Babs Reingold: Palette of Materials

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From left to right: Babs Reingold in the studio with Hair Nest ’01, Hair Nest ’16, Hair Nest ’15, photo courtesy of the artist

In her multi layered installations Babs Reingold‘s brings together drawing, sculpture, found objects, and at times video, to create potent environments alluding to the body, the environment, and the passage of time. Equipped with a fine tuned sensibility to materiality and an imaginative approach to spatiality, Babs Reingold’s installations inhabit spaces as an alternate force of nature and take a life of their own.

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Debbie Hesse: Spatial Paintings

Debbie Hesse, Laboratory for Healing, 2018, Immersive installation at Yale West Campus, Photo Courtesy of Graham Hebel, Artspace

Debbie Hesse, the CT based artist, makes plexiglass sculptural constructions and video installations. Her sculptural installations, or “spatial paintings” are typically made of multiple planar Plexiglas and wood cutout shapes layered to create complex shapes which bring her ideas to life through light and color.

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Christopher Ulivo: The Present is Nonsense

installation shot

Christopher Ulivo, installation shot

Christopher Ulivo, the LA based painter, takes us in his vivid paintings to imaginary places, from time travel to ancestral family spirits to rewritten myths and histories. His worlds are filled with idiosyncratic, wildly imaginative narratives, where you can sense the painter’s presence as a prolific storyteller.

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Samira Abbassy: Hybrid Iconography

A person sitting in a chair

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Studio Portrait, 2016 at EFA Studios

Samira Abbassy’s paintings and drawings portray mysterious iconic figures, primarily female, who inhabit an ambiguous space. While her pictorial world resonates with archetypal imagery from eastern and western cultures, it equally pulsates with an urgent psychological core, creating an invigorating tension which prompts the viewer to search and discover rich layers for meaning.

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Margaret Roleke: Getting a Dialogue Started

Margaret Roleke, Margaret Roleke: Made Visible, 2020, window installation of cyanotype banners and mylar, Creative Arts Workshop, New Haven, CT., photo courtesy of Rashmi Talpade

When Margaret Roleke finished her MFA, she was a sculptor and installation artist. From early on she created installations dealing with issues of water, sound and light and after becoming a mother to four children, notions of motherhood and domesticity became central in her work. As her children grew, current political events became increasingly part of her visual expression. For instance, around 2002 she started including toy soldiers in her sculptures, referencing the Iraq war, and also around this time for a public art project in Brewster, NY, she made seating for the day-laborers who were regularly gathering on that site. She continued to make work that spoke to issues that were important to her, mainly gun control, domestic abuse, and immigrant rights. She says she had no intention to be an activist artist, but became one in the course of making art and exploring her true voice — “The Trump presidency led me to march on the streets and register voters, but I feel I can be a better activist when I create work which starts a dialogue on these important subjects, as this seems to be what comes naturally to me,” she says.

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Joyce Yamada: Contemplating the Human Species

Joyce Yamada, Portrait, 2019, photo courtesy of Nila Onda

Painter Joyce Yamada grew up on the west coast. She spent her childhood vacations in the beautiful national parks of the US and Canada where pristine forests and the Pacific coast were imprinted in her visual memory. She recalls that although as a teenager she realized that art is her task in life, struggling to survive by minimum wage work led her to medical school which she completed and then subsequently became a diagnostic radiologist. This science background has fed her mind and artwork ever since. Yamada says she is a painter because she conceptualizes in images rather than in words — “when puzzled, my mind juxtaposes or fuses unexpected images, often leading to new work,” she says. For instance, an early series, Body, Earth, came to her in art school — while looking at the hills across the bay from San Francisco she saw the low rounded hills as the reclining body of a woman. The juxtaposed imagery meant to her that we are intimately and indivisibly part of earth and of nature, that what we do to the earth we do to ourselves. She has subsequently seen this idea expressed in indigenous cultures, and it became central in her work.

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Visions of an Alternate Universe

In Dialogue with Mixed Media Collage Artist Jenny Brown

Photo of the artist. Photo credit: Brittany Taylor

Providence-based artist Jenny Brown’s mixed media collages and drawings visually present the viewer with her imagined visions of an alternate universe in which the sublime beauty of nature is heightened. She layers vintage photographs, sketchbook drawings, and other paper ephemera of plants and sea flowers, adding delicate linework and speckled marks with ink to create maximalist compositions that invite one to question if how we perceive our own natural world is indeed limited. The artist’s fascination with our current understanding of how time, space, energy, and matter intersect largely informs her art and the process of creating itself.

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Michele Brody – Embodying Daily Flux

Michele Brody, working in home studio in The Bronx on handmade paper body sculpture for Annual Earth Celebrations Eco Pageant, paper made from recycled linen table cloths and caning, 2020.
Photo by Olivier Marcaud

A fourth generation NY builder, artist Michele Brody loves working with materials. She recalls how her father groomed her early on to become an architect so that she could continue the family tradition of builders and land developers. Although she excelled in the study of Architecture, she was not attracted to pursue it as career. ” I prefer building with my own hands,” she says. So in 1994, instead of getting a degree in Architecture, she graduated with an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from the Fiber and Material Studies Department.

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Bonny Leibowitz – Not This, Not That, Yet This and That

A close up of an animal

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Bonny Leibowitz

Bonny Leibowitz makes site responsive sculptural installations with painterly sensibility – they hover in the air, spill on the floor, or sprawl on the walls. Her love of Baroque compositions, Abstract Expressionist gestures is underscored throughout her work. Bonny Leibowitz had a long-standing interest in the illusory nature of experience and the supposition of stability. In Terra Unfirma, her most recent body of work, she tackles what it means to deconstruct expectations and perceptions by using a variety of materials which play off one another – natural appearing manufactured, manufactured appearing natural – constructing environments which may feel ephemeral, eternal, fleeting, solid, light or looming at the same time. The artist refers to this quote: “Everything worth knowing is cloaked in paradox because everything substantial defies being revealed in its totality” – Mark Nepo

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Pablo Garcia Lopez – Fibrous Neuroplasticity

Brainvolution 1, natural silk, PLA filament (3D printing) and fabric. Shadow Box (plexiglass covered) 48x29x7 inches, 2019

The Spanish born, New York based artist Pablo Garcia Lopez makes mixed media reliefs and sculptures which evoke hybrid forms resonating with Baroque imagery, biological forms, and at times Victorian delicate ornaments. His Spanish heritage, coupled with his background in biochemistry and Neuroscience largely inform his visual vocabulary and themes.

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