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OSI AUDU’s “Dialogues with African Art” at Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild in New York

11 Oct

Osi Audu: Dialogues with African Art – Artist’s Talk and Opening Reception

When:   October 20, 2018 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Where:   BYRDCLIFFE Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, 36 Tinker Street, Woodstock, NY

Opening on Friday October 19, the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts presents the solo exhibition OSI AUDU: DIALOGUES WITH AFRICAN ART. Mr. Audu, who lives in Hurley, New York, will give an artist’s talk on Saturday, October 20, at 3:00 pm. The public opening reception for the show follows at 4:00 pm on Saturday.

OSI AUDU: DIALOGUES WITH AFRICAN ART examines issues of identity rooted in the artist’s cultural experiences growing up in Nigeria, as well as broader metaphysical and social concepts of the self. Audu’s paintings, some of them very large in scale, are influenced by the abstract geometric possibilities in traditional African sculpture; thus the exhibition also includes examples of original nineteenth- and twentieth-century African sculpture that the artist uses as inspiration for his work. Describing the works in the show, Audu writes: “I am interested in the dualism of form and void, and the metaphysical relation between the tangible and intangible, something and nothing, light and dark, body and mind, the dual nature of being—the self in portraits.” The title “self-portrait” that Audu uses in his work is about the portrait of the intangible self, rather than a literal portrait of the artist.

Osi Audu is a Nigerian-American artist whose work has been shown in numerous international exhibitions including the Kwangju Biennale, Venice Biennale, the Africa-Africa exhibition at the Tobu Museum, Japan, and the Museum of the Mind at the British Museum. His work has also been exhibited at and collected by public institutions including the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art in Washington DC, The Newark Museum in Newark, New Jersey, the British Museum, Horniman Museum, and Wellcome Trust Gallery, all in London, the Hood Museum at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, and the Mott-Warsh Collection in Flint, Michigan. His work has also been acquired for corporate collections including by Sony Classical New York, the Fidelity Investment Corporation in Boston, Massachusetts, and the Schmidt Bank in Germany.

Audu curated an international exhibition of contemporary African art which opened at the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art in Detroit in September 2017, then traveled to the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at the State University of New York, New Paltz, and the August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2018.

He is a current recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant.

The exhibition is curated by Sylvia Leonard Wolf, who is the chair of the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild’s Exhibition Committee. A full color catalogue accompanies the exhibition. Below is an excerpt from an essay in the catalogue:

Audu is, in effect, reclaiming abstraction…Through the language of abstraction, Audu seeks to create a container or a frame for the intangible that is the self. In choosing to dialogue with works of African art that are themselves symbolic representations of concepts, he situates his geometric abstraction firmly within African ontologies. And in doing so, he also makes tangible the intangible, or perhaps hidden, presence of African sculpture within the legacy of Western modernism.
— Christa Clarke, Ph.D. (Senior Curator, Arts of Global Africa, Newark Museum)

OSI AUDU: DIALOGUES WITH AFRICAN ART is open through Sunday, December 2. The gallery is open Thursday-Sunday: 12:00 – 6:00 pm or by appointment. School groups and other organizations can schedule group visits with the artist by contacting derin@woodstockguild.org.

Click HERE to view available artwork by  OSI AUDU.

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OSI AUDU : DIALOGUES WITH AFRICAN ART, Woodstock NY

26 Sep
SelfPortraitwithEgungunHairstyle_web

OSI AUDU, Self-Portrait with Egungun Hairstyle, 2018. Graphite and pastel on paper mounted on canvas, 22 x 31 inches

 

OSI AUDU: DIALOGUES WITH AFRICAN ART at the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, Woodstock NY

Solo exhibition opens Friday October 19th and is open through Sunday, December 2.  The gallery is open Thursday-Sunday: 12:00 – 6:00 pm or by appointment.

Mr. Audu, who lives in Hurley, New York, will give an artist’s talk on Saturday, October 20, at 3:00pm and the public opening reception for the show follows at 4:00 on Saturday.
OSI AUDU: DIALOGUES WITH AFRICAN ART examines issues of identity rooted in the artist’s cultural experiences growing up in Nigeria, as well as broader metaphysical and social concepts of the self. Audu’s paintings, some of them very large in scale, are influenced by the abstract geometric possibilities in traditional African sculpture; thus the exhibition also includes examples of original nineteenth- and twentieth-century African sculpture that the artist uses as inspiration for his work. Describing the works in the show, Audu writes: “I am interested in the dualism of form and void, and the metaphysical relation between the tangible and intangible, something and nothing, light and dark, body and mind, the dual nature of being—the self in portraits.” The title “self-portrait” that Audu uses in his work is about the portrait of the intangible self, rather than a literal portrait of the artist.

