Summer Sampler, A Front Room Favorite
“Summer Sampler, A Front Room Favorite”
June 10th – August 7th
Opening Reception Friday, June 10th 7-9PM
Amanda Alic, Nancy Baker, Sasha Bezzubov and Jessica Sucher, Thomas Broadbent, Phillip Buehler, Peter Fox, Sean Hemmerle, Amy Hill, Jesse Lambert, Sascha Mallon, Stephen Mallon, Mark Masyga, Walker Pickering, Melissa Pokorny, Paul Raphaelson, Ross Racine, Ken Ragsdale, Emily Roz, Patricia Smith, Mark Stilwell, Joanne Ungar, Julia Whitney Barnes and Edie Winograde.
“Summer Sampler” offers a selection of works previewing upcoming exhibitions and a review of past exhibitions, with a fresh look at artists’ new works. This is a view of Front Room’s favorites and fun way to kick off the Summer.
Amanda Alic’s series “Off Season” portrays abandoned play areas, racetracks, mini-golf courses and resorts. All are immediately strange. Referencing the romanticization of ruins, these images convey exquisite yet eerie locations imbued with memories of pleasure and activity. They reflect the desperate drive to satisfy ourselves by filling our lives with external stimulus.
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Nancy Baker creates detailed paper constructions by combining hand and laser cut geometric forms based loosely on machine components, which has begun to evolve into a jewel-laden structure. Baker Incorporates glitter, fluorescent paint, modeling paste, gold leaf, printed commercial matter, and additional substances into the pieces, which activate a sense of depth and materiality.
Sasha Bezzubov and Jessica Sucher
Sasha Bezzubov and Jessica Sucher have been collaborating since 2002. Their work merges their shared interests in the politics of tourism and pilgrimage, and has led them to Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Cambodia and Thailand. In 2006, they spent a year photographing in India for their project “The Searchers”.
Thomas Broadbent creates highly detailed watercolor still lives featuring finches, chickadees, ravens and other birds rendered sensitively with a naturalist’s eye for detail often in conjunction with objects such as stacks of books, Modernist furniture, and ladders. These objects could possibly be looked at as stand-ins for society in an ambiguous relationship with nature that is absurd—and yet peculiarly comfortable. More recently, his work has included asteroid “portraits” as they travel through space.
Phillip Buehler has been photographing abandoned places around the world since he rowed to the (then abandoned) Ellis Island in 1974. Many, like Greystone Park Hospital, have since been demolished; some, like Ellis Island and the High Line, have been restored, and some, like the S.S. United States and the New York State Pavilion, are now in jeopardy. Photographs from the (now demolished) Greystone Park Hospital are featured in this exhibition and in the book “Wardy Forty” which he wrote in 2013 about the last days of Woody Guthrie.
Expanding on his signature style of drip painting, Peter Fox’s spilled paint works have taken on bold gestural movements. Referencing formal systems of Abstract Painting, Fox explores the language of relational color, as articulated through layered processes. His compositions are developed through variance and repetition, and evolve with the allowance of chance.
In Sean Hemmerle’s poignant photographic series “Rust Belt” (shown at Front Room in 2013) which features theaters, banks, factories, and abandoned houses, the architecture is metaphoric of societal issues that have evolved over decades. Hemmerle has chosen to juxtapose a photograph from this series with photos that he has taken in Beirut and Iraq.
Hill composes contemporary scenes inspired by pious gestures and devout expressions of Fifteenth century Flemish altarpieces and portraits. Using a traditional oil glazing technique, her paintings reveal the individuality of her subjects through style of dress and ornamentation.
Jesse Lambert’s abstracted optical grounds are built of color washes that integrate linear fragmented figurations in dreamlike environments.
Sascha Mallon’s multifaceted pen and ink drawings, infused with surrealist-influenced narrative, are populated with creatures that are like the unseen within the obvious: animals, half-humans, imaginary hybrid beings in a constant state of change. Her work creates a surreal world of intricate narratives, an interior space from which her multifaceted characters transgress into the exterior.
Stephen Mallon has gained international attention for his project “American Reclamation” which includes the series “Next Stop Atlantic” focusing on decommissioned NYC subway cars that were reefed in the Atlantic Ocean, as well as “Brace For Impact, The Aftermath of Flight 1549” famously known as the “Miracle on the Hudson” in which Captain “Sully” Sullenberger safely landed and airbus in the Hudson river saving the lives of all the crew and passengers of the plane. His series “American Reclamation” contains ruined vehicles, subway cars, Navy destroyers, that are becoming a part of the recycling process.
Featuring painting and sculpture, Masyga’s compositions have lively linear elements balanced with a sensitive, yet intense sense of color. Mark Masyga uses line to enhance both specificity and ambiguity, creating a sense of mystery. Created concurrently with the paintings are constructions made with wood, plaster, Structolite and other materials.
Walker Pickering’s work employs documentary aesthetics, and uses photography as a means to get access to people and places that might otherwise be inaccessible. Through the lens of travel and adventure, he seeks out the hidden among the ordinary. Pickering’s work captures the mundane trappings of travel, rest stops and unexpected roadside encounters.
Artist Melissa Pokorny features photo and sculpture-based assemblages that range from small, singular wall mounted works to large-scale floor pieces comprised of multiple elements. Re-imagined common objects, ordinary materials used in unexpected ways, saturated colors, and textural extremes are a hallmark of her work.
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.
Ken Ragsdale creates magical photographs achieved through his composition of fabricated paper structures, which depict memories and landscapes of middle to northwest United States. Ragsdale’s process begins with rough sketches of places and things from his past that are relevant to current themes he is considering.
Paul Raphaelson’s photographs of the Domino Sugar Factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn document a topic of continuing controversy. It was once the biggest sugar refinery in the world. Originally a complex, now just one historically landmarked building still stands on the Brooklyn waterfront. On it’s way to becoming high-rise condos it might well be the best symbol of the climate in Brooklyn today.
In her series “Ripe”, Emily Roz references seedpods of a specific Southern Magnolia tree from the artist’s youth in Chapel Hill, these lush, tactile paintings exude the sexuality of the reproduction system of the Magnolia grandiflora. Roz’s depiction of these intimate parts of the pods is done at a larger scale, which arouses one’s desire for closer inspection.
Known for her idiosyncratic cartographic explorations of the psyche and mental states, Smith incorporates new outer and inner geographical regions in her latest works. The finished works are delicate, highly detailed paintings on paper incorporating images and texts rendered in ink, pencil, watercolor, rubber-stamping and collage.
Mark Stilwell uses painted and reclaimed packaging, byproducts of the over-consuming society he portrays, in this scene of terror. Crowds of paper cut-out citizens run screaming from the devastation and hostile creatures that are overtaking the city.
Joanne Ungar’s use of wax obscures and mystifies the origin of the materials she has embedded. Ungar examines the physical and ideological concept of packaging, considering the value of the stuff we cast off, misleading facades and the pervasiveness of materialism in our culture.
Julia Whitney Barnes
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. Ecological practices and the complex relationships between humanity and the environment influence Julia Whitney Barnes’ philosophy and artistic practice.
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.