April 6, 2017 – May 28, 2017
Curator: Maddy Rosenberg
The beauty of pure mathematics is at the essence of all in nature. Not only is it the language of science, it is the basis of the systems behind everything we see- proportion, symmetry, sequences, repetition, fractals, patterns. Woven into our everyday surroundings, often only discernable to the practiced eye, mathematics is at the core of the natural world and the foundation of imagined ones. It is only natural that artists find it an irresistible subject.
The collaborative father and son duo of Erik Demaine and Martin Demaine find a new challenge with the mathematics of folding in the Fibonacci double spiral pattern of the sunflower. The video work of Lorin Roser has an intrinsic architecture to it, a golden spiral floating in space. Martha Willette Lewis crushes paper in a multi-plane Brane; Simona Soare evolves her own world from the geometry at the base of this one. The metal scraps in Alan Rosner’s visually interpreted “landscapes” are described by the same fractals that create the digital landscapes of Gerhard Mantz’s computer generated nature.
The meticulous branch botanicals of Beverly K. Duncan become a dance of lines, while Cynthia Back reduces the forest to its linear movement. With Rachael Wren, we are encouraged to see the positive and negative in the abstract. The embroidered lines of Robyn Ellenbogen’s bamboo slip books resonate with the patterning within, as Kathy Strauss embroiders mathematical calculations in an artful lab notebook. Eva Mantell makes objects out of the straws of life.
Caroline Blum achieves a netted reduction of a sea creature shaped through mathematical equations, whereas Susan Happersett finds the tangled nerve systems in the spine of a book. Amber Heaton knits a web as unique as any spider’s, while Jeanne Heifetz plays with Plateau’s laws in her cell-like drawings. Steven Gawoski’s minutely rendered explorations uncover hidden geometries. The delicacy of Gerhild Ebel’s lacelike paper-cuts conform to the golden ratio, though for Helena Kauppila, mathematics is second nature in her work.
The soothing tones that emanate from the wood boxes of MJ Caselden are based on the same abstract concepts that define the material world. The nature of Geraldine Ondrizek is of a very human kind, biologically measuring of twin beings. C Bangs may paint rings around the tree of life, but Sarah Stengle finds curves within a spiritual garden.
No matter how these artists approach the world, the mathematics of their work powerfully echoes throughout the universe.
February 9 – March 26, 2017
Part Two of a Two-Part Exploration of Endangered Species
Curator: Maddy Rosenberg
The rapidity of the extinction of members of the animal kingdom is certainly, at the very least, partly a bi-product of their dwindling environments. Ecosystems have become more fragile as certain plant life has diminished or disappeared completely. A habitat is reliant on the roles of plant life to feed and shelter, at its most basic. Not to say, the lives of all around us have value on to themselves, do we really wish upon our world the result of a decimated, let alone barren, landscape? These artists explore an increasing imbalance that has threatened the existence of plant life beyond the restriction of specific pockets, and into the unfortunate explosion of a global phenomenon.
The visual delicacy of the art of Aviva Rahmani, in her ode to the trees she has marked for saving, barely masks a staunch activism. Nina Kuo builds from the family heritage of a tree once plentiful in the fields of China, molded into ancestral furniture, as Barbara Rosenthal documents the oldest plant in existence, challenged more than ever. Tanja Roolfs weaves together a delicate flower in a delicate balance for survival, conveying a sense of being too fragile to touch, while the textured layerings of Ilse Schreiber-Noll beg for us to touch and experience.
Adrienne Moumin slices, dices and re-assembles photographs in a frenetic attempt to preserve the pieces, but the German artist Gerhild Ebel simple takes inventory, and the list of the already gone is both poignant and disturbing. The painted images of the once plentiful sunflowers of Carolyn Oberst are bitter sweet, appearing almost as a corollary to the painted birds of Susan Hoenig that remain couched among the plants they need to survive. Marisa Benjamim lovingly tenders the plant a second life as an embedded drawing.
The ongoing library of Anne Percoco and Ellie Irons collects the seeds for saving plants for prosperity while Brandstifter sows the conceptual seeds for the future. Margot Glass goes one step further and catalogs the seeds in her “documentation” drawing of such envelopes of hopeful re-planting and rejuvenation.
All begins with water and arguably may end similarly, for Meryl Meisler submerges our cities by subterranean plant life wreaking revenge. The final conclusion may be taken out of our hands, if we continue to refuse to act swiftly to counter the increasingly devastating effects to our home planet.
In Harm’s Way
November 17, 2016 – January 22, 2017
Part One of a Two-Part Exploration of Endangered Species
Curator: Maddy Rosenberg
The life span of any species may be unpredictable, but the human contribution to hastening the process of extinction in many in the animal kingdom is undeniable. We bear the responsibility of illegal hunting and trapping, climate change, displacement through population growth and arguably more than anything else, the power of politicians who are all too willing to treat the environment, the earth, as expendable. With their work, these artists both honor and contribute to an ongoing commentary upon the past losses, and preventable impending ones, of our fellow creatures.
In the paintings of Susan Hoenig, emblematic images of endangered animals become entwined with their environments, as Margaret Craig replaces the dying coral reef with a resin version. Julia Paull zeroes in on scenes of the waning tropical forest with the elegiac dance of tadpoles and a frog’s attempt at survival. Robynn Smith prints a timeline for us punctuated with the birth and death cycle of a Tasmanian local, while C Bangs draws rings around the universe in her own tale of the leopard’s woe.
Sarah Stengle targets the glorification of big game hunting in the death of an elephant, while in Mary Ting’s collage the Goddess of Mercy stands helplessly over one slaughtered in front of her. The sculptural juxtaposition of found objects by Larry Aarons is a sporting trophy that resonates with the horror of the win. Lauren Evans reflects on the powerful rhinoceros and the extinction precipice it is inching towards.
Cindy Kane mourns the deceased with a mausoleum of deathbeds, topped with plumped up pillow portraits of each in their individual demise. Carolyn Oberst exquisitely paints the birds in all their vibrancy, adding poignancy to their loss. The photo collage of Adrienne Moumin dissects and multiplies the birds of a changing ecosystem; it seems Alan Rosner’s parrot has its own brush with death as Sarah Haviland’s songbird guards and honors the hope of its species’ continuance.
Through aesthetic engagements that make the journey from despair to wit -and back again, these artists offer up a warning we need to heed.
September 7-October 30, 2016
Curator: Maddy Rosenberg
In a world of sounds, one of the first ones that travels through our consciousness is our own. We can experience the process, the vibrations, the positioning of the mouth to elicit highs and lows that project our desires, pain, joy. The words are not enough, the whole body gestures, all are participants to create meaning in the delivery. What is emitted in the end is the power of communication.
Anne Gilman explores the effected speech patterns of aphasia in the boldness of color and texture. With a background in linguistics, Sarah Hulsey charts language through the architectural structuring of scientific diagrams. Evelyn Eller collages layers of illustrations as she signs her way through the alphabet.
