Buster Levi Gallery is pleased to present Works on Paper at 121 Main Street in Cold Spring New York. The exhibition will run from May 27 through June 26, 2016. The opening for the show will be on Friday June 3, 2016 from 6-8pm.
This show highlights different ways gallery artists along with a guest artist, Jackie Skrzynski, use paper to create either finished works in themselves or as various kinds of studies for their body of work as a whole. Works on paper, traditionally drawings or prints, were historically either copies of existing finished artworks or preparatory studies related to the development of paintings or sculptures. Most of the pieces in this exhibit are not preparatory studies and are considered by each artist as a completed statement. None are truly studies for a specific work and if there is any relationship at all to the oeuvre of each artist it is that they continue the investigations that the artists are pursuing in their work at large.
Distinctive of other artists in this exhibit, Jackie Skrzynski’s primary focus is on drawing. In all of her work she is engaged with the physical process of drawing, direct contact with the materials of paper, charcoal and pastel. Skrzynski explores the boundary between the wild and the tame. She is fascinated by nature and how humans use it to define themselves. Vincent Baldassano considers his works on paper as finished art. Baldassano states, “My works on paper are part of an ongoing process using various mixed media with paint and sometimes collage. I consider them small paintings…which may repeat the same or similar marks and imagery.”
Most of the other artists in this exhibition use paper to explore ideas that may not ‘look’ like their paintings, sculptures, etc., but rather to explore ideas that are related either thematically or visually. Barbara Smith Gioia’s recent work though constructed on stretched canvas is also heavily involved with drawing as well as printmaking. She makes collage/paintings that combine gestural painting with various types of printmaking and drawings emphasizing line. In this show, she is exhibiting a new painting on paper; a combination of various size smaller paintings all executed emphasizing color and linear rhythm. Ada Cruz is primarily a ceramic sculptor. However, in this exhibit she is showing one of her paper sculptures made from handmade paper. She considers these pieces as, “another form of my sculpture making. These works are actually made during the paper making process where sometimes color is added but more often the paper is either allowed to curl into forms or they are specifically molded into forms. “ Jenne Currie is both a sculptor and a painter. Recently she has focused on collage and the one in this show demonstrate one of her approaches. She describes them as an exploration of mark making where using a variety of brush sizes she makes spontaneous marks on various sheets of paper. They are then cut up and rearranged to create compositions that generate energy, movement and spontaneity. Lucille Tortora is a photographer who normally combines different prints of the same or dissimilar subjects into one work. The photograph in this exhibit was taken with a Holga camera, which allows the photographer very little control over the image. For Tortora, the camera’s unpredictable results, such as light leaks and lens distortions, provides her with ideas for further exploration of the potential photography offers. The majority of Grace Kennedy’s paintings and drawings are landscapes that comment on man’s relationship to nature or use color to create light in a manner similar to Romanticism. In this show, Kennedy is exhibiting a work related thematically but executed less traditionally; using a year's worth of dryer lint, sorted carefully by month she has made a rag paper linear calendar and a simple rumination on decay. Tim D’Acquisto’s work takes many paths. He has made assemblages, oil paintings, charcoal and pastel drawing as well as numerous manipulated Polaroid images. The work in this show is a meditation on Matisse’s chair.
Some of the artists work on paper to extend the boundaries of their work or to experiment with themes they use. Ursula Schneider works on paper include onsite drawing and computer generated images. She also sketches to help clarify her ideas and find the feeling she needs to develop her prints and paintings. Her recent goal is to synthesize observation and geometry. Eric Erickson makes gouaches and small paintings to explore ideas evident in his larger paintings. The two pieces in this exhibit started as mono prints to which he added oil painting. Erickson is very involved with the process of his work and in these works he has pressed the oil paint into the paper to unify the mono print with the brushed oil. Bill Kooistra uses traditional drawing media such as pencil, charcoal and ink to explore textures, value and light that are evident in his paintings. Drawing creates different kinds of marks than paint and it allows him to experiment with different types of gestures and surfaces. Martee Levi’s two gouaches in this show were created while on vacation in Costa Rica. One is a collage of separate painted shapes, a practice that is the foundation of almost all of her work. Both are influenced by the native art of Costa Rica, in particular the choice of shapes and colors, but are ultimately filtered through Cubist compositional principles.
Finally, for some artists, work on paper is used to make studies that help develop ideas for paintings or sculptures. Maria Pia Marrella uses drawing to generate ideas and subconscious thoughts. In this work, she works with familiar cartoon imagery from memory. They are freely rendered so that their contours unravel and mutate into subliminal and ambiguous shapes. John Allen, who is primarily a sculptor, draws from the figure regularly to suggest ideas for his work and to either “work things out or help him remember something he needs” before making a sculpture. The work in this show, however, subtlety comments on the relationship people have to mirrors.
Buster Levi Gallery is open Friday through Sunday from 12-6 pm.
For more information: busterlevigallery.com.