William S. Heppenheimer at Guild Hall

cryptoglyphs-panel-v

William S. Heppenheimer, “Cryptoglyphs, Panel V,” 2015. 30 ½ x 40 ½ x 2 inches. Image courtesy of the artist, photo by Gary Mamay.

W.S. Heppenheimer was the Top Honors recipient of the Guild Hall Museum 76th Annual Artists Members Exhibition in 2014, an award selected by Robert Storr, Dean of the Yale School of Art, which led to the current solo exhibition and my first meeting the artist. Walking into his Sag Harbor studio in Spring of 2016 was like entering another time and space; from floor to ceiling and spread out on his working tables were millions of intricate segments and bursts of color—some already arranged into finished works, others in various stages of production. The unused pieces had fallen to the floor, creating their own haphazard compositions. Mesmerizing and kaleidoscopic, Heppenheimer’s works play with our notions of abstraction and representation. Faces, figures, anthropomorphic creatures, even a Storm-Trooper mask, I thought, began to appear, further questioning perception versus intention.

To describe the work as mosaic would be accurate to an extent, but instead of each tesserae being a solid color, they are made up of a multitude of hues. Heppenheimer’s process is unlike any other. He pours acrylic paint into Pyrex dishes, swirls it to achieve various marbleized effects, a blue mixed with a neon pink or a green with a glow-in-the-dark pigment. Once dried, he cuts small cross sections which he can then arrange into geometric forms and totems. He plays with symmetry and then throws us off course—seesawing between order and chaos—all with a keen sense of humor. Downplaying the visual complexity, Heppenheimer said, “I always liked to put things together, the more the merrier.”

Heppenheimer was born in New York City in 1954 and lived in Paris and London before returning to NYC. He studied at Colorado College, Pratt, and Florida State, where he graduated from in 1980. He spent summers on the East End with his family, before becoming a year-round resident. As an art student, he always had an affinity for the properties of color—he was inspired by Op Art and artists like Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley—and started out making Hard-edge paintings. Over time, experimenting with painting and sculpture, at times merging the two, his style took shape. He first entered Guild Hall’s Artists Members Exhibition in 2009 and was awarded Best Sculpture. This is his first solo museum exhibition. Heppenheimer lives and works in Sag Harbor, New York.

 

Stephanie deTroy Miller
Curatorial Assistant/Lewis B. Cullman Associate for Museum Education
Guild Hall Museum
East Hampton, New York

 

Related press:

Colorful Heppenheimer Show Continues at Guild Hall

 

New Shows Open at The Parrish and Guild Hall this October


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Charles Ly: Humans and Hides at Guild Hall

wild-by-charles-ly

Charles Ly, Wild, 2015. Pen and ink on paper, 36 x 24 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

New work by Charles Ly is on view in the Guild Hall Education Corridor. Selection of paintings and works on paper inspired by design and patterns, including a series of small meticulous, intricately-illustrated narratives and quietly evocative paintings. Large-scale works featuring the fantastical as well as surreal, imaginative compositions focused on natural forms. Ly grew up in East Hampton and studied graphic design and illustration at Laguna College of Art & Design.

On view: September 15 through December 31, 2016 at Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, New York.

Charles Ly, Hair Study, 2015.

Charles Ly, Hair Study, 2015. Oil and linen on wood, 5 x 7 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

I first came across Charles Ly’s work at Scott Bluedorn’s former Amagansett gallery, Neoteric Fine Art. On display was a series of small paintings, illustrative but also very imaginative. Moreover, they captured an essence of our generation which is hard to put into words; which is in many ways one of the mysterious functions of art, to express that which can’t be said. Fall of 2016 presented an incredible opportunity at Guild Hall to curate what is now dubbed the Education Corridor. A small space within the Museum, but a space nonetheless, the Corridor’s would function as a place to showcase an emerging, local artist in conjunction with a workshop led or taught by said artist; thus connecting the exhibition to the community through Education and enhancing the overall experience. Ly’s work, intimate in scale, works beautifully in the space, and his workshop on Plant Patterns was an enriching and enjoyable one. Each participant collected leaves, flowers, twigs and stems from a nearby field, rendered them in watercolor and colored pencil, and then they were brought in as digital files to create both individual plant patterns as well as this group one show below.