The simplified heads of Melissa Stern turns our speech from the image of pictograms forward to the symbolism of numbers in the digital age, while those of Despo Magoni are more anatomically defined and muted in the process. Stephanie Brody-Lederman’s painting speaks to us in her own language. Brandstifter in his fluxus mode, delivers poetic sounds from a box as MJ Caselden beckons us to interact with technology to activate and converse with his sculpture. Catherine Clover shoots the breeze in your ear as Robert Zott speaks to us through the “music” of two planes rotating in a black box flight recorder. Gerhild Ebel uses an electro acoustic process to turn sound into image, a unique take on recording a diary of daily life. The spoken performance of Patrick Coyle is focused on speech, the various sounds, merely babble to some, that we produce. Barbara Rosenthal plays with the sounds of accents and a child’s ramblings, with communication as the intention.
The ability of speech integrated into our anatomy is used to speak -and speak out. Elena Costelian reacts against the attacks in France with the power of speech, as Diana Wege finds empowerment in her own postered speech against violence. Christiana Kazakou literally speaks to us of the politics of resistance in its most spatial form.
We are a species born with the capacity of complex speech patterns, of vocal communication. How we employ it is ultimately up to us.
April 7 – May 29, 2016
Curator: Maddy Rosenberg
Mineralogy is a scientific discipline that catches the eye. We can all appreciate the multi-colors and forms that are firmly beneath our feet, with space exploration constantly opening up more possibilities and variations. Minerals form our environment.
In this exhibition, the works of twelve artists come together to more than inhabit a space, but to create one – that is soothing and contemplative, as it should be.
Shannon Sullivan molds with elegance in refined sculptural gems, while Dolores Furtado’s are more reminiscent of earthiness. Robyn Ellenbogen builds mineral-conceived imagery laid down with mineral derived materials.
Miljohn Ruperto may animate the earth as it rebels against the human element, but the forces of nature are captured in paint in all their vibrancy by Blossom Verlinsky. Nina Kuo paints minerals with metallics floating in space. Chris Sancomb captures the feel of crystal formation frozen in a moment as Elaine Whittaker photographs the actual moment of crystallization. Ann Reichlin takes it all indoors with a domestic version of a geode.
Sarah Stengle finds analogies in crystal minerals and chronicling the results of war. With Debra Weisberg, all crystallizes in black and white. For comic relief, John Baber has us looking through a “crystal” ball.
We may admire the shine or find fascination with the richness of color or the form but it is more than a visual wonderland we experience, beneath the surface lies clues to all our origins.
February 11 – March 27, 2016
Curator: Maddy Rosenberg
The earth is teaming with microcosms of millions upon millions of crawling and flying insects, each building their own worlds while inhabiting ours. These artists of Insecta reveal to us a bit of the lives of these miniature neighbors of ours who exist and flourish. Their daily routines are explored through intense examination, detailed focus and, alas, the effect of humanity’s intrusions upon them.
Amy Berkov puts research into practice in her dual life as tropical ecologist and artist. Scott McIntire offers us glimpses into his backyard in high keyed color as Ilse Schreiber-Noll studies the wasp in living color. Andrea DiFiore depicts the butterfly on different levels while Anne Dushanko Dobek emulates the entomologist’s craft to foretell a butterfly dystopia. Miriam Brumer’s butterflies take flights of fancy though, with Margot Glass, they blend in to their surrounding patterns.
The videos of Barbara Rosenthal tell tales of the resilience of a Russian fly and insect metamorphosis. Wendy DesChene + Jeff Schmuki of PlantBot Genetics fascinates and describes the morphing of a moth. Beverly Ress wittily brings us into the world of a cicada. Kelli Tilton paints diminutive portraits of outsized insects as Ana Golici introduces us to the lives of fleas in portraiture. April Vollmer may turn a crane fly into a mandala, but William Jung’s sculptural pill bug resembles a sleeve of armor. Scientist and artist Barrett Klein models the insect in keen observation while Karen Anne Klein, Barrett’s influence (and mother), weaves insect narratives and conversations. For C Bangs, bees and dragonflies are positioned in space with instruments of time.
Susan Rostow’s pages are embedded with two-winged creatures while Sharon Stepman captures them with light. Andrew Tyzack takes meticulous inventory of the bumblebee and Travis Childers builds a beehive for them of plastic tips. Mary Ting highlights a bee devastation that both overwhelms and saddens. Russell Webb boxed and bagged his bugs for eternity.
We can look at the insect world and see both the story of survival and the precarious consequences of sharing life with humans.
November 19, 2015 – January 24, 2016
Curator: Maddy Rosenberg
Misinterpretation of scientific findings seems to be a dangerous enough practice, but the prevalence of beliefs in pseudo-sciences can have an even more devastating effect when they “prove” cultural prejudices. We may laugh at phrenology and its simplification of physiognomy, but at one time it was a serious segment of the “science” of criminology. Perhaps more toxic and lasting is eugenics, embraced by those in every place of power specifically in this country and Britain – and used by the Nazis as a basis for their own horrific campaign against those they deemed “unfit.” The dissemination of mis-information laid the groundwork both for a justification for such “cleansing” on a grand scale and for continued wrongheaded discourse and policies in the Western world. It pervaded the laws and the culture – and created myths of immigrants that remain difficult to dispel to this day.
Noah Fuller and John Kuo Wei Tchen excavate and expose the archives of the once formidable Eugenics Record Office in Cold Spring Harbor, the damage that keeps on damaging. Patricia Olynyk sorts through documentation in her own way to make art from the record. The films of Todd Herman manage to find a visual beauty celebrating the victims of atrocities perpetrated upon those deemed to be sub par. Rosary Solimanto utilizes her own experiences as the perceived inferior, twisting a position as a guinea pig into one of empowerment through art. Brandstifter searches old German medical texts and literally turns them on their heads, while Charley Friedman’s anatomy lesson is based on “unseemly” variations. Melissa Stern’s “creatures,” too, inhabit a world avoiding ethnic cleansing in order to exist as Bram Harris delves into the limitations of ethic identification through a specific genetic code. Barbara Rosenthal attempts to find answers in the simplicity of the alternative through historical diagrams. Jeffrey Allen Price maps the brain according to the color-coded quadrants of phrenology while the colors that Geraldine Ondrizek map are only skin deep. Sarah Stengle wryly combines angels of all colors with the detritus of spent bullets and bones, peacefulness only to be found in heaven, it seems
Through art we attempt to understand the unfathomable: how human beings can categorize, degrade and experiment on each other, under a pseudo-scientific cover in a culturally relative quest for “perfecting” the human race.
old Tech new Tech
September 9 – November 1, 2015
Curator: Maddy Rosenberg
At CENTRAL BOOKING, we have previously avoided technology exhibitions in order to concentrate on the pure sciences. But in the spirit of embracing all branches of thought and practices in the art and science realm, it seemed time to confront technology head on in various stages of its development. We see the use of technology to enhance materials and media in the hands of artists, a collaboration of the technical with the aesthetic. A true feast for the eyes, it contains much that is also interactive, from hand cranks to computer games. This is an exhibition that is not about technology but one in which technology is incorporated into the work seamlessly in a way that it becomes essential to the concept of the work.
