Pain produces sharp, bright sensations or sometimes ripping agony. It’s often intensely specific. The substances that bring us relief often do so by blurring the hard angles of our pain, allowing us to focus elsewhere. Some substances can leave us in a disconnected fog, far away from the source of discomfort. Others mute and muffle the pain, giving the relieved a sense of floating in a cushioned world. Calibrating effective pain relief can be a struggle for balance between an alert connection to the present and a silencing of uncomfortable sensation. Continue reading “Ethereal Anaesthetic”
Nina Meledandri ‘s images mostly come in multiples. With sensibility that is both poetic and analytical, she creates series of photographs, paintings, and frequently a combination of both. Altogether her body of work forms a vibrant and imaginative internal dialogue. She shares with Art Spiel some of her thought process, what prompts her imagination, and what has brought her to art.
Five Myles, Slag Gallery, Fresh Window, SOHO20, Studio 10, SARDINE,Sikkema Jenkins
No matter how banal it might seem to say that Barbara Campisi‘s “Sound of Light” — the artist’s massive and joyfully interactive, labyrinthine installation at Crown Heights gallery Five Myles — is lit, it’s still a fully legit thing to say: it’s both lit and LIT. Lit up in both senses was also Campisi’s packed opening, during which visitors were invited to ‘draw’ their own light doodles all throughout the translucent-panel maze of sorts while listening to live music, encountering meandering dancers, and constantly running into strangers who didn’t feel like moving — not out of confusion, but because they were just fine and dandy right where they were, playing around with LEDs like all adults should do more, as every single kid in attendance that night would’ve surely agreed.
SRO Gallery, M. David & Co., ODETTA, Klaus Von Nichtssagend
Dozens of warmly chromatic landscapes with hints of fantasy and abstract intrigue are on view in “Unextinguished,” a kind of amuse-bouche of a genre-specific group show that opened at SRO Gallery a couple weeks ago. It features a great many paintings, and a great many relatively literal as well as apparently non-objective takes on landscapes by Sahand Tabatabai, Sheila Lanham , Cathy Diamond , Moses Hoskins, Cathy Nan Quinlan and Cecilia Whittaker-Doe. If you need a respite from the drudgery of winter (I always do), head over to SRO.
Jackie Mock’s recent body of sculptures and installations is currently featured in her solo show, “I Want to Believe,” at Proto Gomez. Mock is a visual story teller who frequently mines in her work offbeat narratives from American history to question notions of authenticity and belief. For Art Spiel the artist elaborates on her exhibition and shares some ideas on her art.
The group show “Re-Orientations” at La Esquina in NYC features Samira Abbassy,Camille Eskell, Dhanashree Gdiyar, and Sheida Soleimani, 4 US based female artists who bring through figurative representation feminist perspectives rooted in the Near East and South Asia. The co-curators Natasha Stefanovic and Audra Lambert present these distinct feminist voices in context of “Orientalism,” the 1978 seminal and polemic book by renowned scholar Edward W. Said, a must read in Post-Colonial Culture Studies. Ranging formally from painting to embroidery, and thematically from identity to immigration, the images overall depict tragic and at times nostalgic moments rooted in the artists’ cultural background. Underscored with post-colonial sensibility, these intimate narratives humanize and defy the stereotype of what is “oriental.”
“Please Watch Your Head” reads a curious sign taped to the metal door of Ortega y Gasset Projects in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Opening the door I realize how this instruction is essential to navigate the jewel toned gauntlet of brick-a-brack curtains cascading from the ceiling in a slender corridor that leads to the main gallery space. Ben Pederson’s solo show “Some Stuff You Forgot About” represents two mature bodies of work which reveal the depth of Pederson’s philosophical approach, as well as the synergy between the artist and the curator Eleanna Anagnos.
Ashley Norwood Cooper is having a solo painting show at First Street Gallery in NYC. The show title, “The Likes of Us,” is taken from a line in “Waiting for Godot,” about the moon looking down on our ordinary lives. The first thing that caught my attention in Cooper’s work was the just right mix of raw quality and subtle sensibility to detail, depicting narratives that both intimate and universal. In this interview the artist talks about her process of painting from the imagination, her approach to color, and how she got to art.
Microscope Gallery, Underdonk, Transmitter, TSA New York, Studio 10, Amos Eno, The Border Project Space, Green Door Gallery, Scholes Street Studio
Microscope Gallery, Underdonk, Transmitter, TSA New York
Above are just a handful of hints and glimpses of notions of formal analogousness I noted among four quite different works by four different artists in four different excellent exhibits, all of which opened at the 1329 Willoughby building in Bushwick on the same night earlier this month.
At top left, an instant of a video involving a ‘vectorial world’ by Lisa Gwilliam & Ray Sweeten at Microscope Gallery . At top right, one of Amy Butowicz‘s amusingly alt-quotidian metamorphs in her bizarrely joyous solo show at Underdonk . This piece in particular seemed immediately suggestive of Humpty Dumpty’s pants, or The Penguin’s pants, or the pants worn by some bloviating politician in a parodical caricature by Daumier. I’m not sure if they’re supposed to be anything of the sort. I am sure I want pants, or I guess culottes, of just that sort. Moving along, the painting to which those pants, or maybe ‘pants,’ point is by Alessandro Keegan. It’s one of several strong works he’s showing in “Heed,” a winning two-person show at Transmitter that features also very strong work by Angela Hiesch . At bottom left, a sculpture that seemed to imply a distilled tincture of time frozen still in atemporal liquid motion, or something of such a strangely wordable sort, in “Object of Desire,” a large group show curated by Amanda Martinez at TSA .
Elena Soterakis is an artist and curator who has explored the intersection between art and science throughout her whole artistic practice. She shares with Art Spiel some background on BioBAT Art Space, her upcoming curatorial project with Jeannine Bardo, as well as some insight on her own artwork.