Ana Rendich

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Artist’s Statement

I have always been connected to the invisible and visible aspects of human drama, the particular and the universal. Although my paintings and sculptures are my own work, they are not intended to be about me. The subject matter is greater than me as an individual. My studio is like a lab, where space, form and meaning intertwine, shaping and filling my artworks.

I have been exploring the Japanese concept “Ma” (間), a concept embedded in our relationship with our space, internal and external, and how we relate one to another one; as well as the interpretation of time and space, pauses and silences, and the emptiness in a space, full of possibilities. This concept MA is the skeleton of my works, where my art starts. These sculptures, mixed media and paintings emerge from a thought, an infinite path with no endpoint, where resolution is impossible. Hope in the light of loss and displacement is my primary subject. The works are fragments of what has been lost, negated, and postponed. Their structures are a form of reparation, a healing tool, tying together absences and presences, sometimes in a meditative form.

In some of my sculptures, I incorporate resin, because of its reflective or opaque property, but I transform it, leaving my own fingerprints, and colors are mainly a tool that reveals presence. In certain works, the observer can see the ghostly effect generated by the reflection created by the mixed media illustrating the transient and mercurial nature of reality. Upon seeing my art, many find that the colors draw their attention before anything else. The story behind these colors is born in the interplay between these colors, but it is not color itself that matters most to me. Rather, the color is secondary, the whole composition makes the work… Colors and shapes are not separated elements, both are an essential symbiosis. When I make an artwork that contains individual pieces, it is always thinking that each piece must belong to the next artwork, creating a work, where all the pieces share the same space; the togetherness is what makes the work.

My work has been evolving and changing every year, incorporating new media and materials. Sculpture and mixed media has helped me to grow, and it gives me the chance to explore pieces rooted in the human condition, past and present social and historic events. In the WWII pieces, for example, the research in getting the letters from WWII has been a long road, it almost took me two years until I started to work.

The base of my art is bringing presence through absence. There are different types of absences: not only physical absence, but also the lack of the fabric that could make us better human beings. All these have created the need to incorporate other elements, according to the sensibility of each piece, like the use of wood, fabric, metal, yarn and paper, besides oil, silicone, etc. I enjoy immensely the closeness with my materials, that intimacy…the tactile and physical connection, too, aids to create a deep connection with space, form and meaning, leaving all decorative items aside, and helps me to concentrate more in exploration, questioning and contemplation. I see the reflections, materials and surfaces as healing presences, making the invisible visible.

Ana Rendich was born in Argentina and lives and works in Spotsylvania, Viriginia. She attended Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colon, University del Salvador, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the National Academy of Design, New York, New York.

Taraneh Mosadegh

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Artist’s Statement

In my practice, by using Micro/Macro levels of observation and intuition, I intend to understand nature, humanity, science, and the threads and patterns that connect them. I mean to acknowledge the interconnectedness between humans and other forms of being without privileging humans. Repetitive mark-making, exploring the materiality of paint and the transparency of each pigment, layering one on top of the other, creates a spatiality that helps me pinpoint zones where the human and the non-human overlap, intertwine and resonate.

Since 2020, I have been experimenting with a 400-year-old formal technique, Reverse Glass Painting, which uses a transparent material to combine reflective light on glass with the subject’s emergence. The surface glass covering the painting is also refractive, absorbing select wavelengths of light but not others. Using multiple layers of glass makes a material conversation of vernacular form and biomorphic organic shapes. Color, Reflection, and Refraction provide the vocabulary.

The trajectories of the reverse glass painting have been part of Iranian history for a long time: This technique arrived in Iran via the Silk Road around the 17th century from Venice. Safavids embraced it, and the Zand dynasty sustained it, but the method prevailed during the Qajar era (1789-1925). During this period, not only did Iranian paintings change as a result of European influence, but also Iran encountered political upheavals: Constitutional revolution; Women criticizing the social and political state of the nation; Iran getting partitioned by foreign forces, etc. Before this era, reverse glass painting was primarily used in interior decorations, but after that, it evolved to be autonomous artwork by individual artists. It reflected the realities of its time.

Taraneh Mosadegh is an Iranian visual artist based in Vermont and New York. She earned her MFA from The Le Roy. E Hoffberger School of Painting at MICA in Baltimore and her BFA from Tehran Art University. She has been an artist-in-residence at Vermont Studio Center, The Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, and The Windy Mowing Artist Retreat. She has shown her work in Tehran, Toronto, Baltimore, Johnson VT, and Woodstock, NY. Mosadegh is the recipient of the 2022 Vermont Arts Council Development Grant and the 2019 Alumnux juried exhibition prize of Vermont Studio Center, where she will have a solo exhibition at The Red Mill Gallery in October 2022.

