Garvey Simon is pleased to announce Select 2, the second annual exhibition featuring work by eight mid-career artists chosen by director Elizabeth K. Garvey from the gallery’s innovative Review Program launched last year. This year’s artists are: Pokey Alrutz, Kim Carlino, Kathy Levine, Shona Macdonald, Robert Stuart, Leonard Sussman, Kate Walker, and Sun Won Yun.
Gallery Director Elizabeth K. Garvey established the Review Program to open a dialogue between artists and galleries, a practice that has long been anathema to gallery orthodoxy. Neither the past practice of artists drowning galleries in heaps of slides nor today’s avalanche of emails is beneficial to either gallery or artist. Garvey believes that artists “need to have a working platform to engage with dealers who otherwise might not see their work.” In the first phase of the multi-tiered program, artists must pay a nominal fee for their website to be reviewed. “We want artist to think before they submit and be sure their work is appropriate for our program – the small fee puts some skin in the game and detracts from artists sending generic, mass submissions.” Finalists are given a private meeting with the gallery to look and consider their work for the exhibition. Last year, the program was a career catalyst for two artists, Linda Lindroth and Lily Prince who subsequently had shows with both Garvey|Simon and another contemporary gallery in Chelsea.
This year’s exhibition showcases the limitless possibilities of works-on-paper and embraces unusual materials and design. Robert Stuart and Kim Carlino create multi-layered abstractions in distinctly unique media to spark inquiry and explorations of light, color, pattern and surface. Outsider artist, Pokey Alrutz, invents dystopian worlds with impeccably seamless collages. Shona Macdonald’s delicate silverpoint drawings capture mysterious and transient images in Western New England. Sun Won Yun uses graphite and colored pencil on layered transparent papers to portray serenity as “congeries of time.” Kathy Levine and Kate Walker use subtle narratives via mixed media reliefs to explore relationships in contemporary society. Leonard Sussman’s photographs depict the monumentality of raw nature.
Pokey Alrutz, an outsider artist from Missouri, credits her artistic development to her constant activity across many genres. Her work has evolved from simple line drawing, to colorful paintings on canvas, fabric art and tapestries to her current body of work. She creates collages as she would a painting with final compositions that are seamless, unique and often dystopian. Her art often tells a story that can be interpreted differently by each viewer.
Kim Carlino calls herself an “interventionist” who mines the space between painting and drawing to explore relationships between color, geometry, line and form. Endeavoring to find equanimity in disparate elements, her work playfully employs shifts of scale, opticality, and disillusion of space and time. In her recent series of Tyvek Paintings, Carlino uses the Dupont manufactured synthetic material (commonly used to wrap and protect buildings) as the surface upon which to create her compositions.
Kathy Levine’s relief paintings on paper pulp explore the uneasy, complex relationship between nature and the urban/industrial environment. Her pieces are made from recycled paper, paint, photo-transfers pastel, graphite, wood, branches and other materials. Her Bark Portraits are made from recycled handmade paper cast over natural materials.
Shona Macdonald documents life in Western New England, where she lives and works. The silverpoint drawings in the exhibition include fleeting subject matter found in the landscape. These drawings evoke more than we see at first glance, particularly in the instances of the transient, such as puddles that will evaporate over time or garden coverings that will be peeled away. The silverpoint she employs – itself ethereal as it shifts from gray to sepia over time – emphasizes notions of displacement and disorientation.
Robert Stuart intuitively interacts with paint, wax, collage, textures, color, line and proportion in his canvases. While Stuart works organically form “within the painting itself, following wherever it leads.” His three major influences are the paintings of Agnes Martin, his observations of morning sunlight seeping between slits in floorboards of his studio; and, perhaps most importantly, a pivotal trip to Japan, resulting in a vivid dream of large red abstract paintings with white lines. His process is one of adding and subtracting, as he layers and scrapes with knives, scrapers, fingers, and other materials. The residue often becomes the inspiration for new works.
Leonard Sussman’s photographs are informed by the ambiguities of scale and time in landscape. Sussman wants the viewer to be immediately uncertain about the scope of what is presented. Though his choice of subject is guided by aesthetic concerns, the more direct connection comes from his relationship to specific places that enthrall him, such as the Norwegian Arctic or the Rhone delta in southern France. Trained as a printmaker, Sussman always prints all of his work - whether silver-gelatin or digital pigment prints. And, while he considers his photographs unequivocally contemporary, he admits to the influence of nineteenth century Western photographers such as Timothy O’Sullivan, Carleton Watkins and William Henry Jackson. (See top of press release for image.)
Kate Walker embraces cross-disciplinary projects drawn from a variety of popular culture and media sources. For Walker, her wall works composed of oil and mixed media on cut canvas investigate issues of power, gender and sexual identity. Constructed of cut canvas, they move between genres of painting, collage and sculpture. Walker gessoes stretched canvas, and then either hand or laser cuts the material, after which they are collaged with cut paper fragments before being painted. Suspended from the wall, the cast shadows are an integral part of the work and emphasize their three-dimensional, object-like existence.
Sung Won Yun portrays the tangle of time in her highly detailed, cellular artistic experiments. Her inspiration comes from close observation of plants, noting biological details – the development of roots, and the changes of stems and leaves over time. Her graphite and colored penciled drawings are comprised of transparent layers. She creates what she calls, sub-compositions” and then carefully assembles them, superimposing one on top of the other to form a larger dynamic that becomes the final three-dimensional work.