Charles Ly & Plant Patterns Class, Collaborative Digital Assemblage, 2016.

Charles Ly & Plant Patterns Class, Collaborative Digital Assemblage, 2016.

 

Reviews, Mentions & More:

Charles Ly’s ‘Humans And Hides’ Hangs At Guild Hall

Charles Ly: Hamptons Best Art Instagram Accounts

New at Guild Hall: Guild Gatherings & An Exhibition Series

Please visit the artist’s website, CharlesLy.com, and GuildHall.org for more.


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William Glackens at the Parrish Art Museum

Glackens, Cape Cod Pier, Parrish Art Museum

William Glackens, Cape Cod Pier, 1908. Courtesy Parrish Art Museum.

Suitable for any time of year, the current William Glackens (1870–1938) exhibition at the Parrish Art Museum seemed especially fitting for August. His lushly vivid beach scenes, many of which were painted in Bellport, Long Island, capture the lighthearted essence of late summer afternoons spent by the sea, with an air of historical nostalgia palpable to those viewing them today, almost exactly a century later.

Ladies in hats and long summer dresses line the shore while bathers and children scampering about make their way out into the water where we become lost in Glackens’ impressionistic skies. In “Beach Side,” 1912-13, a foreground lined with figures facing the water makes its way from a small beach out to a pier. The wind, indicated by waves and a lady holding onto her hat, gives movement to the painting in opposition to the forward-directed composition.

Influenced by both the Impressionists and the Fauves, Glackens’ paintings have, at times, the softness of Monet combined with a more intense palette, perhaps like Derian. His female figures, notably the woman on the porch in “Summer Day, Bellport, Long Island,” 1913, bear likeness to Renoir’s, both in fashion and in painterly style. In “Cape Cod Pier,” 1908, a uniquely composed canvas, two ladies in white dresses holding parasols make their way across a pier. Most striking are the rich oranges and yellows of the dunes—exuding warmth and Fauvist stark contrast to the violets in the pier. There is a sense in these paintings that Glackens enjoyed the world around him.

Glackens’ scenes are busy—even his landscapes are never without figures greeting you at the foreground. “Captains Pier,” 1912-14, especially, depicts a crowd similar to today’s Port Jefferson ferry-goers.. In the middle of the picture, Glackens offers a breath of light blue water and sky bathed in early-morning summer sunlight.

More frenetic than his summer scenes are his paintings of New York City life, where he moved in 1986 from Philadelphia. In 1904, he married Edith Dimock, the daughter of a wealthy family, and they lived together with their two children in a townhouse in Greenwich Village, with a second residence in New Hampshire. Works like “Washington Square,” 1913 and “Christmas Shoppers, Madison Square,” 1912 reveal his talent as a draftsman, which he was until around 1914. In his early career, Glackens worked as a magazine illustrator and was even sent by McClure’s to Cuba to cover the Spanish-American War in 1898. Several of these dramatic illustrations are included in the exhibition.

The show spans the artist’s career, with works from the mid-1890s to the late 1930s. An exquisite portrait of his friend and patron, “Albert C. Barnes,” c.a. 1912, whom he went to high school with in Philadelphia and later whose artwork collection he advised, greets viewers early in the exhibition.

Glackens took encouragement in his career as a painter from his friend Robert Henri, with whom he traveled to Paris, the Netherlands and Belgium during 1895-1896. A member of “The Eight,” so called because of their exhibition in 1908 at MacBeth Galleries in New York, Glackens gained recognition as a painter, along with fellow artists Robert Henri, George Luks, Everett Shinn, and John Sloan, whom he studied with at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He was the chairman of the American selection of the first Armory Show of 1913. Clearly, Glackens was an important figure of his time and the timing seems right for a new generation to be introduced to his life and work.

William Glackens is the first comprehensive survey of the artist in more than 45 years. It will be on view at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill through October 13. For more information, visitparrishart.org.

This article was published in Dan’s Papers, print and online, July 31, 2014.

