Artists on Coping: Rodney Dickson

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



Born in 1956 in Northern Ireland, Rodney Dickson grew up during the troubled years of civil disorder that engulfed that country. Having drawn and painted since childhood, he reacted to his early experience by considering the futility and hypocrisy of war through art. As time went by, he developed an interest in Vietnam and Cambodia where he researched and completed a number of art projects since 1992. There he witnessed the aftermath of conflict in its indiscriminately brutal form and it is from that point that his work proceeds.

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Artists on Coping: Alexandra (Alexi) Rutsch Brock

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

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Photo credit – Patricia Fabricant

Alexandra Rutsch Brock has exhibited in solo and group shows most recently at The Keck School at USC, CA, The Painting Center, NY, Village West Gallery, NJ and Misericordia University, PA. Her work has been featured in Studio Visit Magazine SV Vol44. Her recent co-curations include “HyperAccumulators” with Elizabeth Saperstein at Pelham Art Center, NY and “Among Friends” project with artists Patricia Fabricant and Beth Dary at the Clemente Center, NYC. She has been teaching art at New Rochelle High School since 1991, where she started the Visiting Artists Program with Scott Seaboldt, most recently hosting Susan Luss.

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Artists On Coping: Katelyn Alain

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


Abyss, 2020, in Alain’s studio

In her work, Katelyn Alain searches for new myths and archetypes that reflect the way we live now. She has been in solo and group shows throughout the United States, including Arcilesi Homberg Fine Art in New York, the Curtis Gallery in New Canaan, CT, the Skotia Gallery in Santa Fe, Thinkspace in Los Angeles, and the Dedee Shattuck Gallery in Westport, MA. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, American Art Collector Magazine, Studio Visit Magazine, and Juxtapoz. She was recently a guest lecturer/visiting artist at Brooklyn College and is represented by Marloe Gallery in Brooklyn.

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Museum as Muse at the Flatiron Project Space

Museum as Muse, Installation, Image courtesy of Leigh Behnke

A favorite experience of mine is to visit the Metropolitan Museum without a show or work of art in mind to see. I enjoy wondering the galleries until I come across something I had not noticed before and then spend the time looking and analyzing the work. This experience is likened to one I have recently had at “Museum as Muse”, a show curated by Leigh Behnke, consisting of works by the artist herself, Joe Fig and Peter Hristoff. The show is not at a sprawling Chelsea gallery or at a small, but relevant Lower East Side venue. It is tucked away within the confines of an academic institution, School of Visual Art, located on 21st Street in the SVA Flatiron Gallery Project Space. As the title suggests, all three artists have used the museum in some capacity as a starting point for their work.

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Controlled Entropy, Taher Jaoui at 81 Leonard Gallery

Taher Jaoui: Controlled Entropy installation view, photograph by Hannah Rozelle, photo courtesy of the artist

One might find Taher Jaoui introverted the moment meeting him. It might be less about an aloof temperament commonly found in an artist than a reserved and prudent character often associated with a science person. The way in which Jaoui’s artworks act out follows a similar interpersonal pattern. Those scratchy mathematics signs and formulas are the most prominent elements of the new series of monochrome paintings featured in Taher’s current solo exhibition Controlled Entropy at 81 Leonard Gallery, co-hosted by Uncommon Beauty Gallery. The juxtaposition of the handwritings of mathematical formulas and the gestural brushwork in an abstract expressionist manner not only prompts questions about Jaoui’s background, but also problematizes the hostile split between art and mathematics. Reminding viewers of a lecturer running a mathematical calculation across the blackboard with chalk, this series of paintings highlights the performative elements in mathematics, as well as the craft aspects of labor invested in this intellectual activity.

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Surface and Sky: Jeffrey Morabito at SFA Projects

Monstera Deliciosa Vase, 2019

Jeffrey Morabito’s show “Birds and Flowers, Vases and Windows” is beautiful and lush and draws you in. There are vibrant colors and wandering lines, rich passages that feel like small works unto themselves–secret gardens waiting to be discovered within each larger piece. But if there are elements that delight the eye, there are ideas that tease the mind. For running through his art and practice is a sense of duality and contradiction where opposites collide and play, posing gentle questions as they merge into new concepts and forms.

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Cartoon in a Cartoon Graveyard at Super Dutchess

In Dialogue with Andrew Woolbright

Installation view of Cartoon in a Cartoon Graveyard. Alex Kovacs, Fernando Pintado, Craig Taylor

Andrew Woolbright, a NY based artist, curator and founder of Super Dutchess, shares with Art Spiel the genesis of this lower east side art space, sheds some light on its key organizers, and describes the philosophy behind it. He elaborates on Cartoon in a Cartoon Graveyard, the 3-person current show that he has curated at the venue, with an upcoming reception on January 10th.

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‘Openings’ at Studio 10

Art Spiel in Dialogue with Larry Greenberg and Kate Teale

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Installation view

Kate Teale and Larry Greenberg have been exchanging art ideas for many years. Recently, their conversations have transformed into a fascinating collaboration, resulting in a two person painting show at Studio 10 in Bushwick. Larry Greenberg, the founder of Studio 10, and Kate Teale, a painter who has showed her work there regularly, share with Art Spiel how ‘Openings’ came about.

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Ashley Garrett – Painting Mind and Space

Ashley Garrette, Oread, 2019, oil on canvas, 13 x 17 in.

Ashley Garrett paints abstracted landscapes which resonate a sense of place – elusive and precise at the same time. Utilizing richer color and bolder gesture, Garrett ‘s recent body of work reveals an artist’s gaze inwards into a deeper psychological space. Ashley Garrett shared with Art Spiel her approach to painting and her upcoming projects.

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