Repopulations: New Horizons

Grantee of Brooklyn Arts Fund Grant Type: (Brooklyn Arts Fund/Local Arts Support/Creative Equations Fund) Project Profile: Daniela Holban (Curator)

Photo courtesy of Last Frontier NYC & Sol Kjok

Brooklyn Arts Council announced in March 2022 an allocation of over $1.3 million to 238 Brooklyn-based artists and cultural organizations. This year marks the highest number of grantees and awardees as well as the largest amount of funding BAC has ever distributed. Art Spiel in collaboration with Brooklyn Arts Council features some artists who received a Brooklyn Arts FundLocal Arts Support, and/or Creative Equations Fund grant in 2022.

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Vanessa German – SAD RAPPER at Paul Kasmin

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Partial installation view of Sad Rapper

So much has happened in six years. It was six years ago that I last wrote about the work of Vanessa German for Hyperallergic. Donald Trump had just been elected, and the country was bracing itself for a trip down a new and dangerous path. Vanessa German, a poet, activist and visual artist, had mounted a powerful show at Pavel Zoubek Gallery entitled I am armed. I am an army. German filled the gallery with a fighting corps of women, armed with weaponry, poetry, history and power. It was a fierce exhibition, and one that both mourned and celebrated the power of women.

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Luscious Wasteland: Cathy Diamond and Laurie Fader at Radiator Arts

In conversation with Patrick Neal, Cathy Diamond, and Laurie Fader

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Installation of Luscious Wasteland: Cathy Diamond and Laurie Fader at Radiator Arts (All images courtesy Radiator Arts).

The two-person exhibition Luscious Wasteland at Radiator Arts features landscape paintings by Cathy Diamond and Laurie Fader. Both artists embed in their imagery elements from personal experience, nature, visual art, music, literature or science, to create intricate and imaginative landscapes. The exhibition opens Fri, September 16 and runs through October 23, 2022. Art Spiel invited the curator of the show, Patrick Neal, and the two artists, Cathy Diamond and Laurie Fader to reflect on the featured paintings as separate bodies of work and in relation to each other.

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Natale Adgnot: What We Are Really Seeing

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Portrait of Natale Adgnot in the studio. Photo courtesy of the artist.

What does Cognitive Bias and Fallacy Look Like? Natale Adgnot’s Work Tests What We Are Really Seeing. Natale Adgnot’s work explores the power of psychology and the impact that cognitive bias has on our everyday life, routines and choices. Her work incorporates patterns and systems to explore different cognitive biases such as stereotyping and pareidolia (seeing patterns in random information) to reflect on the elusiveness of truth. Best known for wall sculptures made of painted thermoplastic adhered perpendicularly onto birch panels, she challenges the viewer to consider her work from multiple perspectives. Her new series, Bird Brains, continues to delve into her exploration of bias and fallacy. Bird Brains matches entries in the cognitive bias codex with the birds that best exemplify them. From black swan theory to the duck test to the proverbial canary in the coal mine, she taps into this rich language to point out the stunning variety and sheer magnitude of ways we humans misconstrue the world.

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Habby Osk: No Tricks Involved

Habby Osk, Installing at Undercurrent for the solo exhibition Connectivity, 2020, photo credit Andrew Hendrick

Habby Osk’s work rests upon basic physics—gravity, balance, movement, time and force. These concepts are the concrete medium for her artistic practice which toys with the limits of balance and stability using gravity and force. Through sculpture, photography, and installations, Osk reveals a tension between movement and stillness by placing objects in seemingly unstable positions, capturing a moment of perpetual precarity. These compositions of fragility emphasize the potential for destruction but within an equally mirrored state of balance and stability using a variety of materials such as concrete, wood, aluminum, wax, sugar and jello. Her work references impermanence and the contingency of an action—probing how far objects can go without tipping over, to capture the moment of stillness before a looming collapse or transformation over time.

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Ultralight Beam at Pelham Art Center

Featured Project with curator Rebecca Mills

Installation view

Ultralight Beam, curated by Rebecca Mills at the Pelham Art Center, brings together paintings, sculptures, and installations by artists who focus on visionary methods and spirituality of all kinds. Featured artists: Sunny Allis, Angelica Bergamini, Claire Buckley, Susan Carr, Joan Di Lieto & Thunderfox, Ala Ebtekar, Gabriel Mills, Sarah Renzi-Sanders, Christina Saj, and Chris Watts. The show runs from September 15 to October 30, 2022.

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Sophia Sobers: How Life Might Look

Sophia Sobers, Power Tools, 2018, artist with plush fabric sculptures

Sophia Sobers started making site-specific and installation art in what she sees as a somewhat “meandering path.” She studied Architecture at the New Jersey Institute of Technology while taking art courses at Rutgers. There she started learning about working with space, concept, and materials. Simultaneously taking Art and Architectural History as well as Theory, expanded what she imagined as possible in the arts. Site specific works by artists like Robert Smithson and Gordon Matta-Clark as well as architectural projects like the Blur Building by Diller and Scofidio, inspired her deeply and set her on a path of wanting to create large scale installations.

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Fran Beallor – Self at El Barrio’s Artspace

Featured Artist

The artist at work in the studio, arranging the drawings in a month grid photo courtesy of Fran Beallor, 2021

In her solo exhibition at the El Barrio’s Artspace PS109 in Harlem, NYC based artist Fran Beallor shows every one of the 366 self portraits she created in 2020. While drawing a new self portrait each day, a number of sub-series organically emerged, on themes such as the iPhone, Boxes, Gravity, and Shadows. Each brings forth a distinct angle of the pandemic experience. Fran Beallor says, “I make self-portraits to see and interpret my world.”

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Małgorzata Mirga-Tas Re-enchanting the World – the Polish Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale

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Małgorzata Mirga-Tas, Re-enchanting the World, Polish Pavillion, 59th Venice Art Biennale

As you enter the Polish Pavillion at the Venice Biennale 2022 you are surrounded by Małgorzata Mirga-Tas’ stunning floor-to-ceiling hand-stitched tapestry panels, richly depicting mostly female protagonists in everyday life. If you had a lucky chance to visit the Renaissance Palazzo Schifanoia in Ferrara, Italy, you would most likely soon discover in Mirga-Tas’ images myriad allusions to the Palazzo’s splendid ‘Hall of the Months’ cycle of frescoes portraying Olympian gods, astrological figures, and scenes from court life in Ferrara. The name of the Ferara palazzo derives from the phrase ‘schivar la noia’, meaning ‘escape from boredom’, which accurately defines the purpose of this splendid architectural gem—built for the leisure of the powerful Este family over 500 years ago.

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Lesley Bodzy’s Sculptural ‘Paint Skins’

Lesley Bodzy. I knew better, acrylic, 66” x 34” x 15”, 2022. All photographs are courtesy of the artist.

Wall sculptures by Lesley Bodzy will be on view during Armory Week 2022 at SPRING/BREAK in Leftover and Over curated by Giovanni Aloi and Erica Criss. Anna Mikaela Ekstrand interviewed the California-born Houston and New York City-based artist about her evolving practice.

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