The Front Room Gallery is proud to present the sizzling "Summer Sampler", a mesmerizing morsel for the eyes, featuring works by the last season's Front Room artists as well as a preview of the shows to come, and some splendid new selections. With works by: Sasha Bezzubov, Thomas Broadbent, Ethan Crenson, Jacob Crose, Peter Fox, Sihaya Harris, Sean Hemmerle, Amy Hill, Stephen Mallon, Sascha Mallon, Mark Masyga, Melissa Pokorny, Ross Racine, Emily Roz, Patricia Smith, Rodger Stevens, Joanne Ungar, Julia Whitney Barnes and Edie Winograde.
Thomas Broadbent, known for his large-scale sculptural installations, creates works on paper that explore existentialist ideas through trompe l'oeil representations of seemingly unrelated objects and scenes. These works stride between illusion and metaphor to consider the physical reality of each piece and its representative elements. Broadbent's detailed watercolors question the utility of each component when presented in such a manner to disengage and re-present their perceived use.
Ethan Crenson is a New York based artist and curator, his multiple: "Waffle" is featured in Fuse Works Multiples and Editions, a program which investigates multiples as a field of artistic discourse and inquiry itself, rather than simply a means of mass-producing their efforts. Crenson's "Waffle" is made in nearly the same manner as the standard waffles, except that rather than using batter, a vintage cast iron waffle iron was filled with molten glass at 2400 degrees F.
Jacob Crose's ink and water color works on paper use a cast of carefully selected objects and/or animals, with the addition of text depicted in a self-conscious, sketchbook-quality drawing style. Crose yields an off-kilter, dead-pan humor with auto-biographical revelations in the sharply edited texts, making for an intimately personal composition. The implied parallels between the text and the imagery draw a focus to the relevance of each element within the tight context of Crose's vision.
Peter Fox's vibrant paintings incorporate elements of Minimalism, OP art and Psychadelia. Fox spills paint onto the canvas, allowing chance and fluid dynamics a central role in shaping process and outcome. Fox creates a visual structure that accumulates on the surface of each painting, developing a textural world of color that is drenched in abstraction. Entering a new arena of self-reflexive discourse, Fox has established a nuanced language, built from his vocabulary developed through his signature style of drip painting.
Sihaya Harris explores the social stigmas associated with the physicality of the corporeal body and sexual desire. In her installation "Interstate," Harris references middle-class luxury and the absurdity of the goal of 'The American Dream' (complete with "magic fingers.") As a departure from Judeo-Christian influences and traces of puritanism, still prevalent in the backcountry, Harris' piece delivers the viewer to the cross-section of the fear, shame, and uneasiness with the animal nature of the body and the sin of concupiscence.
Sean Hemmerle is an award winning New York based photographer specializing in architectural and landscape photography. His series "The Death of (a certain type of) Photography poignantly captures the retirement of film as the main media of photographers. His first chapter within this series: John J. Finn, documents the technical equipment a photographer would have traditionally carried, from light meters, to lenses, their functions are abstracted in stark compositions with their utility stripped away, just the aesthetic of the object remains.
Amy Hill's approach to painting is both a material and historical process drawing on the simultaneous naiveté and precocious power of observation of fifteenth century Flemish painters. In this manner, Hill makes an anachronistic examination of punk and bohemian culture with technological nuance sneaking into the narrative. Amy Hill will be our featured artist in September with a solo show of her new paintings including her recent series, contemporizing the notion of the Seven Deadly Sins. On view for the Summer Sampler is a selection from from Hill's recent series, entitled "Apathy"
Stephen Mallon will be releasing a new addition to his series, "Next Stop Atlantic." entitled "The End." This stunning series of photographs capture the retirement of hundreds of New York City Subway cars to the depths of the Atlantic Ocean in order to create artificial reefs. Mallon's photographs elicit both the sadness and the beauty of cascading water overtaking these iconic figures of New York transit as they sink beneath the surface of the water; surges and sprays are caught in time. This newest release to the series shows the immensity of the project and the grandeur of these beloved New York City figures on their last journey out to sea.
