Suejin Jo

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Artist’s Statement
As an immigrant, my work deals with the inner journey between the physical and mental landscapes of Korea where I grew up and the Western world where I have spent most of my adult life. Migration as it applies to all living creatures, including humans, is close to my heart as a subject. At Westhampton Beach, I have watched endless lines of Monarch butterflies trying to head south, fighting the strong ocean winds turning them around. It takes only a few seconds for these tiny creatures to realize something is wrong and turn themselves back to continue on their journey. I am reminded of Sebastian in Tennessee Williams’ “Suddenly Last Summer.” I have seen God!

My painting process is not unlike the Monarchs’ journey. I am seeking the heart of the matter, the deepest places my emotion carries me. Often I do not know which form this will take. But I know if it is a wrong direction when I lay down my strokes, shapes, and colors. Often this takes many trials and errors. But every hour I spend with a canvas takes me closer to the essence of what I want to say. Accidents along the way often turn out to be the right path. I think of Lee Krasner saying she got up in the morning thinking she would do a green painting but at the end of the day it became a purple painting.

I care about the picture surface. For many years I used oil and dry pigment, which required me to wear a mask and be very careful not to inhale the powder. After a decade I had to give this up for health reasons as well as the difficulty of storing and exhibiting without damage. Although I miss the deep yet clear surface yielded by the kneading of the powder into the oil paint, I have come to appreciate the way acrylic and oil paint often simultaneously create an interesting picture surface.

Suejin Jo is a Korean-born abstract painter based in New York City. She studied with Stamos and Vytlacil at the Art Students League, winning a McDowell Award juried by Richard Pousette D’art and Romare Bearden. For many years, Jo painted with a unique medium of oil and dry pigment using the process of “inlay” like Korean potters of the eleventh century. Helen Harrison of The New York Times described Jo’s painting as having “the character of an ancient wall painting.” She is the recipient of a number of awards, including the Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Exhibition Award, and has exhibited nationally and internationally. Jo’s most recent solo show, Migration_Passages, opened at the John Molloy Gallery in New York City in March, 2020, but ended up in quarantine as a result of the pandemic. Her work is held in many public and private collections, including the Library of Congress and the WTC Memorial Museum. The US State Department selected Jo’s painting “Pontchartrain” to be included in its 2012 desk calendar “Homage to American Women Artists.”

Jeanne Jaffe


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Artist’s Statement
Inspired by an interest in anthropology, mythology, and psychology, my work explores how identity is forged from early pre-verbal experience through the later influences of language and culture.

In my earlier sculpture, I give concrete form to intangible sensations and barely remembered bodily experiences. This is accomplished by creating hybrid forms of mixed origins of experience – fusions of animate and inanimate worlds, simultaneously familiar yet strange. Body fragments, vegetative processes, and microscopic life fuse, mutate, and morph, and the resulting objects invite recognition while remaining mutable, suggestive, and indeterminate. Visceral experiences of longing, repulsion, fear, loss, curiosity, and discovery are elicited.

In my more recent installations such as “Little Red Riding Hood as a Crime Scene,” “Elegy for Tesla,” and “T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets,” popular folktales, history, and literature are reimagined through a contemporary lens and made into multi-sensory environments. In these installations, sculpture, videos, interactive elements, and animation create a space for exploring the implications of these known narratives and for reimagining new perspectives.

Most recently I am working on a stop motion animation, “Alice in Dystopia,” a retelling of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. In this version, Alice and the Rabbit fall down the wrong rabbit hole into the contemporary world of 2020, with all of its environmental and societal ills, where the characters must find a way to confront the current crises and offer hope for renewal and change.

In all of my work different signifying systems of image, motion, language, and sound intertwine, highlighting and allowing us to reexamine different aspects of our internal and external experiences, the stories we have been told, and the assumptions we have internalized.

How we navigate multi layered experience, where signification and understanding is being endlessly reshaped, and how we create meaning and self-determination from the cacophony of sensation, memory, myth, and cultural history is the subject of all my work.

