Duck and Decorated Shed 54 The New Intimists 8 The Constructed Landscape 12 Once Around the Block (Twice) 16 Soft Power 20 Blood, Sweat and Tears 24 Videorover (Seasons I and II) 28 In Loving Memory 32 WE ARE: 34
Introduction: It’s hard to put down in words the way I feel about NURTUREart at this particular moment in time. Our organization has been experiencing a continuous and seemingly unstoppable growth during the last year. So much has been done in terms of stepping up to new levels of professionalism and excellence. Our success is in equal parts due to NURTUREart’s timely investment in itself, a decision that allowed us to dramatically expand our staff at the beginning of 2011, the unstoppable work of our Board of Trustees, advisors and volunteers and, of course, the constant support of our beloved public. Working with emerging artists and curators from all walks of life and nationalities, we have realized eight gallery exhibitions (including a project conceptualized and curated by high school students), established a new forum for emerging video artists worldwide and experimented with an exhilarating new format for our Summer series, “lending” our space to ten among curators, artists and neighboring organizations. Our monthly Muse Fuse salon-style talks and education programs have kept us active on even more fronts, reaching out to larger and increasingly diverse audiences. Last but not least, the gallery has and will keep hosting regular events ranging from lectures to concerts and performances, bringing its activity closer to the community it inhabits. It’s great to look back on our historic and recent achievement from our new gallery, located in the creative hotbed of 56 Bogart Street, Bushwick. From this incredible vantage point, we look to the future with an open and responsive mind, ready to take new challenges and help more and more artists and curators find their voice, making sure everyone has a great time in the process. Marco Antonini
Emily Harris/ Jessica M. Stoller/ Lauren Kalman/ Mary Kate Maher/ Gudmundur Thoroddsen/ Matt Stone/ Theresa Himmer/ Narcissister/ Nida Abidi
Duck and Decorated Shed Curated by: Katie Cercone September 10 / October 23, 2010
-----------------------------------------------------------------This extremely unique and imaginative curatorial project launched our exhibition season. Drawing on the 1968 watershed architectural research project in which the Las Vegas strip’s architecture was categorized according to its status as a “duck” (a building that actually is shaped like its purported contents – a duck for a duck restaurant) or as a “decorated shed” (in which a more non-descript building is dressed up in glittering material to seduce the viewer), Cercone playfully considers how these strategies function in the art world. Melt Tall, Matt Stone’s kaleidoscopic whirl of crowned anarchies (salt water taffy fins, syrupy stalactites and psychedelic pound cake) have a Nerf candy galactica look. Working with cardboard, polyurethane foam, wood glue, dye, resin, denim, pins, wood, paper, sawdust, and polyurethane, Stone coats drab construction materials in circumfluent psychedelia. Lauren
Oral Rims diagnoses a new type of periodontal perdition – teeth set like gemstones in gum-settings necrotic with bling. Kalman pairs the gilded gleam of plenty with the specter of rupturing membranes and cancerous growths. Mary Kate Maher’s sculpture Blackout (smudge), about nomadic space, is the darkest use of gaudy adornment of the group. A waxy, jet black cottage of resin, gold leaf and organic fibers spills out into a brassy puddle, constituting a complex metaphor about interiors, border conditions and the nocturnal foliage of the void. Theresa Himmer, a trained architect, uses urban ornamentation to climb the cold white peaks of art. In The Mountain Series, a three-part project inspired by the contours of the natural landscape, Himmer designed and executed three large works in an outmoded advertising technique involving giant light refracting sequins; mounting each to a building in Reykjavik, Iceland. In video documentation of the project
we see the nature/culture quandary imbued with equal parts glam rock and otherworldly splendor. Emily Harris makes interventions in public space. Her simply crafted quilts or “flags” – usually installed in rural areas, call to mind the division, statehood and privatization as well as kites, hopscotch and handcraft. Serving as her personal stamp on hidden areas of rural sprawl, the textiles bear spiritual and metaphysical implications. For Duck and Decorated Shed Harris has installed a site-specific work at the gallery’s periphery. Gudmundor Thoroddsen’s painted objects make a bid for theatricality within the cruel contemporary economy of signs. Here the painted Coconut appears to grimace, leer or smile, but for want of any face to frame its teeth, its expression is unsettlingly striking.
power dynamics with contemporary Muslim diasporic flair. Her fairytale paper mache Tank in ultramarine chrome and magenta, crowned with neither mosque dome, crown nor cake, is a subtle symbol of defiance bringing the contradictions of war, capitalism and nation into the personal sphere. Narcissister, a neo-burlesque performance artist with a predilection for explosive alterity, draws upon an Islamic aesthetic in her piece Burka Barbie (formally titled “Peaceful Barbie,” translated from the Islamic peace symbol), a sensational show of flesh that leaves any notion of a contained and unified ego belly up in the great abyss. Disintoxicated by the generalized consumption of sexualized signs, Narcisster’s work is about the disposed female body and confrontation with radical difference – other as object, other as instrument, other as animal, other as slave, other as fiction, other as milk and night.
