In celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge, Tabla Rasa Gallery presents BRIDGE as ICON. This exhibition offers substantive artwork inspired by the world’s best known bridge. The universally recognized Gothic arches provide a soaring visual metaphor for the spirit of ingenuity. As the omnipresent symbol of Brooklyn itself, the bridge has been an inspiration for poetry, cinema, music, advertising, as well as painting and graphic arts. Whether literal or symbolic, each artwork captures an individual essence of connection.
Original contemporary paintings, photographs, and works on paper will be on display, along with an installation, vintage bookplates and prints. Among the artists exhibiting in BRIDGE as ICON are Ginger Andro & Chuck Glicksman, Bascove, Stephen Basso, Ramona Candy, Michael Dalton, Simon Dinnerstein, Gregory Frux, Cesar Garcia, Joergen Geerds, Irma King, Vijay Kumar, Sangbin IM, Philomena Marano, Florence Neal, Lucy Nurkse, Nick Savides, and Pierre Vincent.
About the artists…
Renowned Brooklyn artist, Simon Dinnerstein has had eighteen one-man exhibitions and has received a Fulbright Grant to Germany and a Rome Prize to work in Italy at the American Academy in Rome. Over five feet wide, his mixed media drawing, Purple Haze alludes to New York’s vulnerable beauty and the bridge between the panorama of the city and a mystical dreamscape.
Ginger Andro and Chuck Glicksman have been working as a collaborative team for over seven years making sculptural installations that bring the viewer into a world created with video projection, reflection, sculptural form, paint and scent. Incorporated into their new work entitled The Bridge, is an early cinema work by Thomas Edison, circa 1899, “New Brooklyn to New York via Brooklyn Bridge, no. 2” which is projected onto a wall and reflected into an adjacent 8 foot painted mirror. Additional elements such as cord “struts” and mirrors, multiply and abstract the crossing footage and painted Gothic aches, engulfing the viewer in a new experience, while remaining true to the character of the architectural elements of the bridge.
Philomena Marano’s oversize, vibrant cut paper work, I Hear the Brooklyn Bridge Singing, intimately engages the viewer on a walk across the bridge. The huge spiral cable in the foreground seems to jump off the picture plane practically within arm’s reach. The clouds were inspired by a Walker Evan’s photograph that portrays the underside of the bridge engulfed in voluminous fog. The title and tone pay homage to Walt Whitman’s tribute poem to America’s laboring people, “I Hear America Singing.”
International artist and master printmaker, Vijay Kumar’s work is widely collected in permanent collections including: The New York Public Library, The Museum of Modern Art, the New-York Historical Society, the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York City; the U.S. Library of Congress in Washington, DC; the William Benton Museum of Art in Storrs, Connecticut; the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England; and the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi. His monochromatic etching, Brooklyn, epitomizes simplicity of design and the power of his rich technique.
With arches and curves of ecstatic variation, the bridges by Bascove inhabit a unique space between water, air and land. The act of crossing gives a sensation of moving from one world to another, and being in neither, an exhilarating sense of suspension.
Capturing the effects of light in a manner reminiscent of the Flemish masters, Nick Savides’ expert paintings enrapture the viewer with themes of romance and solitude. He draws inspiration from the urban landscape, creating paintings with drama and mystery, at once powerful and calming.
Stephen Basso’s unfailing skills of social observation are evident in his curious tableau, This Side of the River. He draws inspiration from two sources: a large work in progress on the other wall of his studio whose characters found their way into this painting, and from the windows of the old WATCHTOWER building he observed when walking across the Manhattan Bridge. One draws their own conclusion to the inferred drama. “It’s funny,” muses Basso, “but at times, this side of the river doesn’t seem much different from that side of the river.”
Inspired by her long dance career and growing up in Brooklyn, Ramona Candy’s use of shapes, paper and vivid color helps to create choreography on canvas. Entitled Grace and Beauty, her collage marries lightness of spirit with structural weight and gravity. It alludes to her love of Brooklyn, the diversity of individuals, of recent immigrants, of traffic, and of movement.
Joergen Geerds’ breathtaking night panoramas show New York and its iconographic landmarks from unusual angles and view points that are very distinct from traditional photography. He captures stunning details and the all encompassing mood of the Brooklyn Bridge, its lights and its surroundings.
Lucille Nurkse presents a free-spirited and playful river view. She was trained in Chinese Calligraphy, which informs her highly personalized, “off-centered” sense of balance and design. Her exuberant collage of cut and hand-colored paper, celebrates the beauty and adventurous spirit of the city.
Sangbin IM creates digitally manipulated photographs by interconnecting numerous pictures he has taken over a period of several hours to show the relationship between the real and the virtual, the part and the whole; appearance and manipulation.
Irma King has always been attracted to the look and feeling of excitement generated by carnivals and festivals “here and in other parts of the world.” Her striking black and white lithograph, Labor Day, honors the efforts of friends and neighbors of Caribbean extraction, traditional events and the parade as a symbol of Brooklyn.
Gregory Frux finds beauty in unexpected parts of New York City, industrial sites, bridges, vacant lots, the waterfront at night and derelict buildings. This series, which has been the result of a fourteen year exploration of the harbor, has also been a physical journey by foot, kayak and canoe on the edge of the city. As part of this exploration, the Brooklyn Bridge has been a monument in the series. Most of the views of the bridge were painted in the nearly empty food court of the mall at South Street on winter evenings.
Cesar Garcia always suggests a story in his monumental, monochromatic, earth-toned paintings. Working in a style that balances the precision of symmetrical composition with loosely fluid paint application, Mr. Garcia transports you to an imaginative world, subtly surrealist, at once nostalgic and futuristic.
For six years Michael Dalton has photographed every one of the 35 bridges that connects two boroughs or connects New York to New Jersey. The series of Pigment Inkjet Prints, entitled “Crossing New York,” will ultimately be published as a book.
Utilizing a reductive abstract language, and aluminum pigments, Pierre Vincent creates an illusion of light and infinite space. “The bridge is a point of view which allows the spectator to see simultaneously Manhattan and Brooklyn, and realize the distance, difference and richness of these two boroughs. It is a line of communication and connection, as well as a line in the New York City landscape.
Also on display are a linoleum block print by Florence Neal, as well as antique prints, and bookplates.