Between Texts and Textiles

July 21 - August 31, 2022
Opening Reception: Thursday, July 21, 2022, from 6 to 8 PM
Alina Bliumis, Elvire Bonduelle, Mia Enell, Fernanda Fragateiro, Ann Hamilton, Analia Saban, Suzanne Song, Julianne Swartz
Bienvenu Steinberg & J is pleased to present Between Texts and Textiles, an exhibition including eight international artists. The works featured stretch the fabric of reality, from text to textile, from pattern to language. What is presented is a gradual approach to painting, sculpting, weaving, and writing by visual fusion of what might be called the textile sign. The works break the link between vehicle and destination: textiles to be read with no intention of being informed, texts with no plot, and no point.
Language and text are at the tactile and metaphoric center of Ann Hamilton’s work. She uses common materials to invoke particular places, collective voices, and communities of labor. What are the places and forms for live, visceral, face-to-face experiences in a media-saturated world? In Shell, an homage to Joseph Beuys, in the form of a white felt coat, as well as in a group of collages on book endpaper, the relations of cloth, touch, motion, and human gesture give way to dense materiality.
In her re-reading of twentieth Century avant-garde practices, Fernanda Fragateiro frequently repurposes already-existing and symbolically layered material, in order to fashion delicate work crisscrossed by an intricate web of inner references to the history of art and architecture. Her ongoing Overlap sculptures are made of stainless steel supports and handmade fabric-bound sketchbooks. Overlapping is an important word to talk about the essence of all these works: overlapping of elements, overlapping of materials, overlapping of histories, and time overlapping. In a new series of paintings titled Poly-GroundsSuzanne Song creates multifaceted dimensions that blur the boundary between illusion and reality. The paintings’ shapes are direct extractions of the marginal spaces delineated from previous bodies of work. The placement of shadows disrupts the flat picture plane and transforms the two-dimensional surface into an ambiguous field: are we looking at a painting, a very finely woven fabric, or a polished surface? 
Visions, inspired by dreams, surrounding life, or drawn from the unconscious, are at the heart of Mia Enell’s paintings. She plays with words through images, and her figures of speech are free associations on canvas. Loosely Knit is a literal rendering of its title: a system of interconnected discrete units freed from instrumental utility or significance. Alina Bliumis’ text-based sculptural works, Concrete Poems, recall street wall scribbles, graffiti, and absurdist poetry. They consist of words literally inscribed on tablets of wet concrete. Border/Order; Textile/Tile; Lover/Over: the playfulness of crossword puzzles often leads to unexpected existential interrogations.  Using ready-made expressions or repetitions of a single word, Elvire Bonduelle utilizes a repertoire of images and objects with apparently joyful potential. Made of words carefully calligraphed -in her own hand-designed font- over colorful wave patterns, Bonduelle’s paintings revel in their own obviousness.
Analia Saban dissects and reconfigures traditional notions of painting, often using the medium of paint as the subject itself and the canvas as a medium rather than a support. Her methods such as unweaving paintings, laser-burning the canvas, molding forms, or weaving paint through linen thread, remain central to her practice, as she continues to explore tangible materials in relation to the metaphysical properties of artworks. Julianne Swartz articulates an architecture of frailty. When viewed, her sculptures are activated slightly; at times, they even appear to breathe. Zero blankets is a silent tapestry, made from hair-thin copper wire. The tenuous lines from the irregularly woven structure delineate and hold space until emptiness becomes substance. Zero Blanket embodies invisible presence and tangible absence, it engages a palpable vulnerability. 


January 15–March 8, 2020
Artists: Clytie Alexander, Vicky Colombet, Sally Egbert, Suzan Frecon, Katinka Mann, Heather Bause Rubinstein, Suzanne Song, Dannielle Tegeder, Marjorie Welish
Curated By: Bill Carroll
Opening Reception and Curatorial Walkthrough:
Wednesday, January 15, 2020, 5-8 PM
RSVP here for the event.

