revolution’, MOCA, Los Angeles; ‘Greater New York’, MoMA PS1; ‘NYC 1993’, New Museum; and ‘Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography’, MoMA. Edelson’s has work is in public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Brooklyn Museum (all New York); Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, among others.

Jee Hwang’s highly realistic paintings explore and depict metaphorical scenes, which often include plant life and which originate from her experiences as an immigrant. Hwang received her MFA in painting from Pratt Institute and her BFA from Salisbury University in Maryland. She has exhibited widely in the United States and in Korea. Hwang is Assistant Professor in Painting at Fort Hays State University in Kansas.

Patsy Norvell was one of the founders of A.I.R. Gallery, the first all-women’s gallery in the United States. There, in the early 1970’s, Norvell exhibited an innovative series of “Hair Quilts,” that depict both land forms and communities of women from her consciousness raising groups.  Norvell is best known for her ambitious, large-scale public works which similarly often address our relationships to each other and to the natural world. Permanent public art projects include installations at the Beverley and the Courtelyou BMT subway stations in Brooklyn, newsstands in Manhattan, and plaza and lobby installations in Los Angles, CA; New Brunswick, NJ; Bridgeport, CT; and Bethesda, MD, among others. In 2001, the University of California Press published Recording Conceptual Art, the book form of taped interviews Norvell recorded in 1969.