Surface Tension is Deborah Wing-Sproul's direct response to my painting, Anxieties and Alienations, currently on display.
a drawing performance by Deborah Wing-Sproul accompanying Kate Beck's solo exhibition, Conditions of Existence.
Deborah Wing-Sproul is a multidisciplinary artist working primarily in video and performance. Her performances (or "performative acts") permeate the genres of sculpture/installation, drawing, photography and printmaking. Beginning in the mid '70's she studied modern dance and later went on to choreograph. She has studied under Merce Cunningham and others, including Douglas Dunn, Dan Wagoner, Viola Farber Company members, and June Finch. Wing-Sproul has also studied with voice/movement composer/performer Meredith Monk and reperformed multiple works for Marina Abramović's retrospective, The Artist Is Present,MoMA, NYC, (March 14-May 31, 2010).
Kate Beck detail Anxieties + Alienations
Poured Oil, Enamel, Powdered Graphite on Aluminum Panel 89 x 185 inches2010
on Surface Tension:
"I’m interested in sustained, repeated and incremental movements. I’m also interested in stillness. These aspects of restrained movement engage me in terms of physical gesture, presence, focus and discipline but also in terms of what they can suggest (i.e., humility, vulnerability) or what they can lead to (i.e., subtle shifts in state of mind).
In responding to Kate Beck’s painting, Anxieties and Alienations, I wanted to make visible the kinetic sensibility within her gesture. Surface Tension parallels Beck’s commitment to the seemingly effortless act of a single line, or series of articulated lines.
In Transparent Gestures (2005) I explored the limits of my physical reach to create large-scale prints that captured distinct repetitious movements. Surface Tension is part of a larger series of performance drawings that I have been developing to engage my body in actions of minimal sustained movement. My devices represent conceptual constraints on the drawing process, limiting (while also supporting) my repertoire of movement and mark making.
Kate Beck Anxieties + Alienations
Poured Oil, Enamel, Powdered Graphite on Aluminum Panel 89 x 185 inches2010
The gravitational pull in Beck’s Anxieties and Alienations is visceral. In turn, I push (against) gravity instead of falling from it. I am referring to all of her lines, painted and drawn, through the use of a single stroke of graphite. Surface Tension echos Anxieties and Alienations not because I use paint or move in a fluid way but because I empathize with her focus, intent, voice and vulnerability. Our works begin and end in different places but we recognize in each others process a shared internal language.
“I’m not asking a poem to carry a lot of rocks in its pockets. Just being an ordinary observer and liver and feeler and letting the experience get through you onto the notebook with the pen, through the arm, out of the body, onto the page, without distortion.” —Sharon Olds
My thanks and gratitude to Kate Beck for inviting me to perform this work in the context of her solo exhibition, Conditions of Existence; and to Todd Masters for the opportunity to premiere this piece at Pelavin Gallery, December 9, 2010." -Deborah Wing-Sproul
Cassie Jones When and Between 2010 Acrylic Felt Staples on Panel 12x10x5 inches
Cassie Jones makes flat paintings on plastic and low-relief paintings on upholstered panels within a vocabulary of line, shape, color and paradoxical tension. I want to call them all drawings.
Cassie Jones Figure 1a 2004, Alkyd on Acrylite 18x24 inches
Her work takes formal components and serves them up in a way that allows “...mutations, hybrids, and synthetic forms to take shape...”
Cassie Jones Receiver 2010 Acrylic Felt Staples on Panel 13x10x4 inches
Line becomes a kind of pictorial register of movement and action. Form becomes gesture. A dialogue emerges, tempered with a twist of spontaneity and off-the-grid humor. It is a conversation I want to have...
Cassie Jones Rook 2009, Acrylic on Duralar, 11x11 inches
Very complex emotions can be evoked from the simplest forms and gesture; the idea of recognizable colors and shapes pulsating amongst irrational thought and feeling.
Cassie Jones Spine 2005 Acrylic on Duralar 17x14 inches
When an artist transforms recognizable materials into artworks, human consciousness intrinsically pervades the viewer's mind. Eye sight is biased by all of the histories, thoughts, associations we may bring to the moment.
Cassie Jones Roll 2006, Acrylic on Duralar 17x14 inches
This is the nature of painting, the subliminal undercurrent that stokes action in the studio, and relinquishes our grasp upon release.
Cassie Jones Second Split 2009, Acrylic Felt Staples on Panel 12x10x3 inches
"..There are still lots of surprises along the way and the pieces always diverge from my initial imaginings, but the process of realizing the piece is very different from the spontaneity of the works on paper, " says Jones.
