The two-person exhibition Shuffling Liminal Episodes at Project: ARTspace features drawings by artists Leslie Kerby and Michelle Weinberg, whose works on paper and vellum resemble snapshots of settings, some of specific places, some imagined, capturing an arrested moment from daily life. Both storytellers at heart, the two artists draw objects as protagonists in their visual tales. A desolate bench, a studio table with a lamp, a tiny figure stepping out of a big house —random belongings, furniture, activities of daily life come to the forefront, projecting an inner life while also hinting at human life outside their inanimate existence—always with a lingering whiff of humor. Kerby and Weinberg also share a collage aesthetic which works well to unify their fragmented narratives.
The two artists say that the exchange of ideas and the discovery of commonalities has charged their practices and led to this exhibition. For instance, they have collaborated on an installation in which smaller framed works are mounted within larger backdrop drawings that de-construct aspects of their works. Loosely drawn pattern, geometric elements, fragments of plant life and texts form the backdrop for their individual works. “Is an image a centerpiece, a fixed icon? Or is it a rest stop on the way to the next place, beyond the border of the frame?” they ask.
Kerby and Weinberg say that they both enjoy the fluidity, swapping figure and ground, “shuffling images like cards in a deck, like tunes in a playlist.” Here, Kerby who usually tends to explore in her work social networks and systems, turns inward, to look at the interior spaces of her community. She says the paintings are an outreach to her friends during lockdown, when she asked them to contribute by sending photographs of relaxing places in their homes from which she painted detailed, personal observations of their surroundings. Outside, Kerby says she observed how traces of community re-arranged and interrupted by social distancing, “aware that this too is transient and will slip away.”
Weinberg compares her experience drawing to flypaper—a sticky surface, catching all manner of schemes, objects, the world on her table. Drawing for her engages a literary feel, filled with flitting thoughts, including scribbled titles on the margins, text and image coalesce into one space. Architectural schemes invite the viewer to project their own experience into—re-arrange the objects on a table, open a door. The “hand” of the artist is visible through the graphite smudges on the white of the paper. Likewise, the process of drawing as a physical act —the paper is acted upon, animated, scarred, absorbed thumbprints and dust.
All photos courtesy of the artists
Michelle Weinberg is a painter who works in varied mediums in her studio and in the creation of art for interiors, architecture and public spaces. She is the recipient of awards, fellowships and residencies from Pollock-Krasner Foundation, SouthArts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Joseph Robert Foundation, South Florida Cultural Consortium, National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, MacDowell Colony, Millay Colony, Studios at MASS MoCA,100West Corsicana in TX, Fine Arts WorkCenter in Provincetown, homesession and Fundacion Valparaiso in Spain and Altos de Chavon in Dominican Republic. Exhibitions include Delaware Valley Arts Alliance, Artport Kingston, Marymount Manhattan College, Charles Moffett Gallery, ARENA in NYC, Frost Art Museum, Florida Atlantic University, Dot FiftyOne Gallery and Emerson Dorsch in Miami. She has created commissioned works for ArtBridge in NYC, Miami International Airport, The Wolfsonian Museum-FIU, Facebook offices, Miami-Dade County Art in Public Places, City of Tampa and more. @mwpinkblue
Leslie Kerby is an interdisciplinary artist working with painting, drawing, sculpture and video to create thematically interlinked bodies of work focusing on issues related to how we lead our lives personally, as individuals. Kerby has been awarded fellowships and residencies at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, American Academy in Rome, Virginia Center for Creative Arts (Virginia and France) and School of Visual Arts. Permanent collections includ Columbia University, Arkansas State University, Copelouzos Art Museum, Athens Greece. Kerby has received commissions from Norte Maar, BRIC Arts | Media and Visual Arts Center of New Jersey. Recent exhibitions includeJason McCoy Gallery, Community Folk Art Center Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY; Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Garvey | Simon, Pierogi, Frosch and Co., Kleinert James Art Center, Woodstock; Norte Maar, Museum Blue, St. Louis, MO; Zurcher Gallery, Van Der Plas Gallery, The Painting Center. @lesliekerby
Leslie Kerby and Michelle Weinberg Shuffling Liminal Episodes April 6 – June 17, 2022 Opening Reception Tuesday April 12, 5-9pm Project: ARTspace 99 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor New York, NY 10016 212.271.0664 Monday – Friday 11 am – 5 pm