The Book Art Museum of Lodz started as pamphleteers, coming out of the dark with three-dimensional lenticular prints, die-cuts and even the making of their own type to suit, running the gamut from old to new technologies. Alexandra Limpert begins with a hand crank and leads us to the land of sensors in her sculptures, as they react and interact. Alan Rosner finds metal for other purposes, inviting us to play with magnetism. Marianne R. Petit deals with the latest media as her work literally breathes through projection, yet is equally comfortable in the land of paper flaps and hand manipulation.
Aaron Beebe manages to collage into his finely drawn mapping a bit of technological illumination. Katherine Jackson’s pieces have the delicacy of the sandblasted glass drawings illuminated with hundreds of color choices that LEDs offer, while Carol Salmanson draws with the light itself. Patricia Olynyk uses light to illuminate medicinal artifacts of an earlier age, as Joseph A.W. Quintela reduces light to an amorphous shape. We find Yael Brotman’s work in niches and corners, a miniature world engineered to come upon. Sophia Sobers provides a delicate one we must be careful not to trample.
Deborah Doering and Glen Doering a team that together is DOEprojekts, take the very low technological medium of drawing and raise it to high technological interaction.
Trish Mackenzie stands alone as a scientist with artist collaborators, tracing art as it evolves from the artist’s brain. The electronic elements of Claire Watkins crawl along the wall with a gentle movement that we may at first miss in its delicacy. Though the geometry of Brett Wallace is fabricated by new technology it bears a vintage look, but climbs into a new light. With Benjamin Poynter, too, we see a comfort with more traditional media interpreted through the latest platform, a gaming mind with the lyricism of a ballet. Lorin Roser and Nina Kuo combine musical compositions with image realizations that only the computer can manifest. Catherine Clover is an artist of few words- and images; she evokes native birds through sound and asks us to listen.
All in all, the collaborations with scientists and engineers are ones that bring a dimension to the work that is beyond the technical but informed by it.
SCENES OF THE CRIME
April 16, 2015 – May 1, 2015
The scene of the crime is set; the crime is analyzed. The crime exists through evidence, sifted through, establishing the facts of its existence the scientific way. But what lies beneath the surface of proof? It is all in the interpretation, the science of crime solving may be more reliant on the art of interpretation than it admits. It is truly a place where art and science more than overlap, it is mutual support.
These artists approach the crime through the eyes of the collectors of evidence as well as becoming the interpreters. Simona Soare deals with the heart of the manner, the life of a professional who examines the evidence. Max Marek wields his scalpel through the flesh of the paper to expose the body, as Joyce Ellen Weinstein wraps it, concealing it in a second skin. Paul Tecklenberg weighs the remains after death and finds object equivalency.
Alan Rosner assembles an iconic sculpture -with an embedded bullet, as Joseph A.W. Quintela also gathers evidence of the crime buried within, yet not to be touched. Christina McPhee poses the questions of the angle of perception, as the evidence flips back and forth. Palm prints by Barbara Rosenthal create a pattern both playful and haunting, while Annette Barbier leaves her own prints behind to build the case. Valerie Huhn builds a cabinet of curious fingerprints, variations on a theme of identity – her own, as well. The sense of identity for Mary Ting is as the other among a family of others within cultures where they will always be foreign.
The faces of criminals pattern the collage of Travis Childers and Ligorano/Reese deliver mug shots of the Bush administration as war criminals. Adrienne Moumin’s haunting photographs of the model prison are based on the science of incarceration and a misguided idea of reform.
The crime, the body of evidence, the criminal and prison – all of a piece as these artists contribute to the multiple scenes of possibilities.
February 12, 2015 – April 5, 2015
In archeology, we dig beneath the surface, an activity that is both literal and figurative. “The dig” also becomes the site of an excavation into the layers of history beneath us, our history. The deeper we dig, the more we uncover and learn about who we were and who we are and perhaps where we would like to go. The past is always with us, in more than memory, we walk over it as well as confront it.
Ann Reichlin illuminates in aluminum the path of the past, of housing commemorated with beds of flowers while Don Burmeister captures ancient mounds exposed to our modern conceits of preservation. Agnes Murray etches the ruins of a former age, in the echoes of ancestral edifices as Purgatory Pie Press builds upon the designs through the ages.
The collaged and overdrawn work of Despo Magoni dig into her own cultural heritage, the objects of glory and a sacrificial past while Evelyn Eller pieces together the cradle of a civilization taught in our history books. Marcia Scanlon culls history for her story while Jennie Hinchcliff follows the stars for the thread of narrative through time.
Leslie Fry “uncovers” a library that holds the key to our heritage, fallen leaves full of words of wisdom. The built up gravelly surfaces of the artist’s books of Ilse Schreiber-Noll tear away the buried past. The photographs of Janet Goldner skate the surface with objects that truly give us a passage into the past.
Peter Patchen organizes archeological specimens in cases emulating museum classifications. The “artifacts” of Barbara Siegel are not the handcrafted ones of former civilizations but the ordinary commercial products of industrial society. Sarah Stengle digs through the depths of the book and reconstructs it as an uncovered artifact as Kathy Aoki gathers contemporary cultural relics of an idolicizing populist. Joyce Ellen Weinstein “documents” a dig and drawers us into a book that is literally a container, not of text but object.
Our curiosity is provoked and poked as we search for answers, these artists delve into their own past, the past possibilities, haunted by the past, through fragments and fragmentation.
November 20, 2014 – January 18, 2015
Art & Science panel – The Psychology of Art and the Art of Psychology
Moderator: Melissa Stern
Thursday, January 8, 6:30pm
New York, NY – Psyched opens in HaberSpace, CENTRAL BOOKING’s gallery for art & science exhibitions, with a reception on November 20th. Curated by CENTRAL BOOKING Founder Maddy Rosenberg, Psyched delves into the scientific backing of the artist’s quiet rebellion within.
We measure, we prod, we try and quantify. From early psychological testing to contemporary categorization, while the science of the mind clarifies as it complicates, we search for the chemicals of our behavior. Psychological games are intrinsic to testing. Now we see it, now we don’t, how we see it, why we see it this way or that. Interpretations, quantifications that can follow us for life- that is, until the science turns it all on its head, so to speak. Martha Hayden sees color in her painter’s way, defying her testers’ expectations, and challenges us to do the same. Julia Cocuzza draws us into a psychological experiment that tests not just our mind but our humanity. Helga Eilts & Jule Rump and Helmut Gutbrod may all be German yet they play with Memory in their own individual ways. Samm Cohen compartmentalizes dysfunction without a history. Gay Leonhardt relates the documented psychic state of a clam as it ages along with its memory.
Julia Hechtman may animate the Rorschach as test strips, but Donna Ruff explores the concept of the artist’s duality imbedded within it. Eunkang Koh deals with the mental state of the artist’s burden. The artist psyche does seem to fascinate the experts and Jane Zweibel sits us firmly in the psychiatrist’s chair. Stephanie Brody-Lederman has us conquer our fears (or amplify them) while Joseph A. W. Quintela coolly finds analytical methodology and dissection through psychology. Melissa Potter asks us our identity when “sex” becomes “gender,” how do we navigate?
