Field Projects Gallery

www.fieldprojectsgallery.com

Heidi Lau, Show #21: Memento Mori

The Fortress

Mandala (In Progress)


Mandala detail

"The driving force behind my work is to create an alternate world that comprises excerpted and fragmented narratives from personal and cultural memories, fables and natural history. Through creating ceramic artifacts that take the form of various objects of remembrance out of clay –funeral monuments, fossilized creatures and religious objects, I strive to suggest the existence of a mythical world in a non-linear manner."

Exceprt from Heidi Lau’s artist statement. 
To check out more of Heidi’s work go to her website:
http://heidilau.org

Lisha Bia


http://lishabai.com/

Art historian and Art critic, James Elkins once broke it down that most of the visual arts basically negotiate the relationship between water and stone.  Sand, as a material couldn’t be more poetic to this notion.  We commonly recognize it as the loose granular substance placed between our toes where water and land meet.  This natural erosion is a space between movement and stillness.

Lisha Bai’s sand rotation work pushes and pulls, the sand floats and dissolves into a tracing of abstraction.  The end piece is the result of Bai’s physical action stopped in time.  We understand how fragile the work began, only to fully feel its impact layer by layer kept safe behind plexiglas. 

Lisha Bai states:

Drawing from everyday encounters with paper towels, checkered vinyl floors and screen savers, my work transforms quotidian visual happenings into experiential objects that explore the sensory and temporal aspects of architectural and abstract space.

We turn to Lisha Bai’s sand rotations to gain a sense of meditative tranquility from our over-stimulated lives.  The work reminds us to unplug and breathe deeply. 

Ben Pranger, Show #21: Memenot Mori

Ben Pranger’s piece Thing of Holes looks like a monument to retro science fiction. An apocalyptic land where man is set against nature. This piece sets pixelated order versus the chaos of destruction. Though, I think this sculpture is in dialogue with more than the visual tropes of sci-fi. In the context of this show, this piece becomes a monument to the failure of what ‘monument’ means. It points out the irony in the act of erecting a permanent structure on the inherently transient earth (which also falsely implies the permanence of human life). Thus, this piece bolsters the sentiment, “memento mori,” for which this show was named for. 

Check out more of Ben Pranger’s work at:
http://benpranger.com

Colleen Cunningham, Show #21: Memento Mori

Colleen Cunningham’s piece The Sixth Dimension is a part of a series of paper collages that focuses on the relationship between the different representations of landscapes and space. Colleen, as stated in her artist statement, “uses collage to juxtapose ‘manmade’ landscapes and figures (usually from classical American and British paintings), with ‘natural’ landscapes, as well as constructed objects and spaces.” 


Cunningham is interested in how one, “can reconcile these locations and spaces in our minds as a part of a larger representation of the vast landscape of our conscious experience.” And therefore she strives for her pieces to be a, “subtle nod to the many ways in which we orient ourselves in the universe and how those perspectives coexist.” I think this sentiment not only resonates in her work, but also is a unifying thread to the theme of this group show. I think monuments have often been used as a way to make a lasting mark, an index of ourselves. In other words, monuments are a way to externally orient ourselves as both separate and a part of the rest of the universe. 

Check out more of Colleen Cunningham’s work at:
http://www.colleencunningham.net

ALEX O’NEAL

Show #21: Memento Mori presents a series of idiosyncratic interpretations of monuments, and I think Alex O’Neal’s drawing series Shrine for Ice Cream Royalty stands out as especially so.  

In the complexly layered world of each drawing, “wreaths, words made of flowers, shields, badges, sashes, pine cones, ears of corn, peppermint donuts, vintage phones, and neck ties (among other things) are in tall, cluttered arrangements. Commemorations of ‘Flea Market Superstar,’ ‘Sellout,’ ‘Marion Jail Fan Club,’ and ‘Yonkers Nursing Home’ are - as banners state - ‘At Rest,’ ‘Beloved,’ and ‘In Loving Memory.’ Almost buried in these decorative showcases are the totemic, bling-draped Ice Cream Royalty. Personages of sorts, they are crown-wearing, multi-scoop stacked cones, inhabited by sleepy shrine groupies that hold to disconnected phone receivers and lick at melting, sugary surfaces.”

As O’Neal poetically states in his artist statement, there are towers of ice cream scoops where (upon closer inspection) small sleepy human faces emerge, licking the ice cream structures they inhabit. The ‘Ice Cream Royalty’ references those seduced by fleeting pleasure and glory of awards etc.
The juxtaposition of these towers with the epitaphic text implies that these words sustain us in grief just as ice cream does. They keep us feeling high but don’t really nourish us; don’t curb our hunger. These sayings, personal memorials, and ice cream scoops are all fleeting - but the endurance of the series of drawings allows us to appreciate the beauty in transience and loss.  

