Arthur Peña: Attempts
March 5 - 11, 2019
Spring/Break Art Show 2019, booth W12, New York, NY
Art saved Arthur Peña’s life. The Dallas native grew up in Oak Cliff, a brutal neighborhood subject to crime, gang violence, and the untimely death of many of his peers. His gratitude at being alive is deeply imbued in the work. Peña’s paintings take time, and their intense, neon vibrancy emanates a kind of joy that celebrates life itself. The process is intuitive: elements and compositions are culled from personal images and scenes or ideas that have become burned into his mind and can’t seem to escape. Each painting is a kind of dramatic unfolding and revealing, injected with a dynamic gestural energy that is echoed by the saturated hues of paint. Wildly human, both personal and universal; his 'Attempts' capture moments and feelings that he is both witness to and storyteller of: some directly tied to his life and some with an empathetic projection of experiences not just his own.
Catalogue Essay for Amber Boardman's Character Study
Ryan Michael Ford featuring Eliot Greenwald
March 6 - 12, 2018
Spring/Break Art Fair 2018, New York, NY
The paintings of Ryan Michael Ford take you on a surreal, humorous romp through space and time with crazy creatures performing banal tasks. Interacting with these mysteriously elevated, otherworldly forms of being induces viewers into contemplation of their own wild ride as human beings. The "smart and offbeat presentation" (Scott Indrisek, Artsy) was selected in Artsy's 8 Highlights from the Spring/Break Art Show, and featured on Hyperallergic, Artnews, and Kenny Schachter's Artnet round-ups of the fair.
One Night Stand, co-curated with Ryan Michael Ford
Monica Cook, Andy Cross, Julie Curtiss, Peter Demos, Ryan Michael Ford, Ben Godward, Eliot Greenwald, Chris Held, Roxanne Jackson, Aaron Johnson, Sam Keller, Hein Koh, Taylor Mckimens, Matthew Miller, Sarah Alice Moran, Rebecca Ness, Nathan Ritterpusch, Rachael Senchoway, Nikita Shoshensky, Summer Wheat, Alex Yudzon
June 24 - July 24, 2017
W Hotel Residences Downtown, New York, NY
Join us for a One Night Stand at the W hotel. Curated by Brigitte Mulholland and Ryan Michael Ford, the exhibition is a selection of seductive artworks that tempt and tease the viewer. Warning: this show may induce strong feelings of connection and leave all parties involved yearning for one more night of togetherness...
Eleanor King and Daniel Gerwin
June 1 - July 8, 2017
326 Gallery, New York, NY
Daniel Gerwin and Eleanor King share a defiant approach to making art. Traditional modes of representation are tossed aside, rejecting the classic canvas, and calling on viewers to remove any preconceived notions of the image. The implications of the “white walls” of a gallery space and their subsequent meaning in a traditional art historical narrative becomes the fuel for their fire of alternate possibilities in art making.
Daniel Gerwin paints on wooden shapes he carves by hand. His painting technique on these shapes seemingly continues in a traditional painterly narrative, yet finds new moments and possibilities. His technical mastery of the medium becomes a subtle tool for subversion, and the artist utilizes radically different hanging heights and installations of his work that mirrors the bold nature of the objects themselves. Eleanor King’s monumental text paintings make the wall and space itself her canvas and medium, tossing viewers into a direct and unexpected relationship with her work. King layers words on top of each other, insisting that the viewer pause and decipher the phrases. Complementing this is the work's sheer size: it is physically much larger than the viewer. Engagement is non-negotiable. The result is an engrossing sort of call to arms.
In “Dimensions Variable,” there is both a mental and physical relationship to the viewer—insisted upon by the artists—that makes the exhibition both a nourishing and challenging experience. The current political climate is naturally embedded in their work; it seems impossible for this not to be the case. The two-- through Gerwin’s rejection of traditional canvas and hanging techniques, and King’s monumental installations--demand a true reckoning with their art, with life, and with the meaning and consequences of making, installing, and seeing in our time. Anyone present and looking is (and must), as King’s largest work in the exhibition states, undermine everything.
Jerry Blackman: Undone Yin Yang
April 19 – May 21, 2017
Cuchifritos Gallery, New York, NY
Cuchifritos Gallery is pleased to present Undone Yin Yang, an installation of new work by Jerry Blackman curated by Brigitte Mulholland. Featuring a suite of drawings and a series of wall and freestanding sculptures, the exhibition continues Blackman’s exploration of archetypal themes and binaries. The installation functions simultaneously as both a singular work, and an aggregate of discrete objects.
Blackman’s ongoing Disk series, begun in 2014, involves a complex and labor-intensive technique of extruding partially set plaster through rigid stencils that are designed to break. His material and process-oriented practice yields sculptures that become metaphors for the metaphysical themes organizing our spiritual universe. That brief moment of time where the plaster is in an unstable state—neither solid nor liquid—takes on symbolism for the cosmic balance of chaos and order, embodying a kind of non-dualistic state of transcendence.
A series of circular floor sculptures are extensions of these wall works, arranged to suggest a latent energy: elements waiting to be activated. As Blackman uses and reuses the mold to cast them, traces of detritus from previous castings become integral, unforeseen moments in new works; the various logos and material markings that appear in the sculptures are subtle artifacts of their origins. And yet, for the all of the apparent emphasis on an objective geometry, the rigor and physicality of Blackman’s sculptures and process also make them deeply personal and self-reflective.
