Brian Wood Drawings: Visions of Hyperawareness

Brian Wood, Plank, 2017, Graphite on paper, 11 x 14 in., photo courtesy of the artist

Brian Wood’s drawings are literally visionary. They derive from what the artist describes as a “trance-like” state, where the ego is consumed by the image, as the inner mind and hand become vital conduits for arising images. This inner process results in drawings that invoke nuanced mental states, fragmented memories, and perhaps most important, a glimpse at the unknown. Holland Cotter wrote in his NY Times review of Brian Wood’s 2014 solo show Enceinte that the artist creates “a kind of Symbolist world in which emerging into life and being devoured by it are part of the same inexorable process.” In a cynical age with ubiquitously ironic art, this unabashed approach to the spiritual elements in the process of art making is quite refreshing.

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Kate Teale: Landscapes of Void

Kate Teale, Going Dark 15x12x8” paintings, on graphite wall drawing 120″ x 164″, Grand Rapids MI, 2018, photo courtesy David Henderson

No matter what subject matter Kate Teale’s drawings, installations and photographs depict – a house, a sleeping couple, bed sheets, a Tsunami – her images always lead us into an urgent psychological landscape, prompting us to pause and reflect on what we are looking at. Precise like poems and complex like dreams, her subtle and highly focused artworks take diverse forms ranging from works on paper to tromp l’oeil murals. Kate Teale shares with Art Spiel some concepts behind her work, process, and thoughts about her evolution as an artist.

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Ground Histories at PS122

Installation view of the East room: (right) david Goodman, (mid) Will Crowin, (left) Heidi Lau, photo credit Tommy Mintz

The grouping of mostly floor-bound sculptures in “Ground Histories”, the current group show curated by Will Corwin at PS122 Gallery, not only pulls our attention to the ground, but also makes us aware of what is underneath its surface – archaeological artifacts, graves, excavated memories. In the east room a triangular layout consisting of Will Corwin’s altar-like sculpture, Heidi Lau’s arched-shape ceramic sculpture sprawling, and David Goodman’s forte-like structure, create a sense of both tension and connectivity. Made of plaster and sand, painted with terra cotta and white tempera hues, and tied with rough ropes, Corwin’s “Jaw” is a rectangular free-standing sculpture that draws literally upon teeth and invokes the idea of the archaic – an architectural ruin from an unidentified culture, or an archaeological artifact with an enigmatic ritual significance. The tooth, a pivotal element in both forensics and bioarcheology, can be read in Corwin’s sculptures as a loaded metaphor for what it means to be human.

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Julie Peppito: Making Meaning out of Anything

Toxic Frock (This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein), 2016, canvas, trim, oil paint, gouache, thread, acrylic paint, found objects, fabric paint, fabric, grommets, variable dimensions (84″ x 156″ x 10″), photo courtesy Dan Gottesman

Julie Peppito‘s visceral and imaginative installations refer to our ecological, cultural, and political environments through explosive colors, textured surfaces, and interconnected loopy forms. Julie Peppito recalls how growing up in Oklahoma and later moving to NYC impacted her development as an artist. She shares some of her thought process, her work as an activist, and some of her projects.

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Alicja Gaskon – Traversing Borders

Alicja Gaskon, Dividing Lines: Universal Divides, HD Video, 6:20min, 2017

Alicja Gaskon has just returned from an excursion to the border dividing North Korea and South Korea, a No man’s land where she has discovered a reality which reminded her unexpectedly of her European roots and will become an entry point for a new body of installation work. This is one of many excursions Gaskon has experienced and explored in her work. She shares with Art Spiel some of her explorations, the ways she mines her experiences, and her upcoming projects.

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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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