* This exhibit was selected as one of the eight best shows by Mary Sherman featured on WBUR.ORG's VISUAL ARTS BEST BETS in April 2006.
(Malden, MA - February 25, 2006) - - It is said never to repeat a word in a poem, for to do so will reduce the energy of the word repeated. The 32nd exhibit at artSPACE@16 REPETITION – negotiating the irrationalities, challenges the same notion, but applies it to visual poems. This group show consists of seven artists: Gregory King (Brooklyn, NY); Kevin Lair (Medford, MA/Ames, IA); Karen Meninno (Norwood, MA); Mary O’Malley (Somerville, MA); Marielle Sinclair (South Boston, MA); TattFoo Tan (Staten Island, NY); and Kristin Zottoli (Montague, MA). They have chosen rigorous repetition to liberate their works of narrative or the phenomenon of events. They work in various media including: painting, drawing, mixed media, photography, sculptures and site specific installations.
Seven artists participating in the REPETITION – negotiating the irrationalities exhibit, are inspired by light, time, movement, sequence, layers, color, and composition. Their images are built of symmetrical and orderly forms; the repeating marks and shapes result from patterns of repetition. The random or concise use of primary elements, such as dots and lines, do not speak of politics or culture. Rather, they suggest energies of motion and crystallization, ideas that are continual in each artist's work.
Through repetition of rhythmic elements, these works align with a larger pattern; the security of the repetition of existence. Attempts of controlling randomness have served as a unifying factor in these works that are otherwise free in structure. Time consuming and labor intensive, this working process assists these seven artists to negotiate the irrationalities of contemporary life and contemporary aesthetic values.
Image: Drawing by Gregory King (Brooklyn, New York)
Gregory King’s recent work is characterized by intense compositions of delineated space where the architectural and technological fuse to form metaphysical “landscapes behind the landscape.” By transforming the ‘constructed’ and the ‘unintentional’ aspects of our landscape, the built environment and the ‘marks’ made by society generate new possibilities for imagining profound and uncanny space. This is explored not to underline the dizzying effects of technology and negotiating the grid, but to celebrate the adaptability of imagination in 'humanizing' the forces at play around us. The drawings on display, for instance, were strictly intended as 'pencil and paper' inventions, rendered without the aid of computers or any intervening device (beyond the use of a ruler), and executed without a specific image in mind at the start.
An artist of many disciplines, Gregory King has a BFA in printmaking from the Kansas City Art Institute, and an MFA in painting from Hunter College. He has exhibited his work in numerous galleries, museums, and film festivals, such as the Corcoran Gallery in Washington DC, and the Ann Arbor Film Festival. He has received several grants for painting and film, notably an Arts Midwest/NEA Regional Fellowship, and a Jerome Foundation Media Arts Grant. Since 1995, he has collaborated with the music group Rachel's, and projects original films to accompany their live performances. He has toured extensively with them throughout America and Europe, and is working with them on a film project entitled Arc Hive.
Image: Detail of a site specific installation by Kevin Lair (Medford, Massachusetts/Ames, Iowa)
Kevin Lair presents a site specific installation entitled ‘Implement - Pattern Installations’ which are composed of discrete, individual pieces. While individual panels are intended to be seen as complete paintings, they are also modules to be reconfigured according to specific contexts, thereby forming larger composite works and installations. The composite work reflects the same order of layered space and pattern as the individual works. Furthermore, they both explore the relationship between surface, object and space.
Kevin Lair focuses on interdisciplinary work and cross-industry collaboration. He is the principle of Westbrook Design and founder of MOD-ECO Architecture. In 1996, he adapted a former farm complex in Iowa to the Westbrook Artists' Site (WAS) to develop and highlight unique ideas in art and design. He holds undergraduate degrees in art and psychology and a master of architecture from Harvard University Design School. He is a professor of architecture at Iowa State University and currently resides in Iowa. Lair has served as visiting critic for Architecture Studio Reviews at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Providence, RI '04-'05, and Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, MA '03 and Guest critic for visual studies course work at Harvard University GSD Cambridge, MA '02. He is also a board member at Boston Directors' Lab for resident theater program at UMass Boston.