 


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Montauk Art Scene

"Under Nirvana III" by Farrell Brickhouse, courtesy of Outeast Gallery & Goods

“Under Nirvana III” by Farrell Brickhouse, courtesy of Outeast Gallery & Goods

The Art Barge 

Also known as The Victor D’Amico Institute of Art, the Barge is an art education center for all ages. It was started by Victor D’Amico, founding Director of the Education Department at the Museum of Modern Art from 1937–1970, who brought summer painting classes to Ashawagh Hall in the mid-50s. In 1960 he, with the help of local baymen, turned a retired World War I Navy Barge into the new home for his summer classes. His wife, Mabel D’Amico (1909-1999), and other artists, also taught, as the program continued to expand. Today, under President Christopher Kohan, the Art Barge offers classes and workshops in watercolor, pastel, collage and much more in a setting that thrives on the light and atmosphere of Napeague. The Artist/Speak series will be held in evenings throughout the summer and most recently included a conversation with Keith Sonnier. For classes and the full schedule, visit theartbarge.com. The Art Barge is located at 110 Napeague Meadow Road, Amagansett. Call 631-267-3172 or visit theartbarge.com.

Depot Art Gallery and School 

Located in the original waiting room of the Montauk Railroad Station, the Depot Gallery is run by The Montauk Artists’ Association, a nonprofit organization. Funds raised go towards education (they offer classes and workshops for adults and kids) and towards restoring the building acquired from the MTA. Every spring, a Montauk High School graduate is awarded the Percy Heath Arts Scholarship, in honor of founding member Percy Heath. Coming up is an exhibition of work by Anne Weissmann and others (June 26–July 7) followed by a group show with Catherine B. Silver, JoAnn Zambito and Martha Ferraro (July 10–21). August 15-17 marks their 20th Annual Juried Fine Arts Show on the Green. To see the full summer schedule, visit montaukartistsassociation.org/depotschedule2014.

Outeast Gallery & Goods 

Outeast Gallery is, technically speaking, one of the only true art galleries in Montauk. Owned and directed by Scott Pitches, the gallery puts on shows throughout the year, including a solo show forDan’s Papers cover artist Scott Bluedorn, “Scott Bluedorn: Theo Blue,” this past winter. Currently on view (through July 7th) is FMSR14—an exhibition of work by artists Farrell Brickhouse, Mason Saltarrelli, Sydney Albertini, and Eric (Randy) Johnson. Outeast Gallery is located at 65 Tuthill Road, Montauk.  Call 631-668-2376 or visit outeastmontauk.blogspot.com.

Montauk Brewing Co. 

Not just a great spot for craft beer, the Montauk Brewing Co. Gallery Taproom will be exhibiting two well-known surf photographers this summer. The first, Daniel Russo, will begin on June 27. The next one, Justin Burkle, begins on August 1. Both shows will be on view for the month, with works available for purchase. The Montauk Brewing Co. is located at 62 S. Erie Avenue, Montauk. Call 631-668-8471. Visit montaukbrewingco.com for more events year-round.

The Surf Lodge Gallery 

This summer The Fireplace Project is presenting exhibitions at The Surf Lodge Gallery. The first, “ExSanguiNatio_N,” a solo exhibition for artist Michael Bevilacqua, is on view through July 13. The next show, “Wet Denim Daydream,” a solo exhibition for Jeremy Everett, will be on view from July 18 through August 11, with an opening reception on Saturday, July 19, 6–8 p.m. Stay tuned for August exhibitions. The Surf Lodge Gallery is located at 183 Edgemere Street, Montauk. Visit
thesurflodge.com.

A version of this article was published in Dan’s Papers, Print: June 16, Online: July 3.

 


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Interview with Artist Scott Bluedorn in Dan’s Papers

scott bluedorn, whale

“House of the Whale,” 2013. Courtesy scottbluedorn.com

A version of this interview was published in Dan’s Papers, June 20, 2014 (print).

