Pat Lay: Mapping New Interiors

Pat Lay, installation view in studio, photo courtesy of the artist

Pat Lay‘s Digital work conjures ancient iconography, or maps organized in what appears to be a binary logic. Throughout her abstracted digital and more figurative sculptural work she consistently reflects on the role of technology in our life, merging cultural cues with a seemingly mathematical order. For Art Spiel the artist elaborates on her interest in technology, what brought her to art, and her 42 year experience as an art educator at Montclair State University – both as a teacher and as the founding director of the MFA in Studio Art.

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Nina Meledandri: Somewhere in Between

Nina Meledandri, starting w/(a) line: 7.27.18 – 8.3.18, 2018, 2018, watercolor and ink on paper, 5 x 7″ each, photo: Nina Meledandri

Nina Meledandri ‘s images mostly come in multiples. With sensibility that is both poetic and analytical, she creates series of photographs, paintings, and frequently a combination of both. Altogether her body of work forms a vibrant and imaginative internal dialogue. She shares with Art Spiel some of her thought process, what prompts her imagination, and what has brought her to art.

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Joanne Ungar: Pain Relief

Joanne Ungar, Modern Muse, 59″x48”, wax, board, paint, pigment, 2019, photo courtesy of © 2018 + 2019 Joanne Ungar

In recent years Joanne Ungar has transformed found boxes into translucent paintings by embedding them in layers of wax. The forms are abstracted, but the narrative is evident. These beautiful objects carry the burden of their histories – boxes of pain killers, packages of cosmetics, or chocolate wraps. While their vibrant pigments may encapsulate broken dreams and their origin most likely resonates waste, their sheer alchemy uplifts. Joanne Ungar talks with Art Spiel about “Pain Relief,” her current solo show at Front Room Gallery, which just opened in March 1st, 2019. She also elaborates on her process and some of her forming experiences as an artist.

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Galen Cheney: Gritty Beauty

Galen Cheney, Light Falls, textile color, acrylic, and oil pastel on raw canvas, 40 x 36″, 2018, photo courtesy of the artist

In her bold abstracted paintings Galen Cheney often layers multiple media such as textile color, spray paint, oil pastel, acrylic, and collage to create complex images. Her paintings brings to mind a crossing between graffiti and abstract expressionism with a distinct sense of immediacy and gestural mark making. Galen Cheney shares with Art Spiel some of her background, ideas, and process.

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Ryan Sarah Murphy – Arriving at an Unknown Endpoint

Ryan Sarah Murphy, Strike, 2015, found (unpainted) cardboard, foamcore, 26 ¾ x 25 ½ x 3 ¼ inches, Photo courtesy of Jeanette May Studio

Ryan Sarah Murphy‘s engaging multiple series of collages, photographs and videos are driven by material and process. Her process resembles a graceful and skillful dance – the steps are predetermined but the movement flow is intuitive and imaginative, or as she says, it altogether represents a collaboration between herself and the material.
Ryan Sarah Murphy shares with Art Spiel what brought her to art, some insight about her ideas, process, and current projects.

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Douglas Florian – Seeing Words

Douglas Florian, Beowolves, Oil on linen, triptych, 96″ X 95″ 2015-16

Douglas Florian‘s paintings resonate with hypnotic chants – repetitive texts or letters resemble spells or curses, a child’s scribbles, or ancient liturgical notes. His marks and vibrant pigments form altogether abstracted and rhythmic fields which entice you to take a close look, read, and simultaneously listen to your own inner voice. Douglas Florian shares with Art Spiel some background and ideas behind his work.

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Ashley Norwood Cooper – Grappling with Color of the Ordinary

Ashley Norwood Cooper, Deviled Eggs and Pink Cake, oil on panel, 16” x 20,” 2017, photo courtesy of the artist

Ashley Norwood Cooper is having a solo painting show at First Street Gallery in NYC. The show title, “The Likes of Us,” is taken from a line in “Waiting for Godot,” about the moon looking down on our ordinary lives. The first thing that caught my attention in Cooper’s work was the just right mix of raw quality and subtle sensibility to detail, depicting narratives that both intimate and universal. In this interview the artist talks about her process of painting from the imagination, her approach to color, and how she got to art.

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Elisabeth Condon – Responding to Contingency

Elisabeth Condon, Plant Life, 2018, ink, acrylic on parchment, 144 x 32, photo Jim Reiman

Elisabeth Condon is a traveler in life and art. Her large scale scrolls, installations, and paintings entice the viewer to join her in adventurous excursions of new and imaginative landscapes. The artist’s innate sensibility for color, pattern, and form, ignited by an insatiable curiosity for cultural intersections, have resulted in an outstanding body of work. For Art Spiel, Elisabeth Condon sheds some light on her dynamic mode of visual quest, and on-going projects.

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Valerie Hegarty – Memory of a Place

In Valerie Hegarty’s work, autobiography, history, and art history merge seamlessly into engaging installations with a distinct sense of place – visceral and subtle, layered and focused. An inquisitive rigor runs through her work, stirring in the viewer an appetite for more. Valerie Hegarty shared with Art Spiel some thoughts on art making, her own art journey, and some of her upcoming projects.

Portrait of artist while working on “Alternative Histories” for the Brooklyn Museum Image courtesy of Brooklyn Museum
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New Narrative Now at M David & Co.

Curated by Michael David and Martin Dull

January 11 – January 27, 2019

Opening Reception Friday Jan 11, 6-9PM

Co-curator Martin Dull pictured with Todd Bienvenu’s painting (left) and Jeffrey Morabito, Kave T-shirt (right)

All images by Sharilyn Neidhardt

The work in “New Narrative Now,” curated by Michael David and Martin Dull at M David & Co. is united by a particularly muscular and aggressive kind of paint handling – unsurprising from a gallery well-known for cultivating abstract expressionist work. The paintings also share lyrical and mythical storytelling qualities. Recognizable figures flicker and bend across these canvases, wading through turgid waters, or wrestling with ropes of paint, or bathing in dreamy color. Animals and toys crowd some canvases, women stretch tortured forms across others.  Personal mythologies illuminate and infuse each canvas, casting a mysterious spell for the viewer.

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