Bubble In The Grass

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Bubble In The Grass Exhibition Catalogue July 6 – August 3, 2022


Online Only Janet Rady Fine Art Website | Artsy | Artland Cover image: Daniel Freaker, Under the Silver Birch, 2021


Shadi Abousada, Adolescent, 2021, Mixed media on canvas, 100 x 150 cm

Janet Rady Fine Art is pleased to present “Bubble In The Grass”, an online group show of international artists running from 6th July to August 3rd 2022. Inspired by a line in Laurie Lee’s poem “Apples”, this online show considers the beauty of nature, and the joy and optimism of life through still-life and landscape paintings by Shadi Abousada, Daniel Freaker, William Lim and Adam Lowenbein. Daniel Freaker’s work explores the painterly qualities of print, video, film and photography through the medium of painting. We see the influences of his prior interests in his paintings through their cinematic composition, lighting and subject matter. The filmic reminiscence of filmscenes suggest fragments of a broader narrative which the viewer can interpret. Sitting between abstraction and figuration, Freaker’s paintings play as much emphasis on the materiality of paint as they do the form of the image itself. Where some aspects of the painting are defined and detailed, others are more suggestive and evocative. Thus, Freaker creates rich tapestries of interwoven processes and a richly-textural surface quality that provokes nostalgia and longing, combined with a contemporary twist of warmth and radiance. Freaker’s subject matter often focuses on individuals, couples or groups of people that trigger the viewer to consider thoughts of relationships or isolation. These juxtapositions between vibrancy and darkness, accident and intention, order and chaos, are what typifies Freaker’s work. The essence of his works in this show play on the idea of the visual, in both colour and texture, that exaggerates the subject matter’s inner psychological state. “The Stranger” uses the built up of acrylic in incremental layers of contrast and tonal brightness to communicate the radiant heat of the scene, whereas in “Thoughts Expressed”, Freaker uses colour and texture to construct a kind of language that can communicate a sensation or feeling. With an almost semantic relationship to the application of paint, Freaker’s work explores subjects and themes through the layering of colour and suggestions of forms. Contrastingly, Adam Lowenbein’s paintings place his subjects into visual spaces that fuse the interior and exterior into theatrical spaces that are suggestive of “what lies underneath”. Lowenbein’s artistic practice is centred on the strangeness and discomfort of ordinary or quotidien environments that are universal to many viewers. In the age of social media where opinions are formed quickly and expressed directly, Lowenbein is interested in the liminal space that is often ignored - the space that lies deeper and is perhaps concealed upon first inspection. By painting places and objects that occupy the world around him, Lowenbein tries to capture the “murkier unknownness of them”. Additionally, lighting holds a crucial role in Lowenbein’s artistic practice. Whether it is the light from a TV or mobile phone, or the reflection of the sun or moon off a pool, Lowenbein harnesses light to capture a moment lost in thought or reverie. In direct contrast to the 2


