Abdolreza Aminlari and Drew Shiflett draw on traditions of minimalism, architecture, and craft to transport the viewer to a place of the imagination. For the exhibition at Storefront Bushwick, Aminlari exhibits pieces made with thread sewn on paper, Shiflett, a single, mixed-media sculpture. The pieces exist as aesthetic objects but also function as meditations on one’s place in a specific culture or world that has both familiar and unfamiliar coordinates. The work is beautiful and mysterious, offering an entry into a poetic and exotic realm.
Abdolreza Aminlari explores ideas of cultural memory and identity, specifically the idea of “home” in relation to the Iranian Diaspora. His work examines the familiar and the unknown in the territory of the physical and the subconscious. In the Compositions, Aminlari uses thread and/or ink to draw and sew on paper, a process that allows chance and repetition to guide the outcome. The blindness of the individual repetitive action is simultaneously absent-minded and full of concentration. The outcome takes the form of false landscapes, textured fields, and topologies that recall maps of geographies that never existed or are waiting to be created. In the untitled series of gold thread drawings, the focus is more on the domestic. The geometric shapes reference the patterns found in Persian rugs and miniatures, while the use of gold refers to the divine and ornaments for earthly pleasure. Intense and ethereal, the drawings are like cosmic explosions.
Drew Shiflett’s sculptures are abstract in nature but reference landscape, architecture and textiles. Mixed materials, such as handmade paper, cheesecloth, styrofoam and polyester stuffing are used to create textured, translucent surfaces. Thin strips of cut paper layered with strips of sheer fabric produce a woven effect throughout each piece. The sculptures are the result of a cumulative process of layering and building linear and planar forms. There is a focus on line, light and texture, as well as form, transition and perception.
About the artists:
Abdolreza Aminlari is a Brooklyn-based artist. He received his BFA in 2002 from College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan. He has exhibited his work nationally and Internationally, including at the Derfner Judaica Museum (NY), KVKM Kunstverein (Cologne), and a solo show at Spare Room Projects, in Bushwick, NY. He was recently honored with a residency at SIM Residency, Reykjavik, Iceland, in 2012.
Drew Shiflett lives and works in New York City, and is currently preparing for a solo exhibition of constructed drawings at Lesley Heller Workspace in New York City. She had solo exhibitions at Guild Hall Museum (East Hampton, NY); The Drawing Room (East Hampton, NY); Lesley Heller Workspace (New York, NY); Islip Art Museum (East Islip, NY); InterArt Center (New York, NY); White Columns (New York, NY); and Fashion Moda (Bronx, NY). She is the recipient of Artists’ Fellowship Awards in Printmaking/Drawing/Book Arts and in Sculpture from the New York Foundation for the Arts; a Mid Atlantic/NEA Regional Visual Arts Fellowship Award in Sculpture from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation; and a Guggenheim Fellowship Award in Sculpture from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
In the project space: Cosmology
“Cosmology” focuses on the work of four artists: Nancy Bowen, Matthew Mahler, Paula Overbay, and Lauren Seiden. The artists use the vocabulary of abstraction to create mini cosmologies, windows into vast worlds beyond everyday reality. The work is controlled, skillfully executed, and full of visual pleasure.
Nancy Bowen is a mixed media artist known for her eclectic mixtures of imagery and materials in both two and three dimensions. Born in Rhode Island, Bowen received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a MFA from Hunter College. Bowen has had over a dozen solo exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe including the Lesley Heller Gallery in NYC, Annina Nosei Gallery in NYC, Galerie Farideh Cadot in Paris, the Betsy Rosenfield Gallery in Chicago, and the James Gallery in Houston. She has won awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, The Jentel Foundation and the European Ceramic Work Center among others. Bowen maintains a studio in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and is a an Associate Professor of Sculpture at SUNY Purchase.
Matthew Mahler grew up in the suburbs of Long Island, New York. He currently lives in Ridgewood, Queens, and maintains a studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Matthew is the co-founder of Small Black Door, an experimental art space in Ridgewood. His work has been exhibited recently at Klapper Hall Gallery at Queens College, the Rosenberg Gallery at Hofstra University, and in a two-person show at Camel Art Space in Brooklyn.
Paula Overbay’s work has been exhibited widely in galleries across the United States, including Jeffrey Coploff Gallery in New York; The Gallery at 38 Cameron in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and at Pulliam Deffenbaugh in Portland, Oregon. She has been awarded residencies from the Ragdale Foundation and the MacDowell Colony. Her work has been reviewed in publications such as The New York Times and Art in America. She lives and works in Brooklyn.
Lauren Seiden was born in New York, New York in 1981. She received her B.A. in Painting and Drawing from Bennington College in 2003, and has been living and working in New York City since. She was a recipient of the “AOL, Chuck Close 25 for 25 Grant” in 2010. She has shown throughout the New York area and in London, Dallas, and Miami. Her work has been featured in Satellite Magazine, ArtSlant, Assembly Journal, Chicago Art Review, ArtInfo, and AOLArtists.com.