Melissa Stern – Walking the Line

Melissa Stern‘s artworks depict abstracted narratives with complex emotional layers,  projecting altogether an urgent psychological presence. The figures  in her drawings and sculptures inhabit an absurd universe which is  darkly funny  in a deeply felt way. Her imagery is precise, poetic,  and overall underscores  a close affinity with language – bringing to mind an artist who is both an acute observer and a witty commentator.  That said, it is Stern’s sensibility of raw and expressive forms that makes her not only an observant narrator but also  an empathetic participant in her own human comedy. The artist  shares with Art Spiel her modes of thinking, process of making, and some plans, including her solo show opening on Oct 11 at Garvey Simon Gallery.

Melissa Stern, Red Boots 30 x 8 x 10 inches, Clay, graphite, object, linoleum, 2016

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Wild World closing at Cross Contemporary Art

Wild World: Ashley GARRETT, Catherine HOWE and Lily PRINCE, the current painting exhibition at at Cross Contemporary Art  opened on Sat. September 8th. On Sunday, September 30th Richard Klin will be reading from his novel, Petroleum Transfer Engineer, at the Cross Contemporary Gallery in Saugerties, NY  at 4:00 PM. Klin is also the author of two nonfiction books.  Klin’s work–fiction and nonfiction–has been featured on Public Radio International’s Studio 360 and has appeared in the Brooklyn Rail, the Atlantic, the ForwardFlyover Country ReviewAdelaide, NPR’s All Things Considered and others.

Ashley Garrett, Sossusvlei,  2017,  oil on canvas

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Anne Gilman: Marking Beneath the Surface

Anne Gilman, Up close / in the distance / now, 2018, pencil, graphite, tape, ink, BIC ballpoint pen, matte medium on mulberry paper, 340 x 38 inches, photo courtesy of the artist

The surface of Anne Gilman’s scrolls and drawings is characterized by incisive and often repetitive graphic marks which altogether create portals to the artist’s fluid emotive states.  In her Interview for Art Spiel, Gilman reflects on the roots of her intricate process-oriented approach and also sheds light on some of her current projects. Continue reading “Anne Gilman: Marking Beneath the Surface”

Size Matters

Chris Ketchie, “WEST”1000 Paintings of Then, 2015-2017 Ink and Acrylic on Wood, 130” x 275” x 2.5”, photo courtesy of the artist

In Size Matters artist and curator William Norton brings together seventeen visual artists and four performance artists from Japan, China, the USA, and the UAE, for whom the notion of scale is central.  The curator questions in what ways does scale impact form? How does it affect meaning? And more specifically, how is our perception of scale affected by cultural differences between Asian and Western cultures? Continue reading “Size Matters”

Shari Mendelson: The Beauty of Objects Left Behind

First Look: Shari Mendelson: Glasslike at UrbanGlass

Shari Mendelson, Walking Animal with Vessel in Net, 12″ x 6″ x 9″, Repurposed plastic, hot glue, acrylic polymer, metal, resin, paint, mica, 2018, photo credit: Polite Photographic

The glasslike sculptures in Shari Mendelson’s current exhibition at UrbanGlass conjure mythical narrative with an urgent sense of the present. Based on rigorous study, the artist draws upon primarily glass artifacts from ancient Rome and early Islam, to form imaginative, witty, and playful sculptures made of throwaway plastic bottles. While avoiding simple mimicking of ancient artifacts, Mendelson’s vases, urns, animals, and figures alike create forms and forge narratives that link present to past in fresh and multilayered ways, as the show curator Elizabeth Essner puts it – “the previous lives of her [Mendelson’s] materials emerge: the bottoms of bottles are reborn as faceted ornament, a milk jug becomes an animal, the visage of a figure appears, formed from the tiniest bits of plastic.” Continue reading “Shari Mendelson: The Beauty of Objects Left Behind”

Susan Carr – Getting Used to Being Uncomfortable

Susan Carr creates playful and bold paintings, sculptures, and everything in between – all characterized by her thick, chunky, and layered painting application. Carr’s work comes from a deep and highly intuitive place, always guided by her vibrant curiosity. The artist shares with Art Spiel what brought her to art,  some of her thought process,  and  exploratory approach to material and form.

Susan Carr, Piece of Pi, 2018, hand cut wood with silk over the wood and yarn painted in oil with pieces of wood painted in oil 7×10 inch, photo courtesy of the artist

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Alienation and Elation at Art During the Occupation

FIRST LOOK  at Sharilyn Neidhardt’s solo exhibition

Opening later this week

Sharilyn Neidhardt , If I Can’t Find You There, I Don’t Care, 2017
oil on unframed canvas, approx 54 x 70 in, photo courtesy of the artist

Sharilyn Neidhardt’s vivid paintings in SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE, at Art During the Occupation Gallery resonate with the zeitgeist of late-stage capitalism, when human connections are strained by a barrage of information and convenience. The fractured urban landscapes she portrays bring to mind reflective surfaces and fragmentation, altogether projecting a simultaneous sense of alienation and elation that are associated with any big city life. Continue reading “Alienation and Elation at Art During the Occupation”

David Wojnarowicz – The Fire Still Burns

By Sharilyn Neidhardt

David Wojnarowicz , Untitled (Face in Dirt), 1991 (printed 1993). Gelatin silver print, 19 × 23 in. (48.3 × 58.4 cm). Collection of Ted and Maryanne Ellison Simmons. Image courtesy the Estate of David Wojnarowicz and P.P.O.W, New York
Like a gut-punch for the eyes, The David Wojnarowicz show History Keeps Me Awake at Night at the Whitney Museum of American Art hits the viewer with a visceral, almost-physical jolt of emotion. Bodies are veiled in photographic shadow and light, primary colors leap off large canvases stuffed with collage, lighted globes and spoken words combine to map out the passion and rage experienced by the artist in his relatively short life. There is such variety in the exhibition that my friend and I almost missed a whole gallery, mistaking it for a different artist’s work.

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Keren Anavy and Tal Frank – Collaborative Breeding Grounds

Ever since  the Israeli born artists Keren Anavy and Tal Frank  started working in their nearby studios in Tel Aviv, they have developed a unique artistic collaborative process in addition to their individual thriving art practices. Their collaboration has resulted in multiple imaginative and rigorous installations that have been exhibited internationally.  For Art Spiel, each of the duo sheds light on their collaboration, individual art, and upcoming plans. They also share their recent formative experience at the  Everglades National Park residency in Florida (AIRIE), where they have  further perfected their work process dynamics.

Keren Anavy & Tal Frank, Compositions for Stones of Gold, 2018, Installation view, site-specific installation, wood, The Gallery of the Cultural Institute Mexico-Israel, Mexico City, oil on linen, each painting 76.7X37.4″, wood, Pyrite stones, video animation screening. Photo credit: Zony Maya.

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