Nice to See you Again at Underdonk

Featured Project: with curators Leonora Loeb and Keisha Prioleau-Martin

Opening night of Nice to See you Again, In the foreground: Madeline Donahue, Butterflies, 2021, glazed ceramic, 8” x 7” x 6”

The group show Nice to See you Again at Underdonk features work by ten artists whose paintings, sculptures, and photographs address the loaded meaning of the outdoors during the pandemic—a shared sense of longing for the openness of the outdoors while simultaneously also craving for the warmth of the indoors. The show is organized by Leonora Loeb and Keisha P:rioleau-Martin and runs from October 30 th through November 20 th , 2021.

What is your curatorial vision for this show and what would you like to share about the artists and the featured art?

Keisha Prioleau-Martin and Leonora Loeb: Empathy, longing, capturing the ever-changing natural world, inside and out. Nice To See You Again was developed as we moved into a harvesting season during a pandemic. In anticipation of colder weather and shorter days, our focus began to shift indoors and transitioned to an indulgent and nostalgic call for outdoor beauty. We tend to cherish butterflies, bird nests, and flowerbeds as if it will be our last (for a while it will be). This show was inspired by an interest in indoor and outdoor spaces converging in artwork. The title came first, Nice to See You Again – the most genuine, sweet, repeated sentence of the year. It spoke of the implied absence of connection we longed for. This is a feeling that keeps resurfacing in recent months and one we found reflected in the work of artists we admire.

The quality of light in Lauren “Red” Welch’s warm paintings wholly fits the idea for the show. The painting, Green-Wood is generous in detail and pattern, and a sense of “holding on” to a time of day permeates the work. Wendy Small’s three silver gelatin prints likewise capture a moment in time; the subject (a pigeon) viewed from the inside captured in a haze of light and surface, hazily viewed through the smudged windowpane.

From left: Lauryn Red Welch, Kathleen Granados, Logan T. Sibrel, Wendy Small, and Madeline Donahue

Alfredo Plot and Lauren Whearty’s paintings bring floral patterns and objects from the outside realm into domesticated still life. Plot’s watercolor shows a figure tumbling from a couch, venturing from a known domestic space into an unknown void. Whearty’s painting similarly plays with a distorted sense of gravity, and the planes of images stacked on each other recall the collaging in Giancarlo Montes Santangelo’s work.

Santangelo captures empathy in a different way, drawing attention to the material weight of a photograph and the specific touch of nesting and juxtaposing images inside, outside, and the discordant yet soft edge of seemingly collaged layers of imagery. The torn edges visible in Santangelo’s photo print are reiterated in the loose edges of two sculptures by Alison Owen.

Owen’s ceramic vases are stacked, embedded within, and stacked upon found objects, and in many ways are as connected to drawing and collage as they are to sculpture. Her installations seem to suggest window ledges and other interior spaces where outdoor and indoor elements might gather and intermingle.

Giancarlo Montes Santangelo, Untitled, 2021, archival pigment print, 16” x 12” (Photo courtesy of the artist)

Alison Owen, Figure Vase, Stacked, 2021, found materials and fired stoneware, dimensions variable (Photo courtesy of the artist)

Kathleen Granados’s sculpture combines disparate materials such as moss, lightbulbs, and broken watch bands, layered to construct what might look like a nesting place of home and garden. Granados’s Halved Century (Seeds) is part punk with its metallic covering, part craft with its crocheted encasement.

Logan T Sibrel’s paintings are effortlessly beautiful. Sibrel’s Beach Beer is the ultimate embodiment of “one last time”. It is the slow calmness felt in possibly the last beach day for a while. Another sitting figure is the joyful sculpture by artist Madeline Donahue. Her little girl sits resting as butterflies flutter over her dress before migrating out of this region and marking the end of summer.

Julia Blume’s installation forms space around plants in a way that can be interpreted as an act of transformation and worship. That her plant life is artificial and her color palette fantastical, suggests that these forms are more reverie than literal renderings of nature.

From left: Alfredo Plot, Julia Blume, Giancarlo Montes Santangelo, and Lauren Whearty

Keisha Prioleau-Martin (b. 1995) is an artist based in Queens, N.Y. She earned her BFA at SUNY Purchase in 2017. Keisha’s work has been exhibited around NewYork and LA and Seattle. Keisha is a co-director at Underdonk in Bushwick. She paints imagined people doing wild everyday things. Her brushstrokes capture the fluidity of boundaries and the moments of captured undaunted joy. Keisha’s work sheds light on the inner glowing life of individuals, while promoting healthy ways to reflect on the self.

Leonora Loeb works with video and ceramic sculpture inspired by surfaces and moments experienced in daily life in the city. The work is suggestive of building facades, graffiti, textiles, and jewelry, often layering media. Leonora is from NYC, she has a BA in Fine Art from Pitzer College, CA, and earned her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2010. A dual citizen of the USA and Italy, Leonora has lived in the US and abroad; and received support from institutions such as Mabou Mines and Chashama, NYC. Her work has been shown in the NYC area including at Perry Rubenstein Gallery, Ortega Y Gasset Projects, Front Room Gallery, and The Gateway Project. Leonora is based in Brooklyn and is a co-director at Underdonk.

Nice to See You Again, Organized by Leonora Loeb + Keisha Prioleau-Martin Featuring: Julia Blume Madeline Donahue Kathleen Granados Alison Owen Alfredo Plot Giancarlo Montes Santangelo Logan t. Sibrel Wendy Small Lauryn Welch Lauren Whearty, October 30th – November 20th 2021. Saturdays + Sundays 1-6pm