Jessica Stoller’s photo depicts an immersive installation she built in 2006. In a scintillating usurpation of the sexualized and vanity oriented consumer products marketed to girls, Stoller built the floor-to-ceiling powder pink palace of Ponygirl, a girl-size derivative of “My Little Pony” for which Stoller fashioned plaster and ceramic cupcakes, girlish baubles and candy on a stick by hand. In installation views of the work we see Ponygirl consumed by isolated repetitive play, the pathetic heroine of a dismal fantasy world. Nida Abidi exploits American soft culture to depict looming global
Duck and Decorated Shed
Artwork detail and exhibition installation.
Amy Lincoln/ Günter Puller/ Heejung Cho/ Janelle Olah/ Karen Tam/ Mark Epstein/ Tamara Thomsen
The New Intimists Curated by: Samantha Friedman October 29 / December 11, 2011
-----------------------------------------------------------------Though pejorative associations with the term “decorative” have persisted since the Nabis painting group’s 19th-century revolution, the influence of ornament helped push painting, radically, toward abstraction. Now, as then, artists look to decoration as a path to subjective color, a way to assert flatness, or a pretext for including abstract visual elements within the realm of representation. The intimism of the interior is also important to many of these contemporary artists. As the Nabis offered the refuge of the decorated drawing room as an antidote to the public glare of industrial modernism, the artists in this show seek pleasure in private spaces that constitute havens from 21st century urban life. And while they are the inheritors of this tradition, they are far from limited by it; each of these artists opens up the idea of decoration or the subject of the interior through the materials and concerns of contemporary practice. In her paintings of interior spaces and domestic objects, Brooklynbased artist Amy Lincoln revels
in the graphic quality of plaid bedspreads, tiled bathrooms, and patterned kitchenware. Empty rooms and common surfaces become conduits for design elements, questioning the order of things: in a painting, the elephants on a dish are no less real than the dish itself, and the same parallel lines that stand for floorboards denote the striped print of a pillow. Viennese artist Günter Puller has long been inspired by the idyllic atmosphere of his parents’ summer garden. In one oil pastel drawing, the garden becomes an arresting arrangement of flat swaths of color, its wire gate transformed into a decorative mosaic. In another, the floral print of a 1960s garden couch allegorizes the nature around it. Janelle Olah finds source material in her Philadelphia home, which was covered in wallpaper when she moved in. Her mixed-media drawings flatten real living space against the gallery wall, exposing the systems that underlie a household, and revealing how memory is embedded in décor.
Korean-born, Brooklyn-based artist Heejung Cho similarly investigates how memories can be mapped by certain interiors. Her paintings on panel condense the clutter of rooms in which she or her friends have lived onto onedimensional surfaces, which are then expanded into installations. Cho pays special attention to the rhythmic qualities of her floors, as if experience itself might be rooted in the boldly emphasized boards.
historic house’s most interior decorator.
The Montreal-based artist Karen Tam addresses the exoticism that has persisted within the decorative interior from Post-Impressionist Japonisme to the contemporary rage for bedside Buddhas. Photographs documenting Tam’s Zen in Ten Bathroom installation attest to the artist’s incisive blend of kitsch and critique, problematics and pleasure.
Mark Epstein, also based in Brooklyn, makes work which he says “swings between the poles of representation and abstraction.” In a series of watercolors from 2008, Epstein engages the Thorne miniature rooms of the Art Institute of Chicago, “invading” these period interiors with “an inorganic ivy” of forms drawn from architectural history. These interventions superimpose a new layer of visual information onto existing arrangements, generating a stimulating tension between geometry and the baroque. Tamara Thomsen, another Brooklyn painter, also explores the interior’s special relationship to the past. In a series of large watercolors called Chambers, based on an 18th century colonial mansion in Philadelphia, Thomsen invigorates spaces of neutral gray and white with impossibly bright, imagined color. Georgian mouldings and banisters become grounds for graphic play, almost as if Thomsen had become this
The New Intimists
Opening reception and curatorial panel discussion.
Saul Becker/ Tim Kiernan/ Mike Lavine/ Greg Lindquist/ Mario Marzan/ Jason Mitcham/ Alison Overton
The Constructed Landscape Curated by: Lia Rose Newman January 7 / February 19, 2011
-----------------------------------------------------------------Although a ‘scape’ is a common language fixture today referring to environments we occupy and create, the word landscape (from the Dutch landschap) first came into use during the 17th century, defining paintings “representing natural scenery.” Artists have long since been fascinated with their surrounding environments as subject matter, mostly using these expansive vistas to mirror the ideals of their times. However, as the world has changed, so have the viewpoints. Rather than looking to reflect in the spiritual beauty of nature, the artists of The Constructed Landscape are concerned with the impact of an ever developing industrial landscape – a more common sight nowadays. They are interested in a different type of nature: a specifically human instinct to expand and progress our built environments. Each artist is actively challenging landscape as a genre, presenting unique vignettes, based on actual experiences on and within the land around them. Combining natural and fabricated
elements, these artists draw our attention to the construction of all the landscapes we inhabit. In The Constructed Landscape, only Greg Lindquist presents the painted landscape, the medium most traditionally associated with the genre. However, he approaches the subject in a unique way, presenting the landscape as a memorial. His paintings, which document Brooklyn’s industrial past and future residential growth, are concerned with specific sites of building and decay in the Williamsburg and Redhook waterfronts. Similarly, Alison Overton’s photographic works also function as memorials – to her past. Overton’s parents were obsessive collectors for many decades, filling their home and garage in Vance County, North Carolina, with dolls, figurines, glass bottles, and other quirky objects. Spending more than two years cleaning out her childhood home, Overton began creating a series of photographs entitled Secret Hours in
which she made use of these relics along with elements of the natural environment, including plants, flowers, bugs, and various dead taxidermy animals. Though the outcome is quite different, Saul Becker also invents composite landscapes that merge the real and imagined. His threedimensional enclosed biospheres are inspired by unexpected encounters with nature within the industrial landscape. While Becker captures and frames beauty within Plexiglas vitrines, Tim Kiernan uses the format of a video triptych to focus our gaze. He is most interested in the transformative aspect of video works – the notion that reality viewed through the camera lens alters one’s perspective and understanding. Kiernan’s Resident Tourist film compares the urban landscapes of two environments, the artist’s native Raleigh, North Carolina, with various cities in China, specifically Wuhan, Guangzhou, Shenyang, and Tianjin. Jason Mitcham’s investigation of how and why we use the space around us is visualized through animations such as This Land is Your Land and Valley of Ashes. Each animation depicts the evolving use of the land, as represented through the documentation of one of the artist’s paintings. Paintings are constructed through layers; some layers conceal those below, while traces of others may be visible.
