Sunday, December 28, 2008

38th exhibit: FOUR-SOLO curated by Sand T featuring Benjamin Cariens, XiaoWei Chen, Jason O'Keefe, and Naomi Sultanik

Exhibition Dates: March 24 - April 21, 2007. Potluck reception w/ the artists: Saturday, March 24, 2007, from 2 - 5pm. Gallery Talk by Benjamin Cariens, Saturday, April 14, from 3pm
Gallery Talk by Jason O'Keefe: Wax to Bronze the Method of Casting – Saturday, April 21, starting at 3pm. Free admission. All are welcome.

(Malden, MA - - February 23, 2007) - - 4-SOLO, artSPACE@16’s 38th exhibit highlighting the latest work by four area artists: A MEDIATED PRESENCE - sculpture by Benjamin Cariens of Somerville, MA; DABA DOODLE – drawings by Xiao-Wei Chen of Medford, MA; GROTESQUE – drawings and sculpture by Jason O'Keefe of South Boston, MA; and THE PROOF IS IN THE BINDING, an installation of book-objects by Naomi Sultanik of Pawtucket, RI.

Image: Benjamin Cariens, detail of Alterpiece; Wood & Plaster, Ht: 78 x Wt: 36 x Lth: 22, 2007

Somerville based sculptor Benjamin Cariens presents a series of sculptural works entitled A Mediated Presence. Cariens explores some of the ways in which individuals and cultures express these moments of mediation in the material world. Through a wide range of materials, objects, and spaces, Cariens hopes to convey the complexities involved in the transformations from the pedestrian into the profound, the material into the metaphoric and the simple into the symbolic. Cariens obtained his Master of Theological Studies: Hebrew Bible from Harvard University Divinity School in Cambridge and a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Boston University School for the Arts.

Cariens, who is currently an Assistant Professor of Sculpture and Drawing at University of New Hampshire, states: “There are moments in our experiences of the physical world when the most mundane objects or gestures are imbued with a significance far beyond themselves; when a piece of metal ceases to be a ring and becomes a wedding band; when a simple water basin refers not only to physical cleanliness, but spiritual purity or when a book is not simply a book but a vessel for claims of transcendent truths. Some of these moments will find themselves codified by cultures and traditions into symbols and rituals others will live out a more private fate as memories.”

Image: Xiao Wei Chen, All of us, ink on paper, 5 x 3, 2006

Xiao-Wei Chen presents 19 drawings impulsively recorded in 0.3-mm black ink lines on 5X3 inch cards. Daba Doodle, Chen’s drawings are an amalgamation of images that range from pregnancy to arthropods. Despite their appearance of logic and compositional conciseness, close examination reveals a slightly sinister sensuality inhabiting the images. Chen who lives and works in Medford says, “Daba is a space where I put my mental activities into forms. In Daba space, black and white replace all colors to express my scant view of life. Daba is my way of drawing.”

Born in Xian, Xiao-wei Chen lived and studied in Beijing. She graduated from Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication in 2000. Her major body of work in China comprised of multimedia designs, art direction, events planning and production. Chen has won multiple national and international awards including, the latest ARTADIA AWARDS 2007 IN BOSTON for her documentary film "XiaoYe Bought a House" [小叶买房]; and the French Mobius International Multimedia Design Award 2000 for her “Beijing Courtyard House 《京城四合院》", an interactive film. She has exhibited her paintings in group shows in Beijing, and recently exhibited her small works in "Present Tense", a juried drawing show at artSPACE@16 in Malden.

Image: Jason O'Keefe, MAD SCRIBBLINGS drawing series, Pencil and paper, size varies, 2001 – 2006

South Boston based sculptor Jason O’Keefe shows his most recent drawings in addition to wax and bronze sculptures, which are most simply described as modern interpretations of grotesques or gargoyles. O’Keefe has titled this series as “GROTESQUE”, but unlike classic grotesques, his sculptures aren’t carved from stone or wood and they don’t adorn architecture. However, they do uphold the tradition of acting to ward off evil, at least in O’Keefe’s opinion.

Richard Pryor once said, “Everyone carries around his own monsters.” Monsters are inspiration to O’Keefe as are Hieronymus Bosch, Mary Shelly, H.P. Lovecraft, J. R.R. Tolkien, and Mother Nature. “Things that frighten and disgust me consequently attract my fullest attention. The darker and stranger the content is that comes out of me, the happier I am,” says Jason O’Keefe, who attended Massachusetts College of Art and received a BFA majored in Sculpture. He currently lives and works at the Distillery in South Boston and participates in the annual South Boston Open Studios.

Image: Naomi Sultanki, Krakow #I, II, & III, mixed media, 2006

Pawtucket artist Naomi Sultanik studied at Cooper Union and SUNY Buffalo and has taught drawing at Orange County Community College (NY). Sultanik’s working medium is mixed media paintings, drawings and objects. They often come together as installations with the juxtaposition of material and image reflecting the long dealt with themes of myth, dreams and landscape. In creating THE PROOF IS IN THE BINDING specifically for the gallery site, the artist sees the ritual of process as being the language of a myth, a textual presence not easily defined but understood in the reality of the object.

Sultanik prompts a question to the viewer, “Where is the essence revealed - in the text, or in the elements that surround it?” Pages of printed text form the core of the work. They are layered, rolled, joined, and marked with fabric, string, wire, glue, and pigment. These elements act as footnotes that allow the viewer to enter the surface. The relationship of the fragments, the use of materials to the whole suggests a continuity of movement between the light and shadow of man and nature. Sultanik will be showing her work at Galerie Parade in Amsterdam, having solo shows at Bank Rhode Island in Providence and the Library Gallery at University of Rhode Island in 2007.

4-SOLO is open for viewing on these Saturdays: March 24 and 31, April 14 and 21, from 12 noon to 5pm. The Gallery is closed on April 7. All other days are by appointment, please call 781-321-8058 or email artSPACE@16 is located at 16 Princeton Road, Malden, near the Orange line Oak Grove MBTA station. For driving directions visit


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

The 38th Exhibit IN THE NEWS - visit