Plastic Expressions in Particularity: Nature Moves in Tracy McKenna’s Shift at Able Baker Contemporary

Elise Ferguson. Pebble. Pigmented plaster on MDF panel, 2018. Photo courtesy of Able Baker.

“Wisdom was the feeling for what is high, great, broad, sharp, even, heavy, bright, light, colorful . . . Wisdom was the feeling for an essentially shared reality, for the mystical, for the indeterminate indeterminable, for the greatest determinacy of all . . . but art is reality, and the reality we share must assert itself beyond all particularity.” Hans Arp, Introduction to a Catalogue

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A History of Digital Photography – Lucien Samaha at Pioneer Works

Prototype for the Kodak DCS 100, floppy discs, and Kodak film

The exhibit at Pioneer Works is called “A History of Digital Photography” and features some of the first images taken with Kodak’s earliest digital camera. The show includes that camera, its maquette, and the ever sharper, smaller cameras Lucien Samaha worked with over the years, plus ephemera. But at its heart, this show is less about technology than an artist’s journey, and is deeper and far more human than its title suggests.

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Juliette Dumas – Whale Flukes Paintings at The Neue House New York

In Dialogue with gallerist Silas Von Morisse on the Whale Flukes Paintings and beyond

Installation view, Juliette Dumas, Whale Fluke (Night) at The Neue House New York

Silas von Morisse founded a reputable gallery in Bushwick in 2014. Then, in 2018, due to notable shifts in the art world for small venues like hers, she decided to drastically change her model: from exhibiting in a physical venue, to featuring art as a mostly online presence paired with events which enable viewing in person. Silas von Morisse shares with Art Spiel her changed mode of operation, while highlighting the current show featuring Whale Flukes paintings by the French artist Juliette Dumas.

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Iris Häussler – Invented Biographies

Iris Häussler, Aprartment 5

Throughout her multi-faceted installations, the German-born Canadian based artist Iris Häussler has been slipping in and out of multiple characters. Her invented underdog protagonists live through diverse historical periods and traverse vast geographies. Häussler’s rigorous installations transform any categorization. They are placed between life and art, coalescing multi-disciplinary collaborations including performance, literature, and richly layered visual vocabularies such as drawing, installation and sculpture. The visitor is invited to experience an individual’s life within a specific context of place and history, to decipher the clues from the artifacts and materials throughout installations that reflect on fiction, history and the meaning of a creative identity.

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Juan Puntes – on WhiteBox Harlem

In Dialogue with Juan Puntes on PERFORMA 19 @WhiteBox Harlem and beyond

A group of people in a room

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Juan Puntes, who founded WhiteBox as the original Chelsea non-profit alternative art space in 1998, built a highly reputable venue known for its thought-provoking exhibition with cutting edge contemporary artists vis-à-vis little known avant-garde historical influential producers. While focusing on site-specific work, performance, and video projects, WhiteBox is also offering a wide array of programming including readings, lectures, and panel discussions. Juan Puntes is sharing with Art Spiel some of WhiteBox’s history, his vision, and his upcoming programs.

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BOS Studio Spotlight: Yolande Heijnen

Heijnen’s “The bed we lay in”, 60″x72″

Yolande Heijnen was born and raised in Luxembourg, and has lived in New York since 1998. She has an MFA in painting from the New York Studio School, has won the Edward G. McDowell Travel Grant of the Art Students League, and is a three-time recipient of the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant.

All photos byCatherine Kirkpatrick

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Peter Gynd – Jody MacDonald: Freaks, Geeks, and Strange Girls at Radiator

In Dialogue with Peter Gynd on Jody MacDonald’s upcoming solo exhibition he curated at Radiator

Jody MacDonald, Conjoined Twins, 2019, mixed media, 26 x 26 x 24 in.