Mario Marzan’s recent installations also examine real occurrences acting upon specific places: the impact of hurricanes on the artist’s homeland of Puerto Rico. Tropical storms and hurricanes are responsible for deconstruction and occasion reconstruction of the landscape, architecture, and culture on islands. While Marzan’s point of departure is rooted in the specific, the viewer can expand the scope to their own experiences, questioning how memories in general are “mapped” and how a storm, often plotted on a map, ultimately not only alters the terrain but can also impact individual psyches as well as entire cultures. Mike Lavine’s precious works also create three-dimensional landscapes, in the form of topographies. His series of temporary, indoor installations are constructed of countless, small, tropical hardwood shavings. While tropical hardwoods are coveted by most woodworkers, Lavine ironically constructs his imagined landscapes by grinding the precious hardwoods into shavings. The intense and unexpected natural colors of the shavings combined with the various shapes and sizes of mounds, waves, depressions, lines, and flat expanses, creates an otherworldly landscape.
The Constructed Landscape
Exhibition installation. Pics courtesy Greg Lindquist.
Once around the block (twice) Curated by: Jennifer Junkermeier February 25 / April 2, 2011
-----------------------------------------------------------------Once around the block (twice) is a solo exhibition of work by Scott Kiernan that reactivates the bought and sold imagery of pre-internet advertising clip art to examine its liminal states of incompleteness, potential for ambiguity when shifted in scale and situation, and the effects of the forced detachment of these images from their original intended economic market. The exhibition is comprised of works from the Untitled Clip Art series, a set of, 8’ x 6’, strictly black on white paintings on canvas, a vinyl wall piece, and the kinetic sculpture Breath of Fresh Air. Each work is strategically placed throughout the gallery to provoke a visual and relational dialogue between the works and their subsequent relation to the exhibition space. The subject of each work in the Untitled Clip Art series are images appropriated from a found catalogue of royaltyfree clip art and stock photos published in the early 1990’s, shortly before the ubiquity of the internet and the absorption of stock photo businesses by companies such as Getty Images and Corbis.
The images or clip art were intended for use by small businesses (typically without creative teams) to assemble advertisements. The graphics constitute “interchangeable parts” in the “machine” of a completed advertisement but, lacking the good or service to be sold, are in a way incomplete. Kiernan turns this very vacancy into a conceptual foil as he allows these visual voids to add to the reading of the works. Positioned in the middle of the exhibition space is the kinetic sculpture, A Breath of Fresh Air, consisting of a ring of 6 checkered flags (one for each painting in the show) commonly found at the finish line of a race. Placed in the middle of the flags is a fan system that moves the flags in an infinite wave as it passes. The circular set-up and oscillation of A Breath of Fresh Air, while enhancing the circular movement through the exhibition, acts as a deadpan take on the repetitive death and renewal of these bought and sold images and their obsolescence.
