Garvey Simon is pleased to announce Select 3, the third annual exhibition of work by mid-career artists chosen by director Elizabeth K. Garvey through the gallery’s innovative Review Program. This year’s artists are: Kathy Cantwell, Kate Doyle, Bob Erickson, Jeanne Heifetz, Eileen Murphy, Tim Nighswander, Steven Paddack, Jane Schiowitz, and Marilyn Turtz.
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 artists 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 consider their work for the exhibition. Last year, artists Sung Won Yun and Shona Macdonald went on to be included in other exhibitions at the gallery. The gallery also continues to work with photographer Leonard Sussman.
This year’s iteration features an array of mediums and conceptual frameworks; all are united by their interest in the intersection between design and the natural world. Bob Erickson’s and Tim Nighswander’s plant-based subjects are abstracted by their role as compositional elements. Both Jane Schiowitz’s and Jeanne Heifetz’s works reference the dichotomy of frivolity and efficiency at the foundation of design. Marilyn Turtz and Eileen Murphy each explore personal landscapes and strategically place swaths of unmodulated color to flatten their pictorial planes. The quirky, anthropomorphic forms of Steven Paddack’s tiny water towers play with scale and form. Kate Doyle and Kathy Cantwell both utilize polished surfaces and high-key color as a means of assimilating, abstracting, and reflecting the patterns of their natural surround.
Kathy Cantwell’s artistic practice is informed by her early training at the Moore School of Art, her time spent managing musicians in New York City, and her newly-found sense of tranquility in Maplewood, New Jersey. This coalescence of discipline and breath is at the core of her Walking Line series. These encaustic-on-panel paintings each feature an electric, multi-hued ribbon that cuts across an impossibly uniform ground. Her clear, luminous surfaces are the product of painstaking, yet meditative labor. Cantwell finds a sense of liberation in the restrictions of her mode.
Kate Doyle is a sculptor and installation artist working primarily with found natural materials which she “upcycles.” She considers herself a collaborator with the forces of the natural world, and treats her creation process as an opportunity to negotiate the balance between natural order and human interference. Through the brightly colored surface of her varnish, the grain of the found-wood is still visible—a record of natural history preserved and polished by a dutiful human hand.
Bob Erickson sites the process of recollection and reflection as the basis of his works on paper. He begins in nature, tending to the full-sensory experience of the surrounding upstate New York woods. He then uses a host of manual and digital manipulation techniques to translate the traces of this experience into images on paper. His specter- like forms hover amidst the liminal space of his grounds, pointing back to the uncertainty of memory, and the indelibility of impression. The mediation of memory exists both in Erickson’s intellectual process and the medium of the work itself.
Jeanne Heifetz explores the Japanese principle of mottanai—the admonition against waste—in her ink drawings. Heifetz encapsulates the duality of mottanai by referencing both material waste with the patchwork patterning of her drawings, and the waste of time, by creating something based purely on aesthetic value. Heifetz’s drawings are at once staid and rambling, muted in their palette and efficiency of line, but attentive to the provincial quality of woven fabric. The intricacies of her cross-hatching, however, are futile—they serve no purpose outside of themselves.
Eileen Murphy uses the natural landscape as an avatar for the human psyche. Hard- edged and unflinchingly crisp, the clarity and saturation of Murphy’s landscapes is indicative of the historical weight they hold. Whether it be personal history or a more overarching, global sense of time, the viewer is confronted by the depth of the past; however—with no human presence with which to commiserate—is denied access to it. The works shown in Select 3 come from a series focusing on Topper Pond in Columbia County.
Tim Nighswander views photography as a means through which to “look for the small moments, the everyday abstractions, and accidental juxtapositions that are easily overlooked.” In his most recent series, he considers the trope of the Memento Mori – the reminder of death. Through his process of viewing and abstracting, Nighswander’s immense floral subjects become nameless forms imbued with fragility and totems of our own ephemerality. In addition to his personal pursuits, Nighswander works photographing major fine arts collections in museums and foundations throughout the United States.
Steven Paddack creates miniature visual diaries, or travelogues, of the rural, Midwestern environment. His sightings of commercial water towers - generic, sculptural forms known to almost all U.S. travelers - inspired a new series of paintings that are included in this show. The globular forms take on an uncanny, alien quality with a celestial mystery. A Midwestern artist, Paddack resides in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Jane Schiowitz is an abstract painter based in Nyack, New York. Her works suggest an ease and curiosity that belie her strict palette and grid-like design. The paintings reflect passages of time and each composition comes to maturity through a process of change and discovery, the history of which is partially visible and partially obscured through layered mark-making. Schiowitz has received many prestigious grants and awards, including a Pollack-Krasner and VCCA residencies. She has been exhibiting in the northeast since the early 1990s.
Marilyn Turtz is a former student of Lois Dodd. Her intimate paintings, evoked from observation of the Maine landscape, translate to serene glimpses of light and color.
Ms. Turtz has perfected the art of distilling a scene’s essence without getting bogged down in fussy detail. She has an especially sensitive way with atmosphere, catching with equal skill mist over morning fields, afternoon’s golden glow, and the lengthening shadows of evening.
(Helen A. Harrison, The New York Times)