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Nancy Callahan

House+Detail+for+webNancy Callahan is a visual artist who works in a variety of mediums. She is known for her screen prints, drawings, and installations as well as her work in the field of artist’s books.

She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally and has taught well-over a hundred workshops on innovative book structures. Her work is housed in many permanent collections throughout the United States and Europe including Yale University, Vassar College, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, University of Indiana at Bloomington, University of Michigan University of Delaware, Library of Congress, Rochester Institute of Technology, Wesleyan University Virginia Commonwealth University, Women’s Studio Workshop Saint Stephen Museum, Hungary, Bucknell University, SUNY Albany, and Harvard University.


Jim Bachor

Jim bachorJim Bachor is best known for his pothole mosaics. His artist statement says it all:

Trying to leave your mark in this world fascinates me. Ancient history fascinates me. 

Volunteering to work on an archaeological dig in Pompeii helped merge these two interests into my art. In the ancient world, mosaics were used to capture images of everyday life. These

Inquiries?
jim@bachor.com
312-498-5287

colorful pieces of stone or glass set in mortar were the photographs of empires long past. Marble and glass do not fade. Mortar is mortar. An ancient mosaic looks exactly as intended by the artist who produced it over two millennia ago. What else can claim that kind of staying power? I find this idea simply amazing.

Using the same materials, tools and methods of the archaic craftsmen, I create mosaics that speak of modern things in an ancient voice. My work locks into mortar unexpected concepts drawn from the present.

By harnessing and exploiting the limitations of this indestructible technique, my work surprises the viewer while challenging long-held notions of what a mosaic should be. Like low-tech pixels,hundreds if not thousands of tiny, hand-cut pieces of italian glass and marble comprise my work.

This work is my mark.

[email protected]


Karen Lamonte

Karen lamonteSince 1990, Karen LaMonte has created sublime and enigmatic works in glass, ceramic, bronze, iron, paper, and marble. Her works range from monotype prints to monumental stone sculptures, and explore themes of beauty, gender, identity, and the natural world.

LaMonte received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and explored an early passion for glass sculpture at studios in New York and New Jersey. In 1999, she traveled to Prague on a Fulbright scholarship to work in the glass casting studios of Eastern Bohemia; while there, she created Vestige (2000), a glass sculpture depicting a life-sized dress with the wearer absent. This work garnered international acclaim, thanks in part to an essay about it by renowned art critic Arthur Danto.

In the early 2000s, LaMonte established a permanent studio in Prague, where she created her first major body of work: the series Absence Adorned. Like Vestige, these life-sized glass sculptures examine the interplay between public and private identities through garments that are opulently draped on invisible female figures; the works represent a re-invention of the traditional portrayal of the nude. Sculptures from Absence Adorned were first shown in a solo exhibition at the Czech Museum of Fine Arts in Prague, and have been widely exhibited since.

Drawing on the classical aesthetics of Absence Adorned, the Chrysler Museum of Art in Virginia displayed works from the series in their 2009 exhibition Contemporary Amongst the Classics. The exhibition combined classical sculpture with contemporary works to highlight continuity of style and creativity across generations.

To further explore the nexus of clothing, culture, and identity, LaMonte traveled to Kyoto in 2007; there, she studied the design, construction, symbolism, and significance of the traditional Japanese kimono. Back in Prague, she used biometric data of Japanese women to create dress sculptures in ceramic, cast glass, rusted iron, and bronze. Her selection of materials for the works was inspired by aspects of Buddhist philosophy. She titled the series Floating World, after scenes in Ukiyo-e woodblock prints. These sculptures have been featured in exhibitions at museums including the Chazen Museum of Art and the Hunter Museum of American Art. They are also included in permanent collections at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts; and elsewhere.

LaMonte next found inspiration in the music of John Field and Frederic Chopin, as well as the paintings of James Abbott McNeill Whistler. She channeled their atmospheric, night-themed compositions through her Nocturnes series of dress sculptures, for which she designed and sewed evening dresses to “wrap the female body in night” with white bronze, blue glass, and rusted iron. Some of these figures are modeled in reclining positions, a subtle subversion of the traditional odalisque through the removal of the nude body itself.

