Notes from the field: Gallery tour with Nicole Anorve

Last week, we sent Nicole Anorve – a rising freshman at FIT, and our summer volunteer through St. Nick’s Alliance, out to see what’s happening in the New York art world this summer. Below are some of the works and exhibitions that stood out to her.

Janet Fish, Patzcuaro at DC Moore Gallery

Janet Fish

DC Moore Gallery presented their summer exhibition called, Summer Mysterious. The gallery displayed many vibrant and earthy works that respond to questions like, “What is its [summer’s] allure and what do we crave most from it?  What are the memories, hopes, desires, and anxieties related to the season—our intimate mysteries and personal pleasures? In what ways can this time of year transform and renew our psyches?” The piece that stood out to me was Janet Fish’s Patzcuaro, a 42 x 92 inch oil painting on canvas showing delicious ripe fruits and cultural decor tableware. The painting had a wall of it’s own, and from a distance it felt like you were looking through a window. The vibrant colors pulled me in closer to see the thick brush strokes in greater detail. I believed it had to be related to Mexican culture because of the chiles on the table or the bird banner in the background. Upon researching the title, I saw that Patzcuaro is in fact a town in Mexico, so I assume the artist took inspiration for the still life from when she was in Patzcuaro. Looking at this image, I would like to have a summer memory just like this – one that’s filled with bright colorful fruit and flowers as well as, a breathtaking view of the sea.

Liana Finck: Passing for Human at Equity Gallery

Liana Finck
Equity Gallery, a small narrow space on the Lower East Side, presents a solo exhibition of Laura Finck’s work Passing for Human. The space includes 80 ink drawings of her instagram series pertaining to the highs and lows of living in NYC and how relationships evolve. As I began reading into each image, I felt quite uncomfortable reading something so personal. The majority of the drawings she presented were about how rude men acted towards her when she was on dates or even in a relationship with them. I didn’t know whether I should keep reading or walk out, but I’m glad I stayed. I overheard many visitors laughing and saying how relatable some of the drawings were. This got me curious, so I went on reading, and ended up relating with her views of relationships in the end as well. For some of the prints that I disagreed with, I wanted to give them advice as if they were an actual person. There was a spot in the gallery where one is able to sit down and read her book A Bintel Brief, which was published in 2014. Even though this space was available, many visitors just took pictures of the title, possibly to read later at their own leisure. Others just sat on the chair and spoke about her drawings in general, what they found right or wrong with them. I wrote the title down so I could find the book at the library on my own. Spending more time at this show made me realize that I shouldn’t be so quick to judge because of my immediate reactions, and should take time to actually get the gist of the artist true message.

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Denise Treizman in Conversation with Ashley Popp

Ashley Popp meets with +/- Project Space artist, Denise Treizman to discuss her work in relation to the urban landscape, consumerism and trauma found in everyday life. Treizman’s exhibition Part is No Object is on view at SOHO20 through March 12, 2017.

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AP: Your sculptures are comprised of found objects. What is your methodology for choosing or finding pieces?

DT: I don’t search for specific materials. A lot of materials I use are objects I encounter in a very spontaneous way, as part of my daily life. I could be going to meet you for coffee and see something on my way there. I use pieces that allow me to have an open narrative –  like industrial scraps. I avoid things that have a personal association, like a diary or a teddy bear.

I have also gone to Materials for the Arts, a reuse center that provides artists with donated supplies from various companies. At first I thought this place is crazy, it’s like shopping, but now I’m more open to it. I’m open to shopping for materials as long as it starts with something found. For example, if I find two pool noodles on the ground, I may get the idea to get 200 from somewhere else to create a piece.

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AP: Found objects can be seen as a product of disorder in an urban environment, and your removal of these objects can be viewed as an attempt to create order. How does your work deal with disorder and order?

DT: I don’t have a set of rules. I think of things on the street as disordered, but also as an organized chaos. I try to mimic that organized chaos in my work.

The arrangement of my work is very precarious. There’s always the potential for something to break, the pieces could pop out. I play with idea of “was this made by me, or found like that?”

AP: That potential reminds me of the line between arousal and anxiety. Living in the city, that’s a line all New Yorkers cross between.

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AP: Your work also explores trauma. How does the idea of consequence and responsibility within the context of trauma inform your work?

DT: Trauma causes my pieces to become a metaphor for resilience – how to find a way to get up when you’re shot down in life.