The blind for Joyce Ellen Weinstein is more than metaphorically beyond the physically challenged. Anne Gilman may touch us to the core with emotions revealed and disguised, but Melissa Stern attempts to deal with the child within. As Freud was one to understand our need for humor, Alan Rosner posits that sometimes a cigar is actually one, with all its Freudian implications. John Schneider displays his Freudian timeline with a more serious comic effect while the cartoons of Barbara Rosenthal poke us with the awful truth.
The mysteries manage to remain some place in that murky place between brain and mind in a delicate balance of science and art.
In conjunction with the Haber Space exhibitions, we present the panel discussion The Psychology of Art and the Art of Psychology on January 8th, moderated by artist and arts writer Melissa Stern The catalog of Psyched is part of November’s issue of CENTRAL BOOKING Magazine and is available at: http://centralbookingnyc.com/magazine/november-2014/
Building opens in HaberSpace, CENTRAL BOOKING’s gallery for art & science exhibitions, with a reception on September 12th. Curated by CENTRAL BOOKING Founder Maddy Rosenberg, Building offers a look at how artists grapple with the structure of structures. Joining us for a special preview with a reception during the LES gallery walk on September 7 in our OffLINE space is BLOCK par·ti, [pärtē: the basic scheme or concept for an architectural design reoriented by a diagram]. Curated by Heather Zises, Founder of (READ)art and Amy Kisch, Founder + CEO of AKArt Advisory, the exhibition includes artworks that serve as diagrams of emotional and physical spaces.
The word “building” is inherently at once both the action of creating and the object of its creation. We begin with nothing, design by pushing and pulling, adding and subtracting, while amassing the elements to create the structure until we have an object that literally has to stand. Perhaps it stands not on its own two feet, but definitely upon a foundation, however precariously it is balancing or it is firmly rooted. For some it is enough to have the dream, for others they need the grounding of reality and their “building” is necessary to exist in actuality, they dream the building into the physical world. And yet they may be meant to inhabit but are still as elusive for our habitation as if they were lines on a paper; the dream remains unrealized, it is a building but one that will probably find being built an elusive endeavor.
Janet Goldner welds as she builds, the steel affirms strength yet the deliberate searing through the metal imbues them with a sense of fragility. With Ann Reichlin it is the opposite, she models a larger world where metal delicately builds up to create the boldness. Yael Brotman amuses us with her etched “campers” that may or may not be models while Joseph Kennedy delves into possibilities with his model buildings. Pigi Psimenou sees the big picture and finds the detail in her own discoveries in found spaces. Robert Saywitz builds us roads to nowhere that bring us along for the ride while Sarah Stengle saves the curves, sticking with right angles to diagram an engineer’s dream. The cities of Dannielle Tegeder, though abstractly built both on and off the wall, are indeed cities mapped in her own very distinctive iconography.
Harriet Mena Hill’s structures, too, emphasize their geometry as they become about it as well. The best laid plans of Sumi Perera are embossed on our memory while Adrienne Moumin does not dream her structures, but she distorts and rearranges as they dance along the picture plane, she might as well have conjured them. Peter D. Gerakaris mimics a geometry of simple shapes but the planes are sometimes on the surface and sometimes just playing with our perceptions. Carolyn Shattuck’s piece is an artist’s book of mathematical proportions with the music dancing across the surfaces while the forms of Martha Willette Lewis may seem mechanically drawn but echo and reverberate. Alan Rosner wryfully stacks the skin of matchboxes so they could be vertically inhabited, perhaps by an ant colony. Agnes Murray stacks images steeped in history upon each other that fill the wall, at once tearing apart as uniting, while Anne Desmet chips away at her buildings both metaphorically and literally in her capturing of bits here and there. Maddy Rosenberg builds her own structures out of both old and new, from here and there in layers. For Estelle Henriot & Aurélia Deniot, the hardware of building is a beginning, not an end. Barbara Rosenthal, daughter of an architect, playfully builds before us, with an insight into her process.
To put together, to construct and to find a space and place in the physical world or the world of possibilities, is the task at hand.
The Medicine Show
November 7, 2013 – January 12, 2014
Opening Reception: Thursday, November 7, 6-8pm
Artists and Scientists panel: Friday, December 13, 6:30pm
New York, NY – The Medicine Show, curated by Maddy Rosenberg, opens on November 7th in HaberSpace, CENTRAL BOOKINGʼs gallery for art and science exhibitions. Though an exhibition of contemporary artists delving into anatomy, it tips its hat to historical medical museums. We are also pleased to have the hand cuttings of Béatrice Coron highlighted in the Focus Space in our Artistʼs Book Gallery, with her own take on the human form.
The fascination with the workings of the human body is naturally a long standing curiosity, with artists reaching back to medical texts, while others bounce off of their own inner workings. Kathy Aoki reminds us of early anatomy lessons, reminiscent of Rembrandt, as we read a modern lesson from Evelyn Eller. Beauvais Lyons invites us to do double takes with his variations on “legitimate” scientific illustration whereas Steven Daiber takes a found 19th century text and updates it. Despo Magoni dissects, revamps and recreates Grayʼs Anatomy into all its parts. Alexandra Limpert in her automatons reveals the mechanics of the body on a human scale while Miriam Schaer presents the body as book in the simulation of a familiar home teaching tool. Cheryl Gross draws her own variations on the inner workings of the body. Kathy Bruce deals with the bodyʼs building blocks while Patricia Olynyk reveals an interior peek. C Bangs has us coming and going in a two-sided skeleton. Purgatory Pie Press presents the spine through MRIs whereas Brandstifter x rays and re-arranges. Barbara Rosenthal finds her spine in bluejeans as Paul Tecklenberg dresses x rays. John Frederick Walker flays his figures to get to the layers below. Max Marek splices and dices in his subtle paper layeringʼs of the body as Barbara Siegel collages and layers in her own way. James Martin buries his bones in tangled abstractions as Geraldine Ondrizek unscrolls the chromosomes of illness. Susan Rostow embeds bones and pills while Amanda Thackray fills her own vials. All in all, these artists dig deep in the age-old human quest to figure out the figure.
To round out the exhibition, the catalog of The Medicine Show will be part of Novemberʼs issue of CENTRAL BOOKING Magazine, http://centralbookingnyc.com/magazine
September 8 – October 27, 2013
The newly named Haber Space, our gallery for art and science exhibitions, will open with Un/Natural Occurrences, also curated by CENTRAL BOOKING’s founder, Maddy Rosenberg, and featuring the work of 25 artists and collaborators. These are artists who are searching for more than the obvious in either bringing to light past and current indiscretions, warning against a catastrophic future if unheeded, working with the scientific community on possible solutions and sometimes just telling it like it is. We view this exhibition as a bookend to Natural Histories, which launched CENTRAL BOOKING’s initial space in 2009.
Susannah Sayler and Edward Morris initially paired up as The Canary Project to document climate change, now bring more multi-faceted complexity to the plate. The multi-color etched artist’s books of Cynthia Back do more than record the landscape, but exposes one that is overrun through over development. Travis Childers builds pieces of the landscape of the future or is it a future that has already come? Eve Mosher invites us all to participate in our own re-greening of the world. Artists and scientists both, at the Institute of Sustainable Futures in Sydney, Australia, Aleta Lederwasch paints a gateway to environmental practices from here to there as Jade Herriman and Annie Bolitho’s community actions are geared to an appreciation of our waterways wherever they may be.