This week’s cover artist, Scott Bluedorn, was born and raised on the East End of Long Island. After studying art at both Savannah College of Art and Design and of School of Visual Arts, he started an artist collective that later became a gallery, Neoteric Fine Art, in Amagansett. He has been in solo and group shows on the East End and in New York City. Whether crafted from driftwood or found objects on the beach, or drawn with an expertly-skilled hand, his work reflects a deep connection to the sea, with a touch of mysticism and other-worldliness. True to his local roots, he continues to live and work in East Hampton.

Your work, and particularly “House of the Whale,” 2013 (ink on paper) seems very surreal, does some, or any, of your imagery come from dreams?
Surrealism as a genre has greatly influenced me. The work of Salvador Dali and Magritte, in the way their images are immediate and impactful through realism and yet rooted in the upwelling of the subconscious, is something I strive for in my work. I wouldn’t say my images come from actual dreams but they come from dream-feelings. The act of levitation in particular, which is very dream-like, plays a large part in the atmosphere of these drawings.

There’s something nostalgic about “House of the Whale,” as if we’ve been here or seen this. I’m somehow reminded of old postcards from the Whaling Museum in Sag Harbor and the shingled house looks like one of the backyard sheds you might see at Home Sweet Home in East Hampton. To what do you attribute the historical vibe?
“House of the Whale” was initially inspired by old weathered fishing shacks I saw on a trip to Nova Scotia. Old shingled houses, which we have plenty of in East Hampton, are very beautiful to me and have actually spawned a new direction in my work. I’m very interested in our colonial history here and the austere puritan architecture that accompanied the period that has become a symbol of our local heritage.

A lot of people miss your gallery, Neoteric Fine Art, but has this given you perhaps more time to focus on your own artwork?
I see Neoteric as ongoing collaborative project that will pop up from time to time. Indeed it started in 2006 at East Hampton Studios in a gigantic soundstage space for one night, later I had the opportunity to realize it in a more permanent location at the Balasses House on Main Street in Amagansett. It remains to be seen in which form it will pop up again, but the driving force and underlying concept behind it is to show contemporary work by young, local and emerging artists, of which I count myself a part of. Having closed the gallery in its former location, yes I’m getting back to focusing on my own work.

For your recent show at Outeast Gallery in Montauk you went by the name Theo Blue. Is this to differentiate between the various hats you wear, as an artist, writer, illustrator, etc.? How did you come up with it?
“Theo Blue” is an alter ego that I came up with to A) Differentiate the assemblage based abstract sculptural work I started doing out of a pure exploratory need from my more traditional and illustrative based work, and B) To create a “character” that is in a way enigmatic. Theo Blue is a hermit that lives in a little rogue shack built into the cliffs of Montauk, he is a wild man, primitive, noble savage, and outsider artist who collects the flotsam found in the coves and makes idols and effigies from it, much in the way the “cargo cults” of the South Pacific did with the material they found or were given in World War II. It is an updated cross-cultural reference, and a lot of fun.

Based on your Instagram shots, it seems like travel is an important part of your life and that you embrace the local culture of wherever it is you are. What was the most inspiring place you visited this year and why?
Yes, travel is one of my great loves. I started relatively late, but I definitely have the bug. Travel has opened my mind to anthropology, culture, history and geography that goes directly into my work. I find the world infinitely fascinating; especially in the way things can be both banally universal and strikingly different from place to place. Last winter I travelled through Ecuador, a beautiful small country with amazingly diverse landscape and peoples. I surfed some world-class waves, trekked through the Andes, visited the heart of the Amazon, explored Incan ruins and stayed with a local family. I would say Ecuador has it all.

What upcoming projects are you working on? Where can we see your work next?
I’ll be in a big group show put on by the Bonac Tonic collective called “Grand Royale” that is happening at the Amagansett Historical Association on Saturday, June 21st. Then I’ll be in Sag Harbor at Dodds and Eder’s “A Different Kind of Home Show,” curated by Kathy Zeiger, which opens on June 28th with a reception on July 12th, and then I’ll be showing at Art Market in Bridgehampton from July 10th – 13th. Busy summer!

For more on the artist, visit scottbluedorn.com.


