CO / BKLYN HALF DROP
Featuring: Benny Merris Christopher Ho Craig Taylor Flair Robinson Gabrielle Dâ€™Angelo Kim Faiella Furrh Maya Arthur Meghan Petras Melvin Strawn Meredith Nemirov Phyllis Rider Stephen Truax Vilas Tonape Vince Contarino
CO/BKLYN HALF DROP Abstract Works on Paper Opening September 4th, 2014 Reception 5-8PM Gallery 81435 230 South Fir Street, Telluride, CO 970.728.3930 www.telluridearts.org
The Telluride Arts District is a certified Colorado Creative District.
CO / BKLYN HALF DROP CO/BKLYN HALF DROP is an invitational group show of abstract works on paper curated by Meredith Nemirov. This exhibit features the work of 14 artists, seven from Colorado with one from each of the first Colorado Certified Creative Districts and seven from Brooklyn, NY. Each artistâ€™s work will be represented by ten abstract unframed works on paper, which include collage, painting, drawing, and printmaking. The installation of these works follows a French textile design that was widely used in the 1800â€™s to hang wallpaper. The halfdrop patterns repeat at the ceiling on every other strip and the direction tends to run diagonally, like a checkerboard. The Telluride Arts District embraces both regional and global artists and their combined work contributes to the dynamic culture of the arts. Connections between Telluride and Brooklyn are numerous and this exhibit unites communities across both state and country. The exhibit runs through September 29th.
BENNY MERRIS Benny Merris’ sensibility is as organic and fluid as it is rigorous, as filled with wonder as it is informed by a sense of scientific reason, and it consistently navigates between such positions, seeing them not as oppositional, but naturally and intimately connected. Take Merris’ interest in pearlescence, for example: he doesn’t simply seek to mimic the shifting spectral color and luster of pearls, but to connect to it more generatively and energetically. Pearls are produced when a mollusk reacts to the temporary inconvenience of a foreign body such as a piece of sand by coating it in nacre. When we view the calcium carbonate compound, built up in successive layers around the grit, it interferes with certain wavelengths of light to produce iridescence. Merris similarly introduces uncertainty in his experimentation with color, building sensations that are dynamic and structural through layering, masking, sanding, and staining the surfaces of
the panels and paper he works on. He learns from unexpected occurrences, flowing with them, smoothing out rough edges. A similar perceptual connection exists in the color gradients that Merris seems to draw from sunrises or sunsets, even if the blended gradients he creates suggest an otherworldly spectrum. The diffuse, geometric patterns that animate his paintings’ surfaces alternately seem to cohere with and diverge from crystalline regularity, mining crystals’ repetitive structure and emergent, dimensional depth. Benny Merris (b.1978) lives in Brooklyn, NY. Solo exhibitions include Kunsthal Rotterdam; Jeff Bailey Gallery; ltd los angeles; Cokkie Snoei, Rotterdam; Societé, Berlin; and The Project Room, Glasgow and Gallery Diet, Miami (upcoming, fall 2014). His work was recently included in Outside the Lines, at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; and in Element, Rudiments, and Principles, Boston University Art Gallery. He was an artistin-residence at the Banff Centre in 2012. Merris received a BA from the University of Massachusetts, Boston in 2002 and an MFA from the Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland in 2007.
CHRISTOPHER HO Hong Kong-born Christopher K. Ho employs diverse formats to explore often-invisible social forces implicating contemporary art from New York, where he works. His solo show Demoiselles dâ€™Avignon (2013, Y Gallery, New York) refracted Western abstraction through the eyes of a future class of refined Chinese princelings, while Privileged White People (2013, Forever & Today, New York) examined the sensibility of artists who grew up during the affluent Clinton presidency. He has had solo exhibitions at Winkleman Gallery (2010, 2008) in New York; FJORD (2013) in Philadelphia; and at Galeria EDS (2009) in Mexico City. His work has been reviewed in the New York Times, Art in America, Modern Painters, Artforum, and ArtReview. He participated in the Incheon Biennial (2009), the Chinese Biennial Beijing (2008), and the Busan Bienniale (2008), and recently was included in group shows at Storm King Art Center (2013) and the Cranbrook Art Museum (2011), where he taught as the Critical Studies Fellow in 2010. He graduated from Cornell University and Columbia University, and teaches part time at RISD. He visits Telluride frequently.