Tar paper and garbage bags never looked so elegant than in Suzan Shutan’s growing abstract elegies on a very real problem. Julie A. McConnell puts a colorful twist on the debris of a consumerist society and its effect upon the sea, just as Molly Heron takes repurposed plastics heading for the landfills and finds an aesthetic solution. Anne Gilman digs beneath the surface, exposing natural erosion compounded by human consumption. The march to destruction of Art Hazelwood’s global warming deniers elicits a simultaneous smile and sigh. Tammy Wofsey etches her way through the road to extinction and a fanciful way back from it while Judy Hoffman produces possible organic creatures of a fall-out.
Evelyn Eller books a trip through the melting glaciers of Alaska, alas Michelle Wilson papercuts the disappearance of one that has already fallen victim in Bolivia. Susan Goethel Campbell is under the weather and over and around it, too. Florence Neal takes rubbing drawings of dying trees in a natural ecosystem as Peter Fend charts unnatural changes to Jamaica Bay and the natural way towards solutions. Eve Andrée Laramée delves deeply into the problem of nuclear waste while Elena Costelian presents us with a man-made wasteland. Tatana Kellner illustrates the toxic chemical effects of hydro fracking as they mix with the water table. Sabra Booth may present us with the essence and insecurities of oil rigs, but Ilse Schreiber-Noll has her take on disasters whether they be of nature’s doing or our own. Appreciation of the environment is one thing, actively creating a better one through thoughtful growth is the work of our institutions, with a steady prodding by us pointing them in the necessary directions.
We welcome the participation of the Institute for Sustainable Futures in Sydney, Australia.
Mapping the Surface
November 3, 2011 – January 15, 2012
We are accustomed to looking at maps in attempts to find direction, our relationship to a physical interpretation of the land. But that land can be more than a city or country, it can help us to navigate our bodies, to understand our environment beyond its physicality into the realm of cultural space, and to grasp an understanding though the visceral. Cartographers can tell us more than just the routes from one point to another, they can map terrains of landscape or psychological space, that amorphous state that adds up to a sense of a place beyond mere cataloging. They can also reduce all to the basic, the pure essence of line and plane. We may glide across the surface but there always seems to be a rumble below it, roaming around a skin that is, as skin is, porous and organic.
The altered, eroded, sliced and diced work of Doug Beube challenges us to read geography in the third dimension. Jeff Woodbury plays with our idea of mapping both physically with the malleability of rubber maps and metaphorically as we follow a path along a tree branch. Christina Mitrentse folds, assembles and hides travel maps, subverting their original intent, presenting us with an unreadable atlas as Heidi Neilson utilizes a traditional idea of cartography and conceptualizes it into an impossibility of a re-configured world.
The collaged artist’s book of Robin Price extends beyond the 43rd parallel into a personal numerology. Cindy Kane maps individuals we think we know in her writers series and explores regions through their particularity of senses; Dannielle Tegeder goes one step further and plots a highly abstracted place in multi-dimensional space.
Haptic Lab, blankets a neighborhood, delineating boundaries through the texture of materials with *Paula Scher graphically interpreting regions, this one guiding us through India. Alastair Noble takes cyanotypes, the blueprints of architects, to emphasize the blueprint of an environment sculpted by nature. Lilla LoCurto & Bill Outcault have long used their own bodies and now others to extend and flatten skin into a topographical journey.
Sabra Booth provides an animated excursion of the gulf coast, mapping her experience of mapping the environmental disaster, while Public Laboratories photographs the spill from a bird’s eye view, allowing us our own interpretations. The projects of Smudge Studio (Jamie Kruse and Elizabeth Ellsworth) evoke a time and place through the variety of consciously created elements of documentation as Robbin Ami Silverberg creates a sense of New York neighborhoods through accumulation of particular elements that brings the amorphous into the more concrete. Central to Barbara Siegel’s sculptural piece is a boulder that began a controversy over geographic ownership. For another take on the complications of history, Elena Costellian finds herself in a space haunted by the act of its own past circling around, and documents the process of her process of capturing it through a linear retracing.
However perceived, a map guides us to more than one destination.
* Courtesy of Jim Kempner Fine Art. We also encourage you to watch Jim’s all too truthful comic vision of the art world,
The Madness of Art
Now You See It…
Color and the Mind’s Eye
September 8th – October 23rd, 2011
Reception – Thursday, September 15th, 6-8pm
Panel Discussion Art: Color and Optics – Thursday, October 13th, 6:30pm
Curator: Maddy Rosenberg
The richness of a colorful world we take for granted and yet it is a trick of the brain, perception wins out over the reality of a black and white environment. This exhibition brings together a group of artists through the exploration of color who examine the eye, who play with sight, who have us wonder at what it is we are seeing, or who question the “how” as well as the “why.”
Chuck Close, a modern Pointillist who builds images from mere scribbles of overlapping colors, takes the concept of the photographic dot into a new realm. Martha Hayden plays with our brain’s perception of color as space, with the variation on the eternal push/pull of the figure/ground question. The videos of Berlin artist Gerhard Mantz parade colors and shapes before us as they appear to morph from one plane to the next. Kate Temple takes her extensive studies of color theory, from Goethe onwards, to create atmospheric filterings through space, to see or not to see bare glimmers of landscape; David Ambrose layers color upon color until we see the glowing vibrations of transparencies ready to burst forth beyond the rectangle- or back into it. Yet the space in Nola Zirin’s paintings becomes a space of blue, as our eye winds around from deep space to the surface – or does it? But Sarah Stengle may be blue but blue still has its deeper meaning in a quest for what it does mean to be blue.
Katherine Jackson creates a lens for us to stand and look through, as it regards us noncommittally while Jo Yarrington’s sculptural piece models the eye through a lens lightly. Paul Tecklenberg turns optics on its head as the lens becomes a glass becomes a lens and Adrienne Klein, with echoes of Warhol, brings insight into the four-channel experience beyond the mere rods and cones of the title.
Master printer Ruth Lingen plays with the illusions of color on a daily basis while when working with Jessica Stockholder, color becomes a plaything. Peter Thomashow, a psychologist in his own right, lends his medical expertise to his playful assemblages. The book works of Julie Shaw Lutts explode from the boxes that contain them, this one dealing with a whimsical view of the science of optics. Kirsten Hoving may have a photographic historical outlook on the ocular, but W. David Powell manages with his witty collages of juxtapositions from historical textbooks to bring a contemporary perspective to the matter. Gareth Long takes his impulse from his library and gives us a reading on levels of perception.
All in all, these artists journey into the world, our world, colored by perception, psychology and the senses.
April 14 – June 12, 2011
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 14, 6-8pm
Panel Discussion: Thursday, May 12, 6:30pm
Curator: Maddy Rosenberg
Nineteen international artists look at the earth from all edges of it. Drawn, photographed, printed, cut, hacked, diced, assembled, witnessed, with resonating metaphors, these artists present their interpretations of the stuff we gravitate to.
David W. Powell combs discarded science textbooks to scavenge images, while the texts of Tania Kovats tell a different tale. David Redfern collages an advertisement of the truly high cost of the low cost of oil. Barbara Siegel recreates the study of a geologist through his own studies, a warm and inviting installation; Maureen Piggins uncovers the geologist by peeling away the layers.