Jeanne Jaffe is a multi-disciplinary artist and a frequent visiting artist at Xian Academy of Fine Arts in China who lives in Florida with her husband and parrot Lilly. She is the recipient of grants from the Gottlieb Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, NEA, Virginia Groot Foundation, and Mid Atlantic/NEA, among others. Her work has been exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art Museum, Delaware Art Museum, Michener Art Museum, Royal Scottish Academy of Edinburgh, Seokdang Museum of Art in Korea, and elsewhere. Reviews of her work have appeared in Art in America, The New York Times, and Sculpture Magazine.

Hiroyuki Hamada

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Artist’s Statement

Artists are blessed with that rare moment when everything disappears in our studios except for our works and ourselves — when we feel the profound connection to what we have worked on as it melts with the world, space and time. Such an occasion is indeed very rare but that is what I strive to capture when I struggle in my studio. As our world continues to be subservient to the hierarchy of money and violence, I believe the exploration of artists to perceive the world reaching beyond the framework of corporatism, colonialism and militarism continues to be a crucial part of being human.

Hiroyuki Hamada (b. 1968, Tokyo) has exhibited throughout the United States and in Europe. He has been awarded various residencies including those at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, the Edward F. Albee Foundation/William Flanagan Memorial Creative Person’s Center, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the MacDowell Colony. Hamada’s work has been featured in various publications, including Stokstad and Cothren’s widely used art history text book Art: A Brief History (Pearseon). In 1998 he was the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant; he is a two time recipient of New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships (2009 and 2017), and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2018. Hamada lives and works in East Hampton, New York.

Erica Baum

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Artist’s Statement

My photographic work utilizes found language and imagery. As an undergraduate I studied Anthropology and I look at my source materials, books, blackboards, card catalogues, player piano rolls, sewing patterns etc. as potent artifacts that can yield poetic information reflecting the circulation and dissemination of information and material in our shared popular culture. I’m thinking about structures and systems and how a playful engagement can yield insights as well as generate new meanings.

Transposing the tradition of street photography, I navigate intuitively framing and partially decontextualizing my subject matter harnessing moments that suggest meanings beyond their original situations.

What interests me are the juxtapositions and sense of history derived from the words themselves even without knowing everything. I want to give you a sense of a particular environment but not in its entirety. The view is oblique and re-contextualized. In this close up immersive situation the viewer can retain a level of awareness, just enough to inform but also to allow a different visual and semantic experience to take hold. The source is familiar and recognizable but the experience is new. It is that tension between something that we recognize, that we routinely encounter and the fact that we can look at it in a different way that creates a strangeness, a difference in which exist multiple possibilities.

While respecting the constraints of a given subject, the page sequence of a book or the reference system of a library, the work suggests a visual meta-language, mixing history and humor to display the disparate, often unheard cacophony of voices present within cultural structures.

Reflecting intimate and direct encounters with familiar actions and objects – opening a card catalogue drawer, opening a book, folding a page – the viewer is reminded that meaningful visual surprise surrounds us if one pays attention.

Erica Baum is well known for her varied photographic series capturing text and image in found printed material, from paperback books to library indexes. She received her MFA from Yale University in 1994 and her BA in Anthropology from Barnard in 1984.

Recent museum exhibitions include Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Face à face, frac île‐de‐france, Villetaneuse, France; Anna Atkins Refracted: Contemporary Works, The New York Public Library, New York; The Swindle: Art Between Seeing and Believing, Albright‐Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Lever le voile, Frac île‐de‐france, Paris; The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin, The Jewish Museum, New York; Photo-Poetics: An Anthology, Kunsthalle Berlin and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; and Reconstructions: Recent Photographs and Video from the Met Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Recent solo and two‐person exhibitions include A METHOD OF A CLOAK, Square is the Chatter, Galerie Markus Lüttgen, Düsseldorf; A METHOD OF A CLOAK, Klemm’s, Berlin; A Long Dress, Bureau, New York; Naked Eye Nature Morte, Galerie Crevecoeur, Paris, France; AAa:Quien, Erica Baum & Libby Rothfeld, Bureau, New York; The Following Information, Bureau, New York; and Stanzas, Galerie Crevecoeur, Paris. Selected biennials include: AGORA 4th Athens Biennale, Athens, 2013 and the 30th Bienal de São Paulo: The Imminence of Poetics, São Paulo, Brazil, 2012.

