Taking into account the recent craze for all things countryside, curator/artist Peter Fulop has amassed an incredible showing of contemporary art in the group show, “Re-Imaging Rural,” currently on view on the Brooklyn waterfront at 1 Brooklyn Bridge Park (360 Furman Street) through July 31st. Exhibition hours are 1-6 PM, Tuesday through Sunday.
This dazzling group show presents works by a range of alumni who have participated in the ChaNorth artist-in-residence program located in Pine Plains, NY (Fulop resides near the residency.) The exhibition’s list of participating artists is impressive in its own right, with works from Daniela Puliti, Eileen O’Kane Kornreich, Julia Blume, Jennifer McCandless, John O’Donnell, Hayley Ferber, Roland de Fries, Khae Haskell, Bradley Wood, Heather Renée Russ, Buket Savci, Caitlin McCormack, Rina Lam Goldfield, Lori Larusso, Catherine Meringolo, Rob Trumbour, Kathie Halfin, Hudson Howard Cooke, Amalya Megerman, Jayne Struble, Rochelle Voyles, Steven Rudin, Lauren Packard, Jasper Johns, Katherine Earle, Locus Xiaotong Chen, Hannah Tardie, Rebecca Tennenbaum, Emily Kofsky, and Jin Yong Choi included in this feast for the senses.
Many works, including those by artists Kathie Halfin and Daniela Puliti, embrace everyday materials such as cotton or wool blends in creating sculptural compositions on view in the exhibition. Sculptural works and installation are present in the exhibition alongside paintings by artists like Rina Lam Goldfield and Eileen O’Kane Kornreich and works on paper by Hayley Ferber. Hayley Ferber’s prints in particular juxtapose landscape orientation with verticality, delicately inviting the viewer into the intimate scale of the composition.
Sumptuous surface texture, enticing figurative paintings and mixed media works all combine to titillate guests to the exhibition. Located right on the East River and easily accessible by ferry to Brooklyn Bridge Park, “Re-Imaging Rural” holds space for everyone to encounter concepts around rural both real and imagined in a creative, carefully curated manner.
Curator Peter Fulop is a multidisciplinary artist born in Hungary, based in Pine Plains, NY. Peter studied ceramics in Hódmezovásárhely, Hungary and undertook further studies at studios in the UK, Japan, Korea and China. He moved his studio to the Northwest of Ireland in 2001. Peter was invited to work in the ceramic studio of Daeseungsa Monastery, Korea (2011) and to Japan to take up an apprenticeship with Professor Koie Ryoji (2012). His works are included in the public collections of the National Museum of Ireland, the Ulster Museum, Belfast, The Ganjin Celadon Museum and Mungyeong Ceramic Museum in Korea, Fule International Ceramic Art Museum, China, The Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park and INAX Corporation in Japan. He has been an artist in residence at Sculpture Space New York, NY.
ChaNorth is the international artist residency program of Chashama, a non-profit organization that partners with property owners to transform unused real estate for artists. www.chashama.org
There’s nothing more exciting than hitting the open road to go & enjoy a fun art adventure! We are thrilled to have reviewed the offerings on view for the 2022 Upstate Art Weekend, and have selected a very narrow amount of the seemingly endless, not-to-be-missed art hotspots that put Hudson Valley on the art map!
Available Items | The exhibit on view, “Going to Country,” plays on rural tropes featuring over ten NY-based artists working across art and design categories. The site is conveniently located in Tivoli, NY. https://availableitems.com/
Headstone Gallery | The compelling show on view, a solo of works on paper by artist Ashley Eliza Williams, is worth a stop when passing through Kingston, NY. Entitled “Urgent Beings,” the inventive work is exciting and inviting in equal measure.www.headstonegalleryny.com
LABSpace | Ready to be immersed in work by living artists? Over 50+ contemporary artists spanning multiple mediums are presented in the show on view at this site for Upstate Art Weekend. labspaceart.blogspot.com
Elijah Wheat Showroom | Multi-disciplinary artist Ian McMahon is featured in the Upstate Art Weekend presentation by Elijah Wheat Showroom in Newburgh, NY. Savvy guests will visit on Sunday, when a performative action by the artist is sure to mesmerize guests. www.elijahwheatshowroom.com
Museums, Institutions & Site-Specific
The Dorsky Museum | The respected Dorsky Museum features a group show re-imagining our material culture in the contemporary moment. The 15th annual Hudson Valley Artists exhibition is entitled “Hudson Valley Artists 2022: The Material, The Thing,” and provides plenty to contemplate. www.newpaltz.edu
Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College | Three compelling exhibitions currently attract guests to the Hessel Museum, including Martine Syms: Grio College. Intermittent exhibition tours will also take place over the weekend. www.bard.edu
Magazzino Italian Art | If you haven’t yet had a chance to pass through Magazzino, this is the moment. Along with their stunning collection of Arte Povera masterpieces, a solo show by Italian artist Piero Gilardi beckons guests to Cold Spring. www.magazzino.art
Woodstock Artists Association & Museum | Woodstock is one of the longest-running creative meccas operating in the Hudson Valley Area, and an anchor of the arts in the Catskills. Join artist Marielena Ferrer for a series of workshops after admiring the four exhibitions currently on view at the space. woodstockart.org
Artist Residencies, Artist-Run Spaces & Studios
The Birdhouse Gallery: “P&D and Mini Me” featuring Jeanne Tremel, J.G. Crimmins, Patricia Fabricant, Kerry Law, Joe Piscopia & Deborah Yasinsky | Sunny Chapman curates this show at 499 E Front Street in Hancock, NY. While not an official selection for UAW, the quality of artists and reference to miniature and Pattern & Decoration movement makes this a fun find for the eagle-eyed headed upstate for compelling contemporary art. https://www.facebook.com/TheBirdhouseGallery/
Art Studios for Jeff Way & Carolyn Oberst | Both artists are located at 608 Old Stage Rd in the Saugerties, and their divergent styles offer something eclectic for every art admirer. From bright neons and found imagery to repetition and found objects, there is plenty to admire in Oberst & Way’s respective studios.
