Turn the Beat Around will feature the work of six emerging artists who are showing at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. for the first time: Matt Connors, Chris Dorland, Alison Fox, Marc Handelman, Ryan Johnson, Todd Knopke and Paula Wilson. Working in painting and sculpture, these emerging artists represent the diversity and continuous evolution of contemporary practice in New York.
Matt Connor’s small paintings are concentrated studies of kaleidoscopic color and organic abstract patterns, bringing to mind the familiar geometric forms found in textiles and the quirky, meditative subjectivity of still life painting. Chris Dorland’s work uses architecture as a point of departure, creating landscapes whose buildings are familiar yet menacing. His use of color pushes the work into a corner of the surreal, drawing a somewhat despairing and haunting picture of man’s attempts at progress through technology. Alison Fox’s work could be seen to use weaving as a formal and practical metaphor – her paintings meld color and form in a playful dialogue with the history of those abstract painters who have come before her. Yet the works are highly personal, bringing Fox’s own brand of `domesticated modernism’ to the fore. Marc Handelman creates paintings that use light as a recurring motif to explore discourse ranging from power and propaganda to beauty and kitsch, all the while invoking the legacies of Americana, and the history of landscape painting.
Artists working in sculpture and mixed media include Ryan Johnson, Todd Knopke and Paula Wilson. Ryan Johnson’s sculptures are representational, straddling the line between the readymade and the handmade. Todd Knopke’s work presents sculptural representations of those things that linger in our thoughts and imaginations. Included in the exhibition will be a glittering sign with the hopeful caption “Everything is Beautiful Here.” Paula Wilson works in a combination of media, including painting, collage, and sculpture. Most recently included in the exhibition “Frequency” at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Wilson’s work provides unexpected yet welcome surprises.