 

Check out more of his work at
http://www.alexoneal.com

Julie Ann Nagle, Show #21: Memento Mori

 

The word ‘monument’ conjures images of the far past. Julie Ann Nagle’s photograph “Modern Studio” plays with the conventions of monument and complicates it. Nagle’s piece takes on the visual tropes of an archival photo of a paleolithic dig’s artifacts or perhaps a documentation of Brancusi’s modernist studio. But she then confounds that reading by the contents of her photograph - her own contemporary sculpture. There is a dynamic mix of graphic and organic materials, textures, shapes, and references. On the floor is a circle of rocks, to the right is a life-size Cycladic figure, and just feet from that is a photo of Madonna in her cone bra mounted atop a pedestal with her flat arm jutting out into space. 

I think her piece’s place in art history also juts out. Or in other words, her piece both monumentalizes and parodies art history. Her idiosyncratic sculptures reference both pop culture (in Madonna and the leaning tower of records) and art history (Minimalism’s repetition, Modernist form, and prehistoric figuration). It’s almost as if a series of monuments to different art historical periods came together to pose for a group photo. I think that a group photo really speaks to what it means to make a contemporary monument. And furthermore, the collision of her group of sculptures with the visual tropes of historical documentation makes for a dynamic, richly layered piece.

Check out more of her work at her website:
http://www.julieannnagle.com

Above from our current show is M.A. Papenek-Miller
Here is her statement:
My art work deliberately bombards the viewer, with a collection of visual image layers to be read, as a narrative within itself. This packaging of the collected visual information in my work often parallels with various media systems, events, games or experiences through time that have become culturally expected. For example: 1. The shifting of images on the television and on the computer, 2. The flipping through of pages in print, 3.The transport of the body through space in travel and 4.The perception of auditory focus and depth in sound and music. These “time gap” experiences often live a virtual theatrical life in my mind which I assimilate into suspended still events which I then translate in to visual images. These images often remain as an after image, layered over the next image and the next image and the next; provoking chance, seasoned with reflections from stories, songs and rhymes of childhood, that are then woven with a deep concern that I have for the environment specifically regarding my current political interests in animals, land, and water access, use and ownership. In addition I continue to be attracted to toys as social barometers and cultural souvenirs. I believe that toys are beautiful and magical objects and that they bridge our many cultures and age groups as “contemporary amulets” and “time devices” serving as truthful conceptual tools and often as pop culture icons.

Above from our current show is M.A. Papenek-Miller

Here is her statement:

My art work deliberately bombards the viewer, 
with a collection of visual image layers to be read, as a narrative 
within itself. This packaging of the collected visual information in 
my work often parallels with various media systems, events, games or 
experiences through time that have become culturally expected. For 
example: 1. The shifting of images on the television and on the 
computer, 2. The flipping through of pages in print, 3.The transport 
of the body through space in travel and 4.The perception of auditory 
focus and depth in sound and music. These “time gap” experiences 
often live a virtual theatrical life in my mind which I assimilate 
into suspended still events which I then translate in to visual 
images. These images often remain as an after image, layered over the 
next image and the next image and the next; provoking chance, 
seasoned with reflections from stories, songs and rhymes of childhood, 
that are then woven with a deep concern that I have for the 
environment specifically regarding my current political interests 
in animals, land, and water access, use and ownership. In addition I 
continue to be attracted to toys as social barometers and cultural 
souvenirs. I believe that toys are beautiful and magical objects and 
that they bridge our many cultures and age groups as “contemporary 
amulets” and “time devices” serving as truthful conceptual tools 
and often as pop culture icons.

Come out tonight and see SHOW #21: MEMENTO MORI, curated by Deborah Brown!
OPENING:  TODAY,  JULY 10TH  6:00 - 8:00 PM

Come out tonight and see SHOW #21: MEMENTO MORI, curated by Deborah Brown!

OPENING:  TODAY,  JULY 10TH  6:00 - 8:00 PM

For Field Projects upcoming 21st show, Memento Mori curated by guest curator and artist, Deborah Brown includes Laura Judkis & Wade Schaming. The dialogue between these two artists is uncanny, each working with discarded materials to create a poetic gesture for the viewer.

Laura Judkis describes her work,
“I work and rework the same pieces of wood, cloth, and found industrial detritus until they have the feel and appearance of artifacts or archaeological finds. My sculptures are sensual, abject, and fetishistic. They reference utilitarian objects, architecture, and the human body under duress. They serve as talismans or totems- they are objects of primal power, an attempt to engage with parts of myself that I do not and cannot understand.”

Wade Schaming states,
“My sculptures are painstakingly assembled through stacking alone. The materials remain unchanged and unbound to each other, delicate juxtapositions perilously balanced, like thought given concrete form. From discarded and forgotten objects that memorialize hope, the assembled forms aspire to return dignity to the bearer, and inspire empathy in the viewer.”