Andrea Burgay

 

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Artist’s Statement

 

I find inspiration in the cycles of destruction and renewal that mark the passage of time. I
am interested in worthlessness and potential, finding meaning in materials that have been
discarded. I am interested in memory and examining the past, especially the potential of
imagination to confuse and create new memories.

My Fictions series of sculptural collages on deconstructed books and magazines are
colorful, densely layered objects that bear the markings of their visceral transformations.
The covers or interiors of these books are collaged, then taken apart and reassembled—
destroyed, then transformed. This process results in works that evoke both deterioration
and growth.

I imagine that these objects have taken on lives of their own, neglected and ignored stories
pouring out of them and mixing. Some books explode with color, others are eaten away,
ravaged by time. Either documents of the past or reimagined fictions, these objects no
longer communicate what they once did, but now explore realms of remembrance and
projection, nostalgia and evolution. They are invitations to reimagine the past and the
present.

Andrea Burgay is a visual artist from Syracuse, NY, living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Her
work combines collage, painting, sculpture and found materials to elevate the overlooked and the mundane via transformative processes. Through adding and removing layers of handmade and collected materials, her works harness both destruction and decay to create a sense of potential renewal. Her work has been exhibited in galleries in Genoa, Paris, Warsaw, New York and
throughout the US. Her solo exhibition Mining the Ruins: The Library was shown at Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, MI in 2019. Andrea is also founder and editor of Cut Me Up, a participatory collage magazine and curatorial project.

Tamar Zinn

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Artist’s Statement

 

As a visual artist, I am driven by curiosity about what is possible, rather than seeking certainty. By working intuitively and without a preconceived endpoint, I let the work lead the way. The thread that runs through my paintings and drawings is the embrace of the transitory nature of our experiences. While recent paintings have centered on shifting atmospheric sensations, my drawings are a visual manifestation of breath and gesture.

In my search for quiet in an increasingly tumultuous world, several years ago I began a daily practice of sitting in stillness, open to whatever came into view from behind closed eyes. In two recent painting series, Behind Closed Eyes and Where I Find Myself, I’ve gravitated towards the ineffable sensations I experience during this daily period of reflective solitude. Particles of light slowly rearrange themselves across the field, colors shimmer and recede, and there is a never-ending flow between stillness and drama. Having shifted from painting singular images to multi-panel installations, the paintings increasingly reflect the belief that nothing is fixed, and that our perceptions are comprised of a multiplicity of moments.

Since I am seduced by light but also drawn to aspects of formalism, finding a balance between the two keeps the work in a state of tension until each element seems to find its place. The formal structure of the multi-panel paintings allows me to place unique sensory experiences side by side and present them as one. And ultimately, it is the imposition of this structure that gives me the freedom to fix in place that which is impermanent.

In my drawings, my embrace of both transitory and formal concerns is revealed through the interaction between gesture and the field. Attention to the unique nature of the field for each series of drawings grounds me in formal structure. Making the field is a slow and methodical process in which multiple layers of pigmented charcoal are gently rubbed into the surface of the paper. It is only once the field is established that I turn my attention to drawing the lines, an act that is filled with risk and where I feel most exposed.

For me, to draw is to breathe and to breathe is to experience a fullness of self. In this way, my drawings are rooted in the time of their making. Recent drawing series have reflected a dance between line and space — each helps to define the other. Each gesture is a choreography of movements, and once made, the marks may be altered but all that was there remains. While the gestures may be evocative of many things, my drawings depict nothing in particular.

Tamar Zinn is a visual artist whose work balances light-infused romanticism and reductive structure. Both painting and drawing are integral to her studio practice and distinct in both intention and process. Recent exhibits of Zinn’s work include Where I find myself, a 2021 solo exhibit of paintings at Markel Fine Arts, NYC, and Liminal Space, a 4-person show at Bryant Street Gallery, Palo Alto, in 2020 where Zinn exhibited a selection of drawings. Zinn has curated several group exhibitions and periodically blogs about contemporary art. Her work is included in corporate and private collections throughout the United States.