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Colin Goldberg: North Fork Artist

Colin Goldberg in his Greenport studio. Photo credit: Donna Meyer Goldberg

Colin Goldberg in his Greenport studio. Photo credit: Donna Meyer Goldberg

Note: This article first appeared in Dan’s Papers. Currently on view at South Street Gallery are Goldberg’s PHOTOCONSTRUCTS.

South Street Gallery is a landmark building, a former horse-drawn firehouse in the downtown area of Greenport. In contrast to the historic building, paintings currently on view there by Greenport-based artist Colin Goldberg are strikingly contemporary.

His show, North Fork Modernism: Paintings by Colin Goldberg was on view through May 26, 2014.

In it, “Kodoku” (2014) is from a new series of works made of acrylic, pigment and resin on birch panels. A triptych, the vertical lines of negative space break up each wood panel, creating a moment of pause in the fast-paced lateral composition. The resin adds a smooth and polished surface to the work, while abstract black lines merge to form inadvertent anthropomorphic creatures that, once noticed, instantly disappear back into abstraction. Several similar works in the exhibition integrate richly saturated hues, forceful-yet-intricate lines and the grain of wood or crosshatching of linen in some instances.

Back at his Greenport studio, where he lives with his pregnant wife Donna, Goldberg spoke about abstraction, current projects and what’s been happening lately with his work. “I never set out to portray anything specific,” Goldberg explained, pointing to three works hanging above his computer, similar to those on view at South Street Gallery, noting that only later did he notice forms that resemble a plane, flower or tentacles.

Goldberg, born in 1971 in the Bronx to parents of Japanese and Jewish ancestry, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from Binghamton University in 1994 and went on to get his MFA in Computer Art at Bowling Green State University, Ohio, in 2008. His style combines classic drawing and painting techniques with digital printing and computer graphics. “A constant struggle for me is that there are so many directions I want to go in,” he says.

Goldberg’s early work was largely surrealist, with gestalt figures. One of his undergrad professors, Second Generation New York School Abstract Expressionist Angelo Ippolito, spoke a lot about his art being “about paint”—that the viewer could bring what they wanted to it. At the time, Goldberg was not doing abstract work but began experimenting more with it. In the late ’90s he started working on a tablet, using Adobe Illustrator to make his “Metagraphs,” a series of abstract digital drawings.

Goldberg produced a dozen of these works as singular editions on canvas, which are on view at the Southampton Youth Services Rec Center’s running track. “There’s an irony in it—things that are digital are infinitely reproducible.” Nevertheless, Goldberg often destroys his files after printing.

Present in many of his works, especially his “Shodo” series, are brushstrokes that strongly resemble calligraphy. Never attempting to make actual characters, Goldberg was more interested in the gesture and the materials used. His mother recalls watching her mother (who taught calligraphy in Hawaii after moving there from Japan) at the kitchen table, making gestural marks and crumpling them up, one after the next. “I tried to bring that sensibility to it, to keep going,” Goldberg said of the initial stages of his process. He brings the hand-drawn marks in as a layer and is then able to compose an overprint on the computer.

Though his process varies, Goldberg often starts with a painting, photographs it, brings it into the computer and then prints in back onto the painting. His works from a series he calls “Photoconstructs” bring the photographic image in, layered over a painting. Many of the images are scenes of Peconic Bay, East Marion and Southampton–all part of Goldberg’s East End roots. Other times he starts with the print itself and then adds layers upon layers. “The tricky part is to know when to stop.”

He’s been able to expand as an artist, quite literally, producing larger-scale works, via his large format printer. He was able to purchase it with recent grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and from the New York State Council on the Arts. Leaning against his print racks is a new piece he’s working on—a self-portrait he’s doing for a project called “The Irrational Portrait Gallery,” organized by Fresh Art (an artist collective out of Port Jefferson) and photographer Rick Wenner; it will include self-portraits by 20 different Long Island-based artists.

Goldberg’s work is on view at the South Street Gallery, 18 South Street, Greenport (thesouthstreetgallery.com), Guild Hall (guildhall.org), East End Arts Council (eastendarts.org), and at colingoldberg.com.

