Katya Grokhovsky: System Failure
February 14 - April 10, 2018

Opening Reception February 14.18 5-6:30pm
Public Performance in the gallery March 14, 5pm
Artist Talk: March 21, 5 - 6pm
Closing performance: 
April 10, 5pm

Martin Art Gallery at Muhlenberg College presents: System Failure, a solo exhibition by interdisciplinary New York based artist Katya Grokhovsky, System Failure will be on view February 14th- through April 10th 2018, in the Baker Center for the Arts. An opening reception with the artist will be held on Wednesday February 14th from 5 – 6:30pm. Public performances  will take place at the gallery on Wednesday, March 14th and April 10th at 5pm. The artist will give a lecture on Wednesday March 21 5-6pm in the Recital Hall.

System Failure explores the complexities of failing patriarchal regime through immersive site-specific sculptural installation, video and performance. The exhibition investigates power and labor hierarchies that are the result of systemic oppression, greed and overconsumption. Against a backdrop of post-industrial debris, the invisible, absurd, grotesque and difficult aspects of contemporary female experience are explored.  System Failure acts as a lens that examines social norms through the politics of protest, whilst employing analysis, experimentation and exposure. Exploring the daily battlefields of domesticity, relationships, desire, anxiety, ambition and failure in the capitalist society, the exhibition offers a deconditioned and decolonized vision, through a feminist perspective.

Grokhovsky’s process based practice encompasses several mediums, including installation, performance, sculpture, video and painting, which she utilizes in order to explore ideas of gender, identity, alienation, and the self. She holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a BFA from Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne University, Australia and a BA (Honors) in Fashion from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia. Grokhovsky’s recent exhibitions include Smack Mellon, NYC, Equity Gallery, NYC, Center for Contemporary Arts, NM, EFA Project Space, NYC, San Francisco International Arts Festival, CA, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, NY, Lesley Heller Workspace, NYC, HERE Arts Center, NYC, Amelie A. Wallace Gallery, SUNY College, NY among others. She is a recipient of numerous awards including The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) Studios Program, BRICworkspace Residency, NYC, Wassaic Artist Residency, NY, Atlantic Center for the Arts, FL, Studios at MASS MoCA, MA, Santa Fe Art Institute Residency, NM, Watermill Center Residency, NY, Asylum Arts Grant, Dame Joan Sutherland Fund, Australia Council for the Arts ArtStart Grant, NYFA Mentoring Program for Immigrant Artists, Freedman Traveling Scholarship for Emerging Artists, Australia and others.

The Particular Past 
February 14 - May 20, 2018


The Particular Past explores the spaces between knowledge and belief.  By rewriting and reimagining past and present, these artists embody our political and cultural moment where expertise, truth, and even the past are malleable.  Shifting between witness and advocate, these artists alternately illuminate and gaslight their way through a conversation on the value of knowledge. 

We are in a time where ideology trumps truth, all evidence is suspect, and social and institutional trust seem like notions of the past.   In this moment of seemingly capricious truth, The Particular Past does not acquiesce and ebb toward postmodernity, but embraces open discussion.   Artists in this exhibition demonstrate the tension between deities and defiance through objects, ideas, and experiences helps us come to terms with this moment of radical social and political change.  In an effort to understand this epic shift in ho we see the world, this exhibition functions as an act of collective introspection.

Jessica Walker and Jessica Posner interrogate historical narratives through a subversive cultural lens, employing stereotypes to survey the body politic.   Layered constructions by Tom Bendtsen and Donald Porcaro intermingle foundations of knowledge with the fundamentals of civilization.   Manicured forms create structures that act as architectonic talismans of paper and stone.

Sharka Hyland presents visions of America through pencil drawings that explore how literary language transcends the distinction between the verbal and the visual.  Bang Geul Han projects a more jarring reality through her 2017 piece Through the Gaps Between My Teeth, which deconstructs the transcript from President Trump’s Access Hollywood tape, using his transgressive words in a generative animation that reassembles the text to form accounts of sexual assault posted on Twitter.

Andrew Ellis Johnson’s Strewn shows pigs in a field of books, rooting around, eating, lounging in a muddy library.  Johnson notes about this piece that “In fiction, swine have acted as agents of both revolution and repression; in reality, they have been agents of anti-intellectualism. During Pol Pot’s regime in Cambodia, the National Library was used as a stable and piggery. Its books fueled cooking fires, their pages rolled for cigarette papers. … The uneducated were glorified - as they are in other countries today.”

Works in The Particular Past question the broader implications of our actions and attitudes toward truth and justice.  Looking to the past for inspiration, these artists work within a critical framework that aspires to an ethical, just, and self-aware humanism rooted in democratic principles.

Ongoing Events and Exhibitions:

Roger Loos: Stone ‌Koans

An exhibition of stone works by Roger Loos. Four works remain on display in the garden walk (between Trexler library and Baker Center for the Arts). Exhibition runs through 2018.


Gods Eyes by Jen Huh will remain on extended loan and is on view in the Baker Center for the Arts Galleria through 2018. Jen Huh is showing five of her God's eyes sculptures as an overhead installation adjacent to the pitched glass atrium ceiling.

The Martin Art Gallery is open Tuesday - Saturday 12 - 8pm, and The Martin Art Gallery's Galleria Space is open Monday - Sunday, 9:00am - 11:00pm*.  All of our exhibitions and programming are free and open to the public.  For further information, please visit http://www.muhlenberg.edu/main/aboutus/gallery, or call us at 484 664 3467

Artists may submit an exhibition packet or proposal for consideration to the gallery. Packets should include contact information and web portfolio link. Our gallery mailing address is: Martin Art Gallery, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew St., Allentown, PA 18104. Proposals will be accepted on an ongoing/rolling basis, and prospective artists will be contacted by the gallery. Please do not submit original art work as the gallery cannot be responsible for caring for or returning unsolicited submissions. Promotional materials submitted for consideration will not be returned.

All art images are the property of Martin Art Gallery, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania. Any reproduction or distribution of this material without the expressed, written consent of the Martin Art Gallery is prohibited and a violation of federal law. All rights reserved.