Summer Group Exhibition 2009: Selections from the Gallery's Artists
W A L T E R R A N D E L G A L L E R Y
is pleased to present
Selections from the Gallery's Artists
Summer Exhibition 2009
Through August 15th, 2009
Contemporary Painting, Sculpture & Photography
exhibited with European, Asian & Ethnographic works of art
dating from 2500 BC through the present
The female head has long been the subject of Josef Levi's creative process. He made this choice instinctively, but also with the understanding that the face, especially that of a woman, is the most immediately expressive part of the human body. The choice was further determined by his deep interest in traditional art of diverse cultures and periods. How could he not be enchanted with the haunting face of the Mona Lisa, with the sullen head of the Virgin from Piero della Francesca's San Sepolcro Altarpiece, and with the deliciously delicate faces depicted by Hokusai? From these and other great masters he drew inspiration for a personal handling of form and color. A new work from 2009, Cezanne G-4, Levi's personal response to Cezanne's free use of strokes and colors in his landscapes and portraits is presented in this exhibition. Expressive content and psychological characterizations are intensified in Levi's art by the very fact that he has reduced the female head generally to a computerized, abstract rendition of eyes and mouths. (Are not the eyes and mouth familiarly believed to be the most expressive parts of the human face?) With these dynamic forms he conveys a range of moods, among them aloofness, wariness, inquisitiveness and petulance.
Excerpted from the "Art of Josef Levi" by Jack WassermanProfessor Emeritus of Art History, Temple University, Rome 2009
Karl Mann's two shadow boxes filled with magical and wonderous narratives add wit and charm to this group exhibition. As Suzie Gablik wrote of his work, "We are lucky. We have in our midst someone who may just be the Lucretius of our time, an individual who, in his fondness for symmetries and for all that is combinatory, raises the stakes of making works of art from found objects to euphoric new heights. In one sense, Karl Mann is an absurd relic, a hunter-gatherer. He haunts flea markets as if they were neolithic campfires. He accumulates improbable objects by the hundreds and thousands, sometimes cramming them into rooms and rooms, and then, with an uncanny instinctive sense of aesthetic rightness, he puts everything together, perfectly joined and angled and composed as though it were a Mayan almanac or a Borghesian short story. It is easy to think of these works as epic poems or landscaped platforms or even just unbelievably imaginative fun stuff with fantastic special effects, but the fact is that Mann has a rare knack of never putting a foot wrong. Mann weaves this polyphonic multiplicity, a gnarled and spiky mixture full of teasing parallels and abstract patters, with fluency, irony, and control. "Who are we" Italo Calvin asks in Six Memos for the Next Millennium, "if not combination of experiences, information, books we have read, things imagined? Each life is an encyclopedia, a library, an inventory of objects, a series of styles, and everything can be constantly shuffled and reordered in every way conceivable" There is no doubt it, I think that Karl Mann's work is a particularly baroque form of the improvisational modus operandi Italo Calvino is describing."
Suzie Gablik is the author of The Reenchantment of Art, Has Modernism Failed? and Magritte.
TOULINOV & BOWIE
Toulinov & Bowie's collection of portraits, The Soul Within, of the homeless of New York is one of the highlights of this group exhibition. Arturo Toulinov is a Russian-born photographer who has documented New York City's homeless since 1998. Working in partnership with Leila Bowie, Toulinov combines an intuitive talent and romantic style to create striking portraits of his adopted city's destitute in a refined silver gelatin format. Drawing on the allegorical traditions of his homeland, Toulinov's portraits become both shocking and noble. His subjects are individuals befriended by the photographers, and their portraits belie an intimacy both explicit and fantastic; they are beautiful and beleaguered, dignified and decrepit, and they allude to similar qualities in all of us. Rembrandt used models he found in the ghettos of 17th-century Amsterdam to great and magnificent effect. He dressed them as kings, noblemen and characters from history; his work literally gave his subjects noblility. In a different manner the truth revealed in Toulinov & Bowie's investigations are startling; their images capture the nobility already inherent in these courageous sitters. Ultimately, Toulinov & Bowie commemorate their subjects through a form of documentation normally reserved for the wealthy and powerful. In photographing the homeless, Toulinov and Bowie make the power of relationships explicit. They use their powerful talent to grant honor where honor is due -- to those who have nothing except themselves - which in our current time we should examine if no only to be engaged by their plight, but also to reflect that this is the true human condition in which we all find ourselves.