British artist Alastair Noble plots and maps the terrain- literally. Nelly Ben Hayoun takes the geological phenomenon of a volcano and changes its context with amusing and thought provoking results. Julia Buttelmann, with her usual wit, presents her own mineralogical box of “gems” while Travis Childers gives us meta-rocks with his basic process of tape and collage; Adrienne Klein turns a pile of rocks into a social metaphor. As a ceramicist, Puneeta Mittal molds the earth into primal tubing and Eve Andrée Laramée encrusts a microscope as an artifact of a bygone civilization.
The French Canadian artist Guy Laramée carves his caverns into “stone” volumes. From his studio in London, Paul Tecklenberg dissects and slices the core. German book artist Tina Flau, in her impeccable hand rendered presentation, transports us around the earth and through it, while Anne Gilman beckons us to walk the topsoil, but tread lightly. Ellen Wiener reveals the earth page by page through a dance with words and images. The printed woodcut fossilized images of Susan Makov unfold but a journey unravels along the surface calm with the Japanese photographer Yoichi Nagata, the tension quivering beneath. Some artists analyze the world, these delve into the earth.
Measure for Measure
February 10 – April 3, 2011
CENTRAL BOOKING GALLERY II
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 10, 6-8pm
Panel Discussion: Developments in Mathematical Art
Thursday, March 24th, 6:30pm
Dr. George Hart, Dr. Erik Demaine, Martin Demaine, Susan Happersett, Sarah Stengle
Special screening of Between the Folds and
Paper Modeling workshop with Daina Taimina
Thursday, March 3rd, 6:30pm
Curator: Maddy Rosenberg
Measure for Measure explores the art of mathematics and the mathematics of art. This exhibition highlights twenty mathematical artists and artistic mathematicians, the topology of the three-dimensional and the geometric illusions of three-dimensionality–and occasionally four. We follow the essential shape through transitions in planes and space, as it is drawn, painted, collaged as well as built, welded and crocheted.
Rosaire Appel “documents” things that are not, thereby placing the solemnity of most conceptual art on its head as she amply demonstrates that the cerebral can also be quirky and visual. Sarah Stengle’s finely crafted highly conceptualized work bespeaks of a life surrounded by mathematics and art. Will Ashford fuses text and image in a way that makes us feel they could not exist one without the other as Pablo Helguera delves into the inner pages of textbooks in his collages that hint of a simpler time of understanding. The boxed numbers and geometric pieces of Julie Shaw Lutts, though reminiscent of school lessons, resonate more with the playground than the classroom. The MacArthur fellow Erik Demaine and his collaborator father Martin Demaine find a fusion of mathematics and art in the seemingly impossible variations of folding a single sheet of paper.
The British artist Helen Friel, in her first New York exhibition, wittily offers us cut, scored, and folded pages that make us willing participants in transforming her book into the correct way to read it, as Chris Palmer’s geometric folded designs find their way from paper into cloth. Daina Taimina’s elegant crocheted inventions of hyperbolic planes hang, sit and integrate into their environment; Julian Voss-Andreae’s geometric models are of a harder kind. The delicate figures of Martha Lewis bring us back to the flat paper and then beyond it, with imagery echoing the mechanical walk of a Cubist. The complex three-dimensional objects of George Hart are formed by the repetition of seemingly simple shapes hooked together. Susan Happersett’s predisposition to counting and repetition creates patterns from page to page while Philip Sugden interprets his own dream of the Fibonacci series in the surface of the canvas.
The artist’s books of Thomas Parker Williams emerge into mathematical sequences; Norweigan artist Kristoffer Myskja engineers a machine in wood, paper, and metal both sleekly constructed yet kinetically functional that creates numerical patterns. Susan Kaprov intrigues as we ponder the randomness of her enigmatic painted puzzles while Anne Gilman finds structure in the grid in her small calligraphic and image collages. The floating interventions of Cherry Pickles interweave fourth-dimensional drawings among the two and three-dimensional works of planes and space.
Folded with paper, woven from wool, assembled in plastic and molded through steel, these artists play with the truly fine line between art and mathematics.
Nov. 4, 2010 – January 9, 2011
Opening Reception: Thursday, November 11, 6-8pm
Panel Discussion: Thursday, December 16, 7pm
“The Stuff of Our Universe: Art and Experimentation”
Dr. James Beacham, Dr. Lee von Kraus, Carter Hodgkin, Martha Lewis,
Curator: Maddy Rosenberg
Attract/Repel, the latest in the thematic series of art and science exhibitions at CENTRAL BOOKING Gallery II, features the work of artists who deal with the physics of push/pull magnetism, the electricity of being and a glow in the sky from light years away.
Julia Büttelmann, Leanne Bell Gonczarow, Carter Hodgkin, Katherine Jackson, Martha Lewis, Pamela Matsuda-Dunn, Enzo Perin, Tom Phillips, W. David Powell, Carolyn Prescott, Barbara Rosenthal, Alan Rosner, Paul Tecklenberg, Peter Thomashow, Torino: Margolis, Julian Voss-Andreae, Claire Watkins
Berlin artist Julia Büttelmann’s witty low-tech contraptions promise high-tech results – some that may even defy the laws of physics, while Alan Rosner’s sculpture beckons us to an interaction that creates circles – or is it an ellipse? Julian Voss-Andreae delivers steel molded into the internal layering of buckyballs and the pintsize figure that disappears before our eyes in a physics magic act. British artist Tom Phillips brings us quantum mechanics in a flight of puzzle-like colors and shapes that both explain and defy explanation and Martha Lewis sequences a journey through thermo dynamics by turning an altered book of a British mathematical society into a visual ride.
David Powell’s seriously playful gridded sequence of collaged found images supply us with his own singular take on the subject of physics as Barbara Rosenthal’s videos deal with words and image, flow and motion, space and time. Katherine Jackson, in her poetic etched-glass works, weaves text and image into a light show of her intuitive response to physics. The solitude and natural beauty of Leanne Bell Gonczarow’s video of a caught moment in time of light settling on a prism, entrances us with the simplicity of early moving pictures. For Paul Tecklenberg, process and image meld as light creates the perception of image-as-duality; Carter Hodgkin’s dazzling explosions of color against the blackness of space are more than transcriptions of simulated particle collisions.
The paintings of Carolyn Prescott allow us to sit in on the very earnest electricity lessons being conferred on a young girl, at the same time Pamela Matsuda-Dunn amuses us with her response to the “theory of everything” glowing and bulging out of a textbook this student may come across. Enzo Perin, a Berlin artist debuting his work in New York, electrifies in his photographic self-portraits that resonate with more of the Monster than with Dr. Frankenstein; attraction being the province of Claire Watkins, who offers us magnetism with her stylistically elegant kinetic wall piece. Peter Thomashowpromises us assemblages that touch on electro-magnetism and a gizmo that combines motion, hypnotism, and the electrical nature of dreams, as we observe the collaborative pair Torino: Margolis, each a scientist/artist, together experiment with uncontrollable impulses of the electrical type.