Image: Soft sculpture by Karen Meninno (Norwood, Massachusetts)
Karen Meninno enjoys the physicality of manipulating materials. In REPETITION, Meninno shows one sculpture ‘Bound Sari Woman’, comprised of two different Indian saris: red and blue, both woven with yellow-gold thread (primary colors). These materials have been cut up, wound and wrapped with thread until a form has emerged. The color red is significant in Indian culture for being the color of the bride’s wedding attire. The color blue is associated with Lord Krishna. The repetition of golden thread throughout refers to the traditional art of thread-wrapped jewelry. Traditional ornament is represented here as controlling binding. This rather tortured abstract woman is composed of the material that represents her cultural womanhood - “Beautiful but restrictive – a universal dilemma for women.” The Bound Sari Woman is reflective of the East Indian culture that the artist is drawn to, repulsed by and also confined by.
Karen Meninno was born in New Delhi, India, raised in London, United Kingdom, and settled in the United States a decade ago. Much of her work deals with issues of ambiguity, hybridization, multi-culturalism, alienation and the confusion of inhabiting a body that has to deal with three different cultures. She states, “The concept of citizenship and country means nothing to me except in broad global terms. I have been officially classified as an ‘Alien’ but I am truly a Citizen of the World.” Meninno graduated from Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Fine Arts/3D Sculpture in 2005. She was awarded a ‘Best in Show’ for Sculpture from the Cambridge Art Association in 2004; and a Foundation Art Auction Award from the Fine Arts/3D Department, Massachusetts College of Art, MA. 2005.
Image: Drawing by Mary O’Malley (Somerville, Massachusetts)
Mary O’Malley creates highly detailed drawings and paintings that call to mind the complex structures and rhythms in nature as well as forms in Art-Deco, Victorian and Asian decorative arts. The artist has been fascinated with the mind-blowing complexities found in nature in all its richness. Anything from microscopic cellular structures, to rhythmic patterns in landscape, and patterns formed by fractions of light all may serve as jumping off points. The images are distilled down through a process of drawing and re-drawing, and the forms that eventually emerge are strange, but somehow familiar. O’Malley sates, “The ambiguity is important, whether or not they are in the process of becoming, of evolving and multiplying, or beginning to break down and decay. They exist somewhere between the wild irrationality of nature and the rigorous orderliness of lace patterns.”
Mary O’Malley received her BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art in 1997 and her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City in 2005. O’Malley was awarded a Gamblin Painting Award from the Massachusetts College of Art in 1995. She has shown her work in Massachusetts and New York, and most recently, a solo show entitled “Curious Intimacies” which was held at the Artists Foundation in Boston, MA. She currently lives and works in Somerville, Massachusetts.
Image: Detail of soft sculpture by Marielle Sinclair (South Boston, Massachusetts)
Mixed media sculptor, Marielle Sinclair, has been assembling small scale sculptures from a wide range of mixed media such as: wax, wire, hair, thread, burlap, fabric, paper, plaster, wood, and various metals to create her intimate pieces. She has always had a preoccupation with sad and tragic things, always finding beauty in the duality of something which is beautiful yet repulsive and disturbing; through a recent series of fabric manipulations she expresses this. In ‘Samples 1-8’, the first in a series of work about the human body and its vulnerability, Sinclair explores and analyzes this concept through the use of fabric. Each pillow-like form contains a repetition of bulging masses residing beneath stitched and gathered fabric. Absent of color, the white is pristine and sterile, devoid of the graphic details of actual surgery. What appears beautiful at first glance suddenly becomes dark and disturbing. Through the manipulation of fabric by cinching and gathering threads, Sinclair describes the nests and bundles of viscera within her biological forms. She performs an operation and, at a microscopic level, examines the pillow-like forms which resemble growths that randomly attack the body.