DESCRIPTION OF WORK Hirsch E.P. Rothko / Christopher K. Ho Unit-led, 2014 Cut vinyl on wall 12 works from 4 x 5.5 inches to 11 x 15 inches In 2009 conceptual artist Christopher K. Ho moved to a shed covered in license plates in Telluride. Under the pseudonym Hirsch E.P. Rothko, an anagram of Christopher K. Ho, he made abstract paintings. The paintings were exhibited in New York in 2010 along with a novella that fictionalized Hoâ€™s Telluride experience and envisioned it as a midlife and an artistic crisis. The works in Half Drop continue and elaborate this project. The vinyl shapes applied directly to the gallery wall reference parenthood, middle age, homemaking and work.
CRAIG TAYLOR Craig Taylor is an artist that lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He has a BFA from Maine College of Art and an MFA from Yale University. Taylor is represented by CB1 Gallery, Los Angeles and has had numerous solo exhibitions including Sue Scott Gallery, New York; Bruno Marina Gallery, Brooklyn; and Tests- Showroom in Berlin, Germany. His work has been reviewed in Art in America, Time Out New York, Huffington Post, and The Boston Globe. His work has been featured in many group shows such as the International Print Center, New York; La Montagne Gallery, Boston; Fred London: Leipzig, Germany, CTRL Gallery, Houston; Edward Thorpe Gallery, New York among others. Taylor is an Assistant Professor of Painting at the Rhode Island School of Design.
FLAIR ROBINSON Flair Robinson is a mixed media and mosaic artist working primarily with ceramic tile and recycled materials.Robinson is informally educated, collecting knowledge from the traditional to the unusual and is most influenced by visionary, self-taught and outsider art. Robinson is a colorist, and is fascinated by the endless combinations of varying hues. She is most interested in colors found in early American folk art, vintage road signs and advertising, particularly those from the 1940’s -1960’s. Many of the materials that she uses in her work come from these eras. She states, “ I believe that each bit of junk creates a sense of nostalgia in the viewer. The pieces have lived their own lives and have their own energy; they have the power to take us back in time and to bring up memories.” Robinson works intuitively and viscerally, and many of her creative ideas come from her dreams.
DESCRIPTION OF WORK “Oh God, midnight’s not bad, you wake and go back to sleep, one or two’s not bad, you toss but sleep again. Five or six in the morning, there’s hope, for dawn’s just under the horizon. But three, now, Christ, three A.M.! Doctors say the body’s at low tide then. The soul is out. The blood moves slow. You’re the nearest to dead you’ll ever be save dying. Sleep is a patch of death, but three in the morn, full wide-eyed staring, is living death! You dream with your eyes open. God, if you had strength to rouse up, you’d slaughter your half-dreams with buckshot! But no, you lie pinned to a deep well-bottom that’s burned dry. The moon rolls by to look at you down there, with its idiot face. It’s a long way back to sunset, a far way on to dawn, so you summon all the fool things of your life, the stupid lovely things done with people known so very well who are now so very dead – And wasn’t it true, had he read somewhere, more people in hospitals die at 3 A.M. than at any other time...” - Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes
The work for this show was started at normal evening hours and completed in the morning between midnight and 3:00 AM, when Robinson gets her best work done.