Once around the block (twice)
Phillip Birch/ Mike Calway-Fagen/ Jillian Conrad/ Jeff DeGolier/ Bethany Fancher/ Christina Leung/ Duncan Malashock/ Alina Tenser
Soft Power Curated by: Amanda B. Friedman and Elizabeth Hirsch April 8 / May 21, 2011
-----------------------------------------------------------------Each work presented here is marked by a distinct personal logic articulated through process, timing, material intervention, and environmental control. The presence of affective space and chance encounters pervades throughout. These particular works move us through their use of humor, vulnerability, and subtle, open gestures. When we set out to make this exhibition, the process was openended and we responded to encounters we had with works both directly and virtually. Harvard academic Joseph Nye introduced the term ‘soft power’ in 1990 in discussing a theoretical approach to international diplomacy wherein a desired outcome is sought through attraction rather than coercion or force. The phrase has appeared in contemporary political rhetoric as a perceived trait of foreign policy under the Obama administration. We consider the theory here as it applies to the communicative dynamics of these artworks. In Jeff DeGolier’s abstracted landscapes, pattern, coloration
and texture coalesce to generate the sensation of familiar surroundings. They project a feeling rather than a depiction of a place. Sky is a recurring motif in Bent Sky Plus (2010), Two Skies with Hole (2008), and Moving Bag (2005), reinforcing groundlessness and perspectival play to a disordering effect. The images are derived from sculptural constructions the artist builds, documents, and digitally manipulates. I love ya, I always have (in a scottish accent) (2009) by Mike CalwayFagen consists of a potted plastic tree with a classic heart-piercedby-an-arrow crudely carved into its awkwardly bulging trunk. The work’s title, which recalls a cheeseball line from the 1995 Academy Award winning film Braveheart (Best Picture, Best Director), reflects the sentiment of the object itself, a literalized and hyperbolic confession of romance. Bethany Fancher’s tableau photograph incorporates figurines and manipulated depth of field to show you blurry horses having fun. The work has the trappings of widescreen cinema with playthings cast in dramatic roles. A sense of
halted motion evokes a brief moment in a complicated but missing narrative. Duncan Malashock builds websites that mimic the iconography and functionality of early video game design. Rubbing the Square (2010) is the 1 minute 45 second performance documentation of the artist’s cursor as it makes repeated attempts to adequately “rub” a square shape that emerges from off left frame and drifts horizontally across the image plane in a continuous loop. Alina Tenser’s sculptures are both delicate and strong, combining malleable materials with hard polished surfaces. A rolled up piece of carpet has been partly coated in wood putty and plaster, then finished to smooth perfection in Tatlin Scrap (2010). The physical behavior of unusually juxtaposed materials is foremost in these works. Ambiguous substances and disguised surfaces attract and confound expectation.
enveloped by mechanized farming and consumption, is here removed from the food chain and returned to a semblance of nature – by New York standards, a fire escape. The work hinges on an associative gesture that brings heretofore-unrelated symbols into dialogue. A pamphlet by Phillip Birch functions as a visual essay of sorts based on research into the obscure history of Edwin P. Fischer, a professional tennis player who may have prophesied a terrorist bombing on Wall Street in 1920. This takeaway object navigates between observation, reportage, and fiction, while exploring a range of cultural connections.
Jillian Conrad’s Kickstand (2011) is a sculpture and its likeness converged. It is made of perpendicular lengths of wood that form a simple figure, which leans against a suspended canvas. The figure’s silhouette is mirrored onto the canvas backdrop in the form of a cutout shape. In Rocks and Eggs (2010) Christina Leung joins visually analogous objects outside on a fire escape. The egg, a household item long
Delaney DelPonti/ Bianca Dorsey/ Jae Y Lee/ Rebecca Marks Leopold/ Stephen Ketchum/ Graham McNamara/ Bridget Parris/ Boris Rasin/ Judy Richardson
Blood, Sweat and Tears: The Work of Art and Tragedy
Curated by: Project Curate! with Krista Saunders June 3 / June 24, 2011
-----------------------------------------------------------------The NURTUREart Educational Outreach Program was created by Eliot Lable, an artist, educator and NURTUREart Trustee, and Sarah Hervert, an Assistant Principal and former art teacher. Initiated in 2005 with Juan Morel Campos Secondary School in Williamsburg, the program was an immediate success, with enrollment doubling by the following year. Also working with Charles O. Dewey Middle School, the program continued to grow, offering a variety of enrichment experiences - from a portfolio preparation program in collaboration with the Pratt Institute to artists talks and gallery visits – all for students interested in pursuing a career in the arts. Blood, Sweat and Tears was curated by a group of students from Juan Morel Campos Secondary School. As curators who have grown into young adulthood in the twenty first century, the Project: Curate! team is all too familiar with tragedy and disaster from a distance or at close range. Born and bred New Yorkers, these young minds have studied tragedies like the Triangle Shirtwaist
Factory in their classrooms and experienced colossal moments such as 9/11 in the flesh. In essence, they have experienced a preponderance of tragedy in their young lives – from the nearby Brooklyn-Queens tornado to disasters in the far reaches of Haiti and coastal Japan – and are eager to process it through their art. New York-based Bridget Parris visually references the Fine and Decorative Arts of 18th century France to express a Romantic longing for artisanal craft, while taking into account the political and economic factors that shaped its expression. Her paintings set Napoleonic figures against electric backdrops erupting with pent-up energy, hearkening to present-day dictators’ fall even as it recalls great and ornate empires past. Boris Rasin is a New York based multimedia artist. His work in drawing, painting, sculpture and public installation is often influenced by humor and politics. Godzilla Does Right shows the monster of cinema legend’s domestic side as he cleans up after a disaster.
Los Angeles-based Delaney DelPonti is an emerging photographer and videographer. Her print Torment alludes to the daily struggle waged by thousands of teenagers against the immersive suffocation of depression, while suggesting that suicide remains an escape from the everyday anguish. New York-based Korean mixedmedia artist Jae Youn Lee acknowledges the sadness of the 20th century’s great man-made tragedies in his work, Embrace. The video piece is placed so that the viewer must look up to see it, inducing a hopeful and meditative state that restores and calms even in the face of catastrophe.
well as the interventions that have only complicated or worsened their endemic crises. Her Afghan Map is the cartography of a fictionalized landscape further fractionalized by efforts to impose an artificial order. Rebecca Marks Leopold’s dilapidated yet poignant light switch print alludes to the wish for new beginnings framed in destruction and ruin. The prepared tree sculptures of Graham McNamara express the loss and rebirth that all life evinces daily. The quiet strength and timelessness of trees is all the more striking when they are casually sundered by natural forces; I Dream of Running III both revives and suspends a cut and broken tree as a monument to the fortitude of all those like it.