Art Studio, Rachel Owens | With a practice based in involving the community, this multi-disciplinary artist and professor opens her studio to curious visitors interested in engaging with her work. The work she will present this weekend was originally commissioned by the NYC Parks Dept in 2011 and has a compelling history of exhibition. www.rachelowensart.org
Interlude Artist Residency | Meet the artist-parents currently in residence at Interlude Artist Residency. Visitors are welcome to engage with artists Leigh Davis, Liza Sylvestre and Christopher Robert Jones. Saturday afternoon also features a bonus family-friendly concert. interluderesidency.com
Women’s Studio Workshop | Based in Kingston, NY, this selection offers works on paper and a wide range of paper-based work in their first annual Upstate Art Book Fair. The sky is the limit when it comes to the book art you’ll encounter – plus, the venue will host special events! Not to be missed. https://www.wswupstateartbookfair.com/
Foreland | The coalition site spans a range of artistic presentations in Catskill, NY. The gallery coalition presents four concurrent exhibitions, and their coveted artist party is definitely going to be an exciting event anchoring the weekend’s social occasions. www.forelandcatskill.com
We recently met artist Noga Cohen, whose impact is clearly felt far beyond her participation in the group exhibit, “Sign of Frankenstein” at Amos Eno Gallery where we crossed paths. It became apparent through our dialogue that her role in the New York arts community is something to be explored further. Cohen’s ties to many incredible organizations and galleries throughout New York City intrigued us, and we sat down together to learn more about her accomplishments, interests, collaborators and future projects.
Lead image: Photo credit, Farah Mohammad.
ANTE Mag. You moved directly to New York City to attend Columbia upon acceptance to their MFA program in 2019. What has being resilient as an artist living in NYC during Covid looked like for you?
Noga Cohen. I moved to New York City in 2019, just a few months before Covid. To cope with the uncertainty and sense of urgency I felt at the time, I tried to use my skills and knowledge to help others and create meaningful interactions through art and art education. I was invited by a fellow artist and curator, Farah Mohammad, to teach and take part in designing the curriculum of an independent online art program called “The Drawing Exchange”. The program took place during the summer of 2020, and was supported by Alpha Art Alliance. It offered arts programming children living in East Brooklyn, who didn’t have access to formal art education during lockdown. I taught a series of online collage classes and formed relationships with other art educators and children who were dealing with different challenges.
At the time, while not having access to my studio, I had to restructure my art practice and find new ways to express myself. I work mainly in sculpture, installation, and photography, and had to shift the ways I make work. Through the relationships with my students, I discovered new ways to be creative and work within the limitations of our new post-Covid reality. In 2020, writing has been a cathartic ritual that helped me gain awareness of my dynamic art practice and a way to connect to other artists and writers in a time of isolation. I was invited to contribute work to an online show and art publication hosted by the Philadelphia-based organization Tiger Strikes Asteroid. The project, called “Lines Inside”, was a group exhibition of writings by New York-based artists. The editors were Lizzy De Vita and Roni Aviv. Most of the work was created and compiled into a publication during Covid, and this collection of work reflects the sudden changes that we were experiencing at the time – mirroring my own adjustments during the period.
ANTE.This past year you have stayed involved in organizing panels, exhibitions and volunteering in Arts Education. Can you share some of these accomplishments with us?
NC. Absolutely. Art education is a big part of my practice, and being involved in this field has been deeply rewarding and fulfilling for me. I was honored to be invited to Hofstra University as a visiting artist this year and spend a day leading a panel discussion, a lecture, and a Q&A about my practice, giving thorough end-of-the-year show reviews, and having studio visits with students. The discussion panel was led collaboratively with the head of the visual arts department, Jim Lee. We discussed how questions of identity and self-discovery come up in an art education setting and in the process of preparing for art school’s final exhibition. ays been interesting to me as an arts education professional.
