Etty Yaniv

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Artist’s Statement

How we form narratives out of patterns that recur daily and how we process diurnal time in relation to memory and place have preoccupied me since early on. In my artwork I imagine multiple ways in which narratives may form out of fragmented knowledge by constructing and deconstructing pieces of repetitive documentation.

In a process–oriented approach I use a wide range of materials from my studio and from every-day life — such as found objects, drawings, paintings, and photographs which depict autobiographical fragments from my environment. Together, these disjointed pieces form a holistic image, widely varied in scale — from small scale collage paintings to monumental immersive installations. In either format I aim to create hybrid mindscapes in which the viewer is placed somewhere between the real and the imagined, the organic and the artificial, landscape and topography.

While on the whole I frequently allude to the fragility of our Eco system and complexity in our civilization, the layered fragments are like coded messages or excavated memories which present new clues. Each layer documents a particular moment in time and only up close the viewer may discover the content underneath, invited to choose their own perspective.

Etty Yaniv was born in Tel Aviv, Israel and currently works on her art, art writing, and curatorial projects in Brooklyn. Her work includes drawings, collaged paintings and immersive dimensional installations which merge photography, drawing, and painting. Yaniv exhibited her work in solo and group shows at galleries and museums nationally and internationally, including The Haifa Museum of Art, Israel, State Silk Museum, Tbilisi, Georgia, Newark Museum of Art, NJ, Torrance Art Museum, CA, AIR gallery, Brooklyn, Long Island University, Brooklyn, and Leipziger Baumwollspinnerie, Leipzig Germany. She holds BA in Psychology and Literature from Tel Aviv University, BFA from Parsons School of Design, and MFA from SUNY Purchase. She has been writing for several NYC art blogs and recently she has initiated Art Spiel, her own fine art blog. In 2018 she was awarded the Two Trees subsidized studio space Program in Dumbo.

Buzz Spector

in modern America (2014)

important parts of religious experience (2014)

not even (2015)

the eternal mystery in pictures (2014)

the shadows’ touch . . . (2016)

Artist’s Statement

For the last five years I’ve been making text/image sequences of poetry employing found language on the dust jackets of hardcover books. I clip the last lines of blurbs to compose poetry. These last words, so to speak, are vestiges of writing which is itself deliberately ordinary in function. We are all too aware of the deception of buying a book after reading a blurb more engaging than the volume it’s wrapped around. I’m taking up the challenge of writing as collage from such meager shards, bringing variations of color, typography, and bits of images into the process.

Buzz Spector works in a wide range of mediums including sculpture, photography, printmaking, book arts, and installation. His art makes frequent use of the book, both as subject and object, and is concerned with relationships between public history, individual memory, and perception.

Joakim Ojanen

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Artist’s Statement

In Joakim Ojanen’s new body of work, he expands into more complex motifs and materials. Ojanen’s glazed ceramic, “Flower Eyes, Yin Yang Shirt, and Polka Dot Dress,” is a young woman in a yellow, bell-shaped, dress, who plaintively holds a vase containing a wilted thistle. Her eyes pop out of her head and morph into delicate flowers. Her dress, surrounded by flowers, features a cave-like hole, which reveals a pair of bare feet that straddle a small detached head. Ojanen has also created two large-scale bronze sculptures, multiple charcoal drawings, and several oil paintings, for the exhibition. In Ojanen’s bronze sculpture, “Bossy Bird Claimed My Nose in The Park,” a drunk and queasy park denizen awakens to find his extended Pinocchio/Giacometti nose has been taken over by a nesting bird.

Joakim Ojanen was Born in 1985, Västerås, Sweden in 1985 and lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. He received his BA in 2012 from Konstfack University College of Arts,Crafts and Design, and his MFA in 2014 from Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design.

Melissa Meyer

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Artist’s Statement

Included in this portfolio of images are works that trace the history of my interest in and artworks using collage, as well as recent collages influenced by this trajectory. My work is abstract with many visual references including: the improvisational and emotional qualities of Jazz and dance; the sinuous gestures of an actor moving across the big screen; the tonal qualities of Film Noir; handwriting, urban graffiti and linear natural forms; the logic of architecture; and the colors in a landscape.

