Tag Archives: Contemporary

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.”

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NATE LEWIS in ‘6 Artists Pushing the Limits of Paper’ by Ariela Gittlen

24 Apr
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NATE LEWIS, 2018, Palpable Memories II, hand-sculpted photo paper print

At first glance, Nate Lewis’s work looks like it’s been adorned with embroidery, rather than paper and ink. His tender portraits and images of protesters gathering in the streets are sliced, scored, and punctured in such dense and precise patterns that their surfaces resemble beadwork.

“Latent Tensions,” a recent series based on photographs taken during the the 2017 presidential inauguration, shows protesters filling the streets. In one image, Lewis has almost entirely obscured the faces of three young men wearing “Fuck Trump” baseball caps, giving the protesters total anonymity and lending the scene an added layer of psychological weight. Like a tattoo, these marks read as both wound and decoration, reminders of the body’s beauty as well as its vulnerability.

Trained as a registered nurse, Lewis approaches the medium with empathy. “It’s about assessing the paper, responding to it, and giving it what it needs,” he explains. “My approach is to treat paper like a complex organism with a dynamic, hidden life.”

Lewis is currently using a residency at Dieu Donné (a paper-making studio and gallery in the Brooklyn Navy Yard) to continue his exploration into paper’s staggering variety, as well as its expressive potential. “It’s just a simple material,” he says, “but at that same time, the variability within the many kinds of paper is nuanced and vast.”

Read the rest of the article by Ariela Gittlen here on ARTSY.net

All AVAILABLE ARTWORK by NATE LEWIS can be viewed here on MFA’s website

OSI AUDU at SUNY New Paltz’s Dorsky Museum

18 Jan

ART BEAT: Exhibition of work by African artists opens Jan. 24 at SUNY New Paltz’s Dorsky museum

“Rooted” by Nenna Okore.
“Rooted” by Nenna Okore. 

This exhibition shows how contemporary African artists are using abstraction to create works that are thematically or conceptually connected to the continent, and as a way of engaging in a broader conversation about art. Curated by Osi Audu, an artist and independent curator, “Abstract-Minded” will be on view in the museum’s Alice and Horace Chandler Gallery and North Gallery.

The exhibition does more than look for the African in African art; it asks questions about what contemporary African art is, and what it does, in an increasingly global socio-cultural landscape. The artits whose works are featured are Osi Adu, Nicholas Hlobo, Serge Alian Nitegeka, Odili Donald Odita. Nnenna Okore and Elias Simé. For the artists, all born and/or raised in countries in Africa, aesthetic engagement with form is as important as their works’ symbolic, historical, political or conceptual significance.

Audu’s work, described by R.C. Baker as “shape-shifting … space-warping geometric abstraction,” examines complex issues of self-identity and the relationship between the dual aspects of the self (the tangible and intangible), by referencing the Yoruba thought that the human head has both a spiritual dimension (the “inner Head”) and a physical one (the “outer head”).

Hlobo uses stitching and color on paper and other materials, producing abstract forms that could be interpreted as an unconscious attempt to stitch together his divided South Africa. His repetitive process of “suturing” appears to seek the healing of deep wounds; a portrait of a nation at once frightening and beautiful.

Nitegeka, born in Burundi, is inspired by his love of the industrial infrastructure he finds in his home city of Johannesburg, South Africa. His work describes “the long and broad highways, complex flyovers, elaborate use of cast concrete on roads and skyscrapers, and the grid layout of the city centre.”

Odita uses color and pattern to produce visually captivating paintings as a metaphor for his personal experiences and travels, expressing a “desire to speak positively about Africa, and its rich culture.”

Okore’s creative process, informed by the technical practices (weaving, rolling, waxing, twisting, dyeing and sewing) she learned from villagers in her native Nigeria, repurposes discarded materials to create entrancing webs of lines and colors that critique the culture of consumption she observes in her homeland.

Elias Simé draws inspiration from the Addis Mercato, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, widely considered the largest and most vibrant open-air marketplace in Africa. He uses discarded electrical equipment and detritus to produce a patchwork of images and experiences described by Quinn Latimer as “the feverish fusion of a multivalent society.”

“Abstract-Minded” runs through Sunday, April 15. An opening reception will take place Saturday, Feb. 10.

Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, It is closed Mondays, Tuesdays, holidays and intersessions.

Call (845) 257-3844 or visit newpaltz.edu/museum for more information.

Click HERE to view the article in full.

VIEW AVAILABLE ARTWORK BY OSI AUDU.