Within her Nocturnes series, LaMonte created Etudes, one-third-scale works that reference the historic Parisian project Théâtre de la Mode. During World War II, artists, dancers, and fashion designers created touring exhibits of small fashion mannequins installed in scaled theater sets, in hopes of helping the country move beyond the horrors of war. LaMonte’s Etudes–which echo that resilient wartime artistry–have been displayed with the larger-scale Nocturnes in exhibitions including Embodied Beauty at the Hunter Museum of American Art. In 2017 and 2019, LaMonte displayed her Nocturnes at Glasstress, an exhibition mounted concurrently with the Venice Biennale.

Recent works by LaMonte focus on clouds and climate change, reflecting her long standing fascination with themes of common and interlaced humanity. Her monumental 2017 marble sculpture Cumulus, also shown at Glasstress in Venice, was modeled from real-life weather data in collaboration with climatologists from the California Institute of Technology.

LaMonte’s newest body of work uses biomimetic materials to reinvent historic Venus figurines for the 21st century.


Jennifer Packer

Jennifer packerJennifer Packer creates portraits, interior scenes, and still lifes that suggest a casual intimacy. Packer views her works as the result of an authentic encounter and exchange. The models for her portraits—commonly friends or family members—are relaxed and seemingly unaware of the artist’s or viewer’s gaze.
 
Packer’s paintings are rendered in loose line and brush stroke using a limited color palette, often to the extent that her subject merges with or retreats into the background. Suggesting an emotional and psychological depth, her work is enigmatic, avoiding a straightforward reading. “I think about images that resist, that attempt to retain their secrets or maintain their composure, that put you to work,” she explains. “I hope to make works that suggest how dynamic and complex our lives and relationships really are.”
 
Born in 1984 in Philadelphia, Jennifer Packer received her BFA from the Tyler University School of Art at Temple University in 2007, and her MFA from Yale University School of Art in 2012. She was the 2012-2013 Artist-in-Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and a Visual Arts Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA, from 2014-2016. Her most recent solo show, Tenderheaded, exhibited at the Renaissance Society, Chicago in the fall of 2017 before travelling to the Rose Museum at Brandeis University in March of 2018. Packer currently lives and works in New York and is an assistant professor in the painting department at RISD.


Mitchell Johnson

Artist-cityscape-web-1200x800In a 2004 review published in Artnews Magazine, the writer Susan Emerling, describes Mitchell Johnson as "a devoted colorist able to extract visual tension from the world around him". Mitchell Johnson (b.1964) moved to California from New York City in 1990 to work for the artist, Sam Francis. In New York, Johnson studied at Parsons School of Design with many former students of Hans Hofmann: Jane Freilicher, Leland Bell, Nell Blaine, Paul Resika, Larry Rivers and Robert De Niro, Sr. Johnson adopted their reverence for art history and their emphasis on drawing and painting from life as the source of a personal direction.

Johnson’s work draws on a vastness of experience and a persistent desire to make paintings that explain the world through color and shape. He has always moved seamlessly between abstraction and representation and the art historian Peter Selz described Johnson as an artist who makes “realist paintings that are basically abstract paintings and abstract paintings that are figurative.”

Beginning in the 1990s Johnson embarked on long painting expeditions to Italy, France and New Mexico with rolls of canvas packed in a golf bag like a modern day Corot. Wading through unfamiliar landscapes, often on foot, he worked to understand the ever complex geometry of land and sky. He prevailed not to capture some ideal sense of place, but to see better and to go deeper into painting.

