The Immigrant Artist Biennial: Yikui (Coy) Gu


Yikui (Coy) Gu, Oriental Flavor. 2019. Gouache, charcoal, acrylic, gouache on photograph, chopsticks. Ramen noodle packaging & flavoring pack on bristol board.

The Immigrant Artist Biennial (TIAB) is a volunteer, female-led, artist-run project. TIAB 2020 launched in March in New York City at Brooklyn Museum, and continues in September through December at EFA Project Space, Greenwood Cemetery, and virtually, presenting 60+ artists. This interview series features 10 participating artists.

Yikui (Coy) Gu was born in 1983 in Nantong, China and emigrated to the United States at the age of seven, growing up in Albany, NY. Yikui (Coy) Gu has a BFA from Long Island University and an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He has exhibited his work nationally in New York, Miami, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Boston, and St. Louis; and internationally in London, Berlin, and Siena, Italy. His work has been reviewed in the Washington Post, KunstForum International, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Yale Daily News. His work has appeared on the cover of the Lower East Side Review, and in Fresh Paint and Art Maze. He resides in Philadelphia and teaches as Associate Professor of Art at the College of Southern Maryland. He is currently plotting in his South Philly studio, while remaining mostly harmless.

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Elizabeth Hazan at Turn Gallery

In Dialogue with Elizabeth Hazan

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Elizabeth Hazan, High Noon, 2020, oil on linen, 60” x 50” , photo: James Marcus-Wade

The small and large scale paintings Elizabeth Hazan made this summer will be in a two person show with the British painter Nicola Stephanie, who makes three dimensional wall works, at Turn Gallery. The New York City gallery has just moved from the Lower East Side to a townhouse space at 68th street between Madison and Park, an area with a lot of galleries nearby. The exhibition opens on October 30th.

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Sharon Madanes in Domestic Brutes at Pelham Art Center

In Dialogue with Sharon Madanes


Selfie in studio

Sharon Madanes grew up in Chicago in a family of physicians and was exposed to both art and medicine from a young age – her first job was helping to package sterilized surgical equipment. She also spent weekends at the Art Institute of Chicago taking art classes and wandering through the collection. She has always found the strange forms and aesthetics of medical settings fascinating: “as a painter and physician, I’m currently making work about this very juxtaposition, exploring different elements of hospital and medical culture through paint,” she says. Sharon Madanes is participating in Domestic Brutes at Pelham Art Center.

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Noa Charuvi - Suspended on Site


Bundle, 2018, oil on canvas, 16×20 inches

Noa Charuvi’s paintings convey a distinct sense of place where narratives of the present interrupt those of the past with urgency, sometimes even violence . Yet, her places encapsulate past and present not only as a rupture but also as an ongoing flow of coinciding contradictory forces – ruin and construction, anarchy and order. No matter if the painting depicts an interior of a room or an exterior of a construction site, it frequently portrays a place that is devoid of human figures but charged with the aftermath of human actions. Even if human figures are present, they are typically placed in context of their larger environment, players in a powerful and mysterious systemic forces of history, city, society. Noa Charuvi shares with Art Spiel some insights on her ideas, work, and process.

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Patricia Spergel – On the Verge of Recognition

Patricia Spergel, Sita Ram, 2018, oil on canvas, 18” x 24”, photo courtesy of Tim Grajek

Patricia Spergel‘s vibrant oil paintings interrelate gesture, color, and form, to create imaginative spaces that are on the verge of being recognized – both playful and incisive, lightweight and massive. Patricia Spergel shares with Art Spiel her approach to color, how printmaking informs her painting, and her painting process.

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Ashley Garrett – Painting Mind and Space

Ashley Garrette, Oread, 2019, oil on canvas, 13 x 17 in.

Ashley Garrett paints abstracted landscapes which resonate a sense of place – elusive and precise at the same time. Utilizing richer color and bolder gesture, Garrett ‘s recent body of work reveals an artist’s gaze inwards into a deeper psychological space. Ashley Garrett shared with Art Spiel her approach to painting and her upcoming projects.

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Altoon Sultan – Luminous Clarity

Altoon Sultan, Convergence, 2018, egg tempera on calfskin parchment, 9 1/2 x 12 in. Photo courtesy of McKenzie Fine Art.

Altoon Sultan‘s egg tempera paintings depict close ups of agricultural equipment with incisive color and architectural forms. Her paintings consistently reveal inner tensions: the shapes are abstracted and literal, the colors are vivid and subtle, the space is shallow and dimensional. The artist shares with Art Spiel some of her rich experience as a painter, her work process, and her on-going projects.

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Erika Ranee – Wired for Bold

Erika Ranee, You’re Your Own You, 2018, ink and crayon on paper, 12”x 12”

The tension between “inside” and “outside” in Erika Ranee’s paintings draw you into an enclosed space with an explosive and rhythmic internal movement. The vibrant colors, organic shapes, and linear marks that link the forms like veins, altogether resonate with living organisms, body, or microscopic landscapes. The artist shares with Art Spiel what brought her to art, her thought and work processes, as well as her current projects.

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The Bold Women of Elvira Bach

Elvira Bach, Untitled, 1982, Acrylic on paper, 88 x 62 cm | 34 2/3 x 24 1/2 in,

In the context of the global feminist art of today there are a few trailblazers who continue to work and dazzle with their exuberance. Immediacy and mastery of visual resolution signal such fast-paced and intuitive artists. German-born Elvira Bach is one of them. Bach has created a striking painterly style that catches the eye and stimulates further contemplation. For a viewer, Bach’s expressiveness establishes an immediate and deep bond with the traditions of the German Expressionism, embodying in her paintings the Expressionists’ core principle – namely, depicting the artist’s inherent conflicts within the society and within herself. For Elvira Bach urgency of expression, empathy, and visual projection of deep inner strength are important attributes.

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Rachael Wren – Shimmers and Hums

Rachael Wren, Defenders, 2017, oil on linen, 48 x 48 inches. Photo by Bill Orcutt

Rachael Wren’s delicate paintings pulsate with repetitive brush strokes that both allure you to look closely at the elaborate geometric surfaces and at the same time pull you into mysterious psychological interiors or perhaps cosmic fields. Her grid structure serves as an anchor for the paint /space- anchoring facilitates a greater freedom of movement and flow within. The artist shares with Art Spiel her ideas on color, painting, and studio process.

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