Just in time for arguably the most important election of our lifetime, Tria Gallery presents “State of the Union” from October 16 through November 15, 2008. On display will be paintings by six different artists who offer up their takes on the current state of affairs in imagery that is sometimes controversial, sometimes humorous, and always thought-provoking. The artists participating in this visual catharsis are Lauren Bergman, S. Kendall Bradford, Josh George, Scott Glaser, Julie Mardin and Dominique Rousserie.
The works in State of the Union vary greatly in terms of style. They are, however, united in the urgency of their messages and the creative way in which the artists’ thoughts and feelings are translated into these dynamic and evocative works. While no one image can capture everything that is going on, a walk through this exhibition will reveal personal explorations of our culture, our value system, and our politics. And in case you weren’t already, you will leave wondering, “what is the state of our union?”
Lauren Bergman Bergman explains that her paintings explore the “dislocation between our comfortable, complacent lives and the horrific reality of war to which we have become numb.” She chose an historic context removed from our contemporary cultural climate to “underscore the lack of progress or lessons learned from one war to the next…”
Educated at the University of Massachusetts, Smith College, Parson’s School of Design and the Art Students League, Bergman has had solo exhibitions on the East Coast over the past 15 years, and has participated in group exhibitions throughout the United States.
S. Kendall Bradford A dynamic young artist, Bradford’s recent work deals with the cathartic nature of process and repetition. She uses her knowledge of painting and drawing and builds upon that knowledge by experimenting with transfers, dying, resin, and embroidery. Her pieces in “State of the Union” use these methods to great effect in communicating her feelings about the hypocrisy so prevalent in these current times.
Bradford received her BFA in Painting from Syracuse University and her Master’s Degree from New York University. She subsequently became an Artist in Residence with the Chashama Organization in Tribeca, and has participated in over 30 exhibitions in the U.S. and Italy in the past few years.
Josh George Josh George has always been attracted to the urban American landscape. “It holds a different kind of beauty,” says the artist. “The decaying masonry work of time tested dwellings and the dismal skies that surround them. Shadows that cast on withered walls display individual windows where people go about their routine lives.” The people in Josh George’s paintings are engaged in static acts of everyday locality. They drink coffee, they smoke, or stare at a glass of beer. They stroll about town hearing the urban world, but not quite listening. Everyone simply exists. This lack of engagement resonates powerfully in George’s pieces, and illustrates the numbness and lethargy present as we go about our daily routines – another aspect of our current state of the union.
Scott Glaser Glaser studied commercial and fine art at the School of Visual Arts in New York, then embarked on a 30 year career in graphic design and advertising. In the past three years he has combined graphics with his passion for painting and has been garnering awards throughout his home state of Connecticut. His clever and tongue-in-cheek work has been shown on the West Coast, and this marks his first exhibition in New York…a perfect fit in “State of the Union.”
Julie Mardin The images in this exhibition are from Mardin’s “Conspiracy Theories,” a series borne of her concern with the “secrecy of the government and media theatrics.” According to Mardin, the works do not illustrate any specific conspiracy theories per se, but are meant more as a “commentary on the onslaught of information and mis-information, as well as just the typical hectic pace of modern life.”
Educated at Skidmore and Columbia University, Mardin has exhibited her work throughout the country, and has been collected privately and by corporations throughout the world.
Dominique Rousserie Rousserie adds his own voice to “State of the Union” with his irreverent piece “Toys Are Us 3,” a seemingly innocent and playful piece that features a camouflage colored gun—a reference to the ease with which weapons are obtained in this country.
Truly a citizen of the world, Rousserie was born in France and has lived in, among other places, Israel, Sri Lanka, Spain, Brazil, Italy, Tunisia, Turkey and Yemen, India, Nepal, and Japan. His global background is evident in his powerful and provocative paintings, which hold universal appeal. Rousserie has exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the world.