ZBCA Annual Group Show 2014
Zane Bennett Contemporary Art is pleased to announce the ZBCA Annual Group Show 2014, an exhibition of works by represented artists Holly Roberts, David Nakabayashi, Karen Yank, Michael Freitas Wood, Sonya Kelliher-Combs, Heidi Brandow, Karina Hean among others. The opening is Friday, November 28, 2014, at the gallery: 435 South Guadalupe Street, across from the rail station, from 5:00 - 7:00 pm. Artists will be present.
David Nakabayashi will be presenting new paintings based on the story of Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of the volcano. Born in Hawaii to a Japanese/Hawaiian father and a mixed European mother, Nakabayashi has always been strongly influenced by his Asia/Pacific heritage. Recently, the artist moved from El Paso, Texas to New York City. Though the extreme change in surroundings was very exciting, it felt strange to be painting the ocean while surrounded by the experience of New York City. Even so, the artist felt compelled to create this series. The ideas and imagery for this series had been developing in his mind for several years, and regardless of the environment, it was time they became paintings. So the story of Pele is set against many of David Nakabayashi's recurring themes. The artist has used the ocean as a recurring motif that connects him back to his heritage, no matter where he is. Additionally, the images of oil refineries and transmission towers represent consumption and observations regarding climate change and the state of the environment. The result is a series of work that expertly blends the stories and culture of the artist's Hawaiian heritage with issues facing the contemporary world in a surreal, striking, and absolutely captivating way.
Holly Roberts will be showing several recent works created during her time teaching in an intensive workshop at Anderson Ranch this past fall. Roberts set a rule for herself during this time: all the materials for her work created during this period had to be either found or given to her. The result is a series of work that is both eerie and ethereally beautiful. True to Roberts unique style of combining painting and auto-collage, these works have a delicacy to them that differs somewhat from other recent works. Perhaps it is the materials that she found or received to create these works - pine cones, dead flies, shells, Japanese paper, stained tissue paper, a dead brown snake and yellowed dictionary pages - that came together so harmoniously. What results is a set of works with an almost dreamlike feel. The paint more delicately applied. The photographs of the found objects seem almost translucent, small in size - the work speaks to memory and the sub-conscious.
Michael Freitas Wood will be presenting a new work entitled Liverpool Songs. Michael Freitas Wood 's approach to art-making is one of control and precision, creating complex grids of pigmented plaster that result in intricate and hypnotic compositions of geometric shapes. The artist's process is measured and lengthy, with works taking between one to three months to complete. The resulting work reflects the kind of meditative state that is also present in the creation of the work. The viewer is not challenged to find hidden meanings in each work but simply to discover the work itself. The initial first glance draws the eye in and, as one looks closer, it is easy to become absorbed in each tiny detail. The result is that the audience experiences the same meditative state when viewing as the artist experienced when creating.
Karen Yank will present three of her new wall sculptures: Align, the triptych X-O Tri,o and Mandorla Duet. Each work is created with steel and stainless steel and includes recurring visual themes in Yank's work . She continues her use of the circle which is reflected in all that is natural - the sun and moon, cycles of life, and time. This shape, which is one of the oldest symbols in human history, for the artist, represents the notion of unity. Yank also employs the X in much of her work. The use of this symbol reflects themes of intersection, joining and crossing. Karen Yank states: "The primary focus of my work is on non-verbal communication and emotional nuances that are unspoken. I strive to express a context that can be understood in a moment, but with layers that can be seen for those who pause. I try to reveal an organic nature with a sense of history in a material that is usually cold and industrial. Every weld and grind mark is an intentional decision. I attempt to reflect a beauty that can only be found in the organic." While her work is made of industrial materials and consists of clean lines and expert construction, it does not reflect the general perception of "coldness" that these elements might imply. Karen Yank achieves her intention though the use of symbolism and mark making, leaving traces of the presence of the human hand. It is expressive, organic, and evocative of the natural world.
Native Alaskan artist, Sonya Kelliher-Combs has contributed to the exhibition with two new works from her Walrus Family Portrait Series. The works are created by creating a "skin" using multiple layers of acrylic polymer. The artist imbues the numerous layers with many materials, such as thread, walrus stomach, pieces of fabric, porcupine quills and pigments often created with non-traditional materials such as grass, wine, earth and coffee. The layered polymer can then be stretched, like one would a canvas, over a wooden frame. The work retains a depth and translucency. The surface is textural and rich. Kelliher-Combs further describes the intention of this series: "The image in the Walrus Family Portrait Series comes from my Inupiaq heritage. Similar to a last name, certain patterns adorning Alaska Native garments are linked to families and communities. My Inupiaq family used this pattern on their parkas for generations." Kelliher-Combs achieves an expression of her heritage that is both contemporary and paradoxically traditional, deeply personal, subtle, and intimate yet incredibly powerful.
The ZBCA Annual Group Show will also feature two new works from Karina Hean's a storm a structure series, as well as works by Susan Davidoff and Heidi Brandow among others.