The work speaks to promise, chance and the unknowable. When encountering, we can’t help but consider the history of each material. Each work stands alone and strong in a new realm. Engaging our learned logic, these works begin anew, speaking not to what is known but is ultimately felt.

www.laurajudkis.com
www.wadeschaming.com

WanWan Lei Projects Presents Hai-Hsin Huang 黃海欣

This exhibition is presented by Wanwan Lei Projects, at Leigh Wen Fine Art (548 W 28th St # 636 ,New York, NY 10001)

The opening reception will be on next Thursday (6/26, 6-8pm and the show will run )from June 26 to July 17.

Selected excerpt from press release: “Huang’s deeply psychological and perceptive works distill elements from everyday scenes, and reanimate them in wonderfully twisted arrangements of humor, awkwardness and felt imagination uniquely conducive to painting. These small, curious pockets of narratives expand and implode without consideration for resolution, and never lose touch with their roots in observation and reality.”

This feels especially true about the Huang’s piece “Hay Fever” (above). The grouping of potted plants sit on a purple plane with a pink background. The surface feels brushy and shifting; perhaps it is not the solid surface of a table top but the ephemeral ground of the earth. The strength and vibrancy of the background colors defy categorization as ‘interior’ or ‘exterior’ - the space of this painting is better described as a psychedelic dream. I think that Huang’s interests as an artist often live in this strange place, everything is both familiar yet potently surreal, especially in her work for Field Project’s show “Drunk Tank Pink.” In other words, Huang uses color and other astute formal distortions to reveal the surreal in everyday life. In each piece there is a subtle wrinkle, or sometimes a rip, in the fabric of reality in her paintings. This makes for a dynamic and engaging viewing experience.

Jaclyn Conley
http://www.jaclynconley.com/current_painting/current_painting.htm

Jaclyn infects our mood, capturing a moment and allowing us to be privy to something that is ultimately unknowable. Working from found images, never her own, she responds with a painterly hand, allowing each image to rest in a world of interior visions. With eyes closed, we are able to capture a moment and see the light in each of our own quiet darkness.

The work tugs and wishes that we join in something that can not be joined. Allowing an open-ended narrative, the paintings reference her own personal memories and to art history.

"My imagery is derived from a whole lot of different sources. A lot of my process is looking at different pictures: jpegs, photographs, all other people’s photos, things that aren’t my own. And pulling from them, culling from all kinds of imagery and bringing it together, in a way that invents a narrative, or changes the perceived story that I’m getting in the photograph. It’s taking from other people’s stuff, and serving it up with some of my own stuff, making a new narrative, scenario or event. It’s not fixed; it’s not a specific story I’m trying to tell, but creating an illusion and letting the viewer interpret things in their own way."

Lost in ambiguity the images demand to collaborate with time, helping time with it’s own problems and difficulties.

Bridget Mullen
http://bridgetmullen.com/

Bridget brings the outside in and inside out both working and reworking each piece. When is a work done and can it be the ground for a new work years later? Materials, the subconscious, painting vs. sculptural form, humor, destruction and the dance between what is real and unreal
simultaneously collide when interacting with her work.
Time comes into play, the feelings of the past and future take over. Drifting in a state of memory and what the day has ahead - hitting the snooze button again and again only to realize that this, now, is a daydream. We shall cherish this time with the work, knowing that it is temporal that in the end the mark making will eventually fade on the non-archival.

"Working with deteriorating, ever-changing materials and ambiguous subjects is heartrending, perplexing, and futile, so I temper my work with humor. Through lighthearted, droll, and suggestive free-associations, humor relieves the weight of my work’s mortality."

Bridget asks us to break away from the control and asks us to decide in what moment do we belong?

Roxanne Jackson
http://roxannejackson.com

Roxanne uses mixed media to challenge craft but also creates a dynamic uneasiness. In “Blonde Ambition,” the viewer can recognize the sweater and wig as familiar, as human; but then the viewer is destabilized by the distorted dripping form jutting out of where the face would be. So the touches of the recognizable serve as a point of comparison to make the distortions even stranger and exciting. Furthermore, the distortions in Roxanne’s sculptures directly engage with ideas of the grotesque, as she describes in her artist statement, 

"Occasionally I appropriate imagery from horror films and mythology, particularly the moment of transformation when a human becomes a beast. This transgressive imagery creates irony and tension in the work, especially when produced from the medium of clay—with its strong historical ties to comfort and beauty. Rooted in traditions of pantheism and superstition, the horror movie depicts a dark side of human nature. Mutated creatures are created in the murky depths of our collective subconscious … This provocative work juxtaposes the old and the new, the real and the fabled, the kitsch and the grotesque."

Furthermore, I find the moments in her sculpture where the transformations are frozen - in a state that is neither human nor completely destroyed or unnameable - incredibly grotesque and intriguing.