 


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Jennifer Bartlett: History of The Universe at the Parrish Art Museum

Jennifer Bartlett, Parrish Art Museum, Atlantic Ocean

Jennifer Bartlett “Atlantic Ocean,” 1984. Photo by Paul Kim: www.Society-in-Focus.com

“The grid is everywhere,” explains Klaus Ottmann of Jennifer Bartlett’s work, as he stands in the hallway of the Parrish Art Museum among a crowd of eager listeners during his talk and tour on April 27. Ottmann, currently the Director of the Center for the Study of Modern Art and Curator at Large at The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., was the Robert Lehman Curator for the Parrish Art Museum from 2008–2010 and is the curator of the current exhibition, Jennifer Bartlett: History of The Universe, Works 1970-2011.

“The subject of her early work, the grid, gives a sense of place in her later work, embodied in the house,” Ottmann explains, as Parrish Executive Director Terrie Sultan points out the house-like structure of the Museum’s hallway, where exposed wood beams meet at a point—the triangle atop a quadrilateral, forming the iconic house shape. For Bartlett, place became a major theme in her work, while the house became a motif that represented the universe, perfect in all of its imperfections. “It simplifies human existence while being very abstract,” Ottmann remarks.

Bartlett was born in Long Beach, California in 1941. She graduated from Mills College in Oakland. She received an MFA from Yale School of Art and Architecture in 1965, and by 1968 had settled in SoHo, at a time when Minimalism and Conceptualism were gaining recognition. Influenced by both, Bartlett’s grid, which is indeed present throughout the exhibition, demonstrates self-imposed structure. From this rule-based construction, she allows herself an expressionist freedom, and freedom to incorporate both elements of representation and abstraction in such a way that is constrained and yet unquestionably felt. Perhaps this push and pull, a tension between order and chaos, is what makes her work so successful.

Large-scale works in the first room of the exhibition seem to change mood with the shifting light, as clouds pass above the skylights. Bartlett’s diptych “Rose” (2010-11) embodies beauty and gravity, with a somber undertone that comes and goes.

The exhibition’s title, History of the Universe is also the title of Bartlett’s intimate autobiographical novel, published in 1985. Likewise, all the paintings on view share a sense of autobiography. “Five P.M.” (1991-92), on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is part of a series of 24 paintings made during a two-year period — each a 7-foot square, and each including two grid elements. Here, the overlaying grid of 6 x 10 (which makes up 60 minutes in an hour) and the patterned grids within the lily pads create a flatness, while the overhead perspective looks down into a koi pond. The fish seem to swim over and under the grid, as if it were part of the pond itself. There is a clock in the lower righthand corner revealing the time.

“Something is usually wrong,” Ottmann says of both life itself and of elements in Bartlett’s work, noting, “The perfect shape of the house is distorted by what’s happening inside.” This quality is demonstrated quite literally in “Double House” (1987), an example of Bartlett’s innovative mixing of painting—which brushes up with photo-realism—and sculpture. Her repeated use of the diptych could be a metaphor for the binary ways of looking at memories and events.

Bartlett’s trademark steel plates come into play with “Atlantic Ocean” (1984), a massive work measuring 103 x 363 inches, featuring enamel over silkscreen grid on baked enamel steel plates. Similar to “Rhapsody”—the 1976 work that was first shown at Paula Cooper Gallery in New York and has since graced the atrium of the Museum of Modern Art in both 2006 and 2011—the white walls behind the steel plates become the grid. What Roberta Smith wrote in her 2011 review of “Rhapsody” for The New York Times can be applied to “Atlantic Ocean” as well: “The first impression overwhelms, yet the work unfolds intimately, plate by plate, in real time, with novelistic, cinematic and, as its title implies, musical overtones.”

Jennifer Bartlett: History of The Universe, Works 1970-2011, curated by Klaus Ottmann and organized by the Parrish Art Museum, first traveled to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 2013. It is now on view at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill (279 Montauk Highway) through July 13. Visit parrishart.org or call 631-283-2118 for more information.

This article first appeared in Dan’s Papers, danspapers.com.