Her work is held in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; MAMCO, Geneva; Albright‐ Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Paris; FRAC Ile de France, Paris; and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven and others.

 

Frank Whipple

 

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Artist’s Statement

My work on an individual piece usually begins after I’ve cut a hundred or more elements from culled images that have attracted my eye. Once a particular image appeals to me by virtue of its shape, color, texture, or even degree of decay, it may suggest an association that triggers some remote memory or fantasy of the future, alternative mythology, or dreamscape, and if possible a combination of all of those and more, which gets me started on the road to completing the piece. As I work, I continually discover new techniques and approaches to the creative process.

Frank Whipple is a collage artist and long-time dealer and collector of antique books and ephemera. His work has been featured on the set of “NCIS: Los Angeles,” as the cover art for the Max Laser Band’s 2017 CD “Beautiful Heartbreak,” and in the book for Cecil Touchon’s 2017 exhibition, “Dada Centennial: Day of the Dead.” Since 1995 his work has been included in group shows at the Louis Stern Gallery, Gallery 825, and the Zipper Gallery (all in West Hollywood), as well as the Fremont Center Theatre (Pasadena), the Spring Open Show of the Collage Artists of America (2006), the Space Gallery, the Lark Gallery (2014), the Sebastapol Center for the Arts (2016), the MorYork Gallery (Highland Park), the Sullivan Goss Gallery (Santa Barbara), the Nisa Touchon Gallery (Santa Fe, 2015 and 2016), and the Retroavangarda Gallery (Warsaw, forthcoming). Solo shows include “Papercuts,” at the Space Gallery in Claremont, California (2016) and “Scenic Roots…a Collage Dreamscape” and “Frank Whipple Collages” at the MorYork Gallery (2018 and 2019). He was a featured speaker for the Collage Artists of America in 2017.Find out more at frankwhipplecollage.

Alex Stark

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Artist’s Statement

My work considers memory, vision and physicality. I have double vision and see dimensionality differently. When I create a space, I think of the eye and mind processing, understanding, and navigating the pictorial space. I self identify with the bird and birds have been appearing in my work as symbols for many years. Birds have graceful and majestic qualities: long necks, delicate feet and graceful forms but, are also fragile and clumsy on the ground. Birds have the unique perspective of flight, allowing them to travel, and explore an alternative point of view. My most recent work focuses on an intimate relationship with birds that are often supporting or entangled with a body. Using intense and often contrasting colors and expressive line work they create a relatable visceral connection.

Alex Stark is a painter and curator and practices in Boulder, Colorado and Chicago, Illinois. He received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and presently works at SAIC as a Disability Advisor. Stark has recently shown work in Chicago, New York and Colorado.

Susana Amundaraín

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Artist’s Statement

The idea that, sometimes, the experience of a painting can stay with you all your life has always had a strong resonance with the way I feel about place. I usually remember it as an intense connection in abstract form, imbedded with a singular atmosphere, a unique signature. These are ‘pictures’ that have stayed with me without aging, images that become paintings to share. They surface again and again as I paint, evolving and becoming new forms of reality. Acrylic is my favorite medium because of its versatility. Sometimes it feels as fluid as inks, and then, it can reverse to being textural and thick. Occasionally I play with fragments of paper collaged to the canvas, or canvas collaged to the paper. Many years ago I started incorporating natural mica pieces as accents in my paintings. Their transparency and tangible reality had a particular appeal to me: small windows of Earth substance and presence.

I am always in awe of the possibilities of color in areas of very low light, or very diffused light, and I am continually attracted to the poetic in quiet pictorial surfaces. This I find to be the closest to an active form of meditation, which in turn allows us a path to our unknown selves.

Susana Amundaraín is a Venezuelan-born American artist. Her drawings, paintings and installations have been exhibited nationally and internationally. Amundaraín’s work is represented in museums in South America and the United States, including the Galería de Arte Nacional and Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas, and Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá. It’s also included in many private and corporate collections, such as PepsiCO, Fundación Polar, and ALCOA. Her work has been reviewed in Art News, Art Nexus, El Papel Literario de El Nacional (Caracas), Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and Viceversa magazine (NYC) among many others.