Peter Gynd is an artist, curator and gallerist whose recent curatorial project is currently on view at Radiator, a solo show featuring new works by the Canadian born and NYC based Jody MacDonald. MacDonald’s sculptural dioramas explore a set of characters on the fringe by merging fact, fiction, and art history. In this Art Spiel interview Peter Gynd elaborates on the genesis of the exhibition.

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Katie Hector – New Thick at RSOAA

In Dialogue with Katie Hector on RSOAA and beyond

Installation view of NEW THICK. Image courtesy of The Royal

Katie Hector is an artist, curator, and writer whose work is currently featured in New Thick at The Royal @ RSOAA . a group exhibition she has also co-curated with Barry Hazard at this dynamic venue for curatorial projects in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In this Art Spiel interview, Katie Hector elaborates on New Thick, her current show, and the premise behind the RSOAA venue.

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Karen Mainenti: Message in a Bottle at Ground Floor

Message in a Bottle, installation view at Ground Floor Gallery, 2019, photo courtesy of Jordan Rathkopf

In Message in a Bottle, the current solo installation show at Ground Floor Gallery in Park Slope, the Gowanus based artist Karen Mainenti transforms the gallery into what at first glance looks like an upscale beauty boutique. Mainenti uses this platform to explore the mechanisms at work in the packaging and marketing of beauty products over time, drawing on her own complex relationship to the products themselves. Much of Mainenti’s work examines the subtle but powerful societal expectations of women that show up in ordinary objects. The delicately cast porcelain replicas of her own cosmetics highlight the way objects can be gendered, even when reduced to their elemental forms. Often using humor as a sly way to invite the viewer in, her drawings of creams, lotions and serums using marketing language from real products highlight the inherent contradiction in the ways we read these messages as absurd, yet suspend that disbelief at the cash register when we buy them. Having visited the show when it opened, I was delighted to have the opportunity to chat with Karen about how this exhibition came together and how the various series within it have developed over time.

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Inside LP Women’s Art Collective

Interview with Founders Jenn Dierdorf and Kelsey Shwetz

LP Event at Sharp Walentas, visiting Julie Curtis Tuyet’s (far left) studio, 2019

The roots of a tuft of wild grass pulled up from the ground form an intriguing network of living fibers, interlaced with earth. This tenacious nest is a fitting visual for the perennial phenomena of women’s grass roots art collectives found around the world. Springing forth in the ‘70s collectives such as SOHO20, Artemisia, Women’s Building, Guerilla Girls, Las Damas de Arte, and WARM have provided support and opportunities for women not otherwise readily available in the staunchly patriarchic art world. In the subsequent decades women’s art collectives have proven to be a fertile, popular and diverse multi-purpose force, although unfortunately mainstream institutions have under-acknowledged their impact. Art Historian Kathleen Wentrack, PhD, observes, “[The] numerous exhibitions devoted to feminist art in the last decade or so [devote] little attention to collectives, and [there is] a lack of historical studies of collectives and their influence on contemporary art practices, which continue to be influential to the present day.” This exhibition, “Slečny od maliarskeho stojana,” which translates as “Ladies of the Easel,” presents an opportunity to document the origins of a thriving women’s art collective called LP (formerly known as Lady Painters) founded in 2015 by Jenn Dierdorf and Kelsey Shwetz in Brooklyn, NY. When conceiving of the show, curator Juliana Mrvová used LP as a resource for selecting work. Paintings by Dierdorf and Shwetz, among others, are included in the exhibition, which is presented from June to November 2019 in four cities in Slovikia: Bratislava (the capital), Banská Bystrica, Trebišov and Rimavská Sobota. As an early and on-going member of LP, I’m pleased to have the opportunity to interview Dierdorf and Shwetz about their motives and goals for the LP collective.

Anne Sherwood Pundyk is a painter and writer based in Manhattan and Mattituck, NY. She stains, crops and sews unstretched canvas to construct her work calibrating the interplay of spontaneity and control. She is a proud member of LP.

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