Or contact Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009 for artwork by internationally renowned Nigerian artist, OSI AUDU. (202) 628-2787, mortonfineart@gmail.com, http://www.mortonfineart.com

AMBER ROBLES GORDON and NATE LEWIS at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design

8 Jun

The Mosaic Project: Amber Robles Gordon and Nathaniel Lewis

The 9th annual Mosaic Project:

Amber Robles Gordon and Nathaniel Lewis

Oct 2ndDec 8th

First Friday receptions October 6, Nov 3 and Dec 1

Amber Robles Gordon

“My artwork is a visual representation of my hybridism: a fusion of my gender, ethnicity, cultural, and social experiences. I impose colors, imagery, and materials that evoke femininity and tranquility with the intent of transcending or balancing a specific form. I associate working with light, color, and energy as a positive means to focus on the healing power found in the creative process and within us all. It is my belief that colors have both feminine and masculine energies and each color represents a specific aspect of nature.”

Amber Robles-Gordon, is a mixed media visual artist.  She primarily works and is known for her use of found objects and textile to create assemblages, large-scale sculptures and installations.  Her work is representational of her experiences and the paradoxes within the female experience.

Robles-Gordon has over fifteen years of exhibiting, art education, and exhibition coordinating experience.  She completed her Masters of Fine Arts from Howard University in November 2011, where she has received annual awards and accolades for her artwork. Since, her exhibitions and artwork has been reviewed and/or featured in the Washington Post, Washington City Paper, Washington Informer, Examiner, WAMU American University Radio, WPFW 89.3, MSNBC the grio, Hyperallergeric, Ebony.com, the Miami Herald, Huffington Post, Bmore Art Magazine, and Callaloo Art & Culture in the African Diaspora.

She has exhibited nationally and in Germany, Italy, Malaysia, London, and Spain. In 2010, Robles-Gordon was granted apprenticeship to create a public art installation with the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, D.C. Creates Public Arts Program. Robles-Gordon was also commissioned to create temporary and permanent public art installations for numerous art fairs and agencies such as the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, DCCAH, Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association (NVFAA), Humanities Council of Washington, D.C., Howard University, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Washington Projects for the Arts.

Throughout her career, she serves as an advocate for the Washington, DC area arts community. As of November 2004 through July 2012, Robles-Gordon has been an active member of the Black Artists DC, (BADC) serving as exhibitions coordinator, Vice President and President. Robles-Gordon is also the Co-Founder of Delusions of Grandeur Artist Collective. In 2012, Robles-Gordon was selected to present for the Under the Influence competition as part of the 30 Americans Exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

Additionally, she has been commissioned by the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum, Luther College, WETA Television, Al Jazeera, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, Howard University, David C. Driskell Center, the Phillips Collection, the African American Museum in Philadelphia  and Mc Daniel College  to teach workshops, give commentary, and or present about her artwork. Most recently, Robles-Gordon has been selected for the Centro Cultural Costarricense-Norteamericano, Back the Roots, Teaching Residency in Limon, Costa Rica.

 

Nate Lewis

“As a critical care registered nurse I desired to become emotionally porous. I sought for the impersonal experiences of patients and families to become personal and intimate. This resulted in distilling untested qualities of my character and further illuminating areas of my identity. I aim for this work to show the power of freedom within boundaries, and to question to what lengths are we willing to lay aside our pride, comfort, and fear to make room for empathy, within intimate and larger social contexts.”

Born and raised outside of Pittsburgh in the town of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, Nate Lewis is currently living and working in Washington, DC.

Lewis began his working career as a critical care registered nurse, he received a BS in nursing in 2008 and has since worked in a medical-surgical intensive care unit, a stroke unit, and spent most of his time in a neuroscience-surgical intensive care unit. He has been working as a critical care registered nurse for six years. He began pursuing the arts in 2008, first it was music, violin. He then started pursuing the visual arts in 2010. A self-taught artist, drawing inspiration from anatomy, physiology, disease processes and his nursing experience as a care taker of patients and their family members he creates stunning, intricate 2-3d sculptures out of  single sheets of paper that visually combines the aesthetics of drawing, sculpture, etching,  embroidery, and textiles. His approach to his work is often instinctive and free while at the same time surgically precise. Lewis’s work pushes the idea of freedom within boundaries, and seeks to confront perceptions of vulnerability, tragedy, and time.

He has exhibited his work more than 30 times in the past 5 years, most recently at the  Morton Fine Art, Washington DC, Loyola University, Baltimore, MD, 2016 Biological Tapestries 1st Movement, Morton Fine Art, Washington DC,  Art on the Vine, Marthas Vineyard, MA,  GalleryNine5, New York, NY, Joan Hisoka Gallery, Washington, DC, Cordesa Fine Art, San Francisco, Ca, and Brilliant Champions Gallery, Brooklyn NY. His work has been covered in the Houston Chronicle , Strictly Paper   and Scrub Magazine.  He has been a recipient three times of the DC Commission of the Arts & Humanities Visual Artist Fellowship Grant, Artist in Residence by Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY, and Regional Winner of Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series, Washington DC.

