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Anya Kielar, Yuko Murata, Lecia Dole-Recio

Casey Kaplan Gallery
525 West 21st Street, 212-645-7335
January 8 - February 7, 2009
Reception: Thursday, January 8, 6 - 8 PM
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Casey Kaplan is pleased to present a solo exhibition of New York artist, Anya Kielar, in Gallery I. Kielar creates collages, and works on paper called “sprayograms” that focus on the female form. Reminiscent of Metaphysical art, Kielar’s work draws connections between everyday objects, art, and its maker.

Kielar’s multi-dimensional compositions begin with a logic system of form and color. She then incorporates a specific selection of inanimate objects with lineages to artifacts from ancient civilizations, the culture of fashion, and folk art. Literally created from Kielar’s material possessions – shoes, gloves, clothes, and accessories – female figures from her imagination take form.

Her works on paper, the sprayograms, are conceptually based in photography. On life-size sheets of paper, Kielar uses monochromatic airbrushed paint to spray over the carefully placed objects. The white paper becomes the positive space of the image. Visually suggestive of photomontage and photographic negatives, the traces leave behind a floating abyss of appendages and skeletons. In Window Sprayogram, 2008, fabrics are skin textures, pearl necklaces outline the eyes of Egyptian-like profiles, and lace gloves come alive as hands.

Kielar’s three-dimensional collages, scaled to the human body, are large and open shadowboxes that utilize the objects from the sprayograms to physically compose the female characters confined within them. Like severed marionettes, the uncanny women are frozen and on display as the ‘Other’. As her counterparts, Kielar’s works question female identity and carve an avant-garde niche with their process and aesthetic.

Anya Kielar received a Master of Fine Arts from Columbia University in 2005 and has had previous solo exhibitions at Daniel Reich Gallery, NY. Recent group exhibitions include, “PM Dawn”, Taxter and Spengemann, NY and “How to Build a Fire”, Rivington Arms, NY. In 2007, Kielar was included in the Inaugural exhibition, “An Archeology”, Project Space 176, of the Zabludowicz Collection in London, United Kingdom.


Casey Kaplan is pleased to present for the first time in New York, a solo exhibition of Japanese painter, Yuko Murata. Combining Eastern and Western artistic practices, Murata sources her traditional Japanese subject matters in contemporary media such as post cards, tourist brochures, encyclopedias, and magazines. In Gallery II, she will present small, intimate landscapes and depictions of animals in oil on canvas and board.

There is a distance between the world Murata experiences living and working in Tokyo and the imagery that she chooses to consistently render in her work. The simple compositions of her fields are influenced by 18th Century Japanese paintings, when artists were challenged to create an artwork with minimum colors and objects. Iconic Japanese references, such as the karesansui (dry landscape) rock garden, the most famous in the Ryoan-ji Zen temple in Kyoto, Japan; the crane, a symbol of good fortune, peace and longevity; and subtle seasonal references, like barren trees, are repeated themes. When single subjects such as a bird, rock or flower were in the past decorative, narrative, and rooted in Shinto and Buddhist lore, they are now modernly sourced by Murata, serving as her meditations on a lost experience of the world.

Following the traditional style of “yamato-e” meaning simply “Japanese pictures”, Murata’s works are characterized by natural subject matters and frequent use of flat planes of color with very few mid-tones. However, her application of paint is Western in technique. Although very small, Murata‚s canvases are rich and they shine behind layers of varnish. Her basic but sophisticated palette varies between works, actively corresponding to the individual subject matters. While each picture maintains beauty and balance, there is a palpable and strange melancholic air that pervades.

Seasonal flowers and plants became the sole focus of compositions during the Momoyama and Edo Periods. Currently, Murata is working on 100 paintings of flowers in homage to Jakuchu Ito (1716-1800), who had produced a painting of a hundred flowers at the Kotohira-gu shrine in Shikoku, Japan in 1764. An ancient Japanese tradition grants a wish to the person who folds 1000 origami cranes. In a similar act, Murata paints, working through her subjects.

Yuko Murata was born in Kangawa, Japan and studied at the Tokyo Art School, Setsu Mode Seminar, graduating in 1995. Recent solo exhibitions include, “the Songs of Birds,” Lammfromm, Tokyo, Japan and “Ikejiri Institute of Design”, curated by Hideo Nakayasu, Tokyo. Since 2002, she has exhibited in Tokyo at Gallery Side 2. Group exhibitions include “New and Rising Artists 2007”, curated by Norimasa Nishimatsu, at the Pola Museum Annex, Tokyo in 2007, and in 2006, “Dirty Yoga”, curated by Dan Cameron, Taipei Biennial, Taipei Fine Arts Museum.


Casey Kaplan is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition in New York of Los Angeles-based artist, Lecia Dole-Recio. Since 2001, Dole-Recio has been redefining two-dimensional abstraction through an exploration of positive and negative space by means of reduction. Using stencils as her methodology, she presents vibrant new paintings and collages on paper in Gallery III.

Dole-Recio’s abstractions evoke the work of Robert and Sonia Delaunay and Orphic Cubism (or sometimes referred to as Simultaneism), a style of painting related to Cubism that is characterized by overlapping planes of contrasting colors. In this exhibition, Dole-Recio’s palette is brilliant and rich; hot reds, blush pinks, maroons, blues, blacks and golds fill the gallery space. Traditionally employing the use of cardboard, tape, and other collaged elements into many of her works, here Dole-Recio focuses on painting. Each work repeats a mostly geometric motif that is hand cut and put down. Then left or removed, the shapes are obscured by gestural, emotive strokes or portrayed as remnants in paint.

Untitled (gld.crvs.Inn.), 2008, is a large painting that depicts circles cut into fragments of their former selves in shades of grey, electric orange, and plum. Conglomerating together in the center of the picture plane, the broken shells of the circumferences seem to float and sink into a sea of gold. As in many of Dole Recio’s works, what is geometric can move as if it is organic.

Adjacent to her paintings are smaller works on paper. These intimate studies of line and color are polished compositions unto themselves and pack the same punch as their grand counterparts. Showcasing her ability to traverse scale, Dole-Recio’s display creates striking tension between positive and negative, color, shape and form.

Lecia Dole-Recio will have a solo exhibition opening on the 10th of January at Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles. Her last solo exhibition was at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, “MOCA Focus: Lecia Dole-Recio”, in 2006. Recent group exhibitions include “Zuordnungsprobleme”, Johann Koenig, Berlin and “Cohabitation: 13 artists and Collage”, Galleria Francesca Kaufmann, Milan, Italy.
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