Steven Ketchum’s drawings starkly describe the devastation and loss erupting from an explosion. Evict shows a dynamic blast from a burning brownstone set to topple. These works pare down the destructive force to so many lines highlighted by the odd streak of color or diminutive shocked humanity. Bianca Dorsey captures the restorative effort in Haiti after the January 2010 earthquake. Her painting Haiti Healing lionizes the serene stoicism of a protagonist rebuilding, backgrounded by a mountain of rubble. The emotional impact is heartening in spite of such ruin. Unstable, war-ravaged geographical zones are the subject of Judy Richardson’s assemblages, as
Blood, Sweat and Tears
Exhibition installation. Pics courtesy Rebecca Lopold Marks, Boris Rasin.
Johannes DeYoung/ Andy Cahill/ Giana Marie Gambino/ Hong-An Truong/ Naomi Safran-Hon/ Scott Kiernan/ Victor Faccinto/ Alan Calpe/ Brittany Prater/ Justin Mata/ Yeon Jin Kim/ Lily & Honglei
Videorover (Season I) Curated by: Rachel Steinberg December 17, 2010 / May 21, 2011
-----------------------------------------------------------------Season I of VIDEOROVER presents a group of artists who, despite the diversity of their work, are all concerned with the reality disconnect that is specific to four-dimensional media. These artists have each created an alternate dimension where life is filtered through a sieve of creative unconscious and realities are discarded and re-imagined. The videos are an amalgamation of the uncanny, the political and the everyday, presented to us in a variety of animation and editing styles. We see the world through a new set of eyes, a digital dream-scape of rewired sensibilities. In the past decade, as equipment has become more available and YouTube has given fame to any ordinary citizen of the Internet, the world of video has swelled exponentially. It has become an expanding universe where time and space are acknowledged as one entity. Throughout the advances in technology and sophistication of the medium, the compulsion has remained to record and recondition the everyday experience. To encourage and support upand-coming artists working in this format, NURTUREart is launching a space dedicated solely to showcasing emerging video artists. This selection of videos will run continuously in the space adjacent to the main gallery through the rest of the 2010-2011 exhibition series.
Video stills L to R, T to B: Johannes De Young, Andy Cahill,, Hong-An Truong, Naomi Safran-Hon, Victor Faccinto, Justin Mata, Giana-Marie Gambino, Scott Kiernan.
Fatima Al Qadiri and Lyndsy Welgos/ Cecilia Bonilla/ Juan Pablo Echeverri/ Derek Larson/ Dana Levy/ Pernille With Madsen/ Colin Snapp/ JULIACKS
Videorover (Season II) Curated by: Rachel Steinberg May 27 / December 17, 2011
------------------------------------------------------------------This season’s selection aims to disorient viewers by removing an essential reality context, only to redeposit them into seemingly familiar settings. Dana Levy, Fatima Al Qadiri and Lyndsy Welgos explore the pluralism of eastern and western conventions by looking at traditions through a contemporary perspective. Cecilia Bonilla examines our relationships to the seductive nature of commercial images of women through minimal manipulation, while Juan Pablo Echeverri shows us a self-projected fantasy of mass-produced femininity. Colin Snapp acts as a ‘journalist’ of sorts, documenting moments of real-time, but relieving the viewer of imposed intentions. Pernille With Madsen dizzies and disorients us with a vision of how to imagine architectural surroundings. Derek Larson’s playful experimentations extend through other worldly humor while JULIACKS (Julia Stein)’s narrative pulls back and forth between a character’s inner psyche and external world.
Krystina and Marek Milde
In Loving Memory Permanent installation on NURTUREartâ€™s roof at 910 Grand Street. Summer 2011.
-----------------------------------------------------------------Kristyna and Marek Milde deploy the skills of hunter-gatherers to obtain select industrial goods for their installation In Loving Memory an installation made from chairs discarded into collection heaps on New York City curbs, the work addresses the fast paced cycle of consumerism and the impermanence and interchangeability of things, where ownership is often a brief affair. Acquiring the pieces requires a hunter-gathererâ€™s sense of timing for disposal cycles, and the rummaging triggers excitement and anticipation. The heterogeneous harvest is refurbished, and plotted on a map describing type, material, and condition, connecting object to origin. Finally a brass plaquette is attached to the chairâ€™s back retelling each personal story, based on the given facts and associations. While the plates used on memorial benches and chairs usually celebrate honorable death or a notable life, the stories of In Loving Memory describe the pedestrian, forgettable, aspects of everyday life.
Opening reception and installation view.
