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Secrets: Amy Pleasant, Kate Stewart, James Gallagher, Corey Antis, Lisa Young and Jason Glasser
November 16, 2012 - January 5, 2013
When one encounters a work of art that hints at a possibility of meaning but keeps it just out of reach, mystery arises. The balance of what is given and what is obscured creates a potent dynamic of tensions and resolutions. The viewer encountering the work, is then forced to grapple for clues, which are sometimes hidden in the work but are more often located in the viewer’s mind. An art work serves as a catalyst for this process, sending the one who comes to it on a journey of self-discovery. While all along hoping to understand the work, we end up understanding ourselves. Secrets comprises of a group of works from six national and local mid- career artists who embrace a sense of strangeness in their art. Whether paintings, drawings, video, collage or sculpture each piece offers an encounter with the unknown, which may be the elusive spirit of art itself.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Amy Pleasant’s paintings move between translucent washes, gestural marks that gather into hovering forms, and genderless silhouettes. At times appearing as accidental stains, the heads and figures threaten to dissolve into the ambiguous space of the canvases. Open-ended and silent, the paintings suggest a narrative read while simultaneously denying it. Kaleidoscopic fragments of memories and traces of experience play hide-and-seek, allowing each work to construct its own unpredictable narrative. Amy Pleasant has held solo exhibitions at Jeff Bailey Gallery, NY, The Birmingham Museum of Art, The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Rhodes College, Tandem Gallery, The Ruby Green Center for Contemporary Art, and The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Pleasant’s work has been reviewed in publications such as Art in America, The Brooklyn Rail, Art Papers, The Commercial Appeal and Artforum.com. She currently lives and works in Birmingham, Alabama and is represented by Jeff Bailey Gallery, NYC.http://amypleasant.com
Drawings of Kate Stewart glow softly in a way fireflies become fugitive constellations in the summer’s night sky. Made by highlighting tinted paper these ethereal works present vaguely architectural entanglements of nature and the familiar everyday forms. With the fragility of a child’s fort, the structures appear almost intangible. The blank backgrounds serve to further decontextualize the drawings, positioning them between a dream and the yet unknown, but somehow possible future. Kate Stewart works in a variety of media including painting, drawing, collage and installation. Stewart exhibits her work nationally and internationally and has been featured in the publications New American Paintings and Glasschord Magazine. She was a finalist for the PEW grant for artists in 2008, and was awarded a Fleisher Challenge exhibition in 2005. She is currently Assistant Professor in the Art Department at West Chester University and is a member of the artist collective Vox Populi in Philadelphia. http://katestewartart.com
James Gallagher’s sources vintage books and magazines in search for the visual material for his intimate-scale collages. Mostly monochromatic and sparse, the small works weave the dissected figures into enigmatic compositions. Obstructed and veiled the fragments resist being directly recognized while maintaining a residue of their origin. The artist’s knife both violates and redeems the images, imbuing them with a suggestive poetic power. Gallagher’s art has been shown in galleries around the world. He has recently curated a series of exhibitions showcasing contemporary collage entitled Cutters and has edited a related book published by Gestalten, Cutting Edges: Contemporary Collage. Gallagher’s art has been featured in magazines such as Arkitip, Juxtapoz, and Elephant. In addition to creating art, Gallagher is a Creative Director for a Marketing Firm and an Instructor at Parsons the New School for Design.
Obsessive interest in the qualities of the material is evident in the sculptures of Corey Antis. The carefully considered surfaces of his uncanny plywood “boulders” are interrupted by an occasional sharp angle disclosing the artist’s intention to control the otherwise organic forms. Similarly, Antis’ wooden facsimiles of books overcome their objecthood, appearing as opaque sarcophagi of petrified knowledge. Corey Antis’ work has been exhibited in national and international exhibitions at the Rebekah Templeton Gallery, Greenlease Gallery at Rockhurst University, Booster and Seven Gallery, the Vox Populi Gallery, Three Walls, Heaven Gallery, Jenny Jaskey Gallery, the D.C. Arts Center, Greenstone Gallery, Hunter College, the Rhode Island School of Design, the Frieze Projects Art Fair, the Stray Show and SPACE Gallery, among others. Antis is an assistant professor of painting at the Kansas City Art Institute. He currently lives and works in Kansas City. http://www.coreyantis.com
Lisa Young’s inkjet prints of scenic postcard bridges removed from their context and suspended in midair could be seen as metaphors for the in-between spaces. Isolated and taken out of their moment, the bridges no longer connect disparate places but are themselves a destination – the floating islands. A sense of disconnection and removal is also evident in Young’s video piece comprised of hundreds of shots showing a single golf ball flying against a blue sky. The video sequence, which doesn’t rely on a linear narrative, leads to a meditative temporal experience. Lisa Young’s hybrid practice includes installation, book, video, photography and web projects. Young’s exhibition venues include the Cue Art Foundation, The Getty Research Institute, White Columns, Hunter College, Wave Hill, and Bard College. Among her commissioned projects are a billboard at 6150 Wilshire Boulevard, LA (Clockshop), an artist book project for Cabinet Magazine, and a web project developed with the Scholarly Technology Group at Brown University. Young’s work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, NY, the Rhode Island School of Design, the Harvard University Art Museums, the Rose Goldsen Archive for New Media Art at Cornell University and the Neues Museum Weserberg in Bremen Germany. Her artist book/print editions have been distributed through Printed Matter, Pace Prints and Art Metropole. She is currently the Photo Grad Critic and teaches in the RISD Photography Department. http://lisa-young.com
Jason Glasser’s annotated short film, The Black Grape, is a story of separation and adventure. Filmed with limited means it uses a black balloon as the protagonist. Humorous and touching, the grainy film evokes an old-timey fairytale. The spooky music adds a haunting accompaniment as the grape rolls along on its mysterious journey. Jason Glasser works in painting & drawing, film, photography, music and site-specific installation. His work has recently been shown in the Lone Star, Parker’s Box, Brooklyn, N.Y., Heads Up! La Maison D’Art Bernard Anthonioz, Nogent-Sur-Marne, France, Austin Rubbings, Domy, Austin, TX, Musique Plastique, Galerie Du Jour Agnes B., Paris, France, Teatro Delle Esposizioni, Villa Medicis, Rome, Italy and Cutters, West Cork Arts Center, West Cork, Ireland. Jason Glasser is currently based in Paris, France. www.jasonglasser.com