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Group Show at The Drawing Room

Adrian Nivola, The Drawing Room, East Hampton

Adrian Nivola, Homage to Victor Tatin (1843-1914), 2013

(Published on DansPapers.com, April 3, 2014)

The current exhibition at The Drawing Room in East Hampton touches that fine area of astute consciousness where subtleties of surface and texture become transfixing. A group show, the selection includes artists working in different media, yet their pieces play well against each other. In the front room alone, the work of Donald Sultan and Diane Mayo demonstrate this exchange.

Sultan’s large (46” x 55”) conté on paper, titled “Mimosa May 28 2008,” is a multi-layered picture. On a white background, black branch-like forms sweep down from above; spotted with blossoms of white circles and touched with a rich, pale blue conté crayon. It’s the blue that arrests the viewer—not just the color, but that strong above-the-surface texture unique to the crayon. It’s just as rich as paint. To its side, Diane Mayo’s sculptures—in abstract yet softly organic forms—are covered in a velvety soft surface, almost like moss or mold—a look achieved merely through the ceramic glaze. “Blue” (2013) echoes Sultan’s blue, or vice-versa, in a sky-found hue.

In the back room, Caio Fonseca’s smooth-surfaced and shiny paintings form an L-shape around a Mel Kendrick concrete sculpture. Fonseca is an intriguing artist—and the tactile quality of the surface seems to play a role in what makes his work uniquely his own. The shapes are distinctly his, too. He paints his white forms, in band-like shapes alternating between straight and curvilinear, over the darker, color layer of paint, so the white is never a pure white, though it reads as such from a distance and in terms of rhythm and pattern. Closer, the white takes on the warmth or coolness of what lies beneath.

Fonseca’s “Pietrasanta” (2010) departs from those works seen previously at the Drawing Room, and at his show at Paul Kasmin in 2012, in that vertical, rhythmic abstractions have given way to what appears to be a smiley face with an extended waving arm, like a cut-out in white, over a background of horizontal bands alternating between blue sky and sunset. There’s even a vantage point in the lower right corner with traces of a green tree in the distance. Upon closer observation, the surface has been punctured with tiny holes and cuts; revealing the layer of paint underneath the white and drawing attention to the surface, lest we wander.

The juxtaposition of Fonseca and Kendrick make for an interesting dialogue—Kendrick’s untitled white sand concrete sculpture (2009) also toys with rhythm, pattern and repetition. One rectangular box, adhering to right angles and flat surfaces, has been hollowed out, partially, and we’ve been given circular window holes to peer inside, also letting light, air and color in from behind the object. Sitting stacked above it is what may or may not be the removed form, the core of the apple, if you will. The circular window-holes from the lower box are repeated above but now they are the positive form. What exists and what doesn’t exist becomes a brain-teaser—one that disappears if you allow it. Up close, it’s all just tiny grains of sand that sparkle when the sunlight catches their quartz.

In the downstairs gallery, exquisite wire sculptures by Adrian Nivola resemble early designs for flight. What’s fascinating about them, aside from expert craftsmanship and incredible attention to detail, is that the wire functions as a line—so the finished three-dimensional object takes on the “design” element of a drawing in pen or pencil. Using wood, wire, tin and copper, each flying contraption comprises wheels, coils and propellers—and they’ve been assigned numbers #4, #2 and #5, as if they were entered in the same race for the clouds.

The group exhibition also includes notable works by Sharon Horvath, Alan Shields, Robert Jakob and Christine Hiebert and will be on view through Sunday, April 6, 2014.

The Drawing Room gallery is located at 66 Newtown Lane, East Hampton. Call 631-324-5016 or visit drawingroom-gallery.com.


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Visceral Integrity at et al projects

Beth Letain, et al projects, brooklyn, bushwick

Beth Letain at et al Projects

One can count on Adam Zucker and Cliff Atkinson’s Bushwick gallery, et al projects, for an interesting show. This January, their artist-(Bret Slater)-curated exhibition Visceral Integrity provided ample food for thought as seemingly straightforward works of art poke at our notions of instinct vs. intellect. Creation from the gut rather from the brain is perhaps the hardest thing to do. Even with writing. How do we stop that cerebral voice? On that note, I leave you with an example by Otis Jones.

Otis Jones

Otis Jones at et al projects

et al projects is located at 56 Bogart Street in Brooklyn.


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