Samira Abbassy: Hybrid Iconography

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Studio Portrait, 2016 at EFA Studios

Samira Abbassy’s paintings and drawings portray mysterious iconic figures, primarily female, who inhabit an ambiguous space. While her pictorial world resonates with archetypal imagery from eastern and western cultures, it equally pulsates with an urgent psychological core, creating an invigorating tension which prompts the viewer to search and discover rich layers for meaning.

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Ana Sophia Tristán: NaturalMente at Galería Matices in San José, Costa Rica

In Dialogue with Ana Sophia Tristán

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CO-VIDA, Acrylic on canvas, 2020, 48 x 35 inches

Costa Rican painter Ana Sophia Tristán was set to open her solo show NaturalMente in April, but as was the case with many art events scheduled for this year, the exhibition had to be postponed until further notice as a result of the pandemic. Fortunately by the end of September, Galería Matices – located within the halls of the historic Costa Rica Country Club, felt ready to revisit the task of mounting the emerging artist’s exhibition and Tristan was able to hold a socially-distanced vernissage in late October. NaturalMente had always planned to present paintings from her ongoing series of semi-surrealistic works of figures immersed in nature, but the several month delay allowed the artist to debut a few new pieces inspired by COVID-19 as well.

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Elizabeth Hazan at Turn Gallery

In Dialogue with Elizabeth Hazan

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Elizabeth Hazan, High Noon, 2020, oil on linen, 60” x 50” , photo: James Marcus-Wade

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.

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Diana Schmertz in Domestic Brutes at Pelham Art Center

In Dialogue with Diana Schmertz

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Diana Schmertz in front of America’s Social Contract at Novado Gallery. Laser cut watercolor painting on paper, 7 panels painted front & back, 28 x 16 inches each ©2017

Diana Schmertz has always been interested in systems that people create to organize what they perceive in the world around them — based in science, religion, psychology, philosophy or politics. The artist says that no matter how cerebral a system or an idea may appear, it is always experienced through our physical senses and in order to communicate balance between reason and senses, she paints imagery of the body expressing emotional understanding juxtaposed with systems of verbal and/or mathematical reasoning. In Domestic Brutes, the women group show at Pelham Art Center Diana Schmertz shows a painting installation. Her virtual artist talk hosted by PAC is scheduled for October 8th.

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Artists on Coping: Dasha Bazanova

During the Coronavirus pandemic, Art Spiel is reaching out to artists to learn how they are coping.


What To Where When, September 2019, burnt wood installation in progress,
@Gridspace gallery

Dasha Bazanova was born in Arkhangelsk, Russia right before the collapse of the Soviet Union. As a child she spent most of her time at her grandparents’ farm in a small village called Kulikovo. In 2004 she moved to Moscow where she got her Master’s Degree in 2011 at the Moscow State University of International Relations. In 2012 she moved to New York. She earned an MFA at Long Island University in 2014, and in the intervening years she has shown extensively all across the United States.Her artwork is inspired by her childhood memories and Russian folklore, but with an ironic 21st Century twist. She lives and works in Bushwick, NY. Her work is currently featured in The Making of… at Art Port Kingston, which has just reopened again for visits during weekends.

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Artists on Coping: Susan Mastrangelo

During the Coronavirus pandemic, Art Spiel is reaching out to artists to learn how they are coping.

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Susan Mastrangelo

Susan Mastrangelo was born and raised in New York City and Washington D.C. She studied at the Kansas City Art Institute and the New York Studio School, and received her MFA from Boston University under the tutelage of Philip Guston. Based in New York since graduate school, she has shown nationally and internationally, and is a recipient of a Rockwell Grant as well as two grants from the Pollock Krasner Foundation. She has been a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome, a guest at Civitella Raneri, and a resident at Yaddo, The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, The Ragdale Foundation, The Triangle Workshop (as a student of Anthony Caro), and the Tyrone Guthrie Center. For 27 years she taught and chaired the Art Department at the Buckley School in New York City, and now works as a full time multidisciplinary artist at the Can Factory in Gowanus, Brooklyn.

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Artists on Coping: Hallie Cohen

During the Coronavirus pandemic, Art Spiel is reaching out to artists to learn how they are coping.


Hallie Cohen at the American Academy in Rome working on Mi Ricordo III,ink on yupo paper, 60” x 144”. Photo by Francis Levy.

Hallie Cohen is a New York-based visual artist and curator. She is a Professor of Art, and Director of the Hewitt Gallery of Art at Marymount Manhattan College. Her subjects are topographies of real or imagined places, which toggle between abstraction and unreliable narration. Cohen explores natural phenomena, using the instability of the water-based medium to investigate the dynamic between chance and control and between conscious and unconscious thought processes. She has curated over 30 exhibits which explore science, psychology, neurology, politics, and the environment. She has recently had a virtual artist talk about her work.

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Artists on Coping: Tamar Zinn

During the Coronavirus pandemic, Art Spiel is reaching out to artists to learn how they are coping.

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Behind Closed Eyes 19, 2019 / 33 x 28” / oil on panel

Tamar Zinn is a New York based artist whose work reflects the primacy of intuitive sensory experiences. Both painting and drawing are integral to her studio practice. Recent projects include a solo exhibition, At the still point, at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, NYC, a 3-person exhibit, Thinking Sequentially at Key Projects, NYC and curating Explorations in Line at Garrison Art Center. Zinn’s work is in collections throughout the US, including Citibank, Fidelity, IBM, McKinsey, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and NYU-Langone Medical Center.

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Artists on Coping: Ashley Norwood Cooper

During the Coronavirus pandemic, Art Spiel is reaching out to artists to learn how they are coping.

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Easter Eggs, 2020, oil on linen, 80” x 72”

Ashley Norwood Cooper’s paintings are intensely colored, painterly figurative work, exploring the creative lives of women, the awkwardness of family relationships, and the schizophrenic role of the artist-mother-wife teacher. She has exhibited in solo and group exhibits throughout the US including First Street Gallery (NYC) and ZINC contemporary (Seattle). Her work has been featured in New American Paintings and on the I Like Your Work Podcast. Her recent debut at VOLTA NYC 2020 garnered write ups in the NY Times and Arcade Projects Zine (Columbia University).

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Artists on Coping: Barbara Friedman

During the coronavirus pandemic, Art Spiel is reaching out to artists to learn how they are coping.


Barbara Friedman in front of “Hard Rain” at the opening of “Hauntings”, February 29th, 2020, at Five Myles Gallery, Brooklyn. The show was supposed to be up through March but closed after a week due to the pandemic. Photo from the Bogliasco Foundation’s weekly newsletter courtesy of Arielle Moreau.

Barbara Friedman makes painterly paintings of unreliable narrators in scenarios that are unsettling both narratively and formally. She has had thirty-six solo shows throughout the United States, and reviews of her work have appeared in the New York Times, the New York Sun, The Irish Times, Newsday, Art in America, ARTS Magazine, and Artweek. A group of Friedman’s paintings were selected for the 2007 issue of New American Paintings, and another group for the 2010 issue. She lives, paints, and teaches in New York City, where she has been a professor of art at Pace University since 1983.

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