His new series of black and white graphite drawings are diptychs, each displaying circuits of contradicting terminals that are completed with the partner drawing. Further resolution of those diametric forces manifests in the gray color that covers the gallery. Blackman’s formal pairing of opposites—black and white, horizontal and vertical—are referencing the sculptures too, nodding to the larger process of mixing water and plaster dust (at a 50/50 ratio) to make them.
Like a closed circuit cosmogram that articulates its own materiality, everything in the exhibition is a holistic reference to itself and to the other works. Inspired by elements of Buddhism and Vipassana meditation, the binaries Blackman conjures —man and woman, front and back, internal and external, flat and round (to name a few)— manifest across multiple works and channels. The installation becomes a complex system of circuits that are superimposed on one another, referencing, mirroring, and balancing their own tensions, yet never quite resolving them either, thus remaining in a perpetual state of energetic incompletion.
Struck Off Center
Jeff Fichera, Dan Gratz, Emily Hass, Clinton King, Raphael Zollinger, Vidvuds Zviedris
February 12 - March 19, 2017
Lesley Heller Workspace, New York, NY
The sound of a bell
struck off center
vanishes in haze
Struck off Center unites six artists who engage with the ephemeral. Working in painting, printmaking, and mixed media, they share an interest in the transitory and ethereal, creating works that engage with the inevitability of change and the passage of time: uncovering and chasing those fleeting in-between spaces we occupy. Whether tracing memory through architecture, dissolving painted surfaces that play with light and shadow, or creating ghostly prints from old, degraded photographs, their practices summon sensations of the impermanence that is fundamental to the human condition. To invoke the ephemeral is to indicate, at best; each moment we experience always slightly beyond us and our mind’s grasp. The works in this exhibition reveal aspects of our perceptual world that cannot be defined or captured. They reveal dreamy, mysterious states and shimmering sensations that are never quite one singular, fixed thing but rather evocative of various phenomenological experiences.
Jeff Fichera’s rigorous observational paintings are records of the fleeting effects of light on holographic gift paper. A small square of a single sheet offers almost infinite possibilities and iterations, as a subtle shift in where a beam of light hits, or where the observer is standing, creates an entirely different landscape of abstracted color for Fichera to capture and masterfully translate. The paintings themselves even seem to shimmer and transform with a subtle change in viewpoint.
Dan Gratz paints ethereal cloudscapes that transcend place and time, transporting the viewer into an intangible sphere of otherworldliness. Evoking dreamstates and even wisps of higher cosmic orders, the paintings are imbued with the traditions of landscape painting yet offer more imaginative outcomes.
Emily Hass uses found paper materials as her platform on which to explore elements of architecture and cultural memory. Her “Exiles” series is drawn from historical blueprints of the homes of persecuted artists and intellectuals in 1930s Germany. By outlining an actual, physical structure that was an important part in the lives of real people, the work rides tension between the monumental and the impermanent, and contemplates the fragility of life and the seemingly durable things we build.
Clinton King’s work weaves imagery based on loose Jungian theoretical suggestion with crisp painterly abstractions whose spectral presence defies obvious conclusion. Shrouded in ambiguity, his paintings offer glimpses into the possibilities at play in deeper states of consciousness.
Raphael Zollinger’s aluminum prints are partially sourced and inspired from personal photographs of the artist and his family’s archives. The degradation of both memory and their material manifestations--photographs--invoke the tenuousness of our existence and the futility of our desire to capture, stop, and hold time against the utter inevitability of its march forward.
Vidvuds Zviedris’s paintings are deeply personal meditations on both painting itself and the human condition, offered to viewers as an opportunity for their own introspective contemplation. His extensive worldwide travels here manifest in intuitive, richly colored works that defy culture and borders, focusing instead on the dynamic and mysterious interior lives we all experience.
This Strange Game
Rachel Beach, John Bjerklie, Matt Blackwell, Craig Drennen, Clinton King, Eleanor King, Joel Mellin, Nick Mullins, Caleb Nussear, John O'Connor, Peter Schenck, and Raphael Zollinger
January 15 - 31, 2016
a pop-up exhibition in Chelsea's Landmark Arts Building, sponsored by Fine Art Frameworks
This Strange Game unites twelve artists working in painting, sculpture, drawing, and printmaking in an exploration of the anomalous, elusive, and unforeseen. Anomalies deviate from the normal and expected. They betray logical systems, effectively demanding the reassessment of assumed integrity and reason. As such, anomalies are improbable, destabilizing, and undeniableappearing as revelatory aberrations, altering direction and expanding contexts. This Strange Game grapples with aspects of creative practice that manifest themselves as distinctly anomalous, finding instances where playing odd games in seemingly foundationless moments advance unpredictable outcomes: moments where risk, reward, peripheral surprise and immediacy manifest themselves as sheer and exposed vitality. The artists in the exhibition assert toward the unanticipated, the uncanny, and the unannounced in their works, revealing fresh values, uncovering new contagions waiting to break, and redeeming or reclaiming a previously unrecognized sense of something original.