Earlier this year, while participating in a show at Amos Eno Gallery in Brooklyn, I initiated and organized a closing reception that included a discussion panel. The panel was open to the public and led by fellow artist Adi Rejto and me, and involved other artists who participated in the show. It was interesting to discuss ideas of accumulations of time and moments in painting and sculpture presented in the show, and have an open Q&A with the gallery visitors.
Also, I am excited to join as a board member of UCAE (The University Council for Art Education) in the upcoming year. I’m thrilled to be a part of an amazing educational organization that brings together art educators, artists, and social practitioners through open-table discussions, lectures, and panels.
ANTE.Your artistic practice has also benefited from the NYFA Immigrant Artists mentorship program. Was this a competitive process for inclusion, and what are some benefits you received from this opportunity?
NC. I discovered an incredible and diverse community at the NYFA Immigrant Artist mentorship program. The program brings together ambitious artists, creatives, and filmmakers in different stages of their careers, who share the experience of immigration. The artists I’ve met through this program come from different places and backgrounds and were able to offer different perspectives on the question of what it means to be an international artist in New York. Through access to other international artists in New York who are dealing with unique challenges, we’ve built a strong and supportive community. During the 6-month long program, I got to participate in panels, group activities, lectures, and workshops, and connect with artists from all over the world. It was reassuring to realize that we have a lot in common and can use our knowledge and experience to contribute and help others.
At the culmination of our experience, we exhibited our work together at the New York Live Arts gallery and got to work with three amazing curators who made thoughtfully informed curatorial decisions to create the final exhibition. I am currently working with my NYFA international artists cohort on independent curatorial projects, in collaboration with alumni and mentors of the program.
ANTE.How do you maintain your dedication to the greater New York City artist community today?
NC. I stay connected to a community of artists I collaborate with regularly, who are located both in New York City and internationally. For example, in 2021 I was picked to exhibit my work in an international online show curated by Iksong Jin, a curator and artist based in South Korea. The show included artists from all over the world, and the group has been dedicated to exhibiting together in person. This summer, I’ll be exhibiting new work among my fellow international artists at RIVAA (Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Association) Gallery. It has become a tradition that we get together and publish a catalog of our most recent works.
Last year, I was included in another exhibition featuring incredible international artists at Project Gallery V. The show was entitled “Time Won’t TellI” and it was curated by Farah Mohammad – again. The gallery is a Brooklyn-based online space run by two women artists/entrepreneurs. I feel grateful to collaborate with artist-run spaces, especially ones founded by young artists and curators. I find online spaces to be a great resource for reaching audiences all over the world and connecting with people.
ANTE.This past year along with teaching as an adjunct professor at Columbia University you have exhibited regularly. What are some of the shows your work has been presented in?
NC. Last year I participated in an independent curatorial project organized by a group of New York based artists that took place in a space granted to us generously by ChaShama. The show, curated by Junni Chen and Owen Duffy, completely transformed an empty space on the Lower East side into a lively art space for one month. I showed two sculptures I made using plastic and trash, in a unique process I used to activate gravity, and the passage of time, in addition to using high heat.
Also, I feel grateful for having been included in two wonderful group shows at Amos Eno Gallery, an artist-run space located in Brooklyn in the past year. The most recent one, “Sign Of Frankenstein” curated by Robert McCann, consisted of work by New York-based artists reflecting on ideas of layering, memory, and practices of deconstruction. I showed one sculpture and a large wall installation, made out of recycled and repurposed materials, that speak to ideas of fragmentation and disconnection in relation to space and the human body.
I look forward to participating in another show at The Border Project Space this upcoming year, where I will be showing new artwork.
In Both/And, Maureen O’Leary’s exhibition on view at Cristin Tierney Gallery through May 27, the artist presents a cinematic body of narrative imagery engaging with moments of stillness in nature and in her subjects’ everyday lives. Drawing on modern portraiture and fusing these impulses within the contemplation embedded within the everyday, O’Leary’s ability to evoke stillness in her subjects is indicative of both her competence as a painter and her discerning knowledge of art history. Focusing in this exhibition review on the figurative paintings on view, it is apparent that the artist presents everyday scenes subtly removed from the digital realm. This adds a timeless quality to the imagery in these compositions. One result of this careful presentation is that artist’s portraits and landscapes manage to slow the eye, effectively expressing the psychological charge infusing these painted scenes. The artist’s works freeze individual moments in time, distinctly separating each out from a successive series of events to instead simmer and soak in the silence of these specific snapshots.
In works such as Commuter Platform with Dogwood (My Mother) and High Rise Neighbor, the artist isolates individuals, presenting them within a seemingly static scene. These works maintain a dialogue with an existing impulse in art theory toward slowly digesting the image presented to the viewer, known as the Slow Art movement. In addition, O’Leary’s tendency to present the individual framed within a clearly defined landscape continues the visual lexicon ignited during Modern French painting of the Second Empire: the imagery which defines a potent individualism in painting, overthrowing the prevailing trend of genre painting prevalent at the time.
