Margaret Ann Withers – In Her Own Skin

Margaret Ann Withers, Happy and Absurd were out roughhousing in the field before dinner; 2018, acrylic gouache, watercolor, ink on paper, 22″x30″, photo courtesy of Margaret Ann Withers.

Margaret Ann Withers‘ drawings and paintings burst with energetic gestures, exuberant colors, and bio-morphic shapes. Altogether these elements fuse into imaginative landscapes resembling a child’s play in Surreal terrains.  The artist shares with Art Spiel her ideas, process, and current projects.

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Yasmin Gur – Upcycling Waste

Yasmin Gur, My Old Room 2014, Urban Passages ,reclaimed wood

The Brooklyn based sculptor Yasmin Gur is fascinated with the process of upcycling materials such as reclaimed wood and transforming them into dimensional artforms which often respond to the site’s architecture. Gur is the producer for The Upcycle Junction Market, which gives her and ten other local artists a chance to take an active part in the urgent conversation about waste.

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Ribbons Become Space at SL

Elizabeth Riley, Structure from Light, collaged sculptures, inkjet-printed video stills on paper

At the end of “Dragons of Iceland,” a video the NYC based multi-media artist Elizabeth Riley made throughout her SIM residency in Reykjavik, the dragon protagonist is determined to escape the societal constraints and limitations placed on women when the artist was growing up. The dragon flies into a gushing waterfall which for Riley symbolized finality. But later-on, after she returned from the residency, Riley has both deconstructed and reconstructed this video into a sculptural installation, and throughout the process of art making, the dragon’s route shifted from a fall into the abyss to a portal into a different artform. Elizabeth Riley’s solo show, “Ribbons Become Space,” at SL invites us to experience an exuberant journey. The journey starts as you enter the front gallery space with a 2011 video installation “Dragons of Iceland,” continues throughout the back gallery space with two related large-scale wall works made recently for the SL Gallery, then loops back as you exit, leading us back to the video installation with a new perspective.

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Manju Shandler – Moxy for Un-branding

Manju Shandler, Wonder Whale 1, 2018, Mixed Media, 23 x 19 inches

Manju Shandler has moxy for un-branding. Incisive and diverse, her mixed media paintings, drawings, and sculptures are all layered with imaginative narratives which depart from her personal experience as a woman artist into contemporary socio-political terrains. Shandler shares with Art Spiel what brought her from theater and performance to painting and sculptural installations, her process of art making, and some of her current studio work.

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Nota Bene with @postuccio [vii]

The Chimney, Ulmer Arts, Transmitter, Century Pictures, CLEARING, Superchief

The Chimney

The Chimney has two strong exhibits for you to visit sooner or later. One is on-site at the Chimney’s home outpost, the other not too far away in an outpost you might call new or newish — historical emphasis on -ish.

At the gallery’s home space is “Twilight Chorus,” where a duo of cleverly brick-niche’d, collaged-in assemblies lingering in the circumstantial hinterlands scan as a scrapbook-like index of the trappings of street art, potentially hinting at rather immediate exteriors. Objects elsewhere place you in the landscapes and atmospheres of paintings by many a surrealist. Works tucked into yet other nooks unfurl in extended intimacies, and chromatically order, reflect and unfold like mascara compacts and make-up tables. 

Many objects rich in reference and reminiscence in this also somewhat quietly rambunctious group show. Taken all together, it’s like an immersive diorama à la Miró. 

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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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Nancy Bowen: The Story of Objects

Nancy Bowen, Princess T, ceramic, turtle shell, metal stand, mixed media,, 48 x 20 x 20 inches

Nancy Bowen‘s layered sculptures, installations, and collages coalesce stories of different cultures, of past and present. Her objects bring to mind a flavor of unidentified myths, archetypes and rituals, often involving images of the female body. The artist talks about her art making process, projects, and the way she sees her role as an art educator.

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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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Tansy Xiao – The Echo of Journeying

Domestic Language, multimedia installation, 2017

Tansy Xiao is a curator, artist, writer, translator, and an overtly out of the box thinker. She shares with Art Spiel some insights on her upcoming curatorial project at Radiator, her art-making, as well as translation and writing processes.

AS: Tell me a bit about yourself and what brought you to art – writing, translation, curation and making.

Tansy Xiao: I wasn’t properly schooled, neither did I consider myself an artist when I was travelling around and painting abstract murals in exchange for food and accommodation. Now you might call it an unprompted residency. During my long trips and brief sojourns, I would write book length letters to my friends, with a mutual understanding that they were not obligated to reply. I joined and formed communities, then left them, until I have relatively settled in New York, a city with such transience that the fear of being trapped in a constricted niche no longer haunts me. That’s when I began my practice as a curator and translator. If I were to describe my status quo now, I’d quote D. H. Lawrence’s last paragraph in Rainbow:

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Formula 1: A Loud, Low Hum at CUE Art Foundation

Laurie Kang

The group show “Formula 1: A Loud, Low Hum” at CUE Art Foundation raises questions on the meaning of visual formulae in contemporary art without falling into the trap of formulaic. The genesis of this three-person sculpture group show started with an open call in which the curators Mira Dayal and Simon Wu asked savvy art viewers to suggest “formulas,” that is, combinations of materials and tropes used, or perhaps overused in art today. Out of the 67 formulas submitted, the curators selected the ones they both found intriguing and invited Nikita Gale, Amanda Turner Pohan, and Laurie Kang to come up with responses to formulas that invoked the hard and soft, technological and biological, individual and institutional. Gale’s body-like textures, Pohan’s sleek kinetic sculptures, and Kang’s architectural steel structure, all merge industrial off the shelf materials with invisible elements such as sound, vibration, and sensitivity to light. Like the relationship of body and mind, their fragmented materials assume meaning through the hidden forces that seem to operate them.

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