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New Exhibit: All Together
October 25, 2018
An event every day that begins at 12:00am, repeating until December 5, 2018
This autumn the Flinn Gallery takes a fresh look at still life in All Together, opening October 25th and running through December 5th, 2018. Our choice of plants and pottery, the way we arrange our furniture, the cultural markers of coffee cups and chocolate bars, and the symbolic nature of vases are explored. Artists Kate Gilmore, Karen Lederer, Polly Shindler, Paul Wackers, and Alex Yudzon combine humor and formal rigor to examine the importance and meaning of objects placed together in a show curated by Tracy McKenna.
“Over the last few years I started noticing more artists exploring traditional genre paintings: the return of figuration and still life both featured prominently but with new, contemporary twists. Abstract interventions and invented spaces have replaced classic compositions. We all surround ourselves with mementoes from our families and travels—it’s a relatable subject,” says curator Tracy McKenna.
Karen Lederer’s painted tablescapes function as self-portraits, depicting objects from her New York City childhood: William the Hippo, bodega cups, branded beverages, and art historical references to Picasso and Matisse. “I dot the paintings with products I have around the studio. With many of these choices I poke fun at a hipster consumer culture in which I am hopelessly complicit.” Lederer is based in Brooklyn after completing her MFA at RISD; her many awards include the prestigious Sharpe- Walentas Studio Program.
Paul Wackers starts his paintings with a geometric grid, frequently a bookcase or windowsill, which is then filled with plants, rocks, ceramic objects he’s crafted, travel mementoes, and abstract interventions. The spaces are familiar and friendly. “The objects, shapes, and colors are informed by making other works. My source references evolved through the process of painting and have become simplified. The shelving is compositionally natural and layered—the way we really see,” he states. Wackers has work in the MIMA Museum in Brussels as well as numerous private and corporate collections. A Connecticut native, he now lives and works in Brooklyn after earning his MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute.
In Kate Gilmore’s “Love ‘Em, Leave ‘Em” video performance, the artist painstakingly carries hundreds of store bought ceramic vessels up a ziggurat-like structure, arranges them at the top, then pushes them off causing the paint to splatter and vessels to break. The detritus references both mid-century action paintings and the symbolic nature of vases as stand-ins for the female body. Says Gilmore, “I am creating ‘macho’ paintings reminiscent of prominent art-historical figures, yet doing it in a way that requires the labor of a female body.” Gilmore was born in Washington DC, studied at Bates and the School of Visual Arts where she received her MFA, and now lives and works in New York. Her work is in numerous museum collections including MoMA, the Whitney, MFA Boston, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She’s a 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship winner amongst many other honors and awards.
Polly Shindler and Alex Yudzon both focus on rooms and their furniture, bringing up questions of belonging and absence. Alex Yudzon’s “A Room for the Night” series examines the liminal space of temporary accommodations. He rearranges furniture into sculptural assemblages, photographs them, and then carefully remakes the room. “Hotel rooms mirror the immigrant experience, where one is looking for a home. The rooms want to fool you into believing that they are yours alone, but are ultimately public spaces for all. Building the sculptures is a way of taking the power back, of subverting the environment to gain mastery over it,” says the artist. Brooklyn-based Yudzon immigrated to the United States as a child from the former Soviet Union. He graduated from the Chelsea College of Art and Design in London and has since exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally.
Frequently depicting joined objects, Polly Shindler’s small-scale faux naïf paintings are her way of “practice decorating with no real cost. I’m able to layer patterns on top of one another and combine furniture, paintings, and objects as I like.” She creates her intimate interiors by “starting with one piece of furniture, then building the room around it. The spaces are not meant for people, but are pure aesthetic choices.” Connecticut native Shindler earned her MFA at Pratt and has been featured in Maake Magazine. Recent solo shows include Tennis Elbow and Ortega y Gasset. Her studio is in New Haven.
The show’s opening reception will be held Thursday, October 25 from 6-8pm. Special events include an Artist Talk on Saturday, November 3 at 2:00. As part of the Library’s Friday Film series, on November 9 an Art Lounge from 6-7:15 in the gallery will be followed by Phantom Thread at 7:30 in the Cole Auditorium.
The Flinn Gallery, sponsored by the Friends of the Greenwich Library, is located on the second floor of the library’s main branch at 101 West Putnam Avenue, Greenwich CT. The gallery is open daily Monday to Saturday 10-5, Thursday until 8, and Sunday 1-5.
For more information, please call the gallery: 203.622.7947 www.flinngallery.com