idealisation of the visual on social media, Lowenbein’s paintings are constructed to reveal the uncomfortable and express the precarious. As he says, “I love to capture a gesture and a mood and a setting and try to make it feel like the moment is being stretched out - something may happen, or nothing at all.” Like Freaker, Lowenbein is unrestrained in his use of paint - its materiality, texture, and colour - allow him to form and hone out marks and blocks of paint that respond to the world around him. His paintings have been exhibited in NYC at Ivy Brown Gallery as well as group shows at DFN Gallery, Caren Golden Fine Arts and The Centre for Book Arts. Shadi Abousada, a Syrian multi-media artist, painter, installation and video artist, deals with reality and the intimate events of life through still-life and figural paintings. By employing symbols sarcastically or mysteriously, Abousada’s penetrating works trigger our attention and curiosity. His figures can directly engage us with their undeviating gaze or ignore us as their backs turn away from the viewer, leading us to consider the world in which they occupy. Abousada layers materials through scraping and moulding. In some cases, his works appear like billboards of a metropolis, upon which memories, people and objects are rendered. As the artist himself says, his paintings come from a temporality that “doesn’t bear seriousness and where hallucinations have become the closest thing to reality.” Through playing with temporality and spatiality, Abousada’s works exude a sense of stillness and dream-like tranquillity, as well as direct candour that forces us to pause and examine our own space and environment. Having graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts of Damascus University with a BA in Oil Painting, Abousada has since shown in many exhibitions in Damascus, Beirut, Dubai, Qatar, Kuwait, Paris, Netherlands, London, Switzerland. On the other hand, William Lim sees himself as an “architect, artist and collector”, though not necessarily in that order. His all-encompassing and multidisciplinary interests in art, architecture and found objects intersect, amalgamate and influence each other to result in a visual richness and diversity of artistic thinking. After graduating from Cornell University with a masters degree in Architecture and minoring in Photography, from an early stage of his career, Lin was interested in the intersection between art and architecture, made manifest in his award winning design practice CL3, his architectural commissions such as H Queen’s, a gallery high rise building in Hong Kong or artistic commissions such as the West Kowloon Bamboo Theatre, a bamboo installation which received the Grand Award and Special Award for Culture in “Design for Asia Award “ in 2013. In terms of his artistic focus, Lim excels in large-scale installations, yet the focus of this exhibition will be on his painterly works on canvas. For Lim, the disruption of the past two years caused him to dramatically downscale, and bring his practice home. It was in this extended period of isolation that Lim threw himself into painting, and revelled in the meditative process of applying paint to canvas. The immediacy of painting ignited a joy and excitement that Lim began to appreciate in other acts as simple as tending to the plants on the terrace, or having the time to admire objects he has collected throughout his life. Lim’s painted scenes are both real and imagined, yet always maintain a sense of architectural composition with Hong Kong features such as metal window grills, Chinese furniture and curtains, that give a hint of the scenery outside. Additionally, Lin’s four grandchildren are often included as traces in his paintings that add a closeness and intimacy to his otherwise unidentifiable spaces. Though the themes and subject matter of these works vary between each artist, the thread which joins these works together is their painterly quality and emanation of a joie de vivre, both in terms of their colour palette, but also more subtly in their material application of paint. Whether they are still-lifes, landscapes, or a combination of the two, the works brought together in “Bubble In The Grass” radiate a joy, playfulness, and optimism embodied by Laurie Lee’s poem, “Apples”. Exhibition text by Luli Gibbs For more information, please contact art@janetradyfineart.com

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Shadi Abousada

Following My Shadow, 2021

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Shadi Abousada (b.1983 Sweida City, Syria) studied painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Damascus University, receiving a BA in 2009. His works were exhibited widely in Damascus until 2011 before he moved to Beirut, Lebanon where he currently lives and works. Since establishing himself in Beirut, Abousada's works have been featured in exhibitions in Lebanon, the Netherlands, France, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. Abousada enjoys working in a variety of media, exploring the qualities and challenges of paint, installations and video/digital works. He imbues everyday scenes with intimacy, symbolism and a wry sense of humour using colour to further create an arresting composition engaging the curiosity and attention of the viewer. The works explore themes of time, nostalgia and memories. Abousada feels that, “the present is an interactive swinging balance between past memories and future expectations” and that, “we are witnesses to a story lived in a cloudy past, hoping for a better future.” He delves into the lived experience, feeling that, “a dream from a past life becomes lost in this strange present where nostalgic impressions and memories are already melted into the future”. Abousada’s work is inspired by the accumulation of all these elements, embodied in the life of an adolescent on the border between the carefree past and the fear of the future, a farewell to our childhood immortalised in paint.

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Shadi Abousada Satisfied, 2022 Mixed media on canvas 100 x 70 cm 39 3/8 x 27 1/2 in $ 3,685 7


Daniel Freaker

Thoughts Expressed, 2022

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Daniel Freaker (b.1977 London, UK) received his MFA from the Slade School of Art in London where he explored the painterly qualities of print, video, film and photography and his paintings are reminiscent of film scenes and fragments of a broader narrative. Since studying, his work has evolved through collaboration with other artists and charities and many years of exhibiting and lecturing in the U.K. and internationally including the British Museum in London, Dae Won University in Korea and The Meera Gallery in Pune, India. Freaker’s paintings sit between abstract and figurative spaces where the way paint is applied is equally as important as the image itself. Some details are defined where others are more suggestive and evocative. These provide a rich tapestry of interwoven processes and a textural quality to the work. There are also more unusual processes generating a sense of nostalgia about moments that are both beautiful and painful. The subjects are often individuals, couples or groups of people in order to provoke thoughts of relationships or isolation. The scenes remind us of personal experiences, where the techniques and colours bring feelings of sentiment and longing with a contemporary twist of warmth and radiance. Distortions also exaggerate the emotional significance of the moment: connection, loss, vulnerability, or loneliness…This juxtaposition between vibrance and darkness, accident and intention, order and chaos, is what makes the work memorable. Freaker lives and works in Portsmouth, United Kingdom.