The Mosaic Project: The significance of art in the lives of our youth cannot be underestimated. Yet, just when research is finally emerging that supports this, budget cuts and curricular demands are threatening the foundation of creativity in our public schools. In order to fill that gap as well as enrich the community, Pennsylvania College of Art & Design developed The Mosaic Project, a multicultural exhibition and education program for students and families in Lancaster County.

 

– See more at: http://pcad.edu/gallery-exhibit/the-mosaic-project-amber-robles-gordon-and-nathaniel-lewis/#sthash.Yzma5SLf.dpuf

Click HERE to view available artwork by AMBER ROBLES GORDON and NATE LEWIS.

NATALIE CHEUNG and NATE LEWIS Reviewed in The Washington Post

25 Apr

WASHINGTON POST ~ In the galleries ~ April 21, 2017

 Natalie Cheung: Increments in Time and Nate Lewis: Tensions in Tapestries On view through April 26 at Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave. NW. 202-628-2787. mortonfineart.com.

Natalie Cheung’s “31 Hours,” cyanotype on paper, on view through April 26 at Morton Fine Art. (Natalie Cheung/Courtesy of Morton Fine Art)

To judge by their titles, change must be the subject of Natalie Cheung’s cyanotypes. Each picture in her Morton Fine Art show, “Increments in Time,” is named after a period of as little as one and as many as 76 hours. This is how long it took water to evaporate from the photographic paper, yielding studies in blue, black and white.  The D.C. artist has turned the process, once used for architectural blueprints, into something abstract and unpredictable. Her pictures may resemble Rorschach tests and microscopic views, but all they truly illustrate is the process by which they were made. Their poetry is an accident of chemicals and duration.


Nate Lewis’s “Signals II,” hand-sculpted paper photo print, at Morton Fine Art. (Nate Lewis/Courtesy of Morton Fine Art)

To Nate Lewis, whose “Tensions in Tapestries” also is at Morton, the African American body is a landscape to be transformed. He cuts and scrapes black-and-white photographic portraits, removing pigment while adding patterns and flocked textures. The effect recalls African weaving and skin embellishment, but also reflects the influence of the D.C. artist’s job as an intensive-care nurse, seeking to heal the most damaged. In pieces such as “Funk and Spine,” the surface of a woman’s body is almost entirely remade, yet sinew, bone and essence endure.

– Mark Jenkins

Natalie Cheung: Increments in Time and Nate Lewis: Tensions in Tapestries On view through April 26 at Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave. NW. 202-628-2787. mortonfineart.com.

Currently On View: VONN SUMNER’s “Wall”

19 Jan

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VONN SUMNER

Wall, casein and tempera on panel, 16″ x 16″

I’ve been using walls as a motif in my paintings for about 13 years, but I never thought of them as something sinister before this last year. Initially, walls were expedient for my pictorial and psychological purposes: they help define what we reveal and what we conceal; they become visual metaphors for the many mysteries that we carry.
 
Some walls are very beautiful-old brick walls in New York, brightly colored walls in Mexico and Guatemala, ancient walls in Rome-I have loved looking at all of these.I live in the Los Angeles area and there are many interesting walls between the street and buildings, with glimpses of trees sticking up, and I like imagining what is on the other side as I drive past. I love the walls in the backgrounds of paintings, especially those in early Sienese and Florentine Renaissance paintings. Most of the walls I have painted were based on my memory of a brick wall in the backyard of the house I grew up in. So my association with walls was personal and very positive.
But that has, of course, changed in the past year when talk of walls was suddenly and unexpectedly in the news. At first it sounded ridiculous, even humorous, as I did not really take it seriously. Then I was reminded that as long as we have been building walls, we have been using them to keep people on the other side of them-out of fear. I realize now that my romantic relationship to walls is a very privileged one. Now I am very sad that this wall idea, long a cliché, has become current once again. They are, of course, pointless in the end, merely symbolic-always begging to be toppled.
-VONN SUMNER, January 2017

Currently On View: New Works by NATHANIEL DONNETT

17 Jan

philando_webNATHANIEL DONNETT

Philando, graphite, synthetic and real hair on paper, 11.5″ x 11.5″

Oscillating between abstraction inspired by the Ndebele people of South Africa and social concerns of police brutality, NATHANIEL DONNETT creates thoughtful mixed media narratives titled Philando and Eric. He includes the use of hair as a medium and as a cultural communicative expression.
eric_web
NATHANIEL DONNETT
Eric, graphite, synthetic and real hair on paper, 12″ x 12″