Sorcery & Craft

10 Jan — 18 Feb 2017 at the Allan Stone Projects in New York, United States

27 JANUARY 2017
Sorcery & Craft, Exhibition view. Courtesy of Allan Stone Projects
Sorcery & Craft, Exhibition view. Courtesy of Allan Stone Projects

Allan Stone Projects is pleased to present Sorcery & Craft, on view from January 10 – February 18, 2017. Selected from the Allan Stone Collection, the exhibition features eight artists who elicit folk magic in found objects and craft traditions. The works explore a fantastical approach to art making through mixed media constructions, assemblage and finely crafted objects.

The main gallery features artists Reginald Case, Barry Cohen, Marty Greenbaum, Lisa Kokin, Maureen McCabe and Wayne Nowack who use mixed media in their works. Reginald Case's opulent monuments salute American culture, from art deco architecture, to jazz music, to the glamour of Hollywood celebrities. The sculptures recall reliquaries because of their dazzling sequins and gems. Wayne Nowack and Barry Cohen both nod to Joseph Cornell in their box constructions, creating esoteric compositions through the juxtaposition of various cultural ephemera. Nowack's dioramas include an overload of imagery from contemporary cultural references to mystical symbols. Similar constructions by Barry Cohen hark back to the bygone times of American Folk art and curious Wunderkammer cabinets.

Marty Greenbaum and Maureen McCabe take mystical approaches in their works. Greenbaum creates gritty assemblages with found objects from his urban environment, while McCabe evokes more poetic narratives using feathers, fabric, thread and animal imagery. Lisa Kokin's group of found photographs are accentuated with mixed media, subverting the traditional portrait.

In the second gallery, finely crafted objects by Roy Superior and William Umbreit verge on the utilitarian with a touch of whimsy. Umbreit’s series of animated pitchforks defy our preconceptions of functional objects. Their unexpected twists, bulges and contortions recall Brancusi's innovative sculpture, elevating a simple tool to fine art. Superior’s intricate miniatures of rockers and workmen's benches honor the great American craft tradition while his “fantasy machines” are imbued with a sense of irony and humor.

Sorcery & Craft coincides with related events in New York City during January such as the Outsider Art Fair and Americana auctions which also celebrate folk and craft traditions from American culture.