"....I knew I wanted the works on paper to be in dialogue with the larger, low-relief paintings," she said. "Because while they are disparate bodies of work in some ways, they both begin with intuitive responses to my materials and hopefully arrive at a place where the contradictions in the work are posed like questions, not to be resolved, but to be explored."
Cassie Jones Figure 2b 2004, Alkyd on Acrylite, 18x24 inches
Cassie Jones lives in Brunswick, Maine. She received her MFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2008 and her BA from Bowdoin College in 2001. Her work has been shown in solo exhibitions at Space Gallery and Coleman Burke Gallery in New York, as well as group exhibitions at Art Chicago, Gallery 808 in Boston, the Portland Museum of Art, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, and others. She has been awarded residencies at Yaddo, the Vermont Studio Center, and the MacDowell Colony.
Katherine Bradford Liner Pointed Paint on Plaster and Wood, 8 x 4 x 6 inches, 2010
"Human nature is like water It takes the shape of its container." - Wallace Stevens
A vital resource, and a natural element, water is at once physical yet formless, transparent yet reflective. Katherine Bradford provides form to contain it, imposing shape, surface, and volume -- and metaphorically, soups it up.
A very small piece can control you.
Katherine Bradford Cropped Boat Paint on Plaster and Wood, 4 x 12 x 9 inches, 2009 - 2010
Bradford's water-based imagery jettisons forward a degree or two in her current show, Ocean Liners, at Aucocisco Gallery in Portland, Maine. The exhibit includes both large and small paintings, works on paper, a video and handmade objects.
"In my painting studio (at Skowhegan 2009) with chair painted by one of the participants."
In her own words:
“While at Skowhegan everything started to look like an Ocean Liner – the chips of Styrofoam used to test the fresco, the hunks of wood on the floor of the sculptors’ workshop and the pointed pencil holder I found stuck to the wall of an abandoned studio. I added paint and smoke stacks and eventually these objects became the props for a video about the story of the Titanic.
Katherine Bradford Liner Rose Monotype Unframed Monotype, 23 x 20 inches, 2009
"Since everyone knows the plot I felt I could be as playful as I wanted with how the story is told. The climatic scene, for example, takes place on a snowy sidewalk in Brooklyn; other scenes were shot in a tub of water filled with ice cubes. It seemed the best way to show the smallness of this great Ocean Liner that eventually proved to be so vulnerable in the open seas.”
Katherine Bradford Liner Orange Knobs Paint on Wood with Collage, 11x9 inches, 2010
It is a matter of tension and control. When we see objects constructed from familiar or found materials, we think we know what they are. Bradford fools us into believing her story. We sense familiarity when in fact we are "vulnerable in open seas". Much like the individual confronted by the immensity of the universe, or the existential lonliness of the long-distance dreamer perched on the edge of nothingness, we are transported into Bradford's fictitious and illusionist pictorial space.
Katherine Bradford Ship with Red Sky Acrylic on Canvas, 10x14 inches, 2010
".... We can’t figure out exactly what is going on. The longer we look, the more suggestive Bradford’s abraded brushstrokes, dabs, irregular patches and scumbling become. It’s as if we have entered a trance-like state that is similar to the one possessing the figures in her paintings. Bradford knows her medium well enough to trust it, and, more importantly, to let her marks become evocative without nudging them into an easily definable realm...." - John Yau, from Katherine Bradford by Life and Land, Recent Paintings, The Brooklyn Rail, June 2007
"Just before I gave the talk on my work, I am wearing the mike amplifier and a faux tux (Skowhegan, 2009)."
Katherine Bradford was born in New York City, graduated from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, and received an MFA from SUNY Purchase College in New York.
"My favorite time at Skowhegan was this dance around the bonfire. I am wearing a red cap because it was drizzling rain."
In the 70’s, Katherine Bradford was living year round in Maine and began to make paintings that were abstract and took their inspiration from nature. Gradually she introduced images and symbols into her work so that at present her paintings exist in the area between abstraction and representation.
"Sign made by one of the participants (Skowhegan 2009)."
Bradford teaches at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia and Manhattan's Fashion Institute of Technology. She is the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant award. Her work has been exhibited in galleries in New York, Chicago, Boston, and Maine, and is represented in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum and the Portland Museum of Art.
Aucocisco Gallery, Katherine Bradford: Ocean Liner, through May 29, 89 Exchange St., Portland, 775-2222 or aucocisco.com.
José Heerkens Luminous Square XII, 2009 70x70 cm, oil on linen
José Heerkens lives and works in Zeeland, NB, a village in the southeast of The Netherlands. She is fascinated by space, by light, by rhythym and color. Her non-objective paintings and drawings are elegant explorations and discoveries, reflective of the environment.
José Heerkens April Studio 2010
"Today is a beautiful Sunday, silent and sunny. Spring has started very slowly this year. The photo shows the east side, the windows are on the northside. The total space is about 110 square meters."