Osi Audu is a Nigerian-American artist whose work has been shown in numerous international exhibitions including the Kwangju Biennale, Venice Biennale, the AfricaAfrica exhibition at the Tobu Museum, Japan, and the Museum of the Mind at the British Museum. His work has also been exhibited at and collected by public institutions including the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art in Washington DC, The Newark Museum in Newark, New Jersey, the British Museum, Horniman Museum, and Wellcome Trust Gallery, all in London, the Hood Museum at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, and the Mott-Warsh Collection in Flint, Michigan. His work has also been acquired for corporate collections including by Sony Classical New York, the Fidelity Investment Corporation in Boston, Massachusetts, and the Schmidt Bank in Germany.

SelfPortraitAgbogoMmwoMask_web

OSI AUDU, Self-Portrait, after Agbogo Mmwo Mask, 2017. Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 58 inches

Audu curated an international exhibition of contemporary African art which opened at the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art in Detroit in September 2017, then traveled to the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at the State University of New York, New Paltz, and the August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2018.

He is a current recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant.

The exhibition is curated by Sylvia Leonard Wolf, who is the chair of the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild’s Exhibition Committee. A full color catalogue accompanies the exhibition. Below is an excerpt from an essay in the catalogue:

Audu is, in effect, reclaiming abstraction…Through the language of abstraction, Audu seeks to create a container or a frame for the intangible that is the self. In choosing to dialogue with works of African art that are themselves symbolic representations of concepts, he situates his geometric abstraction firmly within African ontologies. And in doing so, he also makes tangible the intangible, or perhaps hidden, presence of African sculpture within the legacy of Western modernism.

— Christa Clarke, Ph.D. (Senior Curator, Arts of Global Africa, Newark Museum; Board President, Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) and AAMC Foundation)

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For additional information about artist OSI AUDU please contact Morton Fine Art at mortonfineart@gmail.com -or- (202) 628-2787.  Follow the highlighted link to view all available artwork by OSI AUDU on our website www.mortonfineart.com.

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All 2018 Byrdcliffe arts programming is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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AMBER ROBLES-GORDON in The Elm Newspaper of Washington College

22 Sep

The Elm

Kohl Gallery Exhibit Confronts Issues of Identity and Ownership

Grayscale edited.KohlGalleryTalk_JustinNashBy Victoria Gill

Elm Staff Writer

The new guest artist residing in the Kohl Gallery at the Gibson Center for the Arts hangs her identity on the walls.

Amber Robles-Gordon’s opening reception for the exhibit “Material-isms: The Cultivation of Womanhood & Agency Through Materiality,” was scheduled for Sept. 6 but, due to a water leak in Gibson, was postponed to Sept. 13 during her talk.

Her exhibition “features assemblage and installation works created from a range of found objects and textiles,” according to Julie Wills, curator and interim director of the Kohl Gallery.

This past Thursday, the gallery was filled with a crowd mostly of Washington College students, along with some faculty and community members.

According to Wills, Robles-Gordon “confronts the often-paradoxical experiences of her gender, ethnicity, and social and cultural influences.”

The collection consists of compiled pieces from five different series of mixed media art that present her experiences and reflect her pride in her Latino, African and Caribbean heritage.

Through the use of hybridism, most of Robles-Gordon’s pieces use natural materials and topics. This is evident in the canvas of paint chips that have layers of text on top of them and other mixed forms of feathers and cutout shapes.

Robles-Gordon said her use of color, light, and energy represent a part of herself. To her, it is impossible to separate her identity from her works.

The words “conformity,” “analyze,” and specifically the quote “the United States weighs on my spirit” are some of the keywords and ideas that are crucial to her incorporation of investigating femininity and masculinity, duality and spirituality, and the natural and cultural environment, according to Wills.

Robles-Gordon learned from the influential women in her upbringing, such as her mother and grandmother, to “stand in and claim my agency,” of her identity and her body, especially at times when standing out brings negative attention.