Ivan Argote/ Ian Pedigo/ Miguel Amado/ Fortress to Solitude/ Chelsea Haines and Eriola Pira/ Rachel Budde/ Famous Accountants/ Regina Rex/ Jonathan Ehrenberg and Meredith James/ Ryan Kitson
WE ARE: Organized by: Marco Antonini June 3 / June 24, 2011
-----------------------------------------------------------------What comes to mind when we think of community? This question reverberates in hundreds of essays and articles, surfaces in countless lectures, conferences and plain conversations. Understanding a community (whether as interestbased group or locus) and its dynamics is quite a relevant endeavor for artists and art professionals who place a high value on inclusivity and social connectivity. In a city like New York, this challenge is mostly rooted in the contrast between the high-mobility, generally young and predominantly white art world, the urban communities we inhabit and the demographic that surrounds us. At NURTUREart we are conscious of being part of a gentrification pattern that, although seemingly unavoidable and definitely not spearheaded by grassroots nonprofits like ours, has taken over major northern Brooklyn neighborhoods. That process changed the texture of this borough forever, and is currently at work on the neighborhood that we are based in today. Apart
from NURTUREart’s clear effort of expanding its audience with programs conceived for different age ranges, and remaining respectful of the many meanings that the word “Art” has in the life of individuals coming from different paths in life, the question of what makes us who we are -and whyremains open ended. When, at the beginning of this year, I took the role of Gallery Director of NURTUREart from Ben Evans’s capable hands, I was immediately challenged with creating a follow up to his landmark 2009 “Bushwick Biennial.” My instinct was to switch the focus from the general to the specific; from the macro to the micro. WE ARE: was born out of ongoing conversations I had with several fellow art professionals: what I wanted was to create a situation in which the identity of our organization first, and then the community in which it operates, would be under scrutiny. Hence the decision to open our doors to artists, curators and neighboring galleries, lend them a copy of the gallery keys and let them use the exhibition
space (and its roof) for a series of weekly exhibitions, performances, workshops and events. In the end, what we really are (from our board of trustees down to each member of the staff, interns and volunteers included) is artists, curators and cultural operators. It would be silly to ignore this reality. At the same time, we would not be here without the feedback of our growing public of supporters
and enthusiasts and the constant exchange with other art professionals. The input of this constituency helps us constantly redefine the boundaries of â€œourâ€? community, expanding and addressing it through art and art related programs. WE ARE: was conceived as a kaleidoscopic group portrait of the people that make us what we are. We hope that you will be able to see a reflection of yourself in it.
Opening Receptions and special events. T to B: WE ARE: Jonathan Ehrenberg and Meredith James, In Loving Memory.
WE ARE: Ivan Argote July 6-11 Our lives are constantly influenced by the forces of history, economy and politics. These forces saturate the environments we all live in Argoteâ€™s work questions how we experience those forces, and what our position in regards to them is. He often creates interventions and performances in the public space and video pieces that explore the city as a space of political and relational conflict. He works in many media: sculpture, installation, painting, photography and internet-based projects, also making site-specific projects that explore different relations between art, curators, galleries and the public.
Exhibition Installation and opening reception.
WE ARE: Ian Pedigo July 13-18. A mental construct is parallel to a physical construction. Whether architectonic or natural, each retains an aspect of conceptual or material congruency containing its form. As matter accumulates through a force such as the attraction of opposites or gravity, associations between thoughts and memories are brought together and become superimposed, like bits of sedimentary information compressed and metamorphosing into something concrete. The significance or identity of an object and image is the direct measure of its enduring preservation by something external. Through an intervention with the fleeting nature of materiality, the identity of an object retains an appearance of stasis only through its ongoing conservation or maintenance. As a vehicle possessing a sense of our value imbued upon it, our memories or thoughts are embodied within the materiality of the object itself, leaving it as a repository of our ideas that can be touched upon later.
Opening reception and exhibition Installation.
WE ARE: Miguel Amado PTown. A project by Joao Pedro Vale and Nuno Alexandre Ferreira (in collaboration with Sylvia Gruber, Cristina Hora and Sergio Rebelo). Curated by Miguel Amado. July 13-18 Identity politics established itself as a critical apparatus as a reaction to the dominant habits, values and customs of the capitalist system. Portuguese artist’s João Pedro Vale’s work construes the social struggle of civil rights and identity politics through camp imagery and queer aesthetics. The result is an uncanny combination of tradition and modernity that also addresses ethnicity, including the nationalist mythologies of his native country. Vale’s postmodern approach appropriates popular culture’s references—for example, a folk tale or an urban legend, but also the title of a song, sayings or literary expressions. His works replicate images and objects—including fishing boats, jewelry, and sports equipment—and are made of materials with a symbolic dimension—from cigarette packs to salt to soap. Ptown is one project that Vale devised in collaboration with Nuno Alexandre Ferreira, a work in progress dealing with Massachusetts’ Provincetown as a gay village, and its connection to Portugal via the 19th-century immigration of sailors from the Azores. Vale’s starting point was the local architecture, particularly the dune shacks along the seaside of Provincetown, and the formal association that these have to illegal housing on the Portuguese coast. In collusion with architects, he designed a mobile beach resort living unit to be installed in Provincetown, and to which the tent that was produced in a gallery setting alludes. A fanzine reproducing photographs, notes, statements, and other ephemera summarizes his research, revealing Ptown as an ode to memory and an allegory to forward thinking.
