Castor Gallery is pleased to announce Mermaids in the Basement, a dual exhibition featuring new paintings by Ariana Papademetropoulos and Lauren Silva co-curated by Brooke Wise for Castor Gallery.

This exhibition offers an ethereal perspective upon diluted spaces where mystical figures are immersed in illusory landscapes. This exhibition gathers two painters at the intersection of figuration and abstraction, exploring aqueous features, textures, and a mythology of water as a threshold to places that are familiar yet strange and new.

For this exhibition Silva explores painting as a means to create semi-abstract dreamscapes. Surfaces are broken into composite spaces where organic green-blue forms and bright figures emerge from brushstrokes, disrupting the hazy atmospheric pastels stripes and spaces of her rich palette. Lauren Silva’s inclination towards abstraction is executed with a fluid and graceful approach to the natural world, where organic forms mingle and morph with their surrounding ambiance. Each painting generates its own set of formal propositions, which allow perspectives and portals to emerge as landscapes of psychological spaces. A wall drawing envelops theses worlds and anchors them in our shared reality.

Ariana Papademetropoulos explores the practice of illusion in the history of painting, through both realism and trompe l'oeil. Her work attempts to map multifarious meanings or hidden depictions found in images and their psychological undercurrents. For this exhibition, Papademetropoulos explores the cult of domesticity as a hallucinatory fantasy embedded in dimensions above and below our physical plane. Large water marks divide her compositions, evoking an alternate place where multiple realities seem to interact. This exhibition features two painters building and entering liminal spaces, creating figures immersed in their own microcosmos, peeling away surfaces to speculate on the elsewhere.

Ariana Papademetropoulos (b. 1990 Pasadena, CA), received her BFA at CalArts with a minor in Cultural Studies in 2012 and also studied at the Universität der Künste in Berlin. She had recent solo exhibitions at Wilding Cran Gallery, LA, MAMA Gallery, LA, and SADE Gallery, LA. Papademetropoulos lives and works in Los Angeles. Her work has been reviewed by ArtForum, LA Times,Wallpaper.

Lauren Silva (b. 1987 Bay Area, CA), received her BA from UCLA and her MFA from Columbia University, where she received the Tobey Devan Lewis award. In 2011, she also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Her work has been reviewed and featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Artforum, Art in America, New American Paintings, Artinfo and Artnet. Silva lives in Manhattan and is currently an adjunct professor in the Visual Arts department at Columbia University.