According to Robles-Gordon, the two pieces that hung behind her during her talk focus on the lack of women of color in science fiction during her upbringing. She dedicated these works to her niece, who she views as an inspiration.

Robles-Gordon said that someone she looked up to growing up was Henrietta Lacks, who much of this exhibition is inspired by.

Regarding Lacks, Robles-Gordon talks about her history and the abuse by the medical system still using her cells. The lack of recognition of Lacks’ cells in medical discovery are reflected in two large black canvases that state: “When is our, your DNA no longer my, our, your own?”

Her purpose is not only to tell Lacks’ story but to advertise womanhood.

In one section of a series, Robles-Gordon raises concerns about artists’ fear of standing up for themselves in a world where work can be hard to come by. According to Robles-Gordon, being a woman in the workplace, the chance of not being taken seriously, or even mistreated, is high.

Her use of historical text, scraps from advertisements, and natural objects such as hanging branches evokes “traditional healing arts across cultures, sacred symbols of power and divine spirituality,” Wills said.

Junior Drake Harrison said he was specifically drawn to the hanging branches.

“The colors are so poignant, they draw you in,” Harrison said.

According to the artist, these branches and spherical pieces reflect the fibers of our bonds of DNA.

Overall, Robles-Gordon wants to invoke “a spiritual and energetic sensibility” from college students, which she says communities and academic institutions are not providing.She believes colleges can start useful discussion when exposing their population to the arts.

The Kohl Gallery will be showing the exhibit until Oct. 10 during regular exhibit hours, which can be found at the door of the gallery.

AVAILABLE ARTWORK BY AMBER ROBLES-GORDON

AMBER ROBLES-GORDON reviewed by Renee Royale for #supportblackart

20 May
A huge and enthusiastic Thank You to #supportblackart and writer Renee Royale for her thoughtful and valued review: AMBER ROBLES-GORDON: THE FINE ART OF INTROSPECTION AND EXTROSPECTION
 

AMBER ROBLES-GORDON: THE FINE ART OF INTROSPECTION AND EXTROSPECTION

Exhibited at not one but two DC galleries, Amber Robles-Gordon is a captivating artist whose intricate, analytical work lends thought to how we as humans perceive our world, and our place in it.

Her works at her solo show at Morton Fine Art gallery, “Third Eye Open”, on display until May 20th, are an insightful introspective to an “internal conversation about the interconnectedness of human life”, and involves sacred geometry, self exploration, transit timing variation, and the expanse of the universe.

Amber Robles-Gordon, Third Eye Open. 2018

Ink drawing and Collage.

Her work is multilayered; upon first glance there is an overall image presented of cellular circles that contain significant amounts of patterned dark matter, or space, and then heavily layered nuclei that are brightly colored with strategically placed materials giving balance to the form. Then, upon closer inspection, one discovers tiny details, be they altering textures or hand drawn ink strokes, all seamlessly weaving their individualities into the cohesiveness of the piece. Her art is steeped in duality and the connection to divine feminine, an examination of what femininity means and how it is viewed in relationship to the masculine. Her spirals are comprised of bits of lace, portion of a blouse, lanyard reminiscent of childhood art endeavors, and other found materials that represent the realm of womanhood. The pieces spiral, reminiscent of kundalini energy, further enhanced by the subtle abstract snakes that are strategically woven into the tapestries.

Amber Robles Gordon, Kepler 19-c, 2018
36×36 in., mixed media on canvas
Courtesy of the artist

It is representational of the connectivity of all things: how we all come from dark, feminine energy, our lives a long spiral of events as we complete rotations up our axis and revolve around each other. Some pieces are complements by smaller rotational pieces, mimicking a planet that has many moons. One piece in particular, Kepler 19-c, alluding to the extra solar planet that was discovered due to the variation of transition of a previous exo-planet, Kepler 19-b. Disrupted data led scientists to discover the planet Kepler 19-c, whose gravitational pull had just enough force on the other planet to cause the variation and thus revealing itself. Galaxies and new planets are being formed every day, in this cyclical thing called life that we are just tiny specks in. As the saying goes, one drop has many ripples, and Robles-Gordon’s work exemplifies this.

