beta pictoris gallery is honored to present As I Remembered, Smith’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. An abstract painter, Smith explores both the complexity of the non-representational and the expansiveness created by working on non-traditional supports. Not content with being confined by the linearity of the rectangle or the square, Smith explodes the confines of geometry with custom designed shaped canvas supports that would seem accidental were they not so absolutely intentional, their soft edges falling away, drifting, challenging viewers’ expectations and creating tensions that are almost unimaginable.
Smith uses this tactic in works of varying scales. Night Twitch and Night Baptism (click on above image to see all paintings) seem like an inverted mirrored pair, each set in tension with the other, their surfaces arrayed with the gestures of Smith’s markmaking, their curved edges rolling away from and under the other. Although black at first glance, they are in fact studies in tone and texture, filled with chiaroscuro, subtle plays of both stillness and motion.
Smith’s brand new Night Mass (shown on left, click on image to see all of Leslie's paintings), an intimate 27 by 27 inch work, continues this exploration, its surface filled with subtle geometric shapes that emerge at the top and the hint of a horizon line lower. This oscillation between abstraction and the use of concrete forms creates and even more discernable tension within each work.
Smith’s understandings of pictorial space in abstraction come roaring forward in another new work, Night at the Orchestra, which takes the depths of Night Mass and adds a spatial geometry, pushing forward and into the viewers’ space. Copy Cat, a new 48 x 48 inch painting, literally feels as if it could leap off the wall. Its forms seem as if they could reflect, veil and reveal at precisely the same moment as Smith pushes viewers away, holds them close and pulls them through in the same moment. Smith understands the complexities of abstraction and he uses both the surfaces and the structures of his works to create tensions that are palpable. His works are filled with suggestions of the familiar. They are both wondrous and comforting. They are, in his words, As I Remembered.
click on above image for additional information on this exhibition at CAM
We're excited to announce our participation at this year's Volta NY art fair
with a solo presentation of works by gallery artist Willie Cole
March 6 - 9, at 82 Mercer in SoHo BOOTH 2.28
click on above image for additional information on Volta NY
Don't miss beta pictoris gallery artist Clayton Colvin's New York exhibition "slow your instruments" at Launch F18
OPENS THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27 (5-8pm)
373 Broadway (between White and Franklin), 6th floor
Jelili Atiku included in Marrakech Biennale
click image for more info
photograph by Jude Anogwih
prevously at the gallery
the dancing line
new paintings, new drawings
click image to see available work
beta pictoris gallery is excited to present the dancing line: new paintings and drawings, Sharon Louden’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. Louden, an internationally renowned artist, curator, lecturer and editor, has recently completed a major site-specific installation as well as a major animation that explored both the practices and processes of contemporary markmaking. For her exhibition at beta pictoris she will present an exciting new range of paintings and drawings that continue her ongoing exploration of both recognizable and abstract forms that all revolve around the gesture, the mark, the foundation of an image at its most understandable level.
Louden’s ongoing emphasis on abstraction highlights her love of imagery which hovers just on the edges of the identifiable. She loves what she terms the anthropomorphic, shapes and gestures that suggest something recognizable, something identifiable, something that allows viewers to bring their own histories, memories, understandings and impressions into the works. Rather than share a single, concrete image, Louden creates a field in which viewers can follow their own personal threads across a picture’s painted plane or a drawing’s gently traced lines.
click on above image to read the BURNAWAY review
click image to see available work
beta pictoris gallery is excited to present S.O.S., Vandenberg’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. Drawing on fifteen years of innovation across a diverse range of media including sculpture, works on paper and performance, in S.O.S. Vandenberg challenges viewers, ever so softly, to consider their personal constructions of self, identity, place and nation. As she states on her website, “identity is in the home we create, the goods we possess and in the land we live.”
Anchoring S.O.S. is a series of works through which Vandenberg continues to explore her fascination with the iconography of identity. In Sink or Swim: Family Style (shown above), three life vests fashioned from salvaged American flags hang from a handmade wall-mount.
Repetition is a motif central to Vandenberg’s production. Recalling Gilles Deleuze’s pronouncement that only that which is alike differs, and only differences are alike, Vandenberg inserts selected symbols, such as stars or stripes, and certain texts, such as the word EXIT, within many of her works. Both the three-dimensional Clouds of Vertical Development – a hand-fabricated, multi-media three-dimensional Exit sign with an electrical cord tail, and EXIT, a collaged multi-media photograph from the Seen, Not Heard series, each use a typographically similar text. It is almost as if Vandenberg has taken the negative space created by removing the term from the former and layered it over the latter creating an oscillating relationship between these two series.
It is this type of subtle understandings of the ways in which an artist can move within and between media that makes Vandenberg’s long history as a practitioner evident. Rather than be trapped within the confines of a medium for fear of stepping outside it, she is as comfortable within one as she is within another. She also revisits methods, but reinterprets their meanings. Drawing on the matchstick drawing methods of her 1998 Untitled (Match Drawing Series) (image hereunder) works, Vandenberg is now producing new pieces which scorch paper, but she has turned towards the figurative, using many of the same icons that appear in her collages and three-dimensional works.
Vandenberg will also present a new performance, Zoetrope, that will expand on her recent project Sew to Speak. Performance is central to her practice, as is engagement through media including blogs and tumblr. At beta pictoris Vandenberg will recontextualize our relationships with the mechanical and the machine, altering our understandings of both its uses and its values. As she explains, one of her hopes is to blur the boundaries between “private and public.” Perhaps then it will be time to send an S.O.S.
beta pictoris gallery 2411 Second Avenue North Birmingham, AL 35203
© beta pictoris gallery 2014