Moments of revelation accumulated. A more personal direction became apparent in Johnson’s work in the 2000s as there was less reporting on what he was encountering and more emphasis on the mysteries of appearances. A watershed moment occurred in 2005 when Johnson stumbled on an Albers/Morandi exhibit. As Brenda Danilowitz from the Albers Foundation has commented:

“About halfway into Mitchell Johnson’s 2014 monograph, Color as Content, there’s a portfolio of Josef Albers and Giorgio Morandi paintings juxtaposed one to a page – looking at each other, so to speak. The images are not accompanied by words, but they speak eloquently of Johnson’s admiration of and debt to these two quiet yet lofty twentieth century masters. Albers shows his mastery of color, space, and form. Morandi answers with form, space and color. No words needed. In 2005 Johnson had come across an Albers exhibition in Morandi’s eponymous museum in Bologna and recognized that something remarkable occurred when these two unlikely comrades in art faced one another. The upshot resonates in Mitchell Johnson’s work of the past two decades: precisely and meticulously arranged color and form play off each other in

startling and lambent ways.”

In the 2000s Johnson began making regular trips to New England and Asia, in particular painting trips to Truro, Massachusetts. His paintings have been exhibited at various galleries in New York (Tatistcheff Gallery), Los Angeles (Terrence Rogers Fine Art), San Diego (Thomas Babeor Gallery), Santa Fe (Munson Gallery & Mitchell-Brown Fine Art)Richmond (Reynolds Gallery), Denver (Robischon Gallery), San Francisco (Hackett-Freedman and Campbell-Thiebaud), Chatham, Scottsdale (Cline Fine Art), Portland (Augen Gallery), Provincetown (Schoolhouse Gallery and DNA) and St. Helena (I Wolk Gallery) as well as numerous museums as referenced in his CV.

Johnson has been a visiting artist at The American Academy in Rome, Borgo Finocchieto, The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and Castle Hill in Truro, MA. In addition to attending Parsons, Johnson studied painting and drawing at Staten Island Academy, Randolph-Macon College, The Washington Studio School, The Santa Fe Institute of Fine Arts and The New York Studio School. His paintings are in the permanent collections of 29 museums and over 700 private collections. Johnson is the subject of three monographs: Mitchell Johnson (2004, Terrence Rogers Fine art), Doppio Binario (2007, Musei Senesi) and Color as Content (2014 Bakersfield Museum of Art). A catalog for the 2021 Castle Hill exhibit is available at Amazon.com.

Johnson's paintings have appeared in numerous feature films, mostly Nancy Meyers projects, including The Holiday (2006), Crazy Stupid Love (2011), and It's Complicated (2009).

 

Stephanie H. Shih

Oyster-website - shih“Shih’s food products speak to a seismic shift in America’s demographics that began to take place around the time of the Civil Rights movement... [The] work is both aesthetic and political, a commentary on assimilation as a process in which one’s national origin is not forgotten or erased.” —Hyperallergic

STEPHANIE H. SHIH explores the diasporic nostalgia and material lineages of migration and colonization through the lens of the Asian American kitchen. Her painted ceramic sculptures examine the relationship between consumerism, cultural interchange, and identity in immigrant communities. Shih was born in the US, is of Taiwanese and Miao descent, and currently lives in Brooklyn.

Shih has had solo exhibitions at Stanley’s, LA (2021); Perrotin Editions, NYC (2020); and Wieden+Kennedy, Portland, OR (2019). Her work has also been shown at The Hole, NY (2021); Dinner Gallery, NY (2021); the American Museum of Ceramic Arts, Pomona, CA (2020); R & Company, Miami (2020); Hashimoto Contemporary, SF (2019); Underdonk, NY (2019); and Pioneer Works, NYC (2018). She has been featured in the LA Times, Hyperallergic, Cultured Magazine, Artsy, The Guardian, and NPR.

View CV. See more on Instagram. For all inquiries, including exhibition, price list, and press, please email Alli Gelles at studio @ stephanie h shih . com.

 

 


Bisa Butler

Bisa-Butler-I-know-why-the-caged-bird-sings-1200x581Hyperallergic writes on artist Bisa Butler:

Bisa Butler has a great name; it has almost a rock star quality. But she wasn’t born with it. Mailissa Veronica Yamba grew up in New Jersey, the daughter of a Ghanian-born university president (at Essex County College in Newark) and a French teacher from New Orleans. She graduated from Columbia High School in 1991, married, earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in painting and art education, and taught high school art for a decade while raising her children.