Arthur P. Shimumura, PhD documented the Slow Art Movement in an article for Psychology Today in 2014. The author outlines that “…the Slow Art movement is grounded on the premise that one should savor artworks in a conscious and deliberate manner rather than simply gulp each one down as “eye candy.” Phil Terry conceived the idea in 2014 when he spent hours at the Jewish Museum in New York focusing primarily on two abstract paintings—Hans Hoffman’s Fantasia and Jackson Pollock’s Convergence.” (1) Aligned with Shimamura’s assertions that one should savor artworks “in a conscious and deliberate manner,” O’Leary’s paintings employ two distinct formal qualities which support a conscious recognition of the imagery presented in her works. In the aforementioned works, the artist renders her subjects in outlines that are clearly defined and distinct from their surroundings. The figure is presented in a different color, contrasting their individual bodies from the nearby environment. The artist also takes the additional step of presenting individual figures who are wrapped in themselves rather than engaging in conversation or activity with any nearby figures. Whether walking alone, pensively, or smoking a cigarette, O’Leary paints her subjects with a deliberate focus on their introspection, encouraging a conscious means of engaging with the composition for her viewer.
Stephen Eisenmann in the historical survey text, Nineteenth Century Art: A Critical History, denotes that the origins of modern painting were formed during the salons held at the of the French Second Empire. The author notes the shift in consciousness espoused by painters at the time, revealing that “Individualism and commodified consciouness – masked and justified by a crude ideology of Naturalism….replaced history painting.” Among the French painters of the mid-1850s, individualism prevailed as a means of expressing unique identity, as Eisenmann specifies that among these French Second Empire artists, ”Individualism was dialectally refined to include both personal autonomy and the popular collectivity,” thus ushering in Modernism in France at close of the Second Empire. (2)
This since ingrained sense of individualism informed many of the earliest photographs and films emerging during the 19th and early 20th centuries, particularly in Western traditions. It is this persistent sense of framing an individual’s psychological experience of the world around them that infuses Maureen O’Leary’s works in Both/And with a potent sense of self-awareness. In Scholar on a Tour, a figure is wrapped in reading an article, seemingly oblivious, on a hero’s journey toward attaining a personal sense of truth and understanding of one aspect of their lived reality – while remaining distant from their physical surroundings. This rapturous, analog sense of self-involvement with reading material in a town square exudes a cinematic sense of discovery, a Cindy Sherman-esque vignette framed within de Chirico-style environs.
In Both/And, the artist brings a keen awareness of the subject to light via a careful attention to color and composition, allowing for a reframing of our experience as viewers capable of navigating this nuanced understanding of stillness in action in contemporary painting.
Both/And : a solo show of works by Maureen O’Leary, remains on view at Cristin Tierney Gallery, 219 Bowery Fl 2 in Manhattan through Friday May 27th.
ANTE mag open call winner Elizabeth Riley explores a multitude of forms through her expansive artistic practice, with interlapping processes informing her video and multimedia artworks. She explores the ‘mixed reality’ that we inhabit and the duality we experience as citizens of both a physical reality and our ever-evolving digital environments. We sat down with Elizabeth for insights into her current practice, what has informed her recent work and her plans and aspirations for the future.
ANTE. In works such as “Factory Fresh” from your Video Media Art series, you translate digital video stills into large scale, 3-D installations. How do you hope these abstractions translate for the viewer at this large scale and removed from these stills’ original context?
Elizabeth Riley. Earlier on in my use of digital media, I used video stills with a program in mind, using every video still – that is, literally thousands of inkjet-printed video stills from a short video – translating a moving image, immaterial video into a material expression. Gradually, I’ve used the video stills more freely, taking advantage of the power of computer processing to further manipulate the video stills, and to make diverse choices in regard to coloring and size. “Factory Fresh” had a unique origin, in that it was made for a show at Edison Price Lighting Gallery, where artists were invited to use metal remnants from the lighting fixture manufacturing process to make art. As video is light and motion, the use of the material video stills, printed on paper and fabric, in this setting, along with laser cut metal sheets with reflective surfaces, worked to integrate, and demonstrate different aspects of “light” and materiality. This was a fun piece to make. It had to be made quickly, as I came off another project, so I used the leftover inkjet-printed paper and fabric from a prior project. As an artist there was happiness in the patchwork effect of the combination, something a little out of my control, though the materials were earlier originated by me. Finding the structure to support the moment, the possibility of the exploration, the intentionality of the work, and the materials at hand, was the activity of making the piece.
ANTE. Can you tell us more about the genesis of the Video Media Art series and its evolution over time?