I am very aware of the importance of collage in forming contemporary aesthetics. As a method, collage encourages layering, shape-making and juxtaposition, all of which I apply to my work, from my paintings to multi-panel public works using expanded media. As a young woman artist, one of the important aspects of my research was to find role models and forerunners. I observed that many mid-20th century women abstract artists made collages, including Ann Ryan, Alma Thomas and Lee Krasner. This culminated in my essay written with Miriam Schapiro, “Femmage: Waste Not Want Not, An Inquiry into What Women Saved and Assembled,” published in Heresies’ fourth issue (1978). I discovered a collage sensibility was evident in quilts, devotional pieces and scrapbooks made primarily by women in the 18th century, far before Picasso and Braque. This collage sensibility, marked by recycling, mixed-media, making art from remainders and remembrances, is echoed in the mid-century abstractionists I connected with. A famous example is Krasner, who reused her works on paper in her collage works, both large and small.

In my own work, collage has played an important role in developing new ideas and reusing old ones, from “The Green Woman,” my early (1974) collage painting for Ms. Magazine, to my most recent work. Artist residencies have provided opportunities to connect older works like “The Green Woman” and “Provincetown Summer” to the newer collage “Rearrangement Series.” In my “Residency Sketchbooks,” from which I include specific pages, I cut up and combined watercolors in an improvisational manner, which directly inspired a group of works based entirely on cutting up and rearranging previous watercolors. Another influence in this series has been the late large collage works of Jean Dubuffet, about which I wrote an essay in 2016 for the popular Painters on Painting blog, and which I was able to revisit in an exhibition this past spring 2018.

Melissa Meyer lives and works in New York City. She is represented in New York by Lennon Weinberg, Inc. Her work has been exhibited widely nationally and internationally. Meyer’s development has been surveyed in two traveling exhibitions, and she has completed public commissions in New York, Tokyo, Shanghai, and for the new U.S. Embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Her work is included in major public and private collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, Brooklyn Museum, Guggenheim Museum, and Jewish Museums. Residencies and Awards include: Rome Prize, NEA grant, Pollock Krasner Grant, Yaddo, MacDowell, Bogliasco, and BAU Institute.

Camille Eskell

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Artist’s Statement

My current series, The Fez as Storyteller, is a group of mixed-media sculptures and works on paper that explores the social and psychological legacy of my Iraqi, Jewish and Indian multi-cultural history, and more broadly questions the attitudes, conventions, and indoctrination that religious and social systems perpetuate over generations. Steeped in memory, the work addresses gender bias, entrenched customs, control, and the emotional turbulence that formed this heritage to critique yet commemorate this tradition.

Resembling artifacts, these works are a culmination of my lifelong interests in art, history, clothing/fashion, and psychology. They combine and contrast material elements, cultural symbols and associations from Middle Eastern, South Asian and Sephardic traditions with reconfigured imagery of family and place, suggesting irony and contradiction. I use the fez cap (traditional Middle-Eastern headgear) as a structural base for the storytelling to reflect the foundation established by my forebears, who left Iraq for Bombay to become traders of the hats in their adopted land. The crafting of each piece is meticulous, time-consuming, and process-driven. It consists of designing the piece, composing the multi-layered images digitally (some up to 80 layers), procuring the various elements from resources such as consignment shops, thrift stores, fabric and accessory vendors, and devising the best techniques to combine them. Disassembling and re-working existing garments, accessories and decorative items, hand-sewing, beading, and intricate fastening are some of the methods used.

Award-winning artist Camille Eskell exhibits her work throughout the U.S. and abroad. Her work is in public and private collections, including the Chrysler Museum of Art/VA, The Hudson River Museum/NY and the Housatonic Museum of Art/CT. She recently received her third Artist Fellowship grant, this from the Connecticut Office of the Arts; reviews in The Huffington Post, The New York Times, D’arte, Art New England and The Examiner, and residencies at the Weir Farm National Historic site and the Vermont Studio Center are among her distinctions. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from Queens College/CUNY, and lives/works in Connecticut.

Gabe Brown

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Artist’s Statement

As an artist, I search for meaning in the unknown. Exploring a world beyond my own tangible reality, I see myself as part of a larger, richer universe. A universe that expands further through a conscious effort to embrace the meaning of that which I create in my own personal life, as well as the experiences generated by the lives of those around me.