José Heerkens Color Study, 2009 30x20 cm, colored pencil on paper
In her own words:
"I have a fascination for the endlessness of the space of the landscape (which) forms the basis of my work. As a child, I looked at the rhythym of the trees, the colors and forms of the ploughed fields, the water in the ditches and listened to how the people talked and saw how they built and worked. I think the need to understand life is the first step on the way to art.
José Heerkens Written Colours, II, 2010 150x200cm, oil on linen
"In my work line is always an important means to visualize space. Lines form and lead space toward rhythmic constructions. I search for the life and human on one side, and the geometry, the universal standard, on the other side; space as silence and emptiness on one side, and completeness and perfection on the other side. There is a constant dialogue between construction and intuition. I need them both in my effort to understand.
José Heerkens Passing Colours IV, 2009 30x30cm, oil on linen
"Colour is a whole world. Colour is light, space, energy, movement, and I strive towards a space where these qualities, in all clarity, meet.
José Heerkens Reality of Light, IV, 2010 120x120cm, oil on linen
"The painting becomes a place where light and space seek and form each other. In several series I leave the linen unpainted so the colour and the material of the pure linen is part of the painting.
José Heerkens Written Colours, I 2010 150x200cm, oil on linen
"I work on series at the same time so that they develop side by side, simultaneously. Sometimes a series goes on for years. Some of my newest work is titled, 'Written Colours'. These paintings show a new step in my work".
José Heerkens studied at Koninklijke Academie voor Kunst en Vormgeving, s-Hertogenbosch (Noord Brabant). She has also had educational travels in Iceland and the Westman Islands, Singapore, Norway, France, Germany, Italy, Australia, Greece, Malaysia and the United States.
José Heerkens Reality of Light III, 2009 120x120cm oil on linen
Formeel 2010, an exhibitoion with Cecilia Vissers, opens on May 21 in Museum Waterland in Pumerend (NH).
Joshua Ferry Friendship. 2009 Acrylic and Wax on Canvas. 14 X 18 inches.
"An inquiry into color can take you just about anywhere". So says David Batchelor in his book Chromophobia, his main premise being resistance to the argument that there exists in Western culture and intellectualism a fear of color relegating hue to the realm of the superficial, the supplementary, the inessential, and the cosmetic.
I am not afraid. As an artist whose work exists primarily within the black and white extremes of the spectrum (...black being the achromatic color value of minimum lightness or maximum darkness, one extreme of the neutral gray series, the opposite being white...), that may sound a bit unconvincing. But remember the lessons from Color Theory 101: primary colors are necessary to create those neutrals. It's what makes the color wheel go round...
Penelope Jones Orange Gate 5x4.5 inches, Casein
Penelope Jones and Joshua Ferry create paintings with an emphasis on color, structure and materials, their highly worked surfaces imbuing a sense of both strength and immense sensitivity. They make works of passion, and purpose. They are not afraid.
I saw Joshua Ferry's paintings at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art biennial exhibition in 2008. His dynamic use of simple imagery and color are understated, clear and powerful. Ferry creates his paintings with a focus on physical process and materials, sometimes laced with political reference, which leads him into his work.
Joshua Ferry I Will Follow. 2007 Acrylic on Canvas. 44 X 26 inches.
"This painting started as a list of words such as; walk, skip, jump, trip, stumble, etc... Words relating to basic body movements. Then I started erasing the words with blocks of color- ultimately becoming interested in the stack of colors. Seeming too rigid, I painted over a few of them free-hand."
Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1971, and growing up in New Hampshire and Maine, Ferry is the youngest of four brothers. He has lived in New Jersey for over 12 years with his wife, Karen, and still returns to Maine during the summers. He holds an MFA from Rutgers University's Mason Gross School of the Arts and a BFA from the Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine where he studied with James Cambronne and Johnnie Winona Ross. He has been a resident at the Vermont Studio Center and the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida, and has worked as a studio assistant to both Donald Sultan and Bruce Robbins in New York.
Joshua Ferry Casket. 2004 Oil, Acrylic, Alkyd Resin and Wax on Canvas. 50 X 42 inches.
Ferry received an Honorable Mention for his work in the Center for Maine Contemporary Art’s 2008 Biennial and has also been exhibited at Coleman Burke Gallery, NYC , the Mercer Gallery in New York, the Allentown Art Museum in Pennsylvania, and in the Portland Museum of Art 2005 Biennial.
Joshua Ferry Pros and Cons, 2007 is 16 X 20 inches.
"This painting started as a grey grid. Then, I painted color crosses into each square. I was thinking about alter cloths, quilts, and religious banners. Later, I thought of the crosses as plus signs and responded by painting minus signs over them."
