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Virtual Panel Discussion: Nowhere Fast

Nowwhere Fast at Olympia Gallery, Feb 2023 (installation photo).

Virtual Panel Discussion: Nowhere Fast

Alpesh Kantilal Patel in conversation with Cassidy Early, Jessi Li, and Matt Jones

Saturday, February 11, 2pm EST

Please join us for a virtual panel discussion with Cassidy Early, Jessi Li, and Matt Jones; moderated by art historian Alpesh Kantilal Patel.

Nowhere Fast brings together new works by Cassidy Early, Jessi Li, and Matt Jones. All exhibiting for the first time at Olympia, each artist separately toys with the idea and space of voids, finding supposed absence a fruitful place for imagination. The present voids point to other fields of existence, personal loss, and material erasure, but are grounded in the world that shapes our vision.


Cassidy Early is a nonbinary Scottish American artist living and working in Chicago, IL. Their work over the last few years has considered grief and its limitless reach. Their body appears in the images as trans, alive, mythically omniscient, and crossing the barriers between the world of a sentient present and a different place. Early’s titles are often direct references to dungeons and dragons, a game played ideally by friends around a table, where magic is real and death is ever defied.


Jessi Li is based in Brooklyn, New York. Li makes sculpture about the instability of existence in glass, clay, and repurposed objects. Their work relates to the body whether through direct figurative depictions or the reimagining of held objects. Li is interested in the transmutation of material as it relates to the transformation of self, death being the ultimate transition. Their sculptures often contain transnational iconography through pattern and decoration, and tackle themes of fear, protection, comfort, displacement, and intimacy.


Matt Jones lives and works in New York City. His paintings, drawings, and artist books are attuned to the overwhelming omnipresence of climate catastrophe, housing crises, and global pandemics, while attentive to the granular liveliness of the everyday. Eroding the art historical assumption of the human subject, of borders, and of binaries, Jones’s work energizes the mythical—medieval illumination and dream visions, rococo art, and Jewish folklore—by looking again and again at the local, old-growth forest in Inwood, the iron fences and militarized past of Bennet Park, the manicured lush gorgeousness of Fort Tryon’s Heather and Alpine Gardens, as well as the dailiness of working and living with his partner and young child.


Alpesh Kantilal Patel is associate professor of art history at Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University, and the 2023 Curator at Large at UrbanGlass, Brooklyn, where he is organizing a series of exhibitions under the theme “Forever Becoming: Decolonization, Materiality, and Trans Subjectivity.” His art historical scholarship, curating, and criticism reflect his queer, anti-racist, and transnational approach to contemporary art. The author of Productive failure: writing queer transnational South Asian art histories (2017) and co-editor of Storytellers of Art Histories (2022), he has contributed essays to many catalogs andpublished numerous book chapters and journal articles. As an art critic, he writes frequently for Artforumand other art presses. Grants and fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, Arts Council England, NEH, Cranbrook Academy of Art, and New York University have supported his research. He is working on his next monograph, Multiple and One: Global Queer Art Histories



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