Art is like magic, an illusion created by the force of humanity. Our choices in life can be amazing portals for adventure. For me, these possibilities present themselves through the process of painting: researching potent images, configuring them on canvas, and struggling to imbue them with a sense of myself and my own wonder at the enormous complexity of the world. I seek a better understanding of truth in nature with constant comparison and evaluation of opposites. Using a visual vocabulary derived from a world that often goes unnoticed, everyday events such as conversations between birds, forces that drive water, or the cellular structure of plant life, I begin to reinvent reality. This experience enables me to come closer to an understanding of how it is that I identify with the world. The concerns that arise from this process reveal themselves to me as subversive dualities existing in both the natural world and the man-made. When we consider something in a new context, having unearthed the intrigue that lies just beneath the surface of the seemingly simple, the original meaning is altered and brought to a new level of consciousness, creating metaphor. In this way, I can see, and show, that the natural world is not unlike our own man-made realm, an alternate universe filled with an active power to recognize desire, temptation, and frailty.

The paintings create a secret recipe for an inner landscape of the human condition; narrative vignettes that are both alluring and mysterious. Nature, and those elements existing in its microcosm become metaphors for a strange and at times super reality, a parallel universe that questions the natural scheme of life itself.

Gabe Brown was raised in New York City. She received her BFA degree from The Cooper Union and was awarded a Full Fellowship to attend the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She went on to receive her MFA in Painting from the University of California, Davis.

She is a 2018 recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Painting, a Sustainable Arts Foundation Award, and one of two artists chosen to be included in a public arts project for ArtsBridge. She has been a Resident Fellow at The Saltonstall Foundation, Anderson Center at Tower View, and Women’s Studio Workshop. Her paintings and works on paper have been exhibited nationally in galleries and museums such as Kenise Barnes Contemporary Art, Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, Butters Gallery, Matteawan Gallery, Adah Rose Gallery, The Saratoga Arts Center, Garrison Arts Center, John Davis Gallery, ArtsWestchester, Schweinfurth Arts Center, SUNY Brockport, The Horticultural Society of New York, Albany International Airport, Sears-Peyton Gallery, and Carrie Haddad Gallery. Her work is included in both public and private collections.

Gabe Brown is an Adjunct Professor in Painting and Drawing at Fordham University and SUNY New Paltz where she has received three Merit Awards for Professional Achievement. She lives and works in the Hudson Valley.

Adams Puryear

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Artist’s Statement

Adams Puryear explores the Internet’s flow of convoluted information and how tactile materials and different media can represent it. Experimenting with physical translations of the Internet’s anti-filter rabbit hole, Adams continues to return to the materials of ceramic and gypsum to create historically sedimented sculptural elements contrasting present-day electronic displays and dynamic materials. Obsessively grazing over electronic images of history and culture, Adams understands the Internet’s growth and its visualization of time as one slowly unfolding in a nonlinear and ultimately muddled formlessness. In much of his work an amorphous and colored blob, moving in-real-time from a ceramic container, becomes another dichotomy to the push-pull of digital-analogue, historical-new, formal-experiential oppositional elements in the work. Paradoxically it is this oozey blob — a material with a comparatively short lifespan and history that over weeks empties from the sculpture’s body and continues to change until it reaches a solid state — which slows down a viewing and resists a tidy resolution. This is the work’s answer to our culture’s continued acceleration.

Adams Puryear received a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art in 2004 and an MFA from Indiana University in 2012. His work has recently been featured in exhibitions around New York, the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, and the Museum of Art in the Dominican Republic among others. He is also the founder of FPOAFM Nomadic Studios, a project-driven experimental art/craft collective engaged in functional art discourse.

Julie Peppito

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Artist’s Statement

In “Nature, Fashion & War,” I have created large-scale charcoals and tapestries that draw connections between the human desire to want more of everything versus the destructive impact our consumerism has on the environment and the survival of our species. The colorful, multi-layered, fashion-inspired tapestries in “Nature, Fashion & War” contain objects that were on their way to becoming trash. At one time these items were desirable status symbols or served a functional purpose. By smashing, wrapping, and sewing old shoes, clothes, toys, jewelry, cans, and other debris into pliable surfaces, then combining them with carefully painted and drawn images of politicians, nature, people, and monsters, I create topographical narratives that comment on the systems destroying life on earth.

These works are my answer to author Naomi Klein’s assertion that “No Is Not Enough.” This exhibition speaks to the catastrophic effects unregulated industries are having on us, the role human nature plays in that, our coping mechanisms, and strategies towards a healthy inhabitable world. My titles often reference books and articles from notable journalists like Naomi Klein, Jane Mayer, Sharon Lerner, Brene Brown and Arundati Roy. Since the recent re-invention of “fake news,” I have set out to create mammoth illustrations interspersed with giant word balloons inspired by these authors’ well-researched works. These works are intended to illuminate the intricate web of violence, greed, love and beauty that comprise human nature, in order to help tip the future towards our positive instincts and away from those hurling us towards extinction.

