News Archive
HyperAccumulators - 1/18-3/23/19

January 18, 2019 - March 23, 2019
Curated by Alexandra Rutsch Brock and Elizabeth Saperstein

Christian Bazant-Hegemark, Joseph Fucigna, Valerie Hegarty, Cary Hulbert, Lina Puerta, Erika Ranee, Dorothy Robinson, Denise Sfraga and Jeanne Tremel.

Reception: Friday, January 18, 6:30-8pm

HyperAccumulators, a group exhibition that considers how contemporary artists explore connections between nature, toxicity, and the potential for regeneration. The show is inspired by imagery and stories about “hyperaccumulators” – plants capable of growing in soils with very high concentrations of metals.

“I feel like we have become HyperAccumulators dealing with the everyday environmental and political climate we are living in,” says curator Alexandra Brock. “The artists are taking in all this – and helping us return to a better state.”

Loaded in their use of color, surface and materials, the paintings, sculpture, mixed-media and site-specific works in HyperAccumulators engulf the galleries in a vibrant, lush, and futuristic landscape.

In The Bardo

November 30 - December 21

With Yasmeen Abdallah, Hilary Alison, Lauren Bierly, Alexi Brock, Mary DeVincentis, Mike Estabrook, Brian George, Julie Hair, Alexis Karl, Amanda Kopp, Kristen Leonard, Davi Leventhal, Leslie Lowe, Moira McCaul, Stacy Miller, Manju Shandler, Melissa Staiger, and Joyce Yamada.

VIEWING HOURS: Fridays 4:00 - 7:00pm
Saturdays +Sundays 2:00 - 5:00pm

Examining the liminal state between death and rebirth, as expressed primarily in the Bardo Thodol, known in the West as the Tibetan Book of the Dead. The bardo will be explored as an opportunity for liberation, as a source of danger, as a transition or transcendence.

ABC No Rio in Exile at 519 Evergreen Avenue
519 Evergreen Avenue (bet. Putnam + Cornelia)
Brooklyn, NY

*Live screenprinting at the opening! Bring your own t-shirt or tote bag!*

Exhibition supported in part by the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and the William Talbot Hillman Foundation.

Civil Discourse - Kibbee Gallery, Atlanta, GA

But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized - at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do - it's important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.
Barack Obama
Civil Discourse creates a visual dialogue challenging us to move beyond the historical and current divisiveness of red state/blue state politics and the turmoil our country is presently experiencing.  
NYC and Atlanta artists, each pursuing a studio practice that connects in surprising ways,shift the present angry and finger-pointing discussions to one that finds common ground. Unbeknownst to these artists, the works they create are in conversation with each other.  Many works are not mirror images and their relationship to one another might not be immediately evident. Civil Discourse connects these artists through imagery, treatment of subject matter, materials, technique or concept and celebrates the collective dialogue discovered in their art.

Insomnia - Julia Schwartz

Julia Schwartz mentions INSOMNIA in this powerful converstation with Mary Addison Hackett.
MAH recently caught up with Julia Schwartz on the occasion of Schwartz’s show, “tenderly cradled and lavishly flung” at Los Angeles Visitor Welcome Center, a gallery on W. 7th Street in LA. A few days later they had a frank dialogue through text messaging about family tragedy, the role of biography in understanding an artist’s work, grief, and how we process life through art.  Schwartz says her chief concern is to be “an honest painter….Not necessarily a technically good painter, but honest.”

Solo Show in Los Angeles!

Thrilled and honored to be showing my work "Paths Of Life" inspired by my Patent Ductus Arteriosus surgery in 1973. I will be speaking with Dr. Enrique Ostrzega -Assoc. Professor of Clinical Medicine and Chair of the Year II Cardiovascular System at Keck School of Medicine.

Chain Reaction at the Painting Center

The Painting Center is pleased to present Chain Reaction in the Main Gallery and Project Room. This exhibition introduces a novel idea in curation by asking each Painting Center member to invite artists from their respective community to show one work. Chain Reaction explores those selections and its progression with various similarities and disparities consequential of the chain reaction. In their curated selections, members brought together a broad range of artists each with their own distinct studio practice. By combining more than 100 artists working in diverse styles and media, a chain reaction is created between selected artists, members, and viewers who experience the exhibition. A subliminal connection takes place between artists working in community, and this dialogue sparks new dynamics and visual concepts.

