Running through March 4rd, Julia Kunin’s exhibition Mechanical Ballet at Kate Werble Gallery features ceramic wall reliefs and caryatids that create an imaginary narrative of sexually charged figures. “They are at once fortresses in themselves, a merging of body, machine and architecture, ready to become weaponized,” the artist says. The works draw from the hard-edged geometric rhythm found in Art Deco objects and the relentless patterns pay tribute to Art Nouveau and Op-Art. Her most recent large wall pieces are made up of multiple sections, with the potential to be re-arranged and taken apart. Julia Kunin refers to them as sculptural drawings in clay, that vibrate with iridescence — “the destabilizing psychedelic color enables the figures to change and move in their ever-shifting narrative frieze,” she says.
Krista Svalbonas has been capturing images since her first darkroom photography course in high school. The camera in some form — as an integral part of the work or as a reference — keeps playing a central role in her artwork, which takes shape in diverse forms such as painting, ceramics, and sculpture. Her first solo exhibition at Klompching Gallery in Dumbo, Brooklyn, features work spanning a six-year period.
Christopher Ulivo, the LA based painter, takes us in his vivid paintings to imaginary places, from time travel to ancestral family spirits to rewritten myths and histories. His worlds are filled with idiosyncratic, wildly imaginative narratives, where you can sense the painter’s presence as a prolific storyteller.
In Dialogue with Naomi Lev, Rebecca Pristoop, and Sarah Crown
The Exhibition Private View is a bit like an artist’s game of telephone. Three curators: Sarah Crown, Naomi Lev, Rebecca Pristoop, coordinated the movement of works by seven artists (Aimée Burg, Noa Charuvi, Tamar Ettun, Julia Goldman, KB Jones, Dana Levy, Gabriela Salazar) from home to home of each of the artists. In each new space the works were rehung, re-organized, and displayed in a new environment, often with the addition of the host’s collection of art. I interviewed the curators to find out how they planned and executed this show and how it was recorded and disseminated. In a way this exhibition reversed the traditional structure of personal and private: instead of the public being able to see artworks in a whitebox gallery or museum, which has been made impossible because of the pandemic, we became spectators on an artists private space—we couldn’t be there in person, but via Instagram we were shown more than we usually get to see. These notions of intimacy, personal expression, and a safe space in times of turmoil were central to the exhibition Private View.
When Margaret Roleke finished her MFA, she was a sculptor and installation artist. From early on she created installations dealing with issues of water, sound and light and after becoming a mother to four children, notions of motherhood and domesticity became central in her work. As her children grew, current political events became increasingly part of her visual expression. For instance, around 2002 she started including toy soldiers in her sculptures, referencing the Iraq war, and also around this time for a public art project in Brewster, NY, she made seating for the day-laborers who were regularly gathering on that site. She continued to make work that spoke to issues that were important to her, mainly gun control, domestic abuse, and immigrant rights. She says she had no intention to be an activist artist, but became one in the course of making art and exploring her true voice — “The Trump presidency led me to march on the streets and register voters, but I feel I can be a better activist when I create work which starts a dialogue on these important subjects, as this seems to be what comes naturally to me,” she says.
In Dialogue with curators Monica Carrier and Jane
The exhibition Flat File 2020 at PeepSpace, features two-dimensional small works by over fifty artists who were selected through an extensive curatorial process based on both open call and invitation. After December 23rd, when the show ends, the works of art will be stored in flat file drawers at the space and will be available for viewing along with other scheduled programming through September 2021. Curators Monica Carrier and Jane Kang Lawrence who are also artists and educators, share their vision for this new art venue and some insight on the current group exhibition.
In Dialogue with Emilie Ahern and Sherri Littlefield
In the thought-provoking group showAmericans Looking Inat the Center for Book Arts the curators Emilie Ahern and Sherri Littlefield explore what it means to be “American” mostly through media such as photography, book art, sculpture and prints. Their personal experience of coming from multicultural backgrounds and growing up in the States has prompted them to ask the question – What is American culture today, and what does an American look like?
Bonny Leibowitz makes site responsive sculptural installations with painterly sensibility – they hover in the air, spill on the floor, or sprawl on the walls. Her love of Baroque compositions, Abstract Expressionist gestures is underscored throughout her work. Bonny Leibowitz had a long-standing interest in the illusory nature of experience and the supposition of stability. In Terra Unfirma, her most recent body of work, she tackles what it means to deconstruct expectations and perceptions by using a variety of materials which play off one another – natural appearing manufactured, manufactured appearing natural – constructing environments which may feel ephemeral, eternal, fleeting, solid, light or looming at the same time. The artist refers to this quote: “Everything worth knowing is cloaked in paradox because everything substantial defies being revealed in its totality” – Mark Nepo
Last year, after artist Eliza Evans learned she had inherited the equivalent of three acres of mineral rights in Oklahoma, she started receiving offers from agents for fossil fuel companies to buy or lease these rights. After researching the law, Eliza Evans learned that she could not refuse and that the property could be fracked without her consent if the neighboring property owners agreed. Eliza Evans says that since like most artist she does not like being told what to do, she took a deep dive on mineral rights and property law to see if she could create some options. This resulted in the conceptual art activism of All the Way to Hell.
All the Way to Hell is giving away fractions of this property to as many people as possible. Nearly 300 people are participating so far, and signups will remain open until mid-December. This aggressive fragmentation of the property drives up the driller’s acquisition costs and will impede their interest. All the Way to Hell is a platform for a new form of protest, the foundation for a 100-year sit-in. Although each fractional mineral property is minuscule from a practical and legal perspective, the space it occupies is vast. All the Way to Hell may be the largest land art project ever.
The small and large scale paintings Elizabeth Hazan made this summer will be in a two person show with the British painter Nicola Stephanie, who makes three dimensional wall works, at Turn Gallery. The New York City gallery has just moved from the Lower East Side to a townhouse space at 68th street between Madison and Park, an area with a lot of galleries nearby. The exhibition opens on October 30th.