Pelham Art Center is pleased to announce "Big, Fat & Juicy," a group show of large-scale abstraction that pushes the boundaries of the physicality of paint.
Paintings and sculptures by four New York-based artists, Emily Noelle Lambert, Dorothy Robinson, Josette Urso, and Deborah Zlotsky, combine the deliberate spontaneity found in abstract painting and the inventive possibilities of paint itself in lush and expressive ways. "Big Fat & Juicy" will be on view from May 2-June 27, with a free opening reception, and all-age hands-on workshop on Friday, May 2 from 6:30-8pm. Be sure to arrive on time to hear the Artist Talk at 7pm. Admission is free and open to the public.
Curated by Alexi Rutsch-Brock and Elizabeth Saperstein, the title of the show comes from the exuberant qualities that get people excited about painting: large-scale canvases, spirited brushwork, and tactile surfaces that stimulate all the senses. From a distance, a viewer can discern geometric shapes and topographies, connected by a bounty of colors. Up close, it gets even better, and links the physical with the personal. The three-dimensionality of the paint comes into focus - bumps, clumps and all - and reveals how each artist handles paint very differently, but to similar conclusions. Paint moves around the surface as the weather moves across the earth, which these artists embrace as a metaphor for the peaks, valleys, storms, and myriad barometric terms used to describe life's journey.
"The exhibit examines how paint is approached, either as a spontaneous action or something that looks like a mistake, but is actually constructed," says Alexi-Rutsch Brock, a visual artist and educator, and co-curator of the exhibit. "The works show everything that paint can do."
Dorothy Robinson creates landscapes that are on the verge of imploding or exploding; sky and water merge, the earth cracks open and the stage is set, invoking the journey to the center of the earth. Or is the soul?
The swirling and shifting of tectonic plates give way to Josette Urso's idiosyncratic, acrobatically-infused surfaces that weave, smear and spin, a kind of visual mountaineering that feels like you are traveling with the artist's brush in short, fast leaps of color and shapes.
Deborah Zlotsky's jewel-like dangling rocks deliver us to the sedimentary layer of the earth, all chunky cave-crystals or Mexican salt mines, prehistoric, amorphous – closer to the rock.
If the journey starts with Robinson, perhaps it ends with Emily Noelle Lambert. Here, among the found wood, objects, detritus, and paint that the artist intuitively transforms into totemic sculptures and vibrant paintings, is an extraordinary resting place, absolutely personal, and entirely hopeful.
"Accidents and change are showing in the work, and that is the evidence of the process and journey," says Rutsch-Brock of the work included in the show. "You can’t always tell where it starts and ends, but all this substance peeking through gives you a sense of a time before."
Related Programming Friday, May 2 6:30-8pm: Opening Reception and All-Age Art Workshop 7pm: Artist talk
About the Artists EMILY NOELLE LAMBERT Emily Noelle Lambert received her MFA from Hunter College, New York and her BA in Visual Art from Antioch College, Ohio. Lambert has shown nationally and internationally, including past solo exhibitions in New York, Chicago, and IMART in South Korea. She has also been included in numerous group shows in New York, Weekend Space in LA, and RH+Gallery in Istanbul. Emily was born and raised in Pittsburgh, and now lives and works in New York City. She has been a Keyholder Resident artist with the Lower East Side Printshop, and was recently awarded a 2014 residency with the Dieu Donne Workspace.
DOROTHY ROBINSON Dorothy Robinson is a Brooklyn-based artist; she has exhibited her work at Slate Gallery in Williamsburg and Edward Thorp Gallery in Manhattan. She studied geography as an undergraduate and received an MFA in painting in 1993 from UC Berkeley. She has been awarded residencies at Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation and Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, and a grant from the Pollock Krasner Foundation.
JOSETTE URSO Josette Urso received her MFA in Painting from the University of South Florida and currently works in New York City. Urso has had numerous grants and residencies, including, a Gottlieb Foundation Award in 2013, Yaddo in 2009 and a second Pollock-Krasner Foundation award and residency at the Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus in Germany, both in 2008. She traveled to Taiwan for a residency at STOCK20 in 2006, and to Cambodia with the AIEP American Artists Abroad program in 2004. Other awards include those from Basil H. Alkazzi, the NEA, and Art Matters, and she was a participant in the Bronx Museum for the Arts' AIM program. In New York City, she has shown at the Drawing Center, Storefront, Norte Maar, DFN Gallery, Markel Fine Arts, Kenise Barnes Fine Art, Metaphor Contemporary, and the New York Public Library.
DEBORAH ZLOTSKY Deborah Zlotsky is a 2012 recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in painting, and is represented by Kathryn Markel Fine Arts in New York. She has exhibited her work in exhibitions across the country, and her drawings are in the curated flat files of Pierogi Gallery and The Boston Drawing Project at Joseph Carroll and Sons Gallery, as well as the online-curated registry at The Drawing Center. A selected list of public collections includes Nordstrom, Progressive Insurance, Rutgers University, the Waldorf Astoria, the New York Palace Hotel, and the Albany Institute of History and Art. Over the past 10 years, she has received residency fellowships at Yaddo, VCCA, Ox-Bow, Millay Colony for the Arts, Ragdale Foundation, the Weir Farm Art Center and the Kimmel-Harding-Nelson Center for the Arts.
About the Curators "Big, Fat & Juicy" is organized by Alexi Rutsch-Brock, a visual artist and art educator, and Elizabeth Saperstein, an independent curator. Involved with the Art Center since childhood, Rutsch-Brock has served on the Art Center's Gallery Advisory Committee, and has organized exhibits throughout the metropolitan area since 1989, most recently "Legitimate Vagina" at Miranda Fine Arts in Port Chester, NY. She received her MS from the College of New Rochelle and her BFA from the School of Visual Arts, and is an art teacher at New Rochelle High School. Saperstein has served on the Art Center's Gallery Advisory Committee since 2004, where she has organized several thematic group exhibits including still life, landscape, comics, and cartography; most recently, she organized "Horizon Variations," at the Camera Club of New York. She is a former professor of multimedia studies at the University of the Arts and program manager at the Charles Mingus Jazz Workshop. She received her MA from Purchase College and BS from Emerson College.
These events and programs are made possible, in part, by the ArtsWestchester with funds from Westchester County Government. Pelham Art Center also receives funding from: New York State Council on the Arts, A State Agency; Westchester Jewish Community Services; hibu; Nurses Network of America; Town of Pelham; New Rochelle Campership Fund; Bistro Rollin; Robin's Art+Giving; Nycon; Junior League of Pelham, Prospect Hill Lunchtime Enrichment; Strypemonde Foundation; Mark Link Insurance; Broadway Electric, Owen Berkowitz; Members; and Annual Fund Donors.
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About Pelham Art Center
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Pelham Art Center's mission is to provide the public with a place, the resources, and the opportunity to see, study, and experience the arts in a community setting. Currently serving more than 16,000 adults and children in Westchester County and parts of the Bronx by offering high-quality free and affordable art programs for children and adults year round, high quality art exhibitions and event space for birthdays and more. Pelham Art Center is committed to the belief that the public’s access to and participation in the arts strengthens communities and fosters life long engagement in the arts.
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