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Daniel Freaker The Stranger, 2021 Acrylic on canvas 130 x 100 cm 51 1/8 x 39 3/8 in £ 3,100 11


William Lim

Spring Bloom Autumn Moon, 2022

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William Lim (b.1957 Hong Kong) likes to introduce himself as an “architect, artist and collector, not necessary in that order”. This means that his all-encompassing interest in art and creativity informs a crossing over in various disciplines to result in a rich, diverse career and artistic thinking. Graduated from Cornell University, U.S.A., with a master degree in Architecture minoring in Photography, William has shown early on his interest in both art and architecture, which explains his award winning design practice CL3, celebrated for its architecture commissions such as H Queen’s, a gallery high rise building in Hong Kong or artistic commissions such as the West Kowloon Bamboo Theatre, a bamboo installation which received the Grand Award and Special Award for Culture in “Design for Asia Award “ in 2013. William on his own is an accomplished artist focusing on largescale installations, and recently work on canvas. Throughout his artistic career he has been shown internationally, most notably Lantern Wonderland HK 2003 & 2011, Venice Biennale’s International Architectural Exhibition in 2006 & 2010, Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture in 2007, 2009, 2012, 2017 and Architecture and Heritage: Unearthing Future, Seoul, Korea, 2019. He held a solo exhibition, “A Year of Lost and Found” at Grotto Fine Art in2021. Committed to promoting culture and education, William is currently on the Board of Trustees for Cornell University, member of Arts and Culture Council and Gallery Advisory Committee for Asia Society Hong Kong Center, and member of Museum Expert Advisers for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. He was conferred an Honorary Doctorate degree by Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in 2018. In 2019, William and his wife donated nearly 100 artworks to M+ in Hong Kong.

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William Lim Famille Rose, 2022 Oil on canvas 41 x 30.5 cm 16 1/8 x 12 1/8 in £ 4,220 15


Adam Lowenbein

Pool, 2021

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Adam Lowenbein lives and works in Long Island, NY and Ft. Lauderdale, FL. He has a BFA in painting from Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA in painting from Indiana University. He is also an alumnus of Skowhegan and spent a year as a Core Fellow at the Glassell School, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. His paintings have been exhibited In NYC at Ivy Brown Gallery as well as group shows at DFN Gallery, Caren Golden Fine Arts and The Center for Book Arts. Nationally he has shown work at Marquee Projects in Bellport, NY, Bluestone Gallery in Milford, PA, Rudolph Blume Fine Arts in Houston TX, MAC Fine Arts and Tedd’s Art Works in Fort Lauderdale, FL. and Philip Morton Gallery in Rehoboth Beach, DE. Lowenbein is passionate about his creative process saying, “I’ve been making paintings for most of my life. From the start I have been interested in placing people into visual situations that could describe layers of being, interior and exterior-Theatrical spaces that can hint at what lies underneath. I’m interested in the strangeness and discomfort of ordinary environments. We live in a world where things are meant to be summed up quickly and easily but are always deeper and stranger than that. I paint the places and things that are in the world around me AND try to capture the murkier unknownness of them. I love to capture a gesture and a mood and a setting and try to make it feel like the moment is being stretched out- something may happen, or nothing at all. I love to use the illusion of lighting- from a tv, or cell phone or a swimming pool at night to capture a moment lost in thought or reverie. Painting allows me to draw from my life and create a parallel world with it. It is the opposite of social media- instead of making bright sunny pictures that try to present a successful life I am looking to reveal the uncomfortable and express the precarious. I love painting. When I start a new image I work broadly and with unrestrained color. It’s a process I can disappear into, finding the form and honing it out of the marks and blocks of paint. For me it’s the process that most closely mirrors being in the world and finding meaning.”

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Adam Lowenbein Hydrangeas 2021 Ink on canvas 182.9 x 152.4 cm 72 x 60 in $ 6,850 19


Adam Lowenbein, Street, 2020

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