GABRIELLE Dâ€™ANGELO Gabrielle Dâ€™Angelo is a painter and choreographer based in Brooklyn. She works in both forms simultaneously but her projects in dance and painting exist separately. Her interest in both painting and dance is in their relationship to abstraction. Her work in each is dedicated to the complex and unique ways they can communicate ideas, stories and experience. In abstract form, their language becomes a process of communicating the empathetic terrain of our senses and memory. This accumulation of perceptions and associations in some way signifies something about our daily social and cultural encounters.. DESCRIPTION OF WORK The drawings include watercolor, gouache, color pencil, ink and collage techniques. Through a process of tearing and collaging, new images are derived from larger drawings.
KIM FAIELLA FURRH Kim Faiella Furrh is an abstract expressionistic artist. Her paintings and drawings show intensity of color, rich texture and luminosity. Embracing the divide between intention and outcome, the artist describes her process as a collaboration with chance that foregrounds the beauty of the unintended consequences. She combines a style of bold and quietly expressive abstractions with lines, brush strokes and large fields of color that result from a synergy of diverse techniques that emphasize intuitive procedures and relay on the unpredictable dynamics of color with organic, monolithic forms that energize her canvas. Kim Faiella Furrh was born in York, Pennsylvania in 1963, after receiving her BS in Fine Art from Skidmore College she finished extensive course work at Rhode Island School of Design and The Art Studentâ€™s League where she lived in New York City and Brooklyn form 1984 -199.7 She was the active director of a non for profit art organization ; Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, and worked with emerging artists developing vast artistic opportunities and presence in Red Hook, DUMBO and SOHO, New York. Kim now resides in Pueblo, Colorado and is the founder of SAGE Art Academy.
MAYA ARTHUR Maya is a working artist/ carpenter/ inventor/ fabricator/ sculptor/ architect/ farmer/ Pilates Instructor/ tattoo artist/ visionary director of Elsewhere Studios/ friend/ lover/ traveler/ monk/ elder/ helper to anyone... and oh yeah Im a human being on this planet and i care deeply about it, us, everyone, everything... Please be the changes you would like to see, and watch how it affects your life, as well as others.
DESCRIPTION OF WORK Since birth I canâ€™t look at a blank wall without creating art out of the shadows, or creating, visualizing, these monty pythonish socks and shoes out of the folds in the bedroom curtains...Staring into nothingness and coming back with lines, shapes, design and form . Simply putting a pencil to paper and not allowing it to leave the paper; then filling in the shapes, intuitively finding a design, and shading to describe form became a childhood favorite... Later on in life this was re-actualized after meeting a wonderful woman and great artist..Willma Shull .After her passing her family gave 50 years of her art supplies and other materials, to me, and in some of the things were examples of what i used to create as a kid ...Ive been creating from this same style and evolving it ever since...To me it seems like everyone has scribbled on a piece of paper at some point in time and simply filled in certain shapes. The work im showing is this artistic pastime shared by all of humanity...doodling/ scribbling . And when a self taught artist doodles this is what happens.
MEGHAN PETRAS Meghan Petras received her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her paintings, sculptures and wool rugs are light and humorous in tone and frequently incorporate repetitive elements. Her work has been exhibited in numerous exhibitions in New York and California.
MELVIN STRAWN DESCRIPTION OF WORK These are recent solar intaglio prints. The intent is to create a provocative, ostensibly â€˜abstractâ€™ image by employing recent, modern technologies but realizing them in traditional media form. They typically are composed as digital images exploiting various compositional and modifying processes and tools. These include digitized works of my own in other media (drawings prints paintings, etc.), photographically captured forms and qualities, Photoshop as a composing and modifying system and the computerâ€Ś The result is initially printed as a digital, inkjet positive transparency. That is used to expose a UV-sensitive solar plate, developed as an intaglio plate (similar to a classic acid-etched zinc or copper plate) that is then hand wiped and printed on traditional etching press. The results often seem to evoke and be an extension of the Western fine arts graphics tradition.