Holly Wong

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Artist’s Statement

I create installations, assemblages and works on paper that summon protection and celebrate female energy. Using materials such as colored pencil, drafting film, paint, and candle smoke, I strive to reconnect in myself what has been fragmented. Much of my work is constructed with ephemeral materials that are both strong and fragile simultaneously. Working often within the context of memory and impermanence, I gather images and patterns. I often name my pieces after Goddesses because my work once completed becomes a form of drawing down eternal energy and life force. I am calling upon those forces of protection through the practice of making artwork. Art is my form of magical practice which reveals the sacred in myself.
Holly Wong lives in San Francisco, California. She was educated at the San Francisco Art Institute where she earned a Master of Fine Arts with a concentration in New Genres. Holly creates installations, assemblages and works on paper. She has been awarded visual arts grants from the Integrity: Arts and Culture Association, Barbara Deming Memorial fund, the George Sugarman Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, and a Gerbode Foundation purchase award. She has had over 70 group exhibitions and 10 solo exhibitions. She is represented by SLATE Contemporary Gallery in Oakland, California, and is a member of A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, New York.

Al Wong

 

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Artist’s Statement

 

My work is a visual expression of the interconnectedness of perceived opposites. For the past 50+ years, my work has involved the use of negative and positive space, light, and transparency. I have always been fascinated with the ways in which light and shape are both presence and absence. Past bodies of work bring the foreground and the background planes of the sculpture or installation into one interconnected space.

In essence, my work demonstrates such relationships as light and dark, negative and positive, and emptiness and solidity. These relationships seem to imply difference at first glance, but because they are entirely interdependent, they reflect our interdependent existence. This implies that there is a deeper harmony in our environment that we may often overlook. My approach to art has always been to reveal life’s true nature in the everyday.

Al Wong is a native San Franciscan and has spent the past 50+ years making art in a variety of media. He has shown at exhibition venues such as the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the UC Berkeley Museum & Pacific Film Archive. His work has toured nationally and internationally including Europe, South America and Japan. In addition, he has received several awards and honors including an NEA Grant in 1983, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1986, and a Flintridge Foundation Visual Artist Award in 1997.

Joan Tanner

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Artist’s Statement

I am interested in encounters suggesting the fragile necessity of linkage inherent to art making.

Relishing in connections as well as contradictions generated by revising order where conflict becomes compelling, and solutions are deferred.

My work began in painting which I pursued until the early 90s. Then a significant change evolved from an intentional pursuit to take things apart and rebuild noting what needed another identity.

This shift began to disperse my attention to investigating sequence as an inevitable discourse of disruption and misdirection. Displacement being a persistent offering.

Born in 1935 in Indianapolis, Joan Tanner has lived in Southern California since the mid-1960s. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1957 and began her career as a painter. She has been consistently exhibiting her paintings, drawings, photographs, sculpture and site-specific installations since 1968. Tanner maintains a vigorous studio practice somewhat akin to a laboratory and is inspired by spatial contradictions, archetypal geometric forms and raw materials. Her work is held in numerous private and corporate collections and in the following public collections: The Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, Special Collections; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; Harvard University, Houghton Library, Department of Printing and Graphics, Cambridge, Massachusetts; New York Public Library, Spencer Collection, New York City, NY; Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky; and Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, California. Over the years, Tanner has been a visiting lecturer at the University of California–Santa Barbara, Ohio University in Athens, Illinois State University at Normal, and an artist-in-residence at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Judith Henry

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Artist’s Statement

During my art career I have used various multi-media techniques to both explore and hide identity. I examine the friction between the interior life and public self. To stress anonymity, I have often used masks in my work. In this issue of Posit I am showing work from two series done recently. Beauty Masks is a book consisting of self-portraits made by covering my face with “found” faces. There are 120 self-portraits in this book. I juxtapose images of model’s faces ripped from fashion magazines over my own face as a mask. The images I have chosen to disguise myself are diverse in their race, hairdo, accessories and dress. There’s a stark contrast between the retouched and made-up faces and my actual hands and body — a reminder of the commodification of idealized beauty and a reflection of the fear of death. The second series, Casting Call, is a collection of almost 300 miniature sculptures made of detritus found in my studio, on the streets and in my kitchen. I utilized adhesive tape, push pins, paint tubes, sponges, cotton balls, swabs, nails, clips, screws, anything and everything I was able to glean. These recombinant icons emerged as an installation at BravinLee Projects in 2018.They extend my exploration of personal identify by creating humanoid surrogate identities that stand in for my hidden persona(s). The diversity of forms reflect the huge disparity found in any crowd. Having pursued a detached, perhaps secretive, or voyeuristic observation of people throughout my career, I believe that my work has evolved into a unique and revelatory depiction of human nature in all its diversion and mass commonality.
Judith Henry is a multi-media artist, born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. After receiving a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University, she moved to New York and started making art that explored the misalignments between cultural representation and inner psychology. She utilizes drawing, photography, typography, video, painting, sculpture, and bookmaking. Henry has shown her art in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Cleveland, Philadelphia and internationally in Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Istanbul, London and Switzerland. Her most recent solo shows were at BravinLee programs, New York, 2015 and 2018, Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, 2016 and The National Arts Club, New York, 2017.

