Liminal Worlds at Trestle Gallery

Anne Polashenski , Aliens in a New Land: Josef & Francziska Podleszański (Great Grandparents), 2015, C-prints, cut paper collage & gouache on paper, 23 x 19 in, photo courtesy of the artist

Curated by Katerina Lanfranco“Liminal Worlds,” the upcoming show at Trestle features four artists who reflect on the fluid dividing line between the multiple realities we experience as part of the human condition.  Anne Polashenski and Greg Thielker examine notions of “self and other” through ethnography, immigrant experiences, and national borders. Ashley Hope and Elizabeth Insogna explore the elusive notions of spirit and afterlife. Altogether, through their artworks, these artists invite us to venture into territories that make us contemplate not only  politics, but also the potential for deeper self-awareness.

Ashley Hope uses laser-etched CCTV images burned into maple wood to capture and immortalize the last traces of missing human figures. The reductive process of burning the wood away resonates with a sense of absence and loss. The decorative details she adds by hand on top of  the sometimes glitched camera images bring to mind early Christian/Byzantine artistic tradition of using geometric patterns and materials like gold leaf, which represent an unknowable higher power,  a spiritual or otherworldly presence.

Ashley Hope, Crossing III: 07:26:2015 5:02:33, gouache, acrylic, and gold leaf on laser-etched maple, 8″ x 8.15″, 2018, photo courtesy of the artist
Ashley Hope, Crossing IV:  07:30:2004 8:43:26, gouache, acrylic, and gold leaf on laser-etched maple, 11.25″ x 16″, 2018, photo courtesy of the artist

Elizabeth Insogna draws upon iconography of Goddess reverence and ideas of the Divine Feminine to highlight a Queer perspective in the dialogue of female power. Insogna’s  work marries  ancient rituals with contemporary body politics. For example, she pairs her devotional ceramic cauldrons reference scrying, an ancient form of divination, with colorful abstract and symbolic figurative paintings to evoke a continuous history of ritual practice.

Elizabeth Insogna, Fox Spirit Immolation, 2015, 50 x 50 in, ink and acrylic on paper, photo courtesy of the artist
Elizabeth Insogna, World upside down, 40 x 40, ink and acrylic on paper, 2015,  photo courtesy of the artist
Elizabeth Insogna, Enheduanna, ink and acrylic on paper, 52 x 60, 2014, photo courtesy of the artist

Anne Polashenski mines her family’s Polish immigrant history to uncover an autobiographical connection, coalescing a sense of American identity and otherness. Through a range of media, including gouache and C-printing, she seamlessly fuses patterns from the eastern European tradition of her family with imagery of aliens and domesticity. Altogether these  elements result in a grotesque world with the  emphasis on blending in and survival. Polashenski attempts to recreate and comprehend historical and cultural connections that were absent in her childhood, as her grandparents strove towards American assimilation.

Babushka: Catherine Benick on the Farm (Great, Great Grandmother), 2016, C-print & gouache on paper 22 x 16 in, photo courtesy of the artist

Gregory Thielker’s departure point seems to derive from a critical reflection on border politics. His liminal world is shaped by the arbitrary nature of territory and memory. In the painting series “Unmeasured,” he portrays in hyper-realistic transcriptions sites which are located on the border between Mexico and the US. The  border in these images is defined by a wall built in various parts, protruding like a sculptural artifact from the landscape. By utilizing in his paint pigment actual dirt from these sites, Thielker creates dual interconnected meaning – the solidity and permanence of these border places, and the memory of these sites in the artist’s mind.

Gregory Thielker, Valley (from the series “Unmeasured”)
2017 black ground watercolor on paper on panel 40 x 60 in, photo courtesy of the artist
Gregory Thielker , Checkpoint (from the series “Unmeasured”)
2017 black ground watercolor on paper on panel 25 x 41 in, photo courtesy of the artist


Liminal Worlds
Curated by katerina Lanfranco
trestle Gallery // 850 3rd ave, suite 411, bklyn

Opening Reception: Friday, April 27, 7-9pm
On view through June 6, 2018
Panel Discussion: Tuesday, May 8th, 7pm

Gallery Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 1:30-6:30pm
Extended Hours: Sat & Sun May 19-20, 1:30-6:30pm
Sat June 2nd: 1:30-6:30pm