Uuriintuya Dagvasambuu

Moods in the Metaverse

SAPAR Contemporary
9 North Moore, New York, NY 10013
New York
Tribeca
Mar 17th — May 8th

Find out more

Six women populate the dark blue grid of a Zoom call. They braid their hair or sip soft drinks as their gazes drift sideways, distracted or unamused. In places, they seep into one another. One head drifts onto another’s screen while a dog spans ghostlike across two camera views. Such is the case with the figures in Uuriintuya Dagvasambuu’s “Moods in the Metaverse”: they are technically divided but virtually together.

Dagvasambuu is a practitioner of zurag—a modern school of painting rooted in the 13th-century Mongolian Golden Age, Persian miniatures and Buddhist motifs. In her first solo exhibition in New York City, the artist references a post-pandemic era defined by the erection of literal boundaries on the one hand and their figurative dissolution on the other. Her paintings are lush tableaux where women, pastoral creatures and deities come into contact with internet user interfaces and pandemic paraphernalia, creating a sense of familiarity, disjunction and fantasy.

Her work is flat and vertically stacked, generally bereft of foregrounds and horizons. For example, consider the girl suspended on a backdrop of leaves in Sound Plants (2021), or the sandwiches and tape measures floating on a lattice of clouds in Open 24/7 (2022). In Vaccine: First Dose (2021), a woman holds strings suspending a mirror revealing dense clouds and a bathtub full of flowing water, both of which dangle in an ethereal pink haze. Everything exists on the same plane, without delineation or hierarchy.

These dissolved borders extend beyond spatial cues. Face masks and social-distancing signage are scattered among video chats, USB cables and earphones that exhort constant communication. A woman in traditional flower-etched garb wears noise-canceling headphones while a sheep peers into a webcam. The traditional shoulders the modern, the nomadic lingers alongside the sedentary, and physical barriers induce virtual hyperconnectivity. Far-removed from their natural contexts, the mundane suddenly becomes mythical.

Dreamlike as they may be, these crossovers evoke the surrealism of modern times: a reality where medical technology forays into public spaces and work meetings take place against the intimate background of your living room. Perhaps in a digital realm of porous boundaries, and most certainly in “Moods in the Metaverse,” even the paradoxical can coexist. —Isabella Garces

Uuriintuya Dagvasambuu, Zoom Meeting, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 55 1/8 x 55 1/8 inches. Image courtesy Sapar Contemporary

  • Through
    Jun 6th

    A traveling exhibition of 69 oil paintings, watercolors and works on paper aims to chart Milton Avery’s trajectory and contextualize his work for a new generation.

  • Through
    May 29th

    Inspired by fractals, Renee Cox’s deity-like collages of Black figures constitute an Afrofuturist creation myth.

  • Through
    Jun 6th

    An economical survey of Jonas Mekas, “The Camera Was Always Running” serves as a touching introduction to the Lithuanian filmmaker and champion of avant-garde cinema.

  • Through
    May 28th

    The work in Valentina Vaccarella’s “Bless this Life” rests on a simple irony: monogrammed, embroidered French bridal linens pulled taut across stretcher bars and besmirched by rough images of modern madams.

  • Through
    Jun 6th

    Daniel Lie’s “Unnamed Entities” at the New Museum challenges the antiseptic aim of curation and conservation by imagining a different kind of organic art that needs to be nurtured rather than preserved.

  • Ongoing

    Dia’s recent acquisition of works by Charles Gaines forms the basis of this survey, which includes the artist’s first forays into mathematics-based grid drawings and other early experiments in medium and form.

  • Ongoing

    Day’s End, an elegiac memorial to and stubborn ghost of eras bygone, will also serve as silent witness to the inevitable changes to come.

  • Through
    Jan 2nd 2023

    The sonic encounters provoked by Camille Norment’s elaborate acoustic artworks serve as agents for social consciousness.

  • Through
    May 28th

    The words masterful and mastery assert themselves the instant one encounters the works in “My Body,” both for Nancy Grossman’s command of a wide range of skills and her active state of dominance, identity and selfhood.