Marielle Sinclair was born in Port Jefferson, New York and grew up in Denver, Colorado before moving to Boston to continue her education in art. She is a recent graduate of Massachusetts College of Art and holds a BFA degree in Sculpture. She was awarded an International Sculpture Award Nominee and a Fine Arts 3D Foundation Art Auction Award from the Massachusetts College of Art in 2004. Sinclair’s work has been included in several group shows in Massachusetts. Her work can also be seen at the South Boston open studios at the Distillery in the fall.
Image: Detail of a site specific installation by TattFoo Tan (Staten Island, New York)
In this exhibit, TattFoo Tan install a site specific installation entitled ‘PONDering’, which he uses multiple paper coffee filters bound in bundles of various sizes that resemble Water Lettuce (Pistia stratiotes). These 60 plus bundles, or “water lettuces” are then placed randomly and fluidly to resemble a stream. The artist states, “It is a pattern of repetition that is found in our ecology and in my own psychological interpretation. The word “pond” is an ecological phenomenon and “pondering” is a psychological phenomenon.” Viewers are encouraged to walk into the installation among the individual bundles and stop for a moment to contemplate and meditate, to grow into the void and float, like flowers. PONDering is based on the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi, in turn based on Buddhism principles, loosely defined as a kind of beauty that is imperfect, incomplete and impermanent.
TattFoo Tan’s work is an exploration of the visual language of a mix culture of Asian-ness with autobiographical theme, using western medium with eastern aesthetics and technique. This New York based artist has worked as a design director and consultant with Bozell, Bouchez Kent + Company and Dentsu. Tan branded several companies, including Sotheby’s, Equinox, and Madison Square Garden. In 2003, Tan started his own company, Tattfoo Design, where, along with his wife Ensze, he operates a new gallery space called TattFoo Gallery that showcases various works of contemporary art in St. George, Staten Island. Tan’s paintings can be found in numerous public and private collections.
Image: Mixed media work by Kristin Zottoli (Montague, Massachusetts)
Kristin Zottoli’s current body of work focuses on constructing and applying order to the process of being in between a location in space or a moment in time. Location in space refers to physical destinations and moment in time refers to the processing of arresting and constructing the thoughts that lead up to a decision. Embossed grid formations are used to frame, organize and arrest moments that imply movement, request information and specify location. The overall group of work is titled 'Modes of (In)formation' and is divided into 6 smaller sub-units labeled: 'Tactile Graphics', 'Modes of Organization', 'Orientation and Mobility', "Systems of Chance", 'Drawing While Driving' and 'Memory Tablets'. Internal and external forms are constructed using: tea stained Braille paper, Japanese silk tissue, color paint samples, plywood, poplar, and aspen. Visual balance and order in Zottoli’s work creates a structure that invites viewers to contemplate a state that is in-between beginning, ending or arrival.
Zottoli’s current art work is informed by a set of unique experiences in her academic, vocational and personal life. She was trained in professional cabinet and furniture making techniques at the North Bennet Street School and has apprenticed with master carvers in Zimbabwe and Mali, Africa. Zottoli currently works as an itinerant Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments. This requires the transfer of visual information into tactile formats through techniques that are evident in her current body of work.
This exhibition is supported in part by the LEF Foundation’s Contemporary Work Fund. It also received in-kind support from the Artists Foundation and the artist-volunteers of artSPACE@16. For more information please visit www.artSPACEat16.com.
The 32nd Exhibit IN THE NEWS:
重複藝 展獲佳評 陳達富作品PONDering表達老莊哲學意境 REPETITION by ChinWen Lee, in the World Journal, April 19, 2006
REPETITION - Negotiating the Irrationalities has been selected as one of the eight best shows by Mary Sherman featured on VISUAL ARTS:: April Visual Arts Best Bets, www.wbur.org/arts, April 3, 2006
REPEAT AFTER ME - REPETITION: another great show at artSPACE@16 in Malden by Roanna Forman, MaldenMuse online Arts Magazine, April 1, 2006 issue.
REPETITION – Negotiating the Irrationalities at artSPACE@16 by Yang Yang, Sing Tao Daily, Boston, MA, March 20, 2006