A.I.R. Gallery is pleased to announce Space/Craft, a group exhibition comprised of the work by Tomoko Abe, Liz Surbeck Biddle, Ellen Hackl Fagan, and Jackie Welsh. The four artists participating in the exhibition met at the Clay Art Center in Port Chester, NY a few years back. The connection between their work was created by their joint interests in experimentation, playfulness, and testing the limits of clay. Ceramics was the original anchor that soon became a jumping o point into other media such as cyanotype and paper. Abe and Surbeck Biddle use the process of the cyanotype on both ceramic and paper. Welsh’s pieces are made from ceramic coated chicken wire with printed ceramic transfer images. Hackl Fagan places objects on museum board and floods them with paint in order to create a print-like image, similar to a cyanotype but without using photosensitive chemicals.
How do visual artists comprehend space, they ask? Some get a sense of volume through the illusion of depth while others will place objects that hover above her and refer to our perceived physicality. Through their work, these four artists investigate the human need to explore the assumed infinite vastness of the environment that surrounds us.
Tomoko Abe’s work has an ethereal floating dimension as if it will be there only momentarily. She takes debris materials such as clay, wax, glass or paper and explores the relationship between them. In Space/Craft, she particularly responds to the surface and depth of the shards which are floating in layers of wax. The impression suggests small particles floating in space.
Liz Surbeck Biddle’s work currently is using the darkroom technique of cyanotype on Japanese paper. Like Abe, she also finds thrown out and discarded objects to use in her cyanotype process which casts an illusion of depth. For this show, she has semi-figurative all blue cyanotype works with ethereal names such as Siri and Phantom in addition to 2 kites.
Ellen Hackl Fagan is an interdisciplinary conceptual artist whose abstract paintings and interactive digital games explore the nature of synaesthesia by pairing color to sound. Current explorations involve painting on oversized museum boards, exaggerating the dynamic pattern and saturated color as they increase to an immersive scale. The paintings are oriented horizontally, barely living on the floor, hovering. This adds a layer of tension, heightening our awareness. Fight or flight. Hackl Fagan will be having a solo exhibition at the New York Public Library
Mid-Manhattan Windows this spring where she will be featuring her Reverse Color Organ project. She also owns and runs ODETTA Gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
Jackie Welsh is also an installation and mixed media artist working in clay using image transfers, printmaking, porcelain paper, and wire. She is always experimenting with different media and processes. Welsh often uses saturated colors and has strong graphic and narrative themes to her work. She recently had a solo show called “Chicken Ain’t Nothin But A Bird” at the Flinn Gallery in Greenwich, CT.