Amber Robles-Gordon, Kepler 19-b Super Earth, 2018
36 x 36 in., mixed media on canvas
Courtesy of the artist

One thing that was also noted at Morton Fine Art was the connectivity and understanding held by the founder and chief curator, Amy Morton. Her respect and understanding of the work, and the care she undertakes to accurately represent her artists, is something of note and puts MFA on a tier above many galleries existing today. It is highly suggested to stay connected to MFA via their website and mailing list. They represent an exemplary roster of artists, especially artists of color, that are on the rise and are creating phenomenal art.

 The artist and her work, Morton Fine Art Gallery. 2018

The artist and her work, Morton Fine Art Gallery. 2018

Robles-Gordon is also in a group show at Hemphill Fine Arts, titled “More or Less” that runs through June 9th. Her piece in that show, “International Realms”, explores her experiences as an Afrolatina navigating a patriarchal society. A paper collage on canvas, which is rectangular as opposed to her solo show’s circular works, from afar looks like a linear, abstract layering of a sunset and land. Up close, each layer has their own elements and color schemes that interact and coexist with each other. Filled with celestial bodies, textures of nature, flora, fauna, and of course, humans, the canvas contains reflective dualities hidden in the works that are only noticed upon intricate inspection. This creates an interesting balance that is interjected by long white bamboo-like stalks that span across the piece, giving the impression of one peeking into another world.

 Amber Robles-Gordon, Interdimensional Realms   Paper Collage on Canvas, 2017 

Amber Robles-Gordon, Interdimensional Realms

Paper Collage on Canvas, 2017

Amber Robles-Gordon is a DC native who is not just an artist but also an arts advocate and educator, creating and also giving back to her city. Check out more of her work at her website, amberroblesgordon.com.

Morton Fine Art is located at 1781 Florida Ave NW (at 18th & U Sts), Washington, DC 20009. “Third Eye Open” has been extended until May 20th. Hours are Tues-Sat: 11am – 6pm; Sun: 12pm – 5pm; Mon: by appointment.

Hemphill Fine Arts is located at 1515 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005. “More or Less” runs through June 9th. Gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10am-5pm, or by appointment.

 

CLICK HERE TO VIEW AVAILABLE ARTWORK BY AMBER ROBLES-GORDON.

KESHA BRUCE’s “Sacred Liberation” at Waaw Residency, Saint-Louis, Senegal

18 May

Enjoy these photos of KESHA BRUCE’s opening reception for “Sacred Liberation” during her Waaw Residency in Senegal in May 2018. Among many new sources of inspiration, Kesha’s fascination with the baobab tree became magically obsessive. The artist describes:

The Baobab is the national tree of Senegal. I’d never heard of it until @kasiazudou sent me a picture of one that’s been carbon dated to be more than 6000 years old. I saw my first Baobab on my drive to Saint-Louis. They are absolutely eerie and otherworldly. I later found out they’re both feared and venerated for their magical abilities. I’ve been obsessed ever since.
Almost every tribe has a legend about the Baobab. In ancient times elders and community leaders would hold meetings under the baobabs so that the ancestors and spirits who live in the Baobab would guide them to make wise decisions.
And until recently, Griots, living historians who are keepers of historical records across generations, were buried inside Baobab trees.”

ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY and “In Print” in Daily Press

8 May

New prints reinvent old medium on giant scale in Portsmouth

If rare is the word when it comes to noteworthy exhibits of period prints, scarcer still are shows of contemporary printmaking.

Nearly two decades have passed since the last substantial example unfolded anywhere close to Hampton Roads — and for that you had to drive to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond.

But in a year made remarkable by not just one, but two impressive displays of 17th-century prints at the Peninsula Fine Art Center in Newport News — including three dozen etchings by Rembrandt — fans of this seldom-seen medium are getting a great bonus.

Curated by Gayle Paul of the Portsmouth Art and Cultural Center, “In Print” features scores of works you may not associate with the mostly small, deliberately intimate prints of the past — and that’s because the regional and nationally known artists who made them used new tools and hugely expanded scale to reinvent them.

“This exhibit is about artists who create the image as an original print, then see it through the entire printmaking process,” Paul said.

“And they’re using advanced and improved printmaking technology to create works you couldn’t make just a few years ago.”

A year in the making, “In Print” explores works by numerous Hampton Roads and Virginia artists, as well as talents from Ohio, Tennessee and the West Coast.

