"Disconnected Realities": Viridian Affiliate Artists
Viridian Affiliate Artists
January 15th to February 2, 2013
Opening reception Thursday January 17th, 6-8PM
William Atkins, Joshua Greenberg, Renee Kahn, Elvira Lantenhammer,
Jeffrey Melzack, Vernita N’Cognita, Lauren Purje, Michael Rippl, Sheila Smith,
Katherine Ellinger Smith, Meredeth Turshen
Chelsea, NYC: Viridian Artists is pleased to present "Disconnected Realities" an exhibition of outstanding art by ten artists who are part of the Affiliate program at the gallery. The exhibit will continue from January 15 to February 2, 2013, at 548 West 28th Street, also accessible from 547 W 27th Street on the 6th floor. There will be an opening reception Thursday January 17, 6-8PM. The Viridian Artists Affiliate program is a special gallery program that is an important aspect of Viridian's mission to expand exhibition opportunities for outstanding contemporary artists. All art could be said to be the expression of an inner reality or a re-interpretation that each artist presents as their reality. In this exhibition, however, each artist has created a new reality, inspired or not by another, but disconnected and personal to their own view of life today, tomorrow and yesterday.
William Atkins' “Iguanodon Portraits” are a series of portraits based upon the aesthetics of 19th century photography. They were photographed with an antique camera akin to the cameras used during the Victorian era, using an 8x10 inch negative that is contact printed onto the paper. In this series, the photographer is inspired by Hiroshi Sugimoto's belief that photography functions as a fossilization of time and the fact that the first recognized dinosaur fossils were found during the Victorian age. Atkins intention is to lead the viewer to believe these portraits, like the early dinosaur models, are correct. Upon closer inspection, however, the viewer finds that all is not as it seems, anachronisms and inaccuracies flourish in varying degrees. Atkins wants us to think about what has changed; who the characters portrayed are and ask what kind of world he or she comes from.
In this series, Joshua Greenberg explores the expression of visual ideas through grouping related images in bold and soft colors highlighting shapes and curves with a lack of distinct color forms. He, instead interlaces the colors to provide a sense of movement which is also supported by the curves and the changing quality of light. The lines and variable textures provide a framework for the abstractions, foreshadowing the direction of movement. “The threes provide representation in a sea of abstraction and along with the lines, serve as a platform from which to explore smaller sections of the abstract image”.
Renee Kahn’s conceptual approach to the figure has been molded by memories, emotions and reactions to body language. In her paintings, she expresses emotions through body language, design and color. Her themes are family, religion, relationships, motherhood, and life’s passages. The goal in her paintings is to create maximum intensity using the least amount of means.
In her “site plans”, Elvira Lantenhammer reprocesses excerpts of maps and street plans into painted tableaus – sometimes in large format – to arrive at the formal basic structure and essence of a place. She paints the intuitively found base-colour of the place – the radiance, the atmosphere, in superimposed layers of colour, condensed into large-format colour compositions as a “subject with variations”. In her abstract acrylic paintings on canvas or egg tempera paintings on wood, the main points of orientation for the viewer are the dominant colours. “I am inspired by the wonderful brightness of the colours of the early Italian paintings. With the background of my education as restorer, I use this traditional materials pigment/ egg tempera on wood to express what I feel about a certain place or about a place of my fantasy.”
For Jeffrey Melzack, the ancient concept of telling stories through pictorial symbols serves as the inspiration for the images in his paintings. The body of his work is connected by a symbolic language of visual images that gives voice to his understanding of the world and becomes a visual language without boundaries. Using an underlying formula, he has established a rational for the compositions. The artist says that “I learned that my visual language had a power I could call upon to help my understanding of the world seemingly filled with so many ambiguities, some serious, some comical, some secular and some profoundly spiritual.”
Vernita N'Cognita's artmaking is concerned with translating inner realities into installations, performances, photographs, monoprints and m/m collages. Through her visual and performance art, she creates a visual autobiography addressing issues of relationship, loss and self-actualization reflecting the complexities and nuances of her 21st century life. These images are from a series using body, dress and botanical prints combined with collage.
In her paintings, Lauren Purje juxtaposes cartoon imagery with painterly backgrounds, exploring the sublime and the absurd as concepts related closely to one another. She feels that the often dire circumstances surrounding thoughts of life and death, can be lightened and given new meaning when illustrated through this contrary juxtaposition of 19th century painterly backgrounds with comic-like characters.
Michael Rippl, a German artist, re-creates images he finds and works on them time and again over the years. In this exhibit one of his works is based on a photo by Andreas Caspari, taken from a ten meter diving tower, which was enlarged on a computer monitor. A detail of it was photographed with a Polaroid camera and the Polaroid manipulated by Rippl, creating a picture from a picture.
Katherine Ellinger Smith's work also is involved with transforming found images into her own work, but she begins by taking digital photos of vintage movies directly from her television screen. After identifying the image she most feels a relationship with, she then recreates it as a large-scale painting.
Sheila Smith's images are photographs of sections of collages that she has created as raw material for her final images. She then re-composes with the camera so that she can create a variety of abstract compositions from one abstract painted collage.
Meredeth Turshen states that "after a year's absence, I returned to my studio filled with energy--these pieces seemed to burst out of my pent-up longing to paint again and are an affirmation of my belief in the power of art to heal, console, enrich and enhance.”
Gallery hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 12 - 6 p.m.
For further information please contact Vernita Nemec, Gallery Director