The story will sound familiar to many women artists. However, Butler has recently emerged as a significant art-world presence, with her first solo museum exhibition, Bisa Butler: Portraits, currently on view at the Art Institute of Chicago. (The exhibition opened in 2020 at the Katonah Museum of Art in upstate New York.) Butler gained success, quite remarkably, through the often-marginalized medium of quilting. Yet, what might seem like an overnight success is not. Butler had been showing work for 20 years with other African American quilt artists under the auspices of the curator, writer, and artist Carolyn Mazloomi. Butler was known in these circles, but it was not until three years ago that she surmounted biases in the contemporary art world against both people of color and fiber arts.

Butler’s breakthrough happened in 2018 at an art fair, Expo Chicago. Her work, presented by Claire Oliver Gallery, sold out during the first hour of the preview. I remember running into friends at the fair who asked breathlessly, “Did you see those quilts?” When Erica Warren, the textile curator at the Art Institute of Chicago, first saw the work at Expo, she was “transfixed and astonished.” “When the works came into my view in the crowded exhibition hall,” she told me by email, “there were a few particulars that really grabbed my attention, including the vibrant colors and patterns, the discerning gazes of the portraits’ subjects, and the balance and dynamism of the figural arrangements.” The Art Institute of Chicago subsequently acquired a major work, “The Safety Patrol” (2018). 

Butler’s work draws on the rich history of African American art: Her legacy lies with enslaved women creating embroidered quilts from scraps, her grandmother’s and mother’s needlework, Romare Bearden’s pioneering collages, AfriCOBRA’s self-fashioned aesthetics of the African Diaspora, James Van Der Zee’s studio photographs of elegant Black New Yorkers during the Harlem Renaissance, and activist artists — for instance, Faith Ringgold, whose monumental, Guernica-inspired vision of a race riot, “American People Series #20: Die,” (1967), was set in conversation with Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” (1907) when the renovated Museum of Modern Art opened in 2019. It was the Gee’s Bend quilts, however, in an exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2002, that inspired Butler, then a graduate student, to work with fabric.


LA2

LA2-paintingBorn and raised in the Lower East Side, Angel Ortiz (also known as LA2), like so many other kids would write on his desks and chairs in school. When his mother put him in the NYC Boys Club, which he loved because of the access to a swimming pool. His friends at the Boys Club were already tagging up in the streets, buses and sanitation trucks when asked him to join them in using the streets as their canvas. After that, Ortiz was tagging non-stop. He became the King of the buses and sanitation trucks. His tags were everywhere, At the age of 14, Ortiz met Keith Haring, an artist from Reading ,PA. Haring was attending The School of Visual Arts and had a studio in the Lower East Side (The Rat Studio). Of all the tags he saw around the city, the "The LA2 tag" stood out to him. He asked around to see if anyone knew whose tag it was and looked for Angel for months before they were finally introduced at Junior High School 22. Here, Haring and other graffiti artists were creating a mural. He asked if anyone knew LA2, to which SOE, Angel's friend responded and said, "I can get him for you." He went to Angel 's house, told him there is a guy with funny shorts and glasses asking for him. When he skeptically went over to the school, Haring could not believe Angel was a kid! They got along right away and loved learning from each other. Ortiz showed Haring some markers tricks- Keith did not know too much about markers, but he was the King with the brushes. It was as if they had always known each other.

Their first collaboration was that first day on a taxi hood in The Rat Studio. LA2 added his tags and crew names and asked Keith if he could add squiggly lines to add energy.  Two weeks later, Haring called Ortiz and told him he had sold the piece and he wanted to collaborate with him.  Tony Shafrazi gave him his first show with their collaborations in the Fluorescent Room.  Keith Haring then asked his mother's permission to take Angel traveling. He wrote a letter to his teacher and at the age of 15 he was exhibiting in Europe. Through Haring, Ortiz met art icons like Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Richard Hambleton. They exhibited for almost seven years, but continued collaborating till Keith's passing in 1991. 

