In the Precipice – Karen Margolis at Foley

Karen Margolis, Separation Anxiety 2019, 24×36, Watercolor, gouache, thread, map fragments on Abaca

Karen Margolis’s intricate wall pieces and sculptures featured in her current solo show In the Precipice at Foley resemble topographic mindscapes or cosmic maps. The sum of her dense cell-like circular shapes in some works create a sense of condensing inward, and in others exploding outward. Close up it is like taking a journey through a complex network of neurons, galaxies or emotional states of mind. It is enjoyable to identify recognizable fragments such as remnants of old maps with readable places, trace the multiple burnt holes and biomorphic shapes created with a soldering iron, focus on the hypnotizing miniscule dots of paint on circular clusters painted with watercolor or gouache, and then follow a complex net of crisscrossing dark linear threads which create an engaging tension with the curvy forms.

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Riad Miah: Moving Pigments

Riad Miah, Untitled Spaces,, 2019, acrylic on Dura-lar and oil on canvas over panel, 49 1/4″ x 90 1/2″, photo courtesy of the artist

Riad Miah‘s vivid abstract paintings and bold installations reflect his deep ongoing preoccupation with representation of materiality, time, and light. Riad Miah shares with Art Spiel some thoughts on his own trajectory as a painter. He describes how his painting process has evolved, and elaborates on some projects, including his upcoming exhibition “Magical Spaces, Familiar Places” at Kean College Gallery.

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When the Artist Speaks

A Review of Michael A Robinson’s Solo Exhibition

The Object as Evidence at SL Gallery, New York

Michael A. Robinson, The Origin of Ideas, 2013, found lamps, tripods, and electrical cords, 6 x 6 x 9 ft,, Image: courtesy of SL Gallery

Trekking down 38th Street in the heart of the garment district on a Thursday evening in October, I made my way to SL Gallery where Michael A. Robinson’s solo exhibition, The Object as Evidence, was on view. As I pushed open the large steel door to the gallery I found myself immediately subsumed within a group of onlookers similarly clad in all-black. The artist’s talk had already begun and attention was fixed upon Robinson, a tall slender man with sandy-blonde hair standing beside a projector that cast images of artwork onto the wall behind him. Arms extended and eyes twinkling, Robinson elucidated upon the evolution of his work.

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Olive Ayhens: Unique Improbabilities

Olive Ayhens, Camelid In the City, oil on linen, 51″x39″ 2019

Olive Ayhens paints unexpected landscapes in which roaming animals, lush fauna and zooming cars frequently co-inhabit familiar urban environments. In her world you may encounter by a vivid East river shore a Prehistoric animal, utterly oblivious to a dazzling Gotham vista on the horizon. Olive Ayhens talks with Art Spiel about her process, ideas, and “Urbanities and Ur-Beasts” , her upcoming show at Bookstein Projects opening October 30th .

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Americana Archetypes Frolic Centerstage in Rebecca Morgan’s Solo Show Town and Country at Asya Geisberg Gallery

Image courtesy of Rebecca Morgan and Asya Geisberg Gallery. Photography by Etienne Frossard.

Rebecca Morgan’s solo exhibition “Town and Country at Asya Geisberg offers viewers a subversive and unflinching look into aesthetics of Americana. Panty raiding hillbillies, buxom bonnet sporting milkmaids, and characters engaged in Appalachian revelry scrupulously rendered in paint, graphite, and brass galavant throughout the exhibition. Morgan’s cringeworthy figuration walks the line between portraiture and allegory and highlights the pitfalls of romanticization. Inspired by the sucker-punch illustrations of R Crumb, Morgan’s depictions of rural life speak to notions of voyeurism, power dynamics, and the ubiquity of toxic masculinity within contemporary American culture. The works included in “Town and Country” strike a balance between hilarity and horror and provide a fantastical portal into the American psyche. I had the opportunity to chat with Morgan about her fourth solo show with the gallery and reflect upon her personal fascination with the subjects she portrays.

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Natsuki Takauji: Sensuous Abstractions

Natsuki Takauji, String, stainless steel, aluminum, hydraulic oil, pigment, steel base, H72″ W40″ D40″, at WHA, Williamsburg, photo by Etty Yaniv

Natsuki Takauji sculptures create a stimulating tension between the monumental and the minute, the calm and the stirring. They are grounded yet flow, at times literally with fluids, and range from intimate indoors sculptures to large scale outdoors interactive structures. The Japanese born artist who draws upon Japanese culture and Buddhist philosophy share with Art Spiel some of the origins to her imaginative work, her process, and her projects.

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Rosa Valado: The Feeling of a Space

Rosa Valado, Time, detail, mixed media on paper, 8′ x 16′, 2017 , photo courtesy of Rosa Valado

The Spanish born NYC based artist Rosa Valado has prompted in her immersive installations multi-layered sensory experiences, utilizing diverse approaches, from the smell of burning wax and music to architectural elements and engineering problem solving. Throughout her body of work which includes besides installation, drawings and paintings, she has been exploring notions of space and time by engaging with ideas on architecture and light. Rosa Valado shares with Art Spiel some of her formative art experiences, her process, ideas, and projects.

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Elizabeth Velazquez: All Realities

Elizabeth Velazquez, Cigar Factory Final Exhibition, 2019, installation view- 2 of 4 rooms, photo courtesy Sakeenah Saleem

Elizabeth Velazquez makes powerful installations in response to the history and geography of a site. While her work often unleashes dark secrets from a hidden past with particular sensibility to social injustice, it also elevates our gaze upwards, conjuring an essence of spirituality out of the materials she is using. The artist shares with Art Spiel the ideas and process behind her recent body of work.

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Julien Gardair: Polyphonic Situations

Julien Gardair, Whole together, All apart, 2019, pigments and acrylic on industrial felt cut in space, 7x20x16ft, BRIC, Brooklyn, photo courtesy the artist

The French born Brooklyn based artist Julien Gardair makes carpets, paper cutouts, paintings, sculptures, video or everything in between. This proclivity for smooth sail between forms in context of specific sites globally paired with his insatiable explorations, make his body of work versatile, whimsical and layered. Julien Gardair shares with Art Spiel his ideas, experiences, and what is behind some of his many projects.

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Rhonda Wall: Survival in Delirium States

Rhonda Wall, “We are Bleeding, the Blue Wave is Coming”, 2018 Paint & collage on board, 48 x 72 in.

Rhonda Wall‘s collaged paintings depict surreal landscapes where the wacky and the tragic co-exist. Her topsy-turvy worlds, in which enigmatic and often over the top cartoony characters go on with their daily business, are idiosyncratic and current. Rhonda Wall shares with Art Spiel her downtown NYC art world experience during the 80s, her work process and ideas.

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