ER. Mind/body divide issues have been a significant area of exploration for artists over the generations. I see the immateriality of digital/virtual in relationship to material realities, somewhat mirroring a contemporary version of this, wherein digital/virtual is a stand-in for the “immaterial” reaches of the mind, in stasis, or in the direction of the future. As indicated above, I became involved with inkjet-printed digital media after taking up video as an extension of installation. After a few years of working with video, including long hours of editing on the computer, I began missing working with “real” materials, and this was the genesis of the wall works, installations and tabletop cityscapes made from video stills, which on occasion incorporated live video. I began to realize my choice of materials was reflective of, and addressed, our contemporary reality – that is, the “mixed reality,” of living between physical and digital/virtual contexts. While for me, making art is gravely serious and an act of devotion, the relationship between the immateriality of video, either as a projection or screen-based, and as a material embodiment, gave me much to play with, wherein play connotes a delight in the incongruous, and in ready paradox, and in new solutions. My first works were long wraps of consecutive video stills, inkjet-printed on paper, utilizing every video still from one of my short videos. As exhibition opportunities appeared I improvised on this initial format, making site-specific installations, using the videos stills in a variety of ways, sometimes variously configuring many extended printouts, 8 ft long and more, other times collaging works from a wealth of torn and shaped leftover materials. I’ve continued, also, to experiment with making discrete wall works. These at first were three dimensional, while during the pandemic, I began working in two dimensions, which I’ve found a surprising rich area to mine.
ANTE. You note one aim for these works – from your artist statement – is to move ‘toward forming an embodiment of the present and the future’?
ER. Early on in my art practice, I thought of art as a language, which being different from everyday language offered the chance to explore and speak from another space, less readily subject to cultural conditioning. While personally I feel I’m genetically wired to be optimistic about the future, culturally and experientially this embrace of the future also has to do with growing up in a time when societal constraints were placed on girls and women. This frustration made me look toward a future where this burden and limitation had been eased, and with time overthrown. In addition, I believe that our thoughts in most contexts contain an anticipation of the future, that that’s a component of the mental space of being a thinking human being. Along with our thoughts most of our actions have an anticipatory element that reaches into the future. Many people have had the experience when dwelling on a problem over time, one day an answer for the present and the future appears without explicitly putting 2 and 2 together in the moment. So to say that my aim for my art is to move ‘toward forming an embodiment of the present and the future,’ I mean this literally. I have spent a lifetime as a human, and as an artist, putting 2 and 2 together and my art is my personal answer.
ANTE. Can you tell us what you’re working on and what you have coming up in your practice?
ER. My dear partner of many years died in early January 2022, and I’m remembering and mourning him. I loved and respected his art, and it feels good to recollect that he was happy for me, and supportive, when I undertook a new project or completed a body of meaningful new work. A few days after his passing I was invited to be one of the participants in Norte Maar’s “CounterPointe: Women Choreographers and their Collaborations with Artists,” which was an uplifting experience. The physicality of dance seemingly comes from a completely different place than art, and in such an engaging way, yet there are many crossovers as to sources and one’s humanity. I contributed elements from an earlier participatory piece, “City Remix,” of 9 ft long inkjet prints of video stills on paper, fabric and clear film, hung over easily moveable racks on wheels. These, in combination with Eryn Renee Young’s terrific choreography and collaboration, became the dance, “Origin Forward.” The performance weekend in mid-March at the Mark O’Donnell Theater of eight collaborative pairings between choreographers and artists was a celebration, and during this time of personal grieving, I’m grateful for this reaffirmation of the power of art and community to stimulate and heal. Presently, I’m returning to my studio practice by locating where I left off at the end of 2021, in working on new small pieces for an upcoming spring benefit. I also have a three-dimensional wall work, “Nude Traversing the Future,” up in an April exhibition in a Harlem brownstone, curated by Art Lives Here.
We are proud to feature an interview with the thoughtful polymath artist Carter Hodgkin, who discussed her work with us in depth in order to outline the range of philosophies and aesthetic values impacting her practice. The artist walks us through specific artworks, detailing the global origins that have informed her perspective as a multi-disciplinary and digital creator.
ANTE. Thanks for chatting with us, Carter! So in works like “Irises on a Rock,” the viewer is presented with multiple elements moving spatially across the composition at a time – how do you hope this shift in composition impacts the viewer as the work progresses second by second?
Carter Hodgkin. The animation, “Irises on a Rock” was an opportunity to explore forms growing, dissipating and dissolving. It came about while taking walks in Upstate, NY examining the lines of bifurcating stems and blossoms on wildflowers and weeds. To create this animation, I generated atomic particle collisions using the Open Source program Processing. Playing around with the code becomes a drawing process where parameters are set to create a collision. Particles collide in an animated somewhat randomly fashion. I piece these animated collisions together to form a moving composition. In forming the composition, I was inspired by the use of space in Chinese Literati paintings.
To me, making the animation is like drawing in space and time, giving the viewer an experience of creation. My use of time slows down the act of viewing, allowing the viewer to notice small moments morph into something larger. I am excited when my animations are displayed in large-scale settings or on different LED configurations. The digital nature of my animation process scales well and the animations become large-scale paintings that move.