Although, in my work trauma can be as literal as something breaking. I grew up in Chile, where there are a lot of earthquakes, so my pieces would break. When my first ceramic piece broke, I was going to throw it out. But then I asked myself, why am I going to trash this? If I saw these ceramic pieces on the street I would pick them up. So I started reconstructing my own broken pieces with a little humor.

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AP: While viewing your work, I asked myself what is the human equivalent of taking parts to
make a unique whole? I immediately related to the objects, comparing their connection with each other to the function of a support group–taking pieces of others’ lives to change the perspective of your own. How do you explore this in your work?

DT: When I take pieces apart they become just parts again. However, when I put them together there’s a synergy. The pieces become something more when they’re together. It could be a metaphor for us – for society, for change, for activism. That’s not exactly a theme in my work, but I’m okay with someone reading my pieces as demonstrating the power of a group.

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AP: That was my reading of your work. So is consumerism also a theme in your work?

DT: Yes – I grew up in Chile, where we don’t throw away things on the street. Instead you pass objects to someone in your network. So in comparison, American excess is very visually evident.

Although, when I grew up in Chile my grandparents lived in Miami. I would visit them every year. I’d buy things we couldn’t get in Chile: shiny stickers, neon tape, pom poms, glitter. I’d take them back to Chile, but I wouldn’t use them because I was afraid to run out of them.

Now things have changed, a lot of things we do have now in Chile, and I live in the US; I’m not going to run out of anything!

AP: It seems like you work celebrates having access to these “shiny things.”

DT: It’s funny it is celebrating consumerism in a way, so I’ve become a part of it.

I’m trying to bring awareness to it, not that I’m going to change the world. People are not going to stop, and I’m not going to stop myself. But it’s a comment. For instance – there’s flamingo printed duct tape. But why do I need flamingo tape? Why does flamingo tape even exist? I saw it and now I know it exists, and now I can’t live without it. It became a need for me. In general that’s how people are. We get used to what we have, even if we didn’t have it before.

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AP: From what you were saying, it seems we don’t have control in this situation, although we create the demand for goods.

DT: We are in a never ending circle. These goods exist but they’re not needed, but then they become a need and you need them even more. You can’t stop getting them, but you get rid of them because you can’t store them.

It’s a contradiction. Why am I making art using all these things? Why am I buying them? It’s hard to get out of the circle. It’s a theory game. These objects exist and I know they are there, so I’ll use them. If I don’t use them, some other artist will.

Lisa Fischetti in Conversation with Ashley Popp

Ashley Popp visits  SOHO20 Member Artist Lisa Fischetti in her New Jersey studio to discuss space, geometry, and Lisa’s recent work.

Lisa Bookshelf

Ashley Popp: Your last exhibit explored the window and its influence on how we observe space. What are you working on in your new show?

Lisa Fischetti: This new work is in response to the divide we are witnessing and living in, both in our country and around the world. This show is about instability, decent values we take for granted coming apart, losing the edges of what we know.

It is following up on my last work from the group show, that explored peeling layers from the surface, exposing its vulnerability, but now the surface is becoming unraveled, splintered and divided. In that way, this series is a little more personal.

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AP: So you feel vulnerable in the political state we’re in?

LF: For everyone, I can’t fathom how we as a country could have allowed Trump to happen.

AP: You are primarily working with square canvases. Why did you choose this shape?

LF: I like the square, there is a non direction to it. I think about things on a grid. That comes from my background in architecture- everything is based on the structural grid.

AP: Grids are a theoretical model of architectural space, is the grid the manifestation of the built environment in your work?

LF: It’s the way I like to organize space and planes. I start with the grid, but it doesn’t have to be dominate. It’s a way to find the center, and then to move away from it. If you think about the earth, we have our lines of longitude and latitude – everything keeps changing within it, but we still have these axes to hold the order together. So, I start there, then break away at it.

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AP: What drew you to the grid?

LF: I came from a mathematics background, so I like the logic of numbers. I love playing with numbers – I lie in bed and think about organizing numbers. That’s why I like the grid, it’s an organizational tool.

AP: How does the grid function in your new work?

LF:  In this series you have to start with something solid and stable, in order to disassemble it.

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AP: There is a subtle violence in your work. Is this destructive force a response to the constraints you encounter in the architectural world?

LF: Maybe, all I know is I’m enjoying the destructive part of these pieces. There’s something so visceral about letting the surface tear, and not caring; to be able to start with a sense of order and then slash at it and tear it apart. The process is really gratifying.