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.

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.

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.”

Christina Haglid

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Artist’s Statement

There has always been an intersection between the process of writing and painting in my work. It has somehow been my guide. In the last six years, that connection intensified as I started writing short stories and flash fiction while taking online classes. I find the process of writing and painting so different in almost every way, but there is something freeing and generative in writing which helps my painting process. Or perhaps it’s a reminder of what painting is for me – something intuitive that needs to be trusted. And what they do have in common is a desire to encapsulate and distill a single moment, a story, about the complexity of our emotions and experiences.

My work is about something I wish I could have seen, imaginary worlds, a commentary on awe that is inspired by nature, science, and history. Objects in my work are a stand in for the figure as psychologically inspired narratives comment on the strength vs. fragility of life. Items in a painting are like words on a page. Objects, spaces, and most importantly light are placed to create meaning similarly.

Christina Haglid exhibited her artwork with Ann Nathan Gallery (1997-2016) and is now represented by Gallery Victor Armendariz in Chicago. A graduate of the Maryland Institute, College of Art, Haglid attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1990 and has an M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Her artwork has been included in numerous gallery exhibitions, art fairs, and museum shows including Loyola University Museum of Art, Illinois State Museum, Greenville County Museum of Art, Art on Paper New York, Art Chicago, and Art of the 20th Century at the NY Armory. She is based in Chicago, IL.

Elizabeth Shull

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Artist’s Statement

A central rhythm in my work is the exploration of texture and is often combined with the disclosure of the unexpected. I am intrigued with the nuances of the natural world and the endless supply of subject matter with all its subtleties and surprises. I don’t tell you what to see but remind you to be observant and investigate beyond the surface. By layering and creating texture there seems to be an archeological direction with what is clearly visible and what is more obscure. My art practice is about the process, risk taking, discovery, and the magic of research.

Elizabeth Shull was born and raised in Southern California and lives in Los Angeles. As a painter her predominant intention is to encourage visual exploration and trigger thinking beyond the predictable. Elizabeth’s undergraduate degree is from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She holds an MFA from Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. She has participated in many exhibitions and has pieces in several private collections.

Mary DiDoardo

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Artist’s Statement

There is a visceral connection between viewer and painter through the surface reading of a painting. All of my research is made visible in the sensuality of oil paint, its luminosity and chameleon shifts of color. I find it difficult to breathe new life into a brush stroke but can charge expression into/out of these uniform lines through process that comes from alternately working line within, around and through the field. This process integrates and embeds the line and keeps it from being simply a design element. It draws the space. The many stages are visible and are there for the viewer to read. Consistent in most of these paintings is the underlying evidence of previous stages rising to the surface through layers built up and scraped down, enriching the final version.

Mary Didoardo is a long-time resident of Long Island City, NY. She was born in New Jersey and has lived in New York City since graduating from Pratt Institute, where she majored in sculpture. Over time, painting prevailed over sculpture, but her paintings manifest a physical and process-driven sensibility oriented in early explorations with materials. She has had two solo shows at the Kathryn Markel Gallery in 2016 and 2019. Her work was represented in “ROY G BIV,” a 3-person exhibition in 2018 at the Chautauqua Institute. She is a two-time recipient of The Enrico Donati Foundation Grant. Her work was reviewed in Too Much Art, Writings on Visual Culture by Mario Naves, who wrote: “Didoardo’s abstractions are characterized by a bracing sense of freedom. They evince an artist working not only with an enviable surety, but one welcoming of risk – which, of course, puts surety to the test. That approach may be standard operating procedure for certain strains of abstract painting, but it’s one thing to make the claim, another to pull it off. Didoardo pulls it off, and then some.”

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.”

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.