EFA Project Space is pleased to present EFAbstract, curated by Bill Carroll, featuring nine member artists of the EFA Studio Program who work in abstract painting. Each of these artists approach abstraction differently, speaking in a clear and highly individual voice. From the minimalistic style of Clytie Alexander, to the stitched-together baroque works of Heather Bause Rubinstein, the exhibition spotlights the range of abstraction present in the work of contemporary painters, as well as that of the artists working in the Studio Program. 
Rather than an abstraction derived from esoterics, the artists in EFAbstract are inspired by the world around them: nature, industrialism, poetry and our own perception forms the basis of this work. Dannielle Tegeder is influenced by mechanical drawings she observed growing up in a family of steamfitters, while Sally Egbert’s subdued lyricism comes from her sharp observations of nature. Marjorie Welish approaches her patterned geometries through a poetic lens, derived from her parallel writing practice. Katinka Mann’s abstract shapes make use of subtle geometries to blur the line between painting and sculpture. Suzan Frecon’s work focuses on the relationships between light, perception, and matter. The simple compositions of Suzanne Song’s paintings imply the spaces we encounter in our surrounding environment, reflecting grey floors and white walls ubiquitous to most interior spaces. Vicky Colombet’s work takes the abstract energy, topography, and sensibility of landscapes as a source of inspiration. The nine artists featured in EFAbstract reinvent, reinvigorate, and expand the definition of abstract art. 

Group Exhibit

Mixed Greens is thrilled to present a group exhibition of abstract paintings by Zander Blom, Vince Contarino, Elise Ferguson, Angela Hoener, Marisa Manso, Julie Oppermann, Suzanne Song, and Rebecca Ward. The works engage in an ongoing dialogue between contemporary artists in the field of abstraction that range from formal concerns to the actual process of painting and its materiality. 

Zander Blom’s painting practice is driven by his urge to develop new techniques and tools as well as his penchant for heavily referencing Modernist painting. His recent paintings—in which geometric planes and dynamic strokes of paint hover atop raw linen—are a continuation of this process. Loose, alive, and still crisp, these paintings emerge from the Modernist tradition of seeking and resolving formal problems through abstraction.

Vince Contarino resists a narrow or preordained process in his paintings, creating space through gestural brush marks and color only to subvert it by weaving in slow and deliberate geometric forms. Rather than resolving a structure early on, Contarino often lets the initial layer of paint dictate the work’s direction, many times destroying the very image he is seeking. The resulting work offers a bold commitment to exploring the possibilities of abstraction.

Elise Ferguson plays with spatial perception through pattern and color in her geometric variations. With MDF panels as her chosen base, Ferguson builds up multiple layers of pigmented plaster to create sculptural painting objects. Moments of irregularity occur among the formal optical patterns, revealing the artist’s process that fully embraces chance, improvisation, and intuition as essential to her painting.

Angela Hoener challenges the traditional surface of painting through various techniques including the integration of unorthodox materials such as plastic packaging and removing significant portions of the usually unadulterated canvas support. Her work takes visual and technical cues from a wide array of sources, from old master paintings to glossy fashion magazines, which is unsurprising given Hoener’s background in both academic painting and contemporary art. 

Marisa Manso creates atypically shaped canvases that often incorporate functioning electrical fixtures. The physical boundaries of traditional painting are addressed by subverting rectangular surface planes and expanding beyond the spatial limitations of a stretcher. The electric fixtures assume the playful, poetic role of bringing literal light in addition to metaphorical light into the paintings, allowing the work an exuberant quality while challenging long-standing conventions.

Julie Oppermann’s paintings contain visual logic reminiscent of both Op art and digitally generated images on a computer screen. Layers of offset linear patterns, juxtaposed colors, and the large scale of the canvases create compelling and disorienting tensions. The difficulty of perceiving a static image (the patterns appear to move) exposes the limitations of our perceptual processes while suggesting that ‘seeing’ happens in the brain as opposed to the eye.

Suzanne Song is known for a restrained use of materials to create spatial illusions in her paintings. In this new body of work, Song continues to quietly warp our perceptions of space and depth by using shadow and gritty textural manipulations of the painting’s surface. Geometric abstractions seemingly leap into three dimensions.

Rebecca Ward uses the language of abstract painting to examine the canvas as a physical object. The material is ruptured, sewn, unraveled, and painted with particular attention to balancing line, form, and space. In doing so, her work inevitably references the gendered roles associated with craft and medium, exploring femininity through handmade objects.

Exhibition | BUZZ

Exhibition | BUZZ
curated by Vik Muniz
From December 1, 2012 to February 23, 2013