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Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program Open Studios

Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation
20 Jay Street, Room 720
April 27 - April 29, 2012
Reception: Friday, April 27, 6 - 9 PM
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Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Space Program 2012 Open Studios


OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, April 27th from 6–9:00 p.m. INTERVIEW: Irving Sandler will interview Chris Martin on Saturday, April 28th from 12–1:30 p.m. OPEN STUDIOS: Saturday, April 28th from 2–6:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 29th from 2–5:00 p.m.

The Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Space Program invites you to join us at the 2012 Open Studios, presenting new work by 17 diverse and intriguing artists who share a fearless approach to color, texture, and form. The 2012 Space Program artists are Katie Bell, Miriam Bloom, Kate Clark, Peter Demos, Evie Falci, Lucy Fradkin, Rachel Hayes, Elana Herzog, Susan Homer, Jerome Marshak, Katherine Newbegin, John J. O’Connor, Mia Pearlman, Antonia Perez, Erika Ranee, Claire Watkins, and Randy Wray. The Open Studios take place over the weekend of April 27th, and we hope you will attend this exciting and special event.

While extremely varied, the work of this year’s artists is linked by many common concerns, including a nuanced yet playful exploration of materials, a devotion to formal elements, the use of brightly hued color and surprising textures, obsessive craftsmanship, and the desire to evoke or alter interior spaces.

Artists Rachel Hayes, Mia Pearlman, and Elana Herzog make work that challenges and blurs the physical boundaries of interior space in their site-specific installations. Rachel Hayes’ large-scale, sewn fabric-and-vinyl installations are made of opaque and sheer fabrics, plastics, paint, wire, and light gels that cast colorful, dynamic shadows onto nearby walls and ceilings. Light and shadow also play an integral role in Mia Pearlman’s site-specific cut-paper installations, which are made intuitively on-site and evoke weather patterns and invisible forces beyond our control. Elana Herzog’s sculptures and installations appear to weave and penetrate through rooms and even walls. Made of familiar materials like used blankets and scrap wood, these works animate an imaginary space suspended between time, space, and memory.

Renegade objects and patterns from disparate times and places are examined in the work of Lucy Fradkin, Susan Homer, and Katherine Newbegin. Fragments of stories converge to hint at memories whose mysteries are not revealed. Lucy Fradkin’s figurative paintings on paper draw the viewer into an intimate world rich in color and pattern, historical references, and contemporary relevance. Susan Homer’s delicate still life and garden paintings explore the constancy of pattern and its disruption: skeins of flowers snow down over textured backgrounds, cartoon-like water droplets seem to migrate in a flock, and birds alight on old-fashioned tablecloths and dishes. Katherine Newbegin’s photographs of memory, neglect, and the architecture of absence act as conduits into a displaced time, evoking patterns broken, isolation, and forgotten stories.

Found or preexisting objects are combined in surprising ways in the work of Miriam Bloom, Kate Clark, and Antonia Perez. Miriam Bloom’s massive sculptures recall ancient fertility goddess figures, cartoon characters, and Buddha, simultaneously serene and imbalanced, serious and silly, extroverted and restrained. Antonia Perez mines the discarded detritus of everyday life for hidden beauty. Crocheting used plastic grocery bags into giant pieces of lace, assembling hundreds of tissue boxes into a wall quilt, or embroidering raggedy dishcloths, she situates her sculptures and assemblages in the colors, patterns, and geometries of domesticity. Kate Clark’s taxidermy animal sculptures have human faces that seem eerily alive. These hybrid creatures intimate a tension between personal and mythical realms, evoking an alternate imaginary universe populated by chimerical beings that are both familiar and deeply strange.

The seductiveness of texture and color play an integral role in the work of Erika Ranee, Peter Demos, and Katie Bell. Erika Ranee’s mixed-media paintings incorporate old postcards, music lyrics, promotional ads, handwritten notes, and other discarded items, obscured and embedded in shellac and paint, like remnants of prehistoric insects in amber—a new kind of nature. Peter Demos’ abstract black-on-black paintings repackage modern design and minimalist tropes. Their matte and gloss surfaces create a sense of vast depth while remaining both visually flat and strategically ambiguous. The large-scale wall installations and paintings of Katie Bell explore the relationship between abstraction and familiar home décor surfaces through an excavational lens.

Systems—natural, conceptual, or aesthetic—are the basis for art in the work of Claire Watkins, Jerome Marshak, Evie Falci, and John J. O’Connor. Traveling through motors, lights, wires, and microcontrollers, electricity becomes visible in Claire Watkins’ circuit board drawings and sculptures, which evoke the human brain, nerves, and trees. Self-created systems form Jerome Marshak’s delicate line drawings, made using a set of templates that symbolize and deconstruct his surroundings, whether Lopez Island in Washington State or the urban panorama outside his Space Program windows. Composed of rhinestones, metal studs, denim, and leather, Evie Falci’s labor-intensive recent paintings employ the material signifiers of transgressive sexual identity to reference mysticism, eastern religious iconography, and the occult. Geometry, optical effects, and prismatic color may seem like living organisms in the highly detailed drawings of John J. O’Connor but are actually generated by conceptual systems based on the personal, political, and social structures he encounters every day.

Randy Wray recycles and transforms humble materials such as junk mail, polystyrene packaging, discarded clothing, and furniture to explore ideas about alchemy and faith. His sculptures and assemblages mix Americana imagery with passages of material-driven abstraction and balance seemingly opposite sensibilities.

The 2012 Space Program residents are not “post-studio” artists who delegate concepts to a team of fabricators and assistants. To the contrary, they are deeply process-oriented and studio-based. As a result, these Open Studios are a rare opportunity to see brand new work in the same space it was conceived, created, and discussed over the past several months.

The Space Program, offered by The Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation along with a consortium of funders, including Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, Inc., The Robert Sterling Clark Visual Arts Space Award, The Richard Florsheim Art Fund Award for Older Artists, The Greenwich Collection Ltd., and Agnes Gund, announces grants of studio space to 17 visual artists selected from more than 1,100 applicants. A jury consisting of artists Tara Donovan, Janet Fish, Robert Kushner, Tracy Miller, and Fred Tomaselli selected the grantees for The Space Program.

The Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Space Program is located at

20 Jay Street, 7th Floor, Room 720 Brooklyn, NY 11201 (718) 858-2244 Map

For more information, please contact [email protected]
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