Artists include: Rebecca Allan, Claudine Anrather, Mary Anne Arntzen, Liz Atlas, Len Bellinger, Henry Bermudez, Pamela Blum, Cole Bourgeois, Alexi Brock, Mona Brody, Petey Brown, Eric Brown, Kenneth Browne, Steven Cabral, Melissa Capasso, Marc Cheetham, Bryan Christie, Rachel Citrino, Hallie Cohen, Sarah D'Ambrosio, Kevin Daly, Michael David, Susan A. Davis, Meredith Fife Day, Mary Devincentis, Kate Doyle, Olivia Drusin, Michael Ensminger, Camilla Fallon, Pamela Farrell, David Fratkin, Lorrie Fredette, Daniel John Gadd, Henry Glavin, Alyce Gottesman, Elizabeth Gourlay, Rima Grad, Ed Grant, Kyle Hackett, Kelley Harwood, Hannah Heinrich, Paula Heisen, Molly Herman, Ileana Hernandez, Sherri Hornbrook, Maia Ibar, Earl Iselin, Christina Kee, Xico Greenwald, Zachary Keeting, Anki King, Jim Langley, Aleya Lehmann, Emilie Lemakis, Janice Lessman-Moss, Sam Levy, Beñat Iglesias López, Lucia Love, Adam Lovitz, Kathryn Lynch, Jodie Manasevit, Michelle Marcuse, Andrea Myers, Curtis Miller, Thomas Minor, John Mitchell, Lizbeth Mitty, Katy Mixon, Katherine Mojzsis, Matt Murphy, Andrea Myers, Karen Nielsen-Fried, Jared Oppenheim, Ted Ormai, Paula Overbay, Victoria Pacimeo, Patricia Zinsmeister Parker, Cheryl Paswater, Uta Patinkin, Cade Pemberton, Lisa Pressman, Ben Pritchard, Susi Raphael, Elizabeth Reagh, Marcelle Reinecke, Rachel Rickert, Marybeth Rothman, Jo Ann Rothschild, Joanie Ryan, Thomas Sarrantonio, Roxanne Faber Savage, Sarah Schuster, Denise Sfraga, Christopher Shore, Niki Singleton, Christine Stiver, Sandra Stone, Michelle Stone, Rosemary Taylor, Dominic Terlizzi, Dora Tomulic, David Ubias, Kathleen Vaccaro, Marianne Van Lent, Marie Vickerilla, Emily Vigil, Barbara Weiss, Frankie Wright, Liz Yamin and Jacobie Zaretsky.


Near To You - Jan. 19 - Mar. 24, 2018 - Pelham Art Center

click to download catelog

Every two years since 2001, the Pelham Art Center presents an artist with a solo exhibition and award in honor of the late abstract expressionist painter and Art Center supporter Alexander Rutsch. As the national, juried competition has expanded, so has the talented number of participants. Recognizing this, thematic group shows inspired by the work of many of the competition’s finalists have become a happy and serendipitous outcome. This is the case in Near To You, a group show of portraiture that includes several paintings by Jenny Dubnauand over 20 miniature paintings and sculptures by Donna Festa, two finalists from the 2017 competition. Rounding out the show is Washington, D.C.-based painter and former award juror Tim Doud; Brooklyn artists and friends, John Mitchelland Heather Morgan; and the Los Angeles-based self-taught artist and former psychotherapist Julia Schwartz. What unites the work – and the artists – is that the paintings are equally as about capturing the nature of the subjects as they are about showing the expressive nature of paint. 
Oh so near to you, always near to you
Even now it seems we're face to face

Even now. Let those two words sink in. The exhibition title is inspired by Nina Simone’s taunting version of the Adler-Ross show tune, from Damn Yankees. Simone’s imperfect, intimate and supremely intelligent phrasing certainly imparts the meaning with elements of time, stretching and expanding, as well as physicality and presence. Portraiture, intentionally or not, is an exploration of the passing of time. In Near To You, the interior dramas of lives lived is in play. What where they thinking? What where they seeing? What were they feeling? Whatever it is that haunts us is going to come through: the journey through the heart and soul of personal history.
Method does meddle with message. Tim Doud and John Mitchell paint from direct observation, and both self-portraits took several years to complete. Doud’s “Blue,” comprised of 30 individual paintings hung in a grid, is wholly staged and conceptualized – the shirts and eyewear acquired and donned exclusively for the serial portraits. Strict parameters in place, the artist is free to meditate, perhaps on paint and color and brushwork, perhaps on mood and feeling. Mitchell’s stoic self-portrait is explicitly transformative; it’s a painting that feels like a sculpture that has endured the battering elements, from cold wind and rain to the heat and blare of the sun. 
Jenny Dubnau has her subjects (or herself) sit for photographic sessions. Her realistic portraits then use photographs as references, so here we have the most forward example of the often-discussed relationship between photography and realistic portrait painting. The camera, which has the inimitable ability to capture in-between or unseen moments, may account for the enigmatic facial expressions and body language. Heather Morgan and Donna Festa also work from photographs but to different effect. Morgan’s work leans toward the intensity associated with the cinematic and performance. In her brushwork, some of the “cultivated hysteria” and nod to narcissism on display in the artist’s self-portrait in the show is evident. Flaw and mistakes go hand and hand with beauty and pain; it’s part of the drama and teeming with life, unhinged as it may be.  
Festa’s tiny oil paintings and sculptures simultaneously honor individuals she has personally known and/or observed, but at the same time sublimate them into a gentle anonymity. Here, the subject is not so much the individual but the overall human condition, the “story of us,” before we fade to black. Finally, if the best portraiture is supposed to show something of the character of the subject, where does that leave abstraction? Think for a minute of Frida Kahlo’s surreal mise-en-scenes or Francis Bacon’s twisted and paranoid faces, and then tap into your own ability to free-form envision altered states. Julia Schwartz does not paint a particular individual to study or assume we know, but rather, a whole colorful jangle of mental activity loosely pulled together in abstract heads that hint at shifting psychological states. 
It’s worth noting that despite the onslaught of selfies and Snapchat, organizations with as disparate aims and clientele as the Salmagundi Club and D/Railed magazine are having relevant discussions on the current state of figurative painting and portraiture; portraiture makes up a huge portion of museum holdings, evidenced most recently by the Whitney’s year-long exhibition of its portrait collection. We are so pleased to present the artists in Near To You, who through their own varied takes on the portrait, contribute mightily to this venerable art form. 
Alexi Rutsch Brock and Elizabeth Saperstein
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