ANTE. “The Nine Bend Stream” is inspired by 16th century Korean landscape painting, yet the work appears primarily as abstraction. How is this work-in-five-parts in dialogue with this historic painting lineage from the perspective of digital art?
CH. I was inspired by the Korean painting “Nine-bend Stream at [Mount] Mui” By Lee Seonggil (1562–?) which portrays a famous landscape in China. I saw this painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and was intrigued by the quirky mountain forms. I wanted to work with the abstraction in these forms and began creating compositions that expressed the energy and movement. From there I wove a visual narrative of falling particles conjuring fireworks, waterfalls, and volcanic mountains.
ANTE. In your artist statement, you outline that you are inspired by the interdiscipinary links connecting science, tech and art through the common language of abstraction. Can you provide specific examples of how multiple disciplines connect in your artwork(s)?
CH. I have been connecting these links for a long time in various ways. Two pieces that might serve as examples of these connections are Blue Remote and Remote 6; both paintings made in 2021. My exploration with atomic particle collisions is a scientific aspect while tech is in the tools I use to translate the collisions into a format I can work with and the art is in making a painting, mosaic or animation out of it all. For Blue Remote and Remote 6, I generated particle collisions in a landscape format. I played with the code so that particles hit the bottom of the canvas and moved back upwards towards the top of the canvas. When I got something I liked, I captured a collision and digitized it through the lens of mosaic. Conflating mosaic with the digital collapses high tech with the lowest tech imaging as well as evoking ancient and future.
Form is created by gluing hand-painted paper squares onto grounds of canvas printed with ‘digital noise patterns. Using acrylic and watercolor, I play with color and visual textures to create layers of depth and movement. The construction of form becomes labor-intensive, meditative and contemplative. What takes seconds to create in a collision, takes weeks to interpret into a painting.
ANTE. Can you share with us what you’re working on currently, and what you have upcoming in your practice?
CH. In response to new media ‘updates’, i.e. NFT and Instagram, I have been creating very short animations in those formats. I also want to create longer animations that can reside in stand-alone playback format, i.e. frames.
However, painting occupies my attention – as always – and I’ve been working on medium scale paintings in square and landscape format. Some of these pieces will be in a show at Saratoga Arts, NY in June. Two paintings from 2010 will be in a show called “Techpression- the digital & beyond” at the Southampton Art Center, NY in April.
Intriguing installations featured throughout EXHIBITIONIST: Earthly Delights, previously on view in March 2022 at the newly christened cultural and performative venue, House of X, in the PUBLIC hotel in lower Manhattan. This inaugural show was helmed by curator and exhibiting artist Kat Ryals who assembled innovative and cutting edge artists into this exhibition with the venue: an exciting show that revealed more secrets at every turn. Artists featured throughout the space include Ryals, Anna Cone, Anthony Padilla, Olivia Taylor, Rob Ebeltoft and Tom Prinsell.
Info to follow these artists as below:
Kat Ryals @kitsch_witch www.katryals.com (I have 2 rugs on display so you can add my name to artist list)
Visitors encountered artwork from the very entrance into House of X, where they were treated to a sense of fantasy and spectacle from the very first step inside the venue. Guests were greeted by Anna Cone’s luscious installations – vignettes borrowing from Baroque imagery, presenting decadent, detailed images of allegorical beauty and chaos. Cone’s 3-dimensional works infused a precious quality to contemporary image-making: an approach that informs the artist’s work in addition to her background in fashion photography. The artist subverted expectations, rebelling against art historical norms – and traditional expectations around female beauty. Cone’s stunning tableaux tend to embrace sexuality, power dynamics and overindulgence to emphasize how contemporary culture’s beauty standards shift constantly and elusively.
Venturing further into the space, elaborate textures and representational imagery pervaded the venue. The interior serves as a kind of art palace, with works spanning the walls across downstairs seating booths, a transitional space along the corner where the spiral staircase reaches to the upstairs level, elongated vitrines and an intimate lounge area. Art seemingly sprouts out of every corner and crevice for the ongoing EXHIBITIONIST series of art exhibits. In this exhibit, one particularly meaningful experience occurred when encountering Olivia Taylor and Kat Ryals’ provocative and tactile installations created from combinations of sensual, sensational imagery and materials (see top image, image credit: Brendan Burke.) Faces and hands protude outward from a caged corner in this permanent installation, approximating a cabinet of wonders, with precise attention paid to figuration and materiality. Upstairs, an art installation revealing body parts and saccharine sweets combined in a vitrine of assorted sculptures presenting sensual imagery with the texture of ready-to-eat cakes and treats, referencing the range of pleasures present in the sumptuous surroundings.
