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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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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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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Time Waves – Simona Prives at John Doe

Simona Prives, Black Matter, Collage on paper with Sumi ink, monotype, xerox transfer,and graphite.

Time Waves, the new upcoming exhibition at John Doe features collage and animation by Simona Prives. The Brooklyn based artist examines in her new body of work our complex relationship to the environment. The structures within each of her compositions prompts the viewer to piece together an alternative reality, created out of imaginative juxtapositions between  growth and decay, the organic and man-made.

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