Erika Ranee – Wired for Bold

Erika Ranee, You’re Your Own You, 2018, ink and crayon on paper, 12”x 12”

The tension between “inside” and “outside” in Erika Ranee’s paintings draw you into an enclosed space with an explosive and rhythmic internal movement. The vibrant colors, organic shapes, and linear marks that link the forms like veins, altogether resonate with living organisms, body, or microscopic landscapes. The artist shares with Art Spiel what brought her to art, her thought and work processes, as well as her current projects.

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The Bold Women of Elvira Bach

Elvira Bach, Untitled, 1982, Acrylic on paper, 88 x 62 cm | 34 2/3 x 24 1/2 in,

In the context of the global feminist art of today there are a few trailblazers who continue to work and dazzle with their exuberance. Immediacy and mastery of visual resolution signal such fast-paced and intuitive artists. German-born Elvira Bach is one of them. Bach has created a striking painterly style that catches the eye and stimulates further contemplation. For a viewer, Bach’s expressiveness establishes an immediate and deep bond with the traditions of the German Expressionism, embodying in her paintings the Expressionists’ core principle – namely, depicting the artist’s inherent conflicts within the society and within herself. For Elvira Bach urgency of expression, empathy, and visual projection of deep inner strength are important attributes.

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Rachael Wren – Shimmers and Hums

Rachael Wren, Defenders, 2017, oil on linen, 48 x 48 inches. Photo by Bill Orcutt

Rachael Wren’s delicate paintings pulsate with repetitive brush strokes that both allure you to look closely at the elaborate geometric surfaces and at the same time pull you into mysterious psychological interiors or perhaps cosmic fields. Her grid structure serves as an anchor for the paint /space- anchoring facilitates a greater freedom of movement and flow within. The artist shares with Art Spiel her ideas on color, painting, and studio process.

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A Visit with Nancy Baker

Baker working with laser cut wood

Nancy Baker’s art is colorful and bright, with filigree shapes that fuse, multiply and pulse outward in vibrant, sweeping waves. Individually the panels seem molecular and scientific; layered together they suggest vast networks and digital flow, yet clearly are the work of an artist’s hand. The eye zooms in and picks out familiar details–a candy wrapper, a takeout tray–then moves out again to appreciate the larger whole.

Panel in Baker’s Studio (full and detail images)
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Lizbeth Mitty & Dana James: The Thread

at M. DAVID & CO. GALLERY extended thru APRIL 21st, 2019 and an artist talk on April 14th at 4PM with Lilly Wei

Lizbeth Mitty in her studio. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Dana James in her studio. Photo courtesy of Drew Reynolds

I met with rising talent artist Dana James and her mother, veteran NYC artist Lizbeth Mitty, prior to their joint exhibition, “The Thread,” which opened March 15th at M. David & Co. Gallery in Bushwick. It was late February, and the artists were trying to answer the lingering question: Which new works should we display?

The debate was an extension of a conversation that had been running for months. Throughout the creative process, alone in their respective studios, the artists had frequently exchanged feedback on works in progress, eschewing criticism for constructive, “technical” suggestions that served to “open the floodgates” and renew the other’s creative energy.

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Nota Bene with @postuccio [iv]

Knockdown Center, Orgy Park, CLEARING

Knockdown Center

Wonderfully striking in bright luminosities, diagonal analogousness, situational room-to-room parallels, transporting suggestiveness and subtly warmed circumstantial frigidities are the two installations ‘contained,’ in a way, by “A Continuous Stream of Occurrence,” an exhibition that opened a few weeks ago at Maspeth gem The Knockdown Center . 

At top is Luba Drozd‘s room. It both looks and sounds like a veritable spatial knot of brilliantly site-specific polyphonia involving significant degrees of multidisciplinarity, multimateriality and strata within circumstantial strata of shadow-play. It’s a tough but fun knot to look at and into, and listen closely to, to begin to untie just how it works with totality and relative simplicity, though not in ways simplistic in the least. 

Rather than necessarily site-specific or sonic, the active state of William Lamsom‘s installation in the adjacent gallery is like that of a shimmering, gradually phase-changing antechamber to Drozd’s comparative cavern; they scan instantly as visually coherent in many satisfying and still individualizable ways. Entering Lamsom’s room alone is like stumbling into an abandoned research lab in a yearless future. Seeing the rooms in tandem is like being dropped in some nicely mysterious nook on Krypton and having no idea why.

Great installations, great show. Curated by a duo going by the ‘name’ XP (@xaviacarin & @parkcmyers). 

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Ethereal Anaesthetic

Joanne Ungar at Front Room Gallery

All Photos by Sharilyn Neidhardt

Joanne Ungar at Front Room, partial installation view

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”

Joanne Ungar: Pain Relief

Joanne Ungar, Modern Muse, 59″x48”, wax, board, paint, pigment, 2019, photo courtesy of © 2018 + 2019 Joanne Ungar

In recent years Joanne Ungar has transformed found boxes into translucent paintings by embedding them in layers of wax. The forms are abstracted, but the narrative is evident. These beautiful objects carry the burden of their histories – boxes of pain killers, packages of cosmetics, or chocolate wraps. While their vibrant pigments may encapsulate broken dreams and their origin most likely resonates waste, their sheer alchemy uplifts. Joanne Ungar talks with Art Spiel about “Pain Relief,” her current solo show at Front Room Gallery, which just opened in March 1st, 2019. She also elaborates on her process and some of her forming experiences as an artist.

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Galen Cheney: Gritty Beauty

Galen Cheney, Light Falls, textile color, acrylic, and oil pastel on raw canvas, 40 x 36″, 2018, photo courtesy of the artist

In her bold abstracted paintings Galen Cheney often layers multiple media such as textile color, spray paint, oil pastel, acrylic, and collage to create complex images. Her paintings brings to mind a crossing between graffiti and abstract expressionism with a distinct sense of immediacy and gestural mark making. Galen Cheney shares with Art Spiel some of her background, ideas, and process.

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HyperAccumulators at Pelham Art Center

All photos courtesy of Alexandra Brock

Jeanne Tremel

Artist Talk: “HyperAccumulators”

Sat March 2nd from 2-4PM at Pelham Art Center

Hyperaccumulators are plants capable of growing in soils with very high concentrations of metals and are known for extracting contaminants; thus, helping the ecosystem. This duality of destruction and restoration underscores “HyperAccumulators” – the current vibrant group show at Pelham Art Center. In their upcoming artist talk, curators Alexandra Brock and Elizabeth Saperstein will lead the panel on how contemporary artists interpret connectivity between nature, toxicity, and possible regeneration. And not merely in nature. As curator Alexandra Brock says, “we have become ‘HyperAccumulators’ dealing with the everyday environmental and political climate we are living in. The artists are taking in all this- and helping us return to a better state.”

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