Artist Rob Ebeltoft’s compelling installation work remains permanently at the venue, presenting the installation ”Cherry Babe” as a sumptuous vision of a Disco forward, futuristic nightlife. Ebeltoft’s work provides a portal for the curious onlooker to experience an alternative vision of club culture.
As guests began to navigate through the inner realms of the House of X upstairs lounge, they encountered paintings by Anthony Padilla and Tom Prinsell. Padilla’s representational works presented introspective, nocturnal imagery approximating the otherworldly and the exotic. Moonlit jungles undulated in organic curves, with plant life seemingly bursting forth from the compositions. Sensual gradients charted the trajectory of light across flower petals, accentuating the curvature present in bodies both floral and fauna in nature. Tom Prinsell’s compositions presented fantastical imagery of natural bodies and the built environment. Prinsell’s paintings subverted expectations, elevating the ordinary into the surreal and almost supernatural. These works created mood and atmosphere with effective use of color and line, confronting the viewer and allowing the eye to roam across scenes both vaguely familiar yet unfathomable. The emphasis on surreality and subverting expectations united the range of mediums and materials present across the group exhibition.
EXHIBITIONIST: Earthly Delights enticed viewers who visited over the course of its duration. For the curious, the new iteration of EXHIBITIONIST: Esoterica – features art by Saki Sato, Rachel Stern, and Hannah Antalek. The show remains up over the month of May and the opening reception event for this show will occur tonight, Tuesday May 17th, 7-11pm. RSVP for tonight: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/exhibitionist-art-show-tickets-311891344407
Info to follow artists in the current EXHIBITIONIST: Esoterica exhibition as below:
Kat Ryals @kitsch_witch www.katryals.com (I have 2 rugs on display so you can add my name to artist list)
At the onset of the pandemic, artist Rachael Wren spent more time than usual in nature looking at trees – noticing the subtleties of space and her relationship to it. The constants of the square canvas and gridded plane provide a stable ground for experimentation with other variables such as mark-making, color, line and shape. While ostensibly about trees, these eleven new paintings -completed in the past two years – depict various arrangements of vertical trunks cropped at the top and stripped of branches and leaves. Yet, the underlying gridlines, left visible amid the overlying composition, hint at something more complex. Wren’s use of the tree and the grid provide the scaffolding around which she constructs her richly nuanced conversations about atmosphere as subject. Wren’s paintings convey a sense of proprioception, or kinaesthesia, in wooded spaces she shares with viewers. This is brought to bear in the gallery, along with the visitor’s relationships to the space and paintings within. These connections are heightened by Rick Wester’s sensitive installation.
Anchoring the exhibit from opposing ends of the gallery are two 72″ square canvases, “Already There” and “Thicket.” The large format is a breakthrough for Wren who generally paints in a 48” or 36” square. Moving up in size enhances the experience of physically entering the fictive space of the painting while concomitantly establishing a relationship to the architecture of the gallery and the other paintings. “Thicket” with its greenish-gray palette draws us into the receding space of a dense composition filled with hazy, foggy light from a source on the left. The trees recede into a darker space on the right, giving viewers an opening to enter the wooded scene. “Already There” is more open spatially with an energetic orange palette that shifts in a gradient to blue-gray moving to the top of the painting. The brushstrokes are loose, barely held together by the freely rendered verticals of the trees. The tension is palpable, as if the trees are on the verge of dissolution, merging into the space around them.
Highlights of the show include “Encounter” which seems to glow from within. The large, cantilevered brushstrokes sit atop one another like haphazardly stacked children’s blocks about to topple. This work functions like a visual retort to “Already There” with its loose verticals. “Spring Rain” shows Wren’s penchant for dispersing space as well as her newly expanded visual vocabulary. Introducing new shapes such as quasi-quatrefoils, overlapping horizontals and verticals, and amorphous ‘blotches,’ the composition becomes more abstract than the others. Wren deftly uses a softly contrasting palette of green, gray and lavender to moor the looseness of her gestures and unify the work.
The visual proximity of Wren’s paintings enables one to see the incredible array of atmospheric conditions observed and Wren’s rich lexicon that masterfully depicts the void as subject. As one moves through Still It Grows, fleeting moments in nature are captured for quiet contemplation; dappled sunlight through spring leaves, the enveloping mist of a humid morning, fog rolling through the forest or the dawn’s gentle side light cutting through a copse. Wren is a master of giving form to the formless in these mindfully conceived and unhurriedly executed paintings that must be experienced in person to fully appreciate their complexity and eloquent impressions of atmospheric conditions.
A focal point thematically of the show is the limitless depth of a sky that is too complex for full human understanding. The sky is a source of heat and light, but also darkness. It has scientific qualities that are mysterious. It is a ceiling of blue during the day and an infinite expanse of black at night. It gives allusions to heaven during the day, and the potential for granted wishes via falling stars at night. A focus on the sky is a decision to allow for vastness. To make art about the sky is to consider all these things and decide upon a subject matters that is composed of both the sublime and chaotic.