Unexpected scale is a defining characteristic of the collection here, where your eyes may pop and your breath be taken away by the sheer size and ambition of such pieces as a 14-foot-tall installation by Washington artist Nicole Pietrantoni.

Cascading down from the wall just a foot shy of the gallery’s high ceilings, five hand-bound accordion-style books unfurl into the air and fall to the floor, their synchronized pages forming a huge vertical view of ocean swells rumbling in from a distant horizon toward the viewer.

Dark clouds trace ominous patterns in the sky overhead, while barely submerged rocks lurk just below the frothy surface.

Passages of words pour down the pages in fragments, riding the currents with the menacing conclusions of a climate change and water report.

“The scale is just spectacular,” Paul says, describing a work so large it nudges you back on you heels if you get too close.

“And it creates this giant image that’s not just seen but felt.”

That impact is made all the more striking by the much smaller, even intimate scale of “Precipitous” before it was unpacked.

“It arrived in an Office Depot box maybe 16-by-20-by-16 inches in size,” Paul said, “yet it expanded into this huge piece measuring 6 feet wide and 14 feet high.”

Even bigger and more muscular is “Black Ice,” a 20-foot-wide Arctic landscape engraved, painted and assembled by Alexandria artist Rosemary Feit Covey.

Though her “Gingko” and “Fish” images are substantially smaller, the same curious combination of elvish craftsmanship and robust size makes you stop to look — and if you do it closely you will find hundreds if not thousands of small wood engravings that have been pulled through a press, cut out and then collaged into complex and arresting images.

“Wood engraving is a very old process,” Paul said, “but this is an entirely new way to do it.”

Old Dominion University artist Domenica Webb takes a similar tack with her oversize cyanotype prints, using an early photographic medium and direct printing to make otherworldly images of veils, dresses and blouses once worn by Webb or various family members.

Burned into the blue paper with sunlight, some images are then embellished with pins, stitching and buttons, too, adding the presence of the artist’s hand to these ethereal surrogates of her childhood and family.

“They’re beautiful,” Paul says, “and very personal.”

“In Print”

Where: Portsmouth Art and Cultural Center, 1846 Courthouse, 400 High St., Portsmouth.

When: Through May 28.

Cost: $3 adults, $2 children ages 2-17.

Info: 757-393-8543 or portsmouthartcenter.com.

Click here to view these featured and available pieces by ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY. Please contact Morton Fine Art for pricing and details. 

The Washington Post features MAYA FREELON and AMBER ROBLES-GORDON

4 May

In the galleries: ‘Interact + Integrate’ requires audience participation

By: Mark Jenkins

Fabric scraps and damaged tissue paper are the essential ingredients of new work now at Morton Fine Art. Those materials might sound negligible, but Amber Robles-Gordon and Maya Freelon employ them with ambition and impact.

Bubble2_web

MAYA FREELON, Bubble 2, tissue ink monoprint, 44″x 74″

Freelon’s technique began with what her statement calls a “beautiful accident”: finding colored tissue paper stained by water from a leaking pipe. From this discovery, the North Carolina artist developed a method of bleeding pigment from moistened colored tissue onto sheets of white paper, which are so thick they hang as if they’re fabric.

The larger works in “Rebirth/Rebound” were made with a pottery wheel, so the transferred hues spin with verve and grace. The dominant color is often magma-dark red, framed by black and green and white bubbles that evoke the images’ aquatic origins. The most direct print, “Suspension,” is mostly orange and yellow, which flow with the exuberance of a classic abstract-expressionist canvas. Freelon’s accident yields pictures that are assured and bold.

3-2_web

AMBER ROBLES-GORDON, Kepler 19-b Super Earth, mixed media on paper, 36″x 36″ 

Robles-Gordon, a D.C. native, is known for hanging strands of textiles and other found objects in intricate arrangements. The pieces in her “Third Eye Open” are wall-mounted rather than suspended, and feature circular drawing-collages orbited by smaller rounded objects, some partly covered in bits of garments. The forms suggest zygotes and planets, as well as eyes, but at the heart of each of the larger circles is a leafy motif. Whether seen as cosmic or botanical, the artist’s circling compositions exalt natural cycles.

Maya Freelon: Rebirth/Rebound and Amber Robles-Gordon: Third Eye Open Through May 15 at Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave. NW. 202-628-2787. mortonfineart.com.

You can view all available artwork by these talented artists here on our website!