In his own words:
"My paintings are constructed with many layers of applied and sanded paint. Making use of words, maps, flags, and found Internet photos, the imagery is relatively simple, graphically bold, and sometimes political. In addition, my paintings are about paint and exploring the line between abstraction and representation. My best paintings force me to embark on an investigative journey rather than simply depict an idea. Ultimately, I like to be surprised by my work.
Joshua Ferry Delegates 2005, Oil, Acrylic, Alkyd Resin and Wax on Canvas, 60 X 36 inches.
"In 2005, I decided to make a painting of the Maine state flag after seeing an exhibit at the Maine State Museum that showcased old Maine flags from past wars. I was imagining what it would be like if my home state of Maine was a modern day war zone like Iraq or Afghanistan. When I finished the flag image, I decided to list the names of Maine artists that had influenced me during my formative years- A way to pay homage to my art upbringing in Maine. The numbers signify important dates in my life; 71 birth, 87 moved to Maine from New Hampshire, 97 left Maine for New Jersey, 05 is the date of the painting.
Joshua Ferry Cross. 2007 Acrylic on Canvas. 14 X 18 inches
"Most recently, I've been working on paintings that are composed of a grid of squares with crosses in them. Many layers and much sanding.
Joshua Ferry Basilica Study Orange 1 2010
"The first seed of this format was Pros and Cons from 2007. In the most recent paintings, the crosses are all the same color."
I met Penelope Jones in the 90's at Maine College of Art and we have been good friends for a long time. Her pure abstraction patterns emerge from the creative use of wide-ranging materials including casein, resin, clay, silk ribbon and printed paper. Jones' work, combining formalist interest in light, color, and surface with an attention to the evocative qualities of paint, reveals a process both disciplined and intimate. Her geometric abstractions are disarmingly personal.
Penelope JonesCollage #7 from Regenerations 12x11 inches, 2009
Born in Ithaca, NY in 1961, Jones holds a BFA from Maine College of Art and an MFA in painting from Cornell University. She has been a Lecturer in Art and Visual Culture at Bates College in Lewiston, ME for 12 years. She has exhibited her work nationally, including the New Hampshire Institute of Art, Manchester, NH; Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL and in Maine at Zero Station, Portland;The Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockport and the Portland Museum of Art. She is represented by Susan Maasch Fine Art in Portland. Jones resides with her husband, Paul Sarvis, and children in Portland, ME.
Penelope JonesInstallation, Bates College Museum of Art
In her own words:
"When paint, I have a need to be both precise and spontaneous in my mark-making -- loving hard-edged lines and structures, while at the same time attracted to the playful and at times happy accidents that occur in moving paint around. Combining these two near opposite qualities, and finding the right balance between them often drives the work in unanticipated directions.
"My source material for form and content is varied. I am drawn to designs found in architectural details, decorative tiles, Renaissance paintings and ornamental designs from many cultures. In particular, I have been interested in designs from Islamic architecture and art. I find these designs beautiful and ingenius in their use of shape variation, geometry and repetition.
Penelope Jones Untitled, 15x 22 inches oil on paper
"Along with a unity of organization, color is extremely important to my work; my color decisions are often informed bty natural phenomena such as the play of light and color within cloud formations, or the eeffect of weather on the landscape.
Penelope Jones Collage #5, from Regenerations 12x11 inches, 2009
"Though painting and collage are quite different, the process of manipulating the surface becomes very much related and is the reason I am so attracted to both mediums.
"Last year I worked with collage to create my recent project titled Regenerations. The project was shown at the Susan Maasch Gallery in Portland last October. It comprised nine collage works on paper and was co-sponsored by a faculty grant from Bates College. For this project, I gave myself a challenge to work on a larger scale, and to dismantle finished paintings that I was attached to. As I started cutting these paintings—re-arranging and combining them in new order—I felt a sense of liberation and fully embraced the project. To let go of my attachment while reusing (honoring, in a sense) my history; to regenerate from what has come before.
Penelope Jones Collage #8, from Regenerations, 12x11 inches, 2009 "This project gave me a deeper appreciation for collage as a negotiation between desire and response to the limits and suggestions of the found material. With collage I enjoy the process of cutting, pasting and being able to make changes easily. I also like how found materials can inform the work in ways that cannot be anticipated.
Penelope Jones Untitled, 19x17 oil on paper
"Collage has rich history from the Cubists on. I have had longstanding interest in the work of such artists as Kurt Schwitters, Ann Ryan, and Robert Rauchenberg —important pioneers in collage history. Because my painting has been so preoccupied with the play between surface, depth, and geometric planes, it excites me to revisit collage with its embrace of the superimposed plane."