Excerpted and adapted from the writings of Mitchell Algus
Jamie Titus believes that the artist, as the philosopher, must seek a unity of particulars, just as the 21st-century quantum physicist seeks a unified theory of "all." Employing the plastic language of paint to combine partial perceived truths of light, color and structure into a generalized reality, she creates a visual force that provides a dynamic interface between the creation and the observer/participant. Classical music is her primary source of inspiration, and the mathematics, logic and structure of music provides the starting point for her compositions. Her visions, both deeply conceived and spontaneously developed, are conveyed by her technique - a sophisticated combination of oil paint and refined glazing. Titus' work is a product of innate talent married to intensive study of the old masters. Early works echo the influence of Turner's light, and later, a series of deep blue paintings explore contrasting darkness. Titus' most recent work systematically tests the boundaries of abstraction. Her use of different hues is much like that of a composer's use of notes, and to these hues she applies refined intensities, layering them and crossing over and under each subtle tone in complex and beautiful rhythms. This work embraces a type of pure tonalism, as her extraordinary use of light and texture combine with a refined use of form to reveal the hidden inner construction. Titus has had solo exhibitions in New York, London and Chicago, and her work can be found in private and corporate collections throughout the United States and Europe. She now works out of her studio in New York City and as artist-in-residence in Perpignan, France. www.jamietitus.com
In the narrative theater of Smith's pieces, the mundane becomes mythic, and an irreverent realism infuses her scenes with an unmistakable theatricality. Her paintings are full of small seductions, with a delicious handling of drapery and clothing. Her depictions of life blend a kind of suburban disaffection that alludes to ambiguous narratives, with delicacy and, at times, a subtle sense of humor." - Shannon Collins. For the past several years Smith has been painting with egg tempera, a uniquely beautiful medium to work with. It starts with the daily creation of the paint by mixing finely ground powdered pigments with water and egg yolk. The paint is then applied in numerous semi-transparent layers of pure color that blend on the gesso surface, ultimately creating a luminous, glowing effect. The whole process has a meditative, almost ritualistic aura about it that is conducive to her method of forming imagery. www.mavissmithart.com
Noa Bornstein, a figurative sculptor and painter now working in Brooklyn, is originally from Los Angeles. Central to her aesthetic is her belief in mankind's potential for intelligence, empathy and compassion - and the tensions between these and other human propensities. The current group show presents two new works by the artist, both dated 2009. The polychromed sculpture of plaster and sisal called I Want to Live represents a rooster frantically escaping a Santeria sacrifice; hoping to survive as he flees for his life. At the other end of the emotional spectrum is Bornstein's Let's Dance, a miniature monument in bronze (less than 2 inches tall) celebrating the joyful union of one human with another. Together these two diverse works demonstrate how the artist marshals her technical facility and skillful modeling to convey a wide range of expression, from empathy for a creature less fortunate than ourselves to straightforward appreciation for man's enjoyment of life. Holly Solomon selected Bornstein's sculpture to receive the Catherine and Dennis Krusos Award of Excellence in 1997. The artist received the Knox Galleries Award for Cast Bronze from the North American Sculpture Biennial in Colorado in 2000. She was awarded First Prize for "Images of Social Justice, Small Works, Big Heart," Saint Joseph's College, Brooklyn, in 2006. Her work has been featured in ARTnews and many major newspapers, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Denver Post and Le Soir (Brussels).
Peter Mallo, an American artist born in 1979, presents two new drawings from 2009 in this group show. His inaugural solo exhibition at Walter Randel Gallery last Fall was met with great critical acclaim and selected by the New York Sun's art desk as the "Sculpture Exhibition Pick of the Fall 2008 Season." His work Pendant (2009), meticulously crafted of laminated Honduran mahogany, polished steel, carbon pigment and brass chain will also be featured in this exhibition. The Heraclitian concept of the unity of opposites is made visually manifest while the void and the material, the empty and the filled are integrated into one pendant whole. The world as it is, and the far-reaching poles of the human spirit as well, are embodied in this rigorous yet fluid work of great elegance and refinement. Equally strong in line and form as his sculptural works, these new drawings also demonstrate his facility and sensitivity in rendering drawings that range from the haunting and atmospheric to the edgy and daring with solidity, strength and boldness of his artistic vision. www.petermallo.com
The legendary French photographer, who started his career as the protégée of Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau as the visual chronicler of their lives and creative works, presents a selection prints from his vast oeuvre. Clergue, primarily known in America for his famous images of Picasso and Cocteau as well as his prolific portfolio of nudes, Clergue has never stopped re-inventing himself and developing the scope of his oeuvre. Mr. Clergue has had one-man shows at New York's Museum of Modern Art, the Centre Pompidou - Musée National d´Art Moderne, and has exhibited his work at the Musée Picasso in Paris. He is the founder of the important festival Rencontre Internationale de la Photographie and was inducted into the prestigious Académie des Beaux Arts as the first photographer ever to be recognized as a fine artist in 2006. The country that is home to the birth of photography with Nadar and Daguerre and welcomed influential expatriates such as Man Ray and Brassaї selected Lucien Clergue as the photographer to receive this honor. Over the years Clergue formed lasting and influential relationships with many renowned artists and writers throughout the world, including St John Perse, Roland Barthes, Michel Tournier, James Jones, Ansel Adams, Andre Kertesz, Irwing Shaw, Yasuhiro Ishimoto and Eikoh Hosoe, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Doisneau. The brilliance and integrity of his was recognized early on in his career by Edward Steichen who took charge of Clergue's exhibition at New York's Museum of Modern Art in 1961. The most important public collection of his work in the U.S are located at Fogg Museum, Harvard University; The University of Maryland; well as the MoMA (New York) the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We are pleased to announce that there will be a 50 year retrospective of his works in Spring 2010 at Walter Randel Gallery , and in preparation for that exhibition more than 500 of his prints will be available to preview during this exhibition and throughout the Fall season 2009.