WE ARE: Fortress to Solitude Live and Let Die. Featuring Sarah Frost, Nadja Verena Marcin, Ash Sechler. Curated by Guillermo Creus. July 27 - August 1. Sarah Frost’s piece for the show, a near-scale paper model of a handheld heavy artillery machine gun (6 M2 .50cal Browning) metaphorically references targeting, shooting and killing. The artist says of her work: “Rather than making representations to create an art object, I accumulate cast-off objects that already exist. I choose them for their history, evidence of use and what they imply about their users. I then re-present these items in a different form and context.” Nadja Verena Marcin’s performance piece for this exhibition uses the earlier artist’s performance series Eve as a starting point. There, the artist placed herself as the fictional dead female character, whose corpse is lying naked in the quiet of secret and disturbing, staged rural settings. Never explicitly political, Marcin’s body of work maintains and contributes to feminist theories and practices. Ash Sechler’s sculptural piece is made of a thousand one dollar bills. The piece touches artwork valuation, and the tension that money brings to life, specifically to an artist’s life. The artist states: “The value of the piece will be brought to question. In one sense, the bills have a practical value. Said value is, however, faith based, illusory and appropriate for the traditional trompe l’oeil of the gallery where there is separation between perception and materiality.” By engaging through different conscious choices of metaphorical violence, these works play within a pathos that, somehow jokingly, creates a degree of tension in its audience by engaging them into the artworks’ (visual) space.
Opening reception and exhibition Installation.
WE ARE: Chelsea Haines and Eriola Pira Presenting: Scott Lawrence, Anton Terziev, Stephen Truax. With live comedy acts by: DAB, Peter Dâ€™Amato, Mike Duffy, Darren Miller, Austin Poplin, Travis Helwig, Andrew Ford, Gonzalo Cordova, Chris Burns, Ron Krasnow, Erik Bergstrom, Matt Wayne, Nadia Menco, Greg Stone, Anthony DeVito, Lucas Bros and others. August 3 - 8. The artists have a twofold comic intention: first, to make room for the comic object in an art gallery context, while allowing comedy its critical fun with that very setting. Second, by blurring the boundaries between comedic and artistic environments, producing a lighthearted and improvisational approach to both art and comedy. Artist David Robbins has defined the comic object as the product of concrete comedy. Like silent movies, concrete comedy is not verbal but physical. It does not depend on comic timing, but it can be an attitude that stretches through a lifetime; it needs no audience but only comic intent. Nonetheless, it remains theatrical in virtue of the situation that the comic gesture creates, and it does not depend on illusion, but on concrete actuality. Throughout the three days of the exhibition, artists and non-artists bring and present comic objects. The first day is the opening of an exhibition of comic objects by a select group of artists. The second day provides the setting for a comic event, where the artistic situation becomes a full comic situation. Activities include open mike sessions, the turning of the artistic/comic objects into props, improv performances and all of the buffooneries that may ensue. The final day of the exhibition takes the form of a comedy workshop day, where participants can learn to draw cartoons, make comic objects, write and tell jokes, create improv sketches and develop a sensibility to and appreciation of comedyâ€”in artistic practices as well.
Opening reception, stand up comedy show and exhibition installation.
WE ARE: Rachel Budde August 10 - 15. Budde develops a primordial female archetype of her invention through many paintings in order to understand her complexity and multi-dimensionality. The painting series is something of an effort to redeem the clichéd earth goddess through the foregrounding of a more sinister or unpredictable persona, as reflected in the grin of the Trickster, that evokes a more active, if not paradoxical role for the classic earth mother. Visually, the archetype is comprised of influences from Pop culture as well as from Pre-Historic ‘Venus’ figurines and Hindu Tantric painting. Her materials are informed by her studies of Tibetan Thangka painting and a pinstriper’s graphic line work done on her father’s cars and motorcycles, which provided an early childhood inspiration. Gouache and gold leaf are primarily used on paper both related to the everyday 8 x 11”, and to sacred, illuminated text or scroll masterpieces—in the grey area between ‘high’ and ‘low’ where she finds fertile ground. Her images are made not only to counter the images she is bombarded with in our mediated world, but to channel an energy she feels around and within her.
Artwork details, exhibition Installation and a picture taken during Buddeâ€™s urban herbalism workshop.
WE ARE: Famous Accountants More Joy. August 17 – 22 In their project More Joy, Famous Accountants (Ellen Letcher and Kevin Regan) hosted a series of 2–4 hours sessions with 8–12 experimenting with techniques described by William C. Schutz in his book Joy: Expanding Human Awareness (1967) and developed at the Esalen Institute, a spiritual retreat in Big Sur, California. More Joy includes classic exercises such as “Roll and Rock,” in which the group lifts the relaxed body of one member and passes him or her around the room, and “Breaking Out,” in which participants form a tight circle, arms interlocked, around a single person who is encouraged to escape. All sessions are documented on video. Research footage is displayed between sessions. The goal is to explore these techniques for their abstract potential to generate psychological or emotional affect. In this way, these “affective technologies” may generate intensified psychological or emotional states, shifts in consciousness, even epiphanies. People generally associate encounter groups with the loosening of inhibitions in a group setting—especially as the New Age, self-help industry exerted its influence on the Me Generation into the 1970s and beyond. Esalen methods and Schutz’s book Joy were uniquely 1960s and highly publicized. The scholar Jeffrey J. Kripal, in his book Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion (2007), contends that they took “a more stable form of transformative practice and morphed it into an all out assault on the psychical frontier.”
Opening reception and exhibition installation.
