Venus Over Manhattan has created an exhibition of works, that on the surface, seem quite the juxtaposition. Visitors find works by Alexander Calder situated right next to totems and figures from Vanuatu, a Pacific nation of around 80 islands, in ‘Calder Crags and Vanuatu Totems from the Collection of Wayne Heathcote.’
In a contemporary art gallery, it’s not often that Calder takes a backseat to ethnographic artwork but Venus Over Manhattan never fails to turn things on their head. Their latest exhibition, Calder Crags and Vanuatu Totems from the Collection of Wayne Heathcote, on view until June 8, 2019, presents a towering group of historical Vanuatu sculptures from the Ambrym, Banks, and Malekula islands alongside a suite of large-scale standing mobiles and crags by Alexander Calder.
Unlike the English word fetish, fétiche in French specifically means a charm embodying magical powers, a definition that serves as the jumping-off point for this disarming exhibit juxtaposing African and Oceanic ritual objects with works by modern and contemporary artists.