The Flomenhaft's are proud to present portraits by artists represented by our gallery and in our gallery collection. Our inspiration was Roger Shimomura's artworks chosen by the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery, for "Asian in America/ Portraits of Encounter," opening Aug. 12, 2011, and remaining until October 14, 2012.
Artists we include are: Emma Amos, Joan Barber, Rimma Gerlovina & Valeriy Gerlovin, Neil Folberg, Roger Shimomura, Linda Stein, Miriam Schapiro, Siona Benjamin, Builder Levy, Estelle Yarinsky, Flo Oy Wong and Carrie Mae Weems.
Emma Amos, a renowned painter and master weaver, captures Bill T. Jones, the great dancer and choreographer, in grief for the passing of a dear friend, created in 1996 with acrylic on linen with African fabric borders. Emma was the only female artist invited to join Romare Bearden's Spiral art collective. A Spiral exhibition is planned for July 13 - Oct. 23 at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Lauren Haynes, the curator, wrote an article for the Studio magazine about Emma, after visiting her studio.
Rimma Gerlovina & Valeriy Gerlovin collaborate on photographs, often using Rimma as the model. The Gerlovins originally from Russia, now living in the US, are in some of the most prestigious collections in our country. To them the photographic works are "still happenings" that sum up all the "perhappiness" in life. Philosophically and involuntarily they feel that they exist in all that exists.
Joan Barber paints with a very quick brush. Facial expressions and body language are equally important in her portraits. She wants to keep the subconscious motives flowing before they are lost. Her art suggests an impatience for ecstasy; she feels that she owns all the feelings she captures in her paintings. Barber has exhibited nationally, and she has had two major commissions for The Carnival Cruise Lines.
Neil Folberg was commissioned to go through France "in the footsteps" of the Impressionist artists, creating with his camera works that those artists might have made had they lived today. On display is Lucie Rouart, the great, great granddaughter of Berthe Morisot. Folberg's book of photographs, "Celestial Nights," was the winner of New York Book Show Prize for photography in 2002, and a complete set of "Celestial Nights," owned by the Everson Museum, Syracuse University, will be on display there from July 16 - Sept. 18.
Roger Shimomura's paintings and prints address socio-political issues of Asian- Americans, with much of his material derived from his grandmother's diary writing. At age two Roger, along with his family, were put in the internment camp, Minidoka, in Idaho. Harm done by Americans unsympathetic towards Japanese-Americans at that time was a seminal experience for him and has pervaded his art. He is a celebrated lecturer and has won numerous awards throughout his career.
Linda Stein speaks movingly of the way gender stereotypes were reified after 9/11. The media made the heroes men (soldiers and first responders), and the victims women (the 9/11 widows most prominently). Fundamentally, Stein's art is about disturbing the binaries that organize our society and that we accept unquestioningly as natural. Through her art she has found the courage, the bravery to break these molds. Currently her solo show, The Fluidity of Gender, is traveling to 15 venues throughout the United States.
Miriam Schapiro, painter,"femmagist", sculptor, and printmaker, received her BA in 1945, MA in 1946 and MFA in 1949 at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, before becoming a renowned artist and teacher. She is the recipient of six honorary doctorates, and has been the subject of numerous doctoral and masters degree dissertations. She is known as a leader in two art movements: the "Feminist Art Movement" and "Pattern and Decoration."
Siona Benjamin is a recent recipient of the Fulbright Fellowship. Originally from Bombay, India, she is a painter now living in the US. Her work reflects her background as a Bene Israel Jew brought up in predominantly Hindu and Muslim India. Her paintings combine imagery of her past with the role she plays in America today, making a mosaic inspired by both Indian miniatures and Sephardic icons. In the Fall some results of her Fulbright journey in India will be displayed at the Flomenhaft Gallery.
Builder Levy has been intertwining social documentary, art and street photography to make objects of art for almost 50 years. He is a recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and many other awards, and is author of two books of his photographs. He has had more than 200 exhibitions, including more than 50 one person shows, and is in many collections world wide including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This exhibit features both gold-toned silver prints and recent platinum prints.
Estelle Kessler Yarinsky art is inspired by women in history who have been overlooked by the general public. She enjoys the research process: one clue leads to another, one person suggests another. She enjoys peeling away layers to reveal nuggets of information. Captured on fiber wall hangings, stitched with printed and textured fabrics, each portrait is surrounded by "props" that tell the story of an exemplary life.
Flo Oy Wong is a Chinese-American artist. With unapologetic wisdom, her works are visual tributes to the stories of people's lives. They manifest themselves as mixed-media narratives utilizing rice, rice sacks, photographs, Chinese funeral paper, sequins, thread, and other materials. Viewers encounter the perseverance and pride of people who have endured the harsh results of prejudice. Her art honors those who have been dishonored.
Carrie Mae Weems has long been interested in issues of identity. Racial biases regarding the African American experience and folk traditions have been among her many journeys via photography. Out of the unique folk culture, customs, superstitions and Gullah language patterns of the Sea Islands of Georgia people, she created a historical chronicle. Jekyll Island, one of the many southern haunting grounds of the mythic figure, High John de Conquer, was the last illegal refuge of the slave trade. Combining photographs with texts of African American lore, she reaches out to the earliest times when slaves were brought to America.