Susana generally builds her paintings through a multiple layering of color transparencies and eroded surfaces, in a balance between structured and atmospheric space. Amundaraín holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Denver in Colorado, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Metropolitan State University, CO. She has also been a Visiting Scholar in Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts, in NYU, New York City. She currently lives and works in Minot, North Dakota. Please visit susanaamundarain.com.

Viviane Rombaldi Seppey

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Artist’s Statement

My work is informed by my nomadism between countries, languages and ways of seeing or thinking. My Maps Series in particular explores my identity and heritage through geographical and road maps found in my childhood home after my father’s death. The maps I use are the carrier of my personal and family migrant history. They are the support of my individual experience and of our collective knowledge.

In the artwork, the maps are drawn, cut, painted or assembled to create three-dimensional objects and works on paper. The printed matter that I transform retains its integrity as a public document, while it simultaneously holds fragments of my personal migratory journey. In an age of technology and electronic tools, the maps reflect an in-between world. By examining the tactile quality of paper in the creation of sculptural objects, I explore my own personal displacement experiences and question the inherent transience of the surrounding world.

My work becomes the witness to my migrating life and my interaction with individuals, places, and memory. The long, fastidious, repetitive action of my creative process both physicalizes and metaphorically reflects the time that it takes to integrate into new environments.

Viviane Rombaldi Seppey’s work explores personal and collective understandings of place, and is informed by her migratory upbringing and experiences. Born in Switzerland of Italian descent, Seppey has lived on four continents and is based in New York. Her work incorporates maps, phonebooks, photographs, magazines, and other materials into intricate installations, collages, sculptures, and drawings. She holds an MFA from RMIT Melbourne, Australia, and has exhibited at numerous institutions worldwide, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL; the Bronx Museum of the Arts, NY; the Hunterdon Art Museum, NJ; and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia. Please visit vivianerombaldi.com for more information.

Matthew Schommer

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Artist’s Statement

Through my work I’m aiming to evoke a feeling of hazy nostalgia. To create an atmosphere reminiscent of elusive, lingering dreams. Iconic imagery and found photographs serve as a spring board for me to explore mankind’s foggy past and uncertain future. With watercolor and acrylic paints and layers upon layers of graphite, my work prompts the viewer to analyze the human condition and society at large.

Born in Michigan, Matthew Schommer started learning drawing and painting from his father Dennis at an early age. After studying art at a local college he moved to Chicago to study film and then onto New York to work for Christies auction house and to further his art career. Matthew’s work is exhibited in galleries in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Miami. He currently lives and works in Chicago.

Cheryl Molnar

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Artist’s Statement

In my most recent body of work, I continue to construct my paintings with an engineer’s sensibility and rigor, but the architectural structures come from the world of leisure and recreation—and of memory. The structures and patterns seem borrowed from an earlier generation, evoking nostalgia and yet also inspired by autobiography. My paintings collapse both geography and time. What at first appears to be an intricate painting reveals itself, upon close examination, to be finely cut slivers of paper on wood veneer, hand painted and then laboriously collaged together to create fields of grass, multifaceted rocky cliffs or lush botanical growth. The architectural structures are often incised directly onto wood panels and inserted into these wild landscapes.

My process begins with documentation: I photograph locations newly traveled, as well as well-known and loved. These photographs are digitally stitched together, combining landscapes with structures from various “memories.” I collage photographs the way we experience memories: we confuse the place and time, the structures bleed together, places patched together in our minds. Like concretized memories, my photographs give physical shape to the improbable landscapes of our memory.

Cheryl Molnar’s work has been exhibited nationally, including solo exhibitions at Smack Mellon in New York and The University of Arizona, as well as group shows at C24 Gallery in Chelsea, The Islip Art Museum on Long Island, and the General Electric Headquarters in CT. She recently completed a permanent ceramic tile instillation for PS19Q in Queens, a commission from Percent for Art and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Currently a member artist at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, her other art residencies include the Winter Workspace program at Wave Hill, Smack Mellon, Weir Farm Art Center and Cooper Union. Cheryl received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from Pratt Institute. Notable collections featuring her work include Cantor Fitzgerald and Microsoft. She is a longtime resident of Greenpoint, Brooklyn and splits her time between NYC and the North Fork of Long Island.