Sascha Mallon's work creates a surreal world of intricate narratives, an interior space from which her multifacted characters transgress into the exterior. She renders a peculiar story-book from history: history of symbiosis of man and nature, and human imperfection, bringing to life protagonists of stories about greed, fear, love, hurt, emptiness and beauty. These delicate pen and ink drawings mold a structure from multilayered, fused and transformative impressions thoughts and emotions.
Mark Masyga's engaging style of painting is informed by natural and man-made disasters, hovering indeterminately between landscape and abstraction. Building foundations of tone and form, Masyga references deterioration and the natural de-evolution from order to disorder. His paintings are considered from every angle, with a full composition pallet and tone, which produces a sense of disorientation and a feeling of the uncanny.
Melissa Pokorny's photo assemblage installations reveal the extraordinary beauty hidden in the guise of the every day. Domestic objects gleaned from estate sales are combined with photographs and casts of utilitarian objects. Pokorny recontextualizes tin litho serving platters and crocheted wool to create evocative tableaus that blur the boundaries between the domestic sphere and the natural world, the animate and the inanimate, the magical and the mundane, and remembered or invented memories of places and things.
Ross Racine depicts realistic aerial views of fictional suburban communities, which amplify an awareness of modern choices in building and living styles. Racine employs common structural archetypes in his compositions, with an expanded view that exaggerates the rational utility of these imagined infrastructures. In his most recent works, Racine has added color to his palette, creating a layer of mystery and intrigue to his aerial depictions of fictional suburban communities.
Emily Roz investigates basic primitive directives of Cockfightsurvival, culling the animal kingdom to stage allegorical scenes in seemingly native habitats, revealed as illusion, with her insertion of domestic floral. These works display the incongruity within wild, natural impulses and the human desire to cultivate beauty through the propagation of plant-life, hovering over the thin line between passion and rage, horror and beauty. Roz reveals the equanimity of hostility and kindness, and of never-ending Spring.
Patricia Smith's meticulous, quietly subversive works on paper in ink and watercolor are reminiscent of architectural drawings, medical illustration, and antique maps. Her series Plot Plans for an Ideal City articulate internal thoughts and concerns, revealing an underlying hidden structure to social phenomena and psychological patterns, suggesting a depiction of both the individual mind and the broader culture. This series devolves and evolves these systems with a repetition of print making, intricate hand drawn elements and attentive color washes.
Rodger Stevens' installation of his linear sculptures create a space of inhabited entities, sometimes recognizable, often not, of shape and form; homages to often under appreciated things around him, they are like Egyptian hieroglyphs of our current times. The space defined by his sculptural installations incorporate shadows on the wall, kinetic elements active these works to create a hightly engaging experience of line, light and shadow.
Sasha Bezzubov and Jessica Sucher have been collaborating since 2002, creating series which bring a perspective of clarity to conflicts and present an empathetic vision to charged social and political issues. The boldness of their subject matter is portrayed in evoking, poetic photographs that are masterfully composed. Their recent series "Not-Self Portraits," obscures the direct compositional standards in portraiture to create empathic images, blurring the definition of their subject's features.
Joanne Ungar's process oriented wax collages involve a method of layering and blending different waxes with geometric shapes and objects, usually laser cut plexi-glass or corrugated cardboard. The slow progression of embedding objects in the viscous wax layer after layer, while selectively encouraging and discouraging air-bubbles and other artifacts, mixes the straightforward constraints of technique with the unpredictable variability of the medium. The results are unpredictable ethereal gems, coaxed out of unusually mundane materials.
Julia Whitney Barnes, a New York based artist known for her vivid, luminous paintings which cull naturalistic imagery from an abstracted ground as well as her nature infused ceramic works, presents a series of painted porcelain vignettes. These relief images in ceramic, are illuminated with a series of luscious glazes and pressed organic patterns which reference elemental components of being.
Edie Winograde photographs extravagantly theatrical staged pageants of historical/legendary events surrounding Manifest Destiny and Westward Expansion, presented in the original locales. Her work invokes the cultural memory as it has been colored by Western films, paintings, and television shows, thus representing a unique window into the American psyche, combining historical facts, myths, and legends with dramatic devices to entertain and educate the local audiences. Edie Winograde will be featured this Fall in a solo exhibition entitled: Sight Seen: A new series of photographs depicting the uncertainties about the touristic experience of history in the landscape.