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Radial Patterning

Cheryl McGinnis Gallery
555 Eighth Avenue, Suite 710, at 38th Street, 212-722-1144
Hell's Kitchen
September 8 - October 8, 2010
Reception: Wednesday, September 15, 6 - 8 PM
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Flutist, Jo Brand, will perform music transcribed from patterns in one of the exhibited pieces at the opening reception.

We are excited to open our new season with five artists who break with the traditional perception of patterning as a decorative element. Serena Buschi, Kira Greene, Jamie M. Lee, Tina Seligman and April Vollmer have transformed the intricate pa!erns historically infused in women from their domestic environments into a language for post-feminist expression. Radial symmetry becomes an echo rather than a constraint as asymmetrical structures explore the repetition found in nature, science, memories, musical form and sacred architecture.

Korean-born artist Kira Greene sensuously layers Eastern and Western cultures in compelling, visceral collage-like paintings that examine the complex contradiction of “beauty and repulsion” facing women in contemporary society. Using food as a metaphor for the female body, she offers the rawness of flesh with adorned presentation. The lines and curves of the meat, fish, vegetables and delectable desserts recur in a variety of textile patterns combined in architectural interiors and exteriors that also reference the body. Mixed techniques of watercolor, raised circular forms, graphic drawing, and flat hue add another level to Greene’s “visual rhyming,” which translates the paradox through multiple motifs. Abstract and figurative, classical and Asian, the compositions become a self-portrait of her cross-cultural experience.

Working with mandala forms composed of overlapping circular shapes within a square, April Vollmer explores the nature of sacred spaces and the impulse of people to create these structures. Vollmer’s Kosha Series of woodblock and mixed media panels was inspired by her recent visit to India’s early Buddhist sites. Beginning with radial forms created from Indian temple floor plans and temple sculptures of the lotus, Vollmer expands to include images from a growing library of her drawings, photographs and hand-carved wood blocks of flora, birds, and insects. She combines traditional Japanese woodblock technique printed on washi (Japanese kozo fiber paper) with offset, digital printing and fro!age, collaged together in translucent layers on wood panels. Choosing a limited pale!e of blues and grays, rather than the bright colors associated with India, Vollmer’s images become universal and timeless with references to all cultures.

Serena Gidwani Buschi investigates ritual, which itself is a form of circular pa!erning through generational repetition. Science, math, nature and myth radiate from her jewel-like encaustic paintings as if petals of a singular flower. Buschi’s materials, which include oil, flowers, wax, beet juice, glass and gold leaf, are “used for ritual practice in both the world of worship and the world of science as they are understood through methods of measure and pa!ern.” As an American with Northern Italian and South Asian Indian heritage, she combines Western and Eastern imagery into works that “represent the idea of the observer as creator of illusions, structures set up in order to organize and have some command over nature.” Her compositions become constellations of connections between the physical and metaphysical, inviting philosophical conversation. Tina Seligman’s mixed media collages with accompanying sound study the rhythms of solar and lunar cycles. September Etude compares moon phase pa!erns from 2009-2012 by deconstructing calendars from their natural linear progression into sequences based on days of the week. Four vertical scrolls form a grid on which archival digital moon prints wax, wane and rotate. Applying pitches and note values to each phase using a pentatonic scale found in many cultures, Seligman transcribed music from the resulting visual configurations. Flutist, Jo Brand’s interpretation for the project invites sensory awareness of the rhythmic effects on our movements and breaths. The two opposing processes of mapping statistical information and of aesthetic decisions related to shape, color and dynamics are also experienced in Seligman’s Solar-Lunar Serenade for flute, harp, piano and eye, which tracks seasonal positions of the sun, moon and tides.

With a vocabulary of recurring imagery emerging from her personal memories and dreams, cross-cultural Korean born artist, Jamie M. Lee, translates a rich range of emotions into powerful hybrid paintings. “Memory is a continuum into the present and future.” While journaling her own stories, Lee uses hue, gesture and varying velocities of movement to touch on universal themes such as relationships affected by distance. Spontaneous and forceful, her surrealist process-oriented work evolves without sketching or preconceived designs. Tension and release result from asymmetrical clustering of radial floral pa!erns and other natural shapes that are open pierced with sharp geometric lines and shapes. Combining traditional and non-traditional materials including ink, airbrushed acrylics, fabric paint, paper and gli!er, Lee draws the viewer into that altered dream state in which anything is possible.
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