 

Angel Ortiz lives in NYC and is still creating and exhibiting world wide.  LA2 HAS done work for various museums and programs, such as the Children's Museum of Arts, the Children's Museum of East End, Apple Village Arts and the Renaissance Charter School.  

 

He believes meeting Keith Haring was a blessing for both.  Humbled to this day that it was his tag that caught Keith's eye.


Jean Smith

Jean smithOnce an inspiration to a generation of would-be Riot Grrls, the Vancouver-based painter Jean Smith is now carrying a torch for every artist who dreamt of quitting their day job and making a difference through their work.

Since 2016, Smith has been creating a series of enigmatic portraits that are selling like hotcakes on her Facebook page. So far she has sold more than 1,500 canvas works that get snapped up within minutes.

The haunting portraits of women with angular faces, expressive dark eyes and plump red lips—differentiated by their accessories—are selling fast thanks to their US$100 price point.

The artist—half of the seminal 1980s punk rock duo Mecca Normal and precursor to the underground feminist movement known as Riot Grrrls—was inspired by the tradition of bands like the DIY style, anti-establishment Fugazi, who performed $5 gigs to increase accessibility. Her success has allowed Smith—who is also a novelist—to quit her day job at a Vancouver garden centre and work full time as an artist.

Smith has now raised more than $150,000 for her pet project, the Free Artist Residency for Progressive Social Change. She plans to purchase a suitable property for the residency, which will house her as well as visiting international artists. With Vancouver real-estate prices some of the highest in North America, edging out the city’s creative class, Smith is looking beyond the metropolitan area, although she says she is “open to sponsorship, partnership, collaboration and philanthropy” in order to secure a more centrally located property.

Inspired by photographs, Smith’s paintings (larger works are available at US$650) bear a certain resemblance to the artist. Divided into themes that include Pioneer of Aviation (one work offers a bemused fusion of Smith and Amelia Earhart) Skier, Nurse, Hat and No Hat, the works play with both female stereotypes and aspirations—such as the Affirmative series of mainly black women astronauts—in a way that is fittingly performative.

“There is an intention for emotions and injustices surrounding these images to be visible and understood,” says Smith.

The ArtNewspaper


Anna Torma

Anna tormaFrom Hyperallergic - Angels, devils, dragons, and monsters are just a few of the unruly creatures that maraud across Anna Torma’s delightfully chaotic textiles. The Hungarian-Canadian artist’s multicolored, swirling scenes are filled with semi-clothed human-animal crossovers tangled together in curious acts of sex and mischief. Inspired by fairy tales, children’s drawings, Hungarian folklore, and medieval legends, Torma’s playful, hand-sewn worlds present an especially engrossing escape from the bleakness of everyday pandemic life.

Torma was born in 1952 in Tarnaörs, a village in northern Hungary. Her first contact with art came from her parents: her father painted landscapes and still lifes when he wasn’t farming, and her mother and grandmothers taught the young artist regional needleworking techniques used to prepare a young woman’s bridal trousseau. Torma’s facility with class drawing assignments and skill with sewing doll clothes were early signs of her artistic path. “I have always been smart with my hands,” Torma told Hyperallergic in a video call from her New Brunswick studio. Torma, whose sunny studio is filled with potted plants and piles of new works, is shy but quick to smile, and speaks in a soft, melodic voice.

For decades, Torma has collected found textile objects like crochet doilies, embroidery samplers, lace, appliqué, and fabric clippings. Some of her favorites appear in her Personal Ribbon (2020) series. In these works, textile objects like scraps of traditional Hungarian embroidery and a fabric photograph of the artist’s grandparents are arranged along strips of hemp cloth. Collectively, the sequenced artefacts form a sort of exhibition within an exhibition of the artist’s personal and material points of origin. Unlike her previous works, these place Torma’s biography at their center. “Activities with textile are always very personal,” the artist said, and with these works, “I invite you to my life in a private way.”