Julie Peppito was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, then moved to New York City, where she received her BFA from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in 1992. She received her MFA from Alfred University in 2004, and has shown extensively for the past 25 years. She has received several grants including a New York Foundation of The Arts (NYFA) Fellowship in 2001. She has also created art for several New York playgrounds. In April of 2018 she presented her seventh solo exhibition titled “Nature, Fashion & War” in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has become increasingly involved in creating agitprop for marches and is now focusing on elections. Most recently she has co-curated an exhibit called “In Her Hands” with Orly Cogan (Robert Mann Gallery, New York City, June 14 – August 17, 2018). “In Her Hands” consists of portraits of progressive women candidates running in the 2018 elections, handmade by 15 women artists from across the country. To see more of Julie’s work, visit juliepeppito.com

Sam Nhlengethwa

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Sam Nhlengethwa has worked on a number of prints of goats, these are the second series of goat images that he has done at The Artists’ Press. The goats are drawn so as to reduce them to almost abstract forms. Goats provide metaphors for a number of human traits and Nhlengethwa plays with these in the titles that he has chosen and in the different ways in which he depicts the goats. In South Africa, goats are culturally and economically significant. Goats are a hardy and adaptable stock animals, surviving in both rural and urban areas. They provide nutrition as well as being used in a number of traditional ceremonies from welcoming a bride to communicating with one’s ancestors.

Sam Nhlengethwa is one of South Africa’s foremost artists. Born in 1955, he studied at Rorke’s Drift and the Johannesburg Art Foundation. He was awarded the Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year award in 1994, the year South Africa held its first democratic elections and freedom was won for all its people. He has successfully exhibited all over the world from Senegal to New York and Cologne. His work is largely figurative and he explores themes that are close to his heart such as the plight of mineworkers, jazz and the physical space of contemporary Africa. In his prints and paintings, Sam Nhlengethwa uses overlays of techniques such as collage painting, drawing and photography. His fine sense of colour and form lend an abstract quality to his work. His work has been included in many contemporary South African art publications and can be found in leading South African and international collections.

Nhlengethwa has worked with The Artists Press since its inception in 1991. Mark Attwood and Sam Nhlengethwa were two of the initial group to establish the Bag Factory, also known as The Fordsburg Artists Studios, which is where they started to collaborate together on prints. Over the years The Artists’ Press has published 161 editions by Nhlengethwa, 65 of which are sold out.

Tanya Marcuse

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Artist’s Statement

Woven

The ancient Greeks imagined the machinery of fate as three women, weaving the lives of human and gods into an enormous tapestry, killing or giving life by snipping or knotting a thread. Through the medium of photography, in my new series Woven, I imagine myself introducing time and thus mortality, into the lush flora and fauna which make up the millefleurs backgrounds of medieval hunting and falconry tapestries. The 5 x 10 foot photographs sometimes take weeks to compose, and during this process of composition, of collecting, arranging, burning, painting, and transplanting, there is change. Flowers wither, spiders build webs, new shoots emerge, and corpses decay. Influenced both by the Dutch vanitas tradition and the allover graphic compositions of Jackson Pollock, I intend the photographs to be experienced as exquisitely detailed still lives when viewed from up close, but to hold together as a immersive, more abstract composition from further away. Although the pieces are all made on the same wooden frame and printed at the same scale, each photograph incorporates a distinct set of conceptual and visual ideas. Some are densely packed with rotting plant and animal life, and others more open, sprinkled with small brightly colored flowers or verdant moss. What is common to all, however, is a sense of opulence which verges on excess, a plenty which verges on plunder. In these elaborately artificial tableaux, the inexorable movements of nature are shown forth and growth and decay, beauty and terror, life and death are woven together.

Tanya Marcuse is an American photographer whose work explores transience among other ideas. Her work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the George Eastman House, the Yale Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. She studied Art History and Studio Art at Oberlin and earned her MFA from Yale. She has been awarded a Guggenheim fellowship, and has published three books with Nazraeli Press, Undergarments and Armor (2005), Fruitless (2007) and Wax Bodies (2012). She’s currently working on a book of Fruitless/Fallen/Woven with Radius Press. Her work is represented by the Julie Saul Gallery in New York City. She lives and works in the Hudson Valley and teaches Photography at Bard College.