All in all, these artists take a closer look at the forces that make our world our world, focusing on the foundations that we sometimes take for granted.
September 2 – October 24
Opening Reception: September 16, 6-8pm
Curator: Maddy Rosenberg
The basic elements of who we physically are can be said to be chemical, but certainly it goes beyond our biological selves and into our selves. The thirteen artists in this exhibition experiment with their own chemical analysis. An artist applies a solution to paper and watches as the paper is transformed by it, not merely on the surface but deep within it, to change at its core its essence – forever. Or, at least, until the next exposure to the elements. A chemical reaction can turn us into gentle doves – or vicious killers; sometimes temporarily, sometimes permanently. Were the Romantic poets just a cultural phenomenon or the result of a chemical imbalance? When we love madly, is it not more appropriate to say we love chemically? We all have experienced our reactions to chemistry, with chemistry and by chemistry. These artists experiment with their own chemical analysis.
W. David Powell’s quirky photo collages present us with a witty spin on a pinch of reality mixed with the laboratory while Peter Thomashow breathes life into his curious chemically related sculptures. Irving Geis, noted scientific illustrator, brings the scientist’s imaginings to a luminous substantive representation of his own device, often seeing humor in the scientific conundrum.
Sabra Booth collages the chemistry of love in an unrelenting tale of its repercussions resultant in female troubles, or troubles to females. Pamela Matsuda-Dunn denies us entry into a chemistry text only to have it blossom above, while Todd Bartel’s text inspired form mimics his seriously playful diagramming of the chemistry of life. Lizzie Burns, both Oxford scientist and artist, lets us wear our chemicals externally, as they adorn our bodies in ornamentation. Fellow artist/scientist, Julian Voss-Andreae also takes his training into the realm of the object, presenting more than mere modeling of our chemical make-up in his bold abstracted sculptures.
Myriam Solar provides us with a visually induced chemical reaction in her rhythmic video. With Paul Tecklenberg we watch the rusting of an orange in another kind of sequence, as an image of a simple fruit through a chemical process becomes further alienated from the original. Jeffrey Allen Price in his own exploration of the visual effects of rust, stacks symbols rusted on paper, forming grids reminiscent of the periodic table, as Cheryl Safren offers us up a periodic table worthy of Paul Klee. The collaborators known as Metron (Diane Jones-Parry and Annabel Ralphs) document a bluing factory before it disappeared, leaving this work and only the residual dust as a memory. After all, the final chemical reaction ultimately leaves us, ourselves, as dust.
Click here for the Press Release
Anatomical /Microbial /Microcosms
May 13 – July 11, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 6-8pm: Opening Reception
Tuesday, June 22, 7pm: Panel Discussion: All in My Mind
Dr. Joseph LeDoux, Dr.Andre Fenton, Nene Humphrey, Eva Lee, Claire Watkins
Curator: Maddy Rosenberg
Participating Artists: Brian Alves, Stephanie Brody-Lederman, Travis Childers, Barbara Confino, Elena Costelian, Thorsten Dennerline, Mary Hambleton, Nene Humphrey, Eva Lee, Linda Plotkin, Barbara Rosenthal, Paul Tecklenberg, Claire Watkins
From the microscopic origins of humans to the pieces of our anatomy, artists examine the biological “us.” Elena Costelian, in her first New York exhibition, lures us into the complex hidden mysteries of the heart and the elemental heart of lead as Thorsten Dennerline enchants us with his etched bodily journey through a layered sequence. Stephanie Brody-Lederman’s whimsical book object hints at both Cornell and Magritte, not to mention Mr. Potato Head. With Travis Childers the eyes have it as they pattern the surface while populating it. Scans of Barbara Rosenthal’s brain, in one their manifestations, paper the walls, while for Mary Hambleton it is the full body repetition that moves across the surface. Eva Lee brings us along for the journey in her explorations of the inner drama of the inner body as Claire Watkins presents us with her sculptural yet linear interpretation of the functioning neurosystem.
Barbara Confino marches us off to a possibly inevitable not so distant future of genetic warfare. Brian Alves presents us with the word as virus in various mutations as Paul Tecklenberg‘s photograms play on our perceptions of life under the microscope by manipulating the mundane imagery of a cork. Linda Plotkin’s biomorphic abstract dance of a microscopic world dazzles us with the electrifying colors of the deep as Nene Humphrey quietly delights us with the subtlety of shape and color. These artists take us on an intricate adventure into our physical makings.
In the further exploration of the confluence of art and science, All in My Mind is an informal talk about the brain and the connections between neuroscience and art. Three artists in the exhibition and two neuroscientists present their work and discuss what is in their minds when they do it. LeDoux promises to perform a few songs he has written about mind and brain.
A catalog of the exhibition is available as part of the second issue of the CENTRAL BOOKING MAGAZINE due out in June.
Astronomy: The Celestial
March 4 –May 2, 2010
Central Booking opens with the Big Bang in its new space as Astronomy: The Celestial inaugurates Gallery II. In this exhibition, artists explore the universe from a very earthly base as well as a more cosmic one. Ted Victoria’s human industrial detritus amuses us as it hovers continuously above the earth, and Doug Beube brings us back down to earth as he has us “read” all about it. Barbara Houghton in her re–visiting of Galileo evokes an eerie channeling as Karen Hanmer turns the heavens into paper riddles. Mary Hambleton’s delicate lyrical painted world softens the blow as Ilse Schreiber-Noll brings us to a dark one, built up in layers of paint and scratched through.
Eric Puybaret takes us over the rainbow with child-like wonder and Donna Levinstone calms us with her quiet passing of the day sky into the night one. With John Noestheden we find a brilliant universe dazzling us with the light from the darkness as Eva Lee weaves patterns of light that contrasts with the vastness of the space between. Susan Schwalb presents us with altar-like reverences for the beginning of it all while Carol Prusa delicately silverpoints a black hole and C Bangs combines the reality of it with the possible. Pamela Moore reduces all to pure form as Despo Magoni takes the personal and abstracts it into the universal universe.
Anthropology: Revisited, Reinvented, Reinterpreted
Nov. 19, 2009 – Jan.17, 2010
Central Booking gallery presents, Anthropology: Revisited, Reinvented, Reinterpreted, an exhibition where artists explore the great cultural landscape of past and present, and take a look at cultures from the inside, the outside, and through the passage of time. Myth and religion are examined and turned inside out. Human events are placed within an historical context that may have happened, could have happened and the most fantastical ones that actually did.
Anthropology is Central Booking’s second exhibition from their series where art meets science; curated by Maddy Rosenberg (artist/curator) and Jon Coffelt (artist/curator) this group show features the work of 29 international artists. The participating artists are:
Pinky Bass, Sang-ah Choi, Paul Clay, Béatrice Coron, Mitchell Gaudet, Laura Gilbert, Janet Goldner, Karen Graffeo, Kelly Grider, Mona Hatoum, Christina Hope, Lee Isaacs, Kahn & Selesnick, Janice Kluge, Eunkang Koh, Chris Lawson & Leng Seckon, Max Carlos Martinez, Dana Matthews, Avery McCarthy, Antjuan Oden, Omar Olivera, Lothar Osterburg, Joel Seah, The Chadwicks (J. Blachly and L. Shaw), Elisabeth Wöerndl, Emna Zghal.
