Two-Individual Collective KACE. Marries Pop Art & Fashion in New Exhibition, “Jardin de Nuit,” at Gallery 181

From Gallery 181, an extraordinary 700-foot high penthouse that has become renowned as the world’s highest art gallery curated by art advisor Holly Baxter, welcomes its newest exhibition, Jardin de Nuit, by KACE. — a two-individual collective consisting of Naeem Khan and Stanley Casselman. Together, Khan and Casselman have produced a collection of groundbreaking works that engender a beautiful and utterly unforeseen new reality through pop and abstract expressionism.

Naeem Khan (pictured left) is a renowned designer whose eponymous line has been worn by First Lady Michelle Obama, Queen Noor of Jordan, Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Swift and others. Stanley Casselman (pictured right) is a remarkable contemporary abstract painter whose works have been compared to the abstractions of Gerhard Richter. 

Jardin de Nuit — which debuts at Gallery 181 on April 7, 2022 and continues through July 31, 2022 — showcases Warholian floral patterns comprised entirely of sequins in monochromatic colors sewn to silkscreen with thick swashes of vibrant hues that create unworldly, luxurious textures. While some areas of the paintings appear thin and glossy, other areas feature bold swaths of paint that seem to slowly trickle down the canvas and coalesce into viscous, alluring accretions of matter.

Through this juxtaposition of slow, meticulous craftsmanship and intrepid, rapid painting, KACE. welcomes and cultivates a nexus of deeply fascinating contradictions. “Light dances off the sequins and draws a patron’s eye across the floral display,” Michael McCarthy of San Francisco Magazine wrote in a recent article. “The give-and-take between patron and artwork is palpably alive, much like the interplay between Khan and Casselman.”

As one moves around the painting, the figure/ground relationship continually shifts and redefines itself. This not only mirrors the viewer’s movements through the space, but also echoes the physical back-and-forth between KACE. Indeed, when speaking about their methods, the pair agree, “it’s a dance… it’s a ballet.”

View the exhibition works here. Or, if interested in viewing the works in-person, schedule an appointment by emailing Holly Baxter at info@hollybaxterandassociates.com or calling (415) 350-5595.

To learn more about 181 Fremont’s acclaimed art program and past exhibitions guided by art advisor Holly Baxter — including PODIUM I, PODIUM II and the recently concluded Mitchell-Innes & Nash exhibition — visit 181 Fremont’s Art Program page.