“One of the first things that got my attention from day one was that the sky is higher here than what I felt back in Tehran. I still don’t know if there is a scientific reason behind it, or just me seeing the sky this way in North America. Later on, I visited Mexico City and Toronto, and I noticed the sky was high and vast. And when I traveled back to Tehran, I looked carefully and saw the sky was not the same, and I tried to understand why it was lower there,” details Seyedzadeh.
Seyedzadeh brings together artists at Transmitter Gallery that utilize a wide range of materials. Though the curatorial theme can be seen in all the works, the expression of that theme is wildly divergent. “Being in New York among a diverse group of artists from all around the world inspired me to listen to stories that speak about the same content, but which come from such different places – from Iran, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, and the USA. These artists share their ideas through painting, photography, textile, mixed media, and more,” reflects Seyedzadeh.
The exhibit includes a range of topics that intersect with the theme of the vast blue sky. “Despite the insurmountable distance between the Earth and the sky and its defiance to be understood, these artists search to make it accessible and deeply familiar,” Seyedzadeh explains. “We know that only something as magnificent, shapeless, and borderless as the sky can hold the sum of all our heart’s grief and hopes without ever pouring over.”
The interweaving of seemingly opposing visual objects to create a peaceful setting is observed in the work of Ingrid Tremblay. The fragility of the immigrant experience and “the infinite blue above our existences” is shown through the work of Simone Couto. The peace and survival bound in the blues of water and sky are explored by in the painted “Between Two Sighs” by Saba Farhoudnia, which was made shortly after losing her father. Hedwig Brouckaert’s mixed media work “Flesh of Light (I)” evokes the liminality of the sky’s dissolving horizontal borders.
While the strength of concept behind the works shine, the range of materials and quality of completed work using this material is equally compelling. Particularly noteworthy is the “A page from my dream book” (2022) (above)by Victoria Martinez which presents a variety of material, color, and shape that the work employs to create a piece that is in dialogue with natural rhythms: a woman’s body, the moon, and other natural shifts in state. Edi Dai’s sumptuous and subtle study of color in staggered layers of natural cotton in “Thoroughfare Vessel” (2022) (below) also commands the viewer’s contemplation.
The sky is higher here is up until March 27th.Transmitter gallery is located at 1329 Willoughby Avenue, 2A, Brooklyn, NY 11237, with gallery hours 1-6 pm on weekends and by appointment.
Two separate exhibitions hold court at AHA Fine Art with both Queen Andrea in Letters Forever and Cern and Nola Romano in Urban Encounters through March 13, 2022. AHA Fine Art (56 Bogart Street in Brooklyn) hosts these exhibitions, both of which span the range of physical space in a scale reminiscent of urban art found across the streets of New York City.
Queen Andrea is a prolific artist whose installations feature prominently throughout the five boroughs. Queen Andrea (aka Andrea von Bujdross) was drawn to the growing field of street art in 1990s New York City in her early teens. She cut her teeth with some of the most daring street artists working in the urban area. Her intuitive grasp of a color theory, stenciling and a strongly cultivated personal aesthetic leave a strong impression on visitors to Letters Forever. A prolific fine artist, muralist and designer, visitors have plenty to digest — from her masterful use of organic line, circular and curved elements and carefully applied gradient.
Works such as “Believe” (2022) and “Flourish” (2022) (above) offer positive messages that are presented in bright neon colors across sweeping backdrops. “Flourish” offers a scale in dialogue with her public murals, with cotton-candy tones spanning the canvas in gradients spanning from navy to cornflower blue to burnt sienna. The artist presents powerful meditations on transformation in these recent paintings, harnessing inspiration across multiple formats, including jewelry, sculpture and painting.
Meanwhile, the opposing gallery walls feature a double exhibition of works by Cern and Nola Romano. Entitled Urban Encounters, the show presents figurative works presented in bright colors, with distinctive styles presented that are unique to each artist. As per gallerist Francesca Arcilesi, “Cern is the type of artist whose life and craft are intensely intertwined. The wall, panel or canvas act as an expression of a much deeper, layered mantra and perspective on how to go through life. His art consists of abstract, smooth, blended lines with elements of clearly defined edges and imagery.” This tension between Impressionism and Street art remains present throughout Cern’s artworks on view, creating a harmonious effect that invites the visitor to linger, discovering beautiful, illusory details in these poignant compositions.
Nola Romano’s works balance the personal and the universal, the delicate and the resilient. Her works, primarily acrylic on wood panel, present the complexity of the world: both the idealism of the world to be and the persistent reality of longing, fear and dread. Her portraits of young girls and figures with fantastical attributes create a sense a magical realism, heightened by the visual texture she creates in this painterly vignettes. These paintings communicate transience and endurance in equal measure, presenting the beauty in the world around us through the lens of fantasy.
Make sure not to miss Letters Forever and Urban Encounters in its final weekend on view at AHA Fine Art, 56 Bogart St, from 1-6 pm through March 13.