As you explore Anthropology, you will come across the installation of artists Kahn & Selesnick whose work provides a context for the impressive hypothetically “found” artist’s book, The Circular River, which is meant to document through text and panoramic photographs a Russian expedition of a century ago. Jimbo Blachly and Lytle Shaw assure us that they take their role as keepers of the flame for The Chadwicks, an historical New York family, quite seriously, albeit with wit.Béatrice Coron, creates a life-size cut paper human maze for us to wander through while Janet Goldner, influenced by her yearly ventures in Mali, gives us a sequence of metal gates with text and image that are meant to be read as we pass through them.
From the years of studying the Roma of Italy, Karen Graffeo allows us to understand the unique culture of an otherwise private people, and the addition of books made by the Roma children gives us further insight into what their culture means to them as a clan. Chris Lawson’s collages made with Buddhist MonkLeng Seckon in Cambodia become a cultural record while transcending mere documentation. Lee Isaacs brings us “The Day Of The Dead” series that asks us to understand how culture expresses itself through the loss of loved ones. Paul Clay,who studied anthropology and therefore sees his work within that context, in his photographic and video work examines with the same rigor whether it be foreign cultures or ones closer to home. Mitchell Gaudet uses cast and slumped glass as a vehicle to explore our perceptions of specific religious practice and idolatry whileLaura Gilbert explores the family unit and asks us to understand how we react to each other as a culture and as individuals.
Mona Hatoum breaks down barriers to understand the domestic and how it is a microcosm of what we understand on a global level. Janice Kluge in her ceramics works within the confines of what many understand as domestic but turns these ideas on their head. Max Carlos Martinez remains haunted by the myths of the American west that his childhood was steeped in. German born Lothar Osterburg explores the myth of his adopted country with his photographs of staged sets of his own making that evoke the romance of the American Great Plains. Sang-ah Choi uses the pop-up book form in her own unique way, as a commentary on her life in America seen from the point of view of the outsider andEunkang Koh externalizes her internal memories, conflating her past culture with her present in her oversized book worlds.
Emna Zghal responds in her suite of prints to a little known poetic record of a 9thcentury repressed African slave uprising in her native Iraq that through failure still found success in changing the course of that nation’s history. Antjuan Oden’s approach is an organic one, adding pieces of his own culture to his work with found objects. The Austrian artist Elisabeth Wöerndl gives us a video of her response to her time spent in Chicago that becomes a musical integration of humans on the move. Avery McCarthy looks back upon certain photographs that carry with them resonances of high points in western cultural history.
Pinky Bass explores cultural mores as they refer to the feminine mystique in contemporary American culture and its relationship to other cultures around the world while Dana Matthews creates a large accordion book seeing the female as an iconic one. Kelly Grider’s archetypal and sometimes mythic work utilizes photography and delicate darkroom techniques. Christina Hope uses underwater photography towards an interest in a variety of archetypes as she personally conveys ideals of inclusiveness. Joel Seah through “The Hanky Code,” utilizes a sexual position charting system which harks back to the1960s and early 1970s, humorously playing upon the old archetypes of gay culture.
Sept. 10 – Nov. 8, 2009
Central Booking is pleased to announce the first in its series of exhibitions in Gallery II where art explores science. The inaugural exhibition, Natural Histories, traces a range of artistic responses to an ever changing external and internal environment, touching on the mere presence of human intervention. The gallery is transformed into an evocative space that creates its own natural habitat from the elements of each artist’s personal response to their concept of nature.
Judy Hoffman, whose leaf-like formed paper book works can be seen in Gallery I, creates an installation of found materials mostly organic with a contamination of inorganic materials that “grows” out of the ground and walls to invade the space. The Swedish artist Leonard Forslund contributes a unique book whose textural pages beckons to be touched, unlike his more typically formal work. And we know how in Ana Mendieta’s work her own body became inextricably intertwined with the natural world; here in a rarely exhibited artist’s book she focuses on her etchings. Steven Daiber has long been dealing with the rawness of nature and the objects of rural life. “wrapped” in the symbols of human intellectual life. The artist team of Doug Baulos and Janice Kluge utilize the pages of a book folding them into something akin to a weather vane, allowing one to question juxtapositions within it’s subjective framework.
Holly Sears beautifully seen natural forms exist in a tranquil yet subtly ominous world where all is not quite right. Cosme Herrera interprets formal landscape tableau within the confines of his inlaid wooden mythologies. Josh Willis’s seemingly bucolic miniatures are whole environments in themselves but seen together create a dreamlike world. Robin Holder utilizes her stencil process in a layering and building of forms in deep rich colors that vibrate in her small scenarios. We find the quirky insects of the German silkscreen partnership of Helga Eilts & Jule Rump on various surprising surfaces. Julie A. McConnell’s stereoscopes of the great outdoors evoke a simpler time yet the viewer becomes a voyeur as we are inserted into the images. Sara Garden Armstrong multi-layered litorals are a graceful play of ebb and flow undulating and teeming under intense pressures of primordial states. The softly transparent cloth of Desirée Alvarez juxtaposes the bold drawn imagery with the delicacy of the fabric.
Mary Frank has long explored the natural world in her work and the human place within it.Tina Flau who is fascinated by her own garden in the outskirts of Berlin, uses a native historical German text on natural history as the impetus for her artist’s book, with each illustration becoming its own printed plate. Antonia Contro’s digitally printed collages selected from her collaborative encyclopedia were inspired by the floral and fauna of Cape Cod.Donna Maria de Creeft’s images collaged from text become incorporated into a series of flags and Michelle Wilson’s text becomes the soil for her plant as it actually grows between the bindings of a book.
Tammy Wofsey truly wishes the human form into a tree with her stark and almost life sized woodcut. Scandinavian Amina Bech’s perfunctory studies of tree structures as other worldly places through the use of the tondo seem somewhat clinical in their formality. The photographs of the young German artist Sandra Hartleb of trees in the night creates her own haunting interpretation of a similar subject. The strongly graphic collaged prints of Martin Mazorra reflect human social mores echoed in the aviary world. The seemingly innocuous proliferation of butterflies by Sabra Booth contains the disturbing subtext of their exploding male population In central Texas, while April Vollmer’s painted creatures foreshadow her print work as they ominously fly out of the sky at us in their amoral quest to survive.
Gerhard Mantz, of Berlin, with his computer generated digital prints that mimic painting, resonate with images of an uninhabited planet erupted in its hot and cold extremes. Based on scientific analysis, Heidi Neilson in both her own work and her collaborative effort with theWeather Station project interprets cool data in a highly conceptual yet still visually stimulating way. Chris Jordan documents more directly 6 days of a New York sky in his time lapse video taken from a Chinatown fire escape. The Austrian artist Elisabeth Wörndl plays with the forms of the human brain and their similarities to the clouds in the sky, as she playfully melds them together.
Zane Berzina insists we examine the physical world close-up, thereby drawing us into a totally encompassing specimen placed within small boxes as Travis Childers invites the viewer into a world that seems at once familiar in his use of known domestic and household products, yet relies heavily on our feelings of displacement.