Robin Croft

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Artist’s Statement

Nothing can be taken for granted. Constant change proves to be the only reliable point of reference. Equilibrium being as fleeting as life itself, one fuses an array of thought fragments retrieved from memories into a drawing of graphite, metal or wood. By doing so, the artist builds a fragile mental world of metaphor that lends meaning to his largely unnoticed visit among the general population.

Among the works shown here, A Taunt Done, eh? is an homage to Duchamp’s “Étant donnés,” which extracts the perspective aspect of his barn door, wall and the distant waterfall, then reverts them to an actual outdoor setting. (The wattle enclosure with window was constructed about 100 yds from the dam’s spillway). Perpetual Notion Machine (aka Sisyphus machine) is from a “Railcar/dolly” series of metaphorical self-portraits embodied by abandoned wheeled vehicles featuring absurd routines, introspective dead ends, malfunctioning equipment and failed objectives: A ball bearing sitting in a receptacle beckons the viewer to insert it in the upper hole, and the unseen ball makes a loud clanging that resembles an idling steam engine as it traverses a staccato path to the lower cup. Perpetual Notion Machine tacitly invites the viewer to attempt to operate manual controls, hit the kill switch, read the solar-powered temperature gauge’s gibberish, and blow or poke a ball bearing (the dilating eye) from one side to the other.

Robin Croft “draws” ephemeral, outdoor sculptures using naturally occurring deadfall, driftwood and stone. His metaphorical images reflect a love of draftsmanship that incorporates autobiographical and formal references. In a sense, the work parallels naïve art by avoiding prevailing trends and building upon rugged drawing guided by intuition. In the studio or outdoors, his forms address tragicomedy, decay, abandonment and homage. Croft’s production of conceptual metal sculptures grew until they filled his home and studio. Lack of storage space prompted making impromptu “drawings-in-the-wild,” essentially translating studio ideas to park, wilderness, river, beach or urban settings.

Hester Simpson

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Artist’s Statement

 

The echoes of childhood define who we are. We live in memory. — Benjamin Bush, Dust to Dust

My abstract paintings are founded in early memory, creating an emotional space that pervades my everyday life. This emotional space is what I paint. When I paint, I mix thinned acrylics to a pourable consistency, allowing an even flow over panel. I work slowly, building strata of paint in even, smooth layers, evolving mutable patterns. In this way, I record time spent, an accumulation of memory and of returning again and again to the activity of paint on panel. Color is the expressive component of my work, informed by dreams, memory, and theory. The interaction of purple, brown, green and yellow, for example comes directly from a dream, in which a visitor to my studio points to four colors on my palette and states, “These are your colors. This is what you must do.” I know immediately that these colors represent my immigrant grandparents, influential in my formative years, and essential to my present. While I play with systems of pattern and color, challenging what I know, I revisit these seminal colors during times of change.

In Letters to a Young Poet, Rilke describes this phenomenon:

And yet they, who passed away long ago, still exist in us, as predisposition, as burden upon our fate, as murmuring blood, and as gesture that rises up from the depths of time.

Such change recently occurred in the wake of my mother’s death and the clearing of my childhood home. What has emerged is a new form which pays homage to the life of trees, and how they bear witness to our own existence. My research tells me that we share 25% of our DNA with trees. As I pass them on my daily walks, they speak to me of regeneration. I respond with new paintings.

Work creates its own time. — Ad Reinhardt

Hester Simpson grew up on Long Island’s north shore in the embrace of her immigrant grandparents. Her grandfather, a painter, lavished his enthusiasm for art in every corner of life. Today, decades since his passing, Simpson credits his spirit with her own passion for her practice. Simpson studied at Carnegie-Mellon University and Cranbrook Academy of Art, and has been a Visiting Artist at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Tyler School of Art, and The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, among others. The highlight of her 30-year teaching career, however, is in leading and evaluating workshop programs for the homeless, the disabled, and the incarcerated. Simpson is represented by more than 30 works in the William Louis-Dreyfus Family Collection, a philanthropic arm of the Harlem Children’s Zone. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Gottlieb Foundation Grant, a Wolf-Kahn Exhibition Grant, and three residencies at The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico which transformed her sense of light and color, profoundly influencing her painting to this day. Simpson has exhibited her work internationally and is represented by Ricco Maresca Gallery New York City, where she has had five solo shows. Phyllis Braff of The New York Times has described her work as “mesmerizing.”