MEREDITH NEMIROV Nemirov grew up in New York City. She studied at the Art Student’s League and received a BFA from Parson’s The New School of Design. In 1988 she moved to Ridgway, CO, and with her husband Jorge, ran the Ridgway Gallery which specialized in antique prints, maps and books about the exploration of the American West. They raised a son, Raoul, who is an artist living in NYC. Nemirov’s work was recently featured in Women of Influence: Colorado Artists and Curator’s at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities. She was an Artist in Residence at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center and the Vermont Studio Center and is the recipient of various grants and fellowships. She continues to live and work in Ridgway.
DESCRIPTION OF WORK The ten works on paper in this show are part of a larger series of 26 works titled VOCABULARIO. They are done in gouache, charcoal, graphite, ink and watercolor. The images are based directly on the markings on the trunks of the aspen trees and were realized after hundreds of direct on-site drawings. It was through this repetitive practice that the abstract form emerged and developed into this series. The titles, A-Z, all reference geographical terms that I have found while reading about the landscape.
PHYLLIS RIDER Rider is a contemporary artist of many mediums, Painter, printer and, most recently, jeweler. Although she has not had a formal education in the arts, she has been experimenting for 30 years with many art mediums. Her use of color and space has been influenced by the her Colorado upbringing. Rider works in an intuitive and often whimsical manner. She considers color, design, and texturewhen working; symbolism relating to icons, banners and ethnic patterns are often found in the finished product. Riderâ€™s monotypes with chine-colle are developed on a plex plate with oil or water based inks. Using a combination of painting and print making techniques, the result is a one-of-a-kind image that is printed on paper by me and the use of an etching press. This process allows Rider a greater level of involvement to become more inventive; free to truly create and manipulate shapes, color, lines, space and imagery. Chine-colle, a French term used to describe the popular collage method by which thin papers are adhered to the monotype during transfer allows the artist to use papers she has collected or made.
DESCRIPTION OF WORK This series of monotypes with chine colle (a term used referring to collaging as you print) was inspired by a trip to Japan in June. The pieces are not meant to look Japanese, but reflect on the energy, colors and spirit of this beautiful country that Rider had the privilege of exploring. She collected many beautiful Japaneseâ€™s papers in her travels and used some of them in these monotypes.
STEPHEN TRUAX Stephen Truax is an artist and writer who lives in New York and Berlin. His project-based work problematizes the current parameters of art production using contemporary painting as a lens. His work has been exhibited in New York at the Dorsky Foundation, NURTUREart, and Storefront Ten Eyck, and has been discussed in The Brooklyn Rail, ArtInfo, The New Criterion, and Wow Huh. He organized the curatorial projects, LOVE, 2012, with ART BLOG ART BLOG, and Portal, 2011, with Janis Ferberg, in New York, Sydney, and Beijing. His writing has appeared in Adultmagazine, Apollo magazine (London), ArtPulse magazine (Miami), Hyperallergic,The Brooklyn Rail, and BOMB. He studied independently in Rome on the RISD European Honors Program from 2005-6. He earned his BFA at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2007.
DESCRIPTION OF WORK Postcards from Berlin, 2014 Gouache on printed postcard Approx. 4 x 6 inches Hand-painted tourist postcards sent from Berlin to Telluride via post on the occasion of Half Drop.
VILAS TONAPE Vilas Tonape, a native of India, is a professor of art at Trinidad State Junior College. Receiving a BFA in Drawing and Painting with distinction from the Sir J.J. School of Art, University of Bombay (India), he has been creating art for more than two decades and maintains a rigorous studio practice. He also earned an MFA in Painting from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. His work has been exhibited internationally, including venues in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Santa Fe, Ontario and Bombay. Tonape has won numerous awards throughout the United States and India and his work has been critically acclaimed. Tonape’s work focuses on nature; his paintings are “melodies” orchestrated by the artist, rooted in the visual rhythms of gesture and color, recorded in the subject matter. “Painting to me is music for the eyes, conceived without conscious articulations, sentiments or statement”, says Tonape. “They reflect my response to nature. They are conceived by an abstract, intangible sensing of nature that erupts into spontaneous imagery.”
