Todd Bartel: an Omni-coupler

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Todd Bartel in front of Pollination of Devonia, (Synterial series), 2002, gallery talk, L(and) exhibition, Room 83, Watertown, MA, photo courtesy of Ellen Wineberg

Todd Bartel came to serious collage because of an assignment he received on the first day of his first class as a freshman at RISD. He recalls the desks were strewn with magazines, and as soon as the course started, Professor Hardu Keck gave the students a prompt, “Create five collages that work with the following sentence: Surrealism is the chance happening of finding an umbrella and a sewing machine on a dissecting table.” Keck did not mention he was quoting Andre Breton, who was quoting Comte de Lautréamont (Isidore Lucien Ducasse). He expected his students to work with the strangeness of visual combination and found imagery. That was Todd Bartel’s introduction to Surrealism and chance coupling. He fell in love with collage immediately, coming up with forty-five collages by the first week. One of the key elements that draws him to collage is that it can involve a vast array of analog and digital technologies. “I consider myself an Omni-coupler,” he says.

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Dream-Restart-Experience at PS122 Gallery

Annette Cords and Becky Brown In Conversation

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Dream-Restart-Experience Installation View, photo courtesy of Daniel AnTon Johnson

The two-person show Dream-Restart-Experience at PS122 features collaborative and individual works by Annette Cords and Becky Brown. The two artists’ collaboration resulted in a wallpaper using three original alphabets, and vinyl lettering mounted on the gallery windows. Cords’ tapestries interlace traditional weave structures with a twist—involving urban mark-making and found text. Brown’s paintings embody artifacts of online culture while questioning their value. The show runs through August 22nd, 2021.

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