Joan Grubin and Josette Urso are two Brooklyn-based artists who draw in different ways on the formal geometries of the urban environment. Both approach the issues of spatial relations head on, dealing with space as an ever-shifting animated presence, subverting and destabilizing the viewer’s sense of where things are located. In Urso’s paintings, space is a malleable substance that she delights in manipulating acrobatically in a kind of gymnasium of mark making governed by intuitive leaps of scale, color, and a wayward geometry. Grubin’s paper wall installations transform and melt the physical fact of the wall through a hypnotic interplay of reflected light, color, and shadows, throwing the location and solidity of the wall into question. Sharing a desire to upend one’s accepted notion of what is where in the world, both Grubin and Urso might both be called “spatial engineers.” In the exhibition “Location/Dislocation: Re-Imagining Space”, these two artists, stylistically so divergent, have found common ground in their desire to unsettle our understanding of space.
Joan Grubin makes dimensional installations in paper. Her work is rooted in the vocabulary of minimalist geometric abstraction, and deals with issues of perception and color delivered with an economy of means. Using color reflected on the wall and shadows as graphic elements in the work, her intention is to engage the viewer through an optically disorienting ambiguity of space. She has shown her work widely in solo and group exhibitions in and around the New York area and beyond in galleries, public institutions, and museums including the New York Public Library, the Islip Museum, the Parrish Art Museum, the Weatherspoon Museum, and the Katonah Museum. In 2008 she was awarded a Fellowship in Painting from the New York Foundation for the Arts and in 2012 a residency at the MacDowell Colony.
Josette Urso paints in the studio and outdoors, always working directly and urgently from her immediate environment. Her paintings are “moment-to-moment” extrapolations where the contrasts and cross-fertilizations are cumulative, non-linear, free flowing and interpretive. For Urso, painting parallels the act of seeing and is the most direct link to private time with the physical world. Working from life, she strives to discover and engage the known as well as the unknown in unforeseen ways. She has shown widely in the United States and abroad in galleries, public institutions, and museums including the New York Public Library, the Drawing Center, and the Bronx Museum for the Arts. She has had numerous grants and residencies including those from the NEA, Basil H. Alkazzi and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation as well as the Camargo Foundation, Ucross and Yaddo.
New York Institute of Technology, Manhattan campus, New Technology Building, 16 West 61st Street, 11th floor, New York Viewing hours: Monday – Saturday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Curator: Jennifer Mitchell.