WE ARE: Regina Rex Permanent Collection. Featuring: Michelle Bolinger, Phaedra Brucato, Tyler Cufley & Jamisen Ogg, James Benjamin Franklin, Samara Golden, Julia Hechtman, Sarah Mae Ilderton, Athanasius Kircher, Caleb Lyons, Max Maslansky, Rosemary Mayer, Gilbert Rocha, Nola Romano, Sasha Rudensky, John Seal, Ben Seamons, Josh Slater, Sophia Warsh, Aaron Wexler, Anonymous). August 24-29. Regina Rex is an artist-run exhibition space located on the border of Ridgewood, Queens and Bushwick, Brooklyn. All of the exhibitions at Regina Rex develop through an inclusive collaborative structure and conversation between the thirteen participating curators. Permanent Collection is a conversation about the objects and artworks we live with, how weâ€™ve accumulated them and how they might speak to each other once gathered together in a room:
WE ARE: Jonathan Ehrenberg and Meredith James With a reading by: Carmela Ciuraru, Erica Ehrenberg, Samuel Leader, Stephen Motika, Molly Prentiss, Maria Rapoport, Melissa Seley and Jibade-Khalil Huffman. August 31 - September 5. Taking Arcimboldo as a starting point, Ehrenberg and Jamesâ€™ current project (a work in progress) features metamorphosizing figures made of fruits, vegetables and natural elements. The video is filmed using an optical trick called Pepperâ€™s Ghost, in which an image reflected in glass is overlaid on an image seen through the glass. The video feels suspended in a transitional space between concrete and reflected images.
Poetry reading, opening reception and exhibition Installation.
WE ARE: Ryan Kitson September 7-12 The visceral reaction to my work is the only thing Iâ€™m interested in. The process that leads to his objects is a series of steps that involves compressing ideas and existing physical elements together with the intent to create something that otherwise would never exist.
Opening reception and exhibition Installation.
Credits Book design: Marco Antonini Text editing: Alex Fethiere, Megan Snowe, Marco Antonini, all artists and curators involved. Photography and photo editing/retouch: Marco Antonini, Jonathan Ehrenberg, Greg Lindquist, Rebecca Marks Leopold, Rachel Steinberg, Kristyna and Marek Milde, Ryan Kitson, Joao Pedro Vale. (thanks to the many unknown photographers who were also taking turns with our gallery camera.) Print research and coordination: Megan Snowe
Thanks Thanks to all the volunteers, artists and curators who have contributed to making our 2010/11 season an exceptional period in NURTUREart’s history. Thanks to all our Sponsors and Supporters, small and big for contributing to another year of making things happen.
Staff Karley Klopfenstein (Development Director), Marco Antonini (Gallery Director), Molly O’Brien (Education Coordinator), Rachel Steinberg (Assistant Director). /// 2010/2011 Volunteers: Stephanie Agron, Charlotte Exantus, Vanessa Fernandez, Alex Fethiere, Eric Horn, Veronica Ingberg, Natalie Kerby, Chris McKenzie, Scarlet Millar, Alan Minor, Carolina Montesinos, Giovanni Saladino, Megan Snowe.
Board of Trustees Sayaka Araki, Deborah Brown, Jules DeBalincourt, Heather Dharci-Bandari, David Harper, Elliot Lable, Karen Marston, Julie McKim, Kristian Narvesen Nammack, Carol Salmanson, Benjamin Tischer.
Advisory Board Jerry Ahlin, Catherine Hannah Behrend, Mariestella ColónAstacio, Robert Curcio, Christine Dobush, Richard Fisher, David Gibson, Nicole Goldberg, Elizabeth M. Grady, Susan Hamburger, Sarah Jonathan Melber, Alexander Rahul, Richard Stewart.
Our Name Is Our Mission NURTUREart Non-Profit Inc. is dedicated to nurturing contemporary art by providing exhibition opportunities and resources for emerging artists, curators, and local public school students. The unique synergy between NURTUREartâ€™s programs generates a collaborative environment for artistic experimentation. This framework, along with other far-reaching programming, cultivates a supportive artistic network and enriches the local and larger cultural communities. NURTUREart Non-Profit Inc. is a 501(c)(3) New York State licensed, federally tax-exempt charitable art organization founded in 1998 by George J. Robinson. NURTUREart is funded in part by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, City Council Member Diana Reyna, City Council Member Stephen Levin, the Greenwall Foundation, the Harold and Colene Brown Foundation, the Leibovitz Foundation, the Greenwich Collection, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Milton and Sally Avery Foundation, the New York City Department of Education and generous individuals. It receives legal support from Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.
Contact Us NURTUREart Non Profit Inc. 56 Bogart St., Brooklyn, NY 11206 Tel. 718.782.7755 Fax. 718.569.2086 firstname.lastname@example.org www.nurtureart.org
Directions By Subway: Take the L train to the Morgan Avenue stop. Exit the station via Bogart Street. Look for the NURTUREart entrance on Bogart Street, close to the intersection with Harrison Place. By Car: Driving From Manhattan: Take the Williamsburg Bridge, stay in the outside lane, and take the Broadway / S. 5 St. exit. Turn left at light onto Havemeyer St. Turn right next light onto Borinquen Place, continue straight, street will change name to Grand Street. Turn right onto Bushwich Ave, left onto Johnson Ave, then right onto Bogart Street and Harrison Place.
Published on Dec 1, 2011
Information and Images from NURTUREart Gallery's 2010/11 exhibition season. Texts by Marco Antonini, Rachel Steinberg, Katie Cercone, Samant...