VINCE CONTARINO Vince Contarino (b. 1975 in Woodbury, NJ) received his BFA from Ringling College of Art + Design in Sarasota, FL in 1997. Recent exhibition venues include Stephan Stoyanov Gallery in New York; TSA New York in Bushwick; Laroche/Joncas Galerie in Montreal; Geoffrey Young Gallery in Great Barrington, MA; and The Essl Museum in Vienna. He co-founded the artist-run initiative, Progress Report in 2010, was an artist-in-residence at The Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Space Program 2010-11, and was a 2012 Fellow in Painting from the New York Foundation of the Arts. His work has been featured in Abstract Critical, Hyperallergic, New American Paintings, and SFAQ. He lives and works in New York City.
MORE ABOUT THE SHOW CO/BKLYN HALF DROP Words by curator Meredith Nemirov “A strong candidate for the best drawing show of the year, “Half Drop” * benefits from focusing on 10 artists obsessed one way or another with the medium or its close relatives.” The first line of Roberta Smith’s review that appeared on my computer screen on March 6, 2014 immediately grabbed my attention. The mention of a drawing show alone would get me to read further. What is “Half Drop”? The photograph showed an installation of small works on paper hung on the wall in a way that makes use of every inch of space from floor to ceiling. This loose grid sends the viewer into action, kneeling down to get a closer look at the drawing two feet from the floor and craning your neck to get a better look at one near the ceiling. Each piece is surrounded by enough white wall space to allow a more isolated and concentrated view. Then your view is expanded to the series of 10 works by the same artist, and in turn that group is part of the larger show in the entire gallery.
HALF DROP: The term half drop is a repeat layout in French textile design where the motif is repeated halfway down the side in a vertical direction. It was widely used in the 1800’s to hang wall paper. Half drop match patterns repeat at the ceiling on every other strip and the direction tends to run diagonally. The source of the layout of this exhibit, the decorative arts, brought to mind the Pattern and Decoration (P&D) movement in art from the 1980’s. This group of artists were active in the abstract schools of art of the 1960‘s. This is what brought me to the decision that the works in the show would be abstract, not representational. My interest in presenting this exhibit is to bring attention to the process of drawing and works on paper. These pieces stand on their own as fully realized works and are not preliminary to other work or studies in preparation for larger works. CO/BKLYN HALF DROP presents these works in a way that is not often seen in a commercial gallery. The fact that the works are not framed reinforces the spontaneous nature of drawing and lets us see the edges of the paper that are normally concealed by the frame.
BKLYN/CO: I have a personal connection between these two places. I moved to CO 25 years ago from Greenpoint, BKLYN. I still have artist friends who live and work there and many people I know in Telluride visit NYC every year to go to museum shows. I have two friends, one an artist, the other an art dealer, who have strong ties to both CO and NYC. Would the work itself reveal differences that come from the contrast between working in rural and urban environments or from east coast and southwest? Why does an artist produce a series of works? Perhaps it is exploring a new medium. Other times it is a formal study of abstract forms on paper or a study of figure/ground relationships. Maybe there is a story that has to be told in a number of works like chapters in a book. There are many reasons to work repetitively in a small format.
To my mind each drawing represents that proverbial drop in the bucket. Imagine a drop of water coming out of the tap (artistâ€™s mind/hand). All those drops look the same until they hit a surface and splatter resulting in a different image every time. Speed, distance, size and surface all affect the outcome. Intent, idea and the artist is changed with each drawing. Each drawing may start out with the same motif or idea but when represented over and over the result is diverse and achieves a complexity that is only arrived at through this repetitive process. *www.kerryshuss.com