Posts tagged Contemporary
Zsanett Jeck

Zsanett Jeck is an accurate contemporary observer of both the social and the private. During her search for the exact articulation of our interpersonal relationships in their complexity, she learned to master the diverse technical heritage of western painting. In her work, Jeck represents her subjects as human beings suspended between their dreams or desires and the determining factors which regulate their daily lives, such as their age, family, and social class. This intention is reflected by her choice of colors which despite the inclusion of seemingly conflicting elements is always kept in harmony by means of subtle composition.

Alexia Brehas

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, currently based in Melbourne, Australia, and regularly travelling across the globe, the work of Alexia Brehas is heavily shaped by her experiences with place and people. 

Working with ink on paper, as well as delicate metal engraving work, Alexia specialises in fine ink drawings comprised of tens of thousands of dots. Her practice is grounded upon clarity of intent and consideration to detail within all work. The presence of negative space acts as a secondary subject on its own, married to the meticulous detail of the artwork. 

This harmony of parallels is reflected within the artist, who works within a consciously limited world of black and white. Alexia's work embodies an appreciation for the sublime, transient beauty of nature, humanity, and ritual, while also exploring its direct counterpart in mass manufacturing and consumerism. Coming from a background in art and graphic design, both the artist and subject matter attempt to reflect this uneasy relationship. 

The laborious physicality of her craft, particularly the extremely fine, intricate dots Alexia chooses to use, requires intense concentration and a steady hand. This technique encourages viewers to inspect the work more closely, adding an extra sense of depth once you understand that the artwork is the sum of many parts, rather than one whole.

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Leighton Kelly at Athen B. Gallery





Artists Statement - To create a statement as an artist has always been a difficult task for me. I am of two minds on the whole concept of what defines “Art" or who an “Artist" is.  There are times throughout my week in which i set aside a few days for not “Being" anything at all.  Being an empty vessel (see: lazy) helps cleanse the pallet from the tedious burden of being anything at all.  Though, I’ll admit, on the grand scale of things being called an “Artist” has been a most reoccurring theme. So I’ll put on that hat and try something new: to attempt to write a statement on what this Solo/Group Exhibition, All of the Things, could possibly be about.

Some time ago, I decided to take a sabbatical from producing artwork for public viewing. I had been stubbornly making a piece of art every day and posting it on a blog I called “Day-one 2012”. After two straight years of persistent posting, I began to feel like I was not making "The Arts” for the right reasons. At that time, I didn’t even know what the "Right Reasons" were but I knew that doing it for the ”Likes” wasn’t it. To remedy this conundrum I began to make Art with the intention that I would not show it to anyone, ever. Really, it was an experiment just to see if I actually liked making it in the first place. It’s a peculiar fact in this world that how we label ourselves, or are labeled by others, rarely suits who we really are. It turns out that not only did I love to make “the Art" but mysteriously, without the guiding hand of the public encouragement or discouragement, my output increased like a broken faucet.

As a consequence, I discovered a plethora of new mediums, styles, concepts, and perspectives that I had never even considered before. The byproduct of this was that my home became a makeshift museum and the walls began to sag with the weight of a new and unusual menagerie. When people did come by to visit, I began to become increasingly encouraged by them to present these works to the public.  One thing led to another, and I was approached by our friends at Athen B Gallery to do a solo show of “All Of The Things” that I had been hoarding away in my laboratory. I accepted the invitation and let myself know that all the things we had planned on never showing anyone, ever, were going to be presented to the public on July 15th 2017. I took the news as well as can be expected.

It was only practical to call it a Solo/Group Exhibition. In my time experimenting with any new idea that swept through my mind, a new voice and theme emerged with each creative obsession. All of which I recognized as being facets of one complex prism of my experience of being an “Artist”, while the works maintained unique vocal tones unto themselves. Perhaps, to the untrained eye, all of the series in this exhibition may all look quite different from each other, but since they all came from my “Self”, the subtitle, "Solo/Group” seemed most accurate

All that being said, if I had to give myself a style or medium with which I could identify, it would be "Palette Cleansing". Or rather, Cleansing my Palate from whatever style or medium I had been so fully absorbed with previously, then switching tracks to something totally new, has been the most reoccurring theme in my process. I would get into one medium for a while, and then, once I had absorbed everything I needed to know about it, move on to another. I could go from Painting, Sculpture, Illustration, Bricolage, Robotics, Erotic Collage, Weaponized Fruit Modification, Demonstrative Ranting, and back to Sculpture again without much concern for a solitary focus on one single Art Form. If I was moved to do it, I did it, until I was done with it. Thus I found myself surrounded by All of the Things with nowhere to go. So, now they all want out. For better or worse, you can see them for yourselves in all their multitudinous glory…. Or do something else. It’s your life.

Bio - One winter day I got birthed into this mortal coil. It was such a monumental experience I blocked it out completely and to this day still cannot recall the event. However, from trusted sources I was told that soon after learning how to use motor skills I discovered STUFF and THINGS. Slowly, I learned how to turn some Things into new Stuff with those very same motor skills. Thanks to the encouragement of those tasked with the tremendous chore of raising devil children, I continued to make Things out of Stuff without much external resistance. Because of that encouragement, and the feeling that making things was mostly more rewarding than the mundanities of real life. I got better at making Stuff and was given the dubious title of "an Artist" while the Things I was making became “Art”... Or so I was informed. Then, when I could do other Stuff on my own, I did, and it always had to do with making Things. I tried other types of Things that didn’t have a lot to do with actually Making anything but more to do with Observing everything which led me to many years traveling the world. Over there I discovered there was A LOT of foreign Stuff and ALL of it was being made into Things. Can you imagine my surprise? It fairly boggles the mind to even comprehend the monumental weight of our collective works pressing upon the fragile mantle of this delicate blue globe and yet we persist in our infinite. Volatile excreting like monstrous sausage geysers.

Really, tho… What else is there to do? But I digress... Out in that big bad world of ours I tried out many different and sometimes glitzy paths just to see what was so alluring. I explored the Fashion industry, Television and the Stage all of which were grand lessons of making Things from highly rarefied and often nebulous and etherial Stuff. As an aside, I wouldn’t recommend two of those paths to anyone unless you have a penchant for masochism and thankless tedium. After more time still, I put my roots back down in the Bay Area, left behind the old Stuff of the world, and began to make new Things out of all that i gathered from a life lived trying out as many ways to Exist as I could. Which has led us to this moment right now, letting you know everything you ever needed to know about the Biography of this Artist up till Now. 

Kirsten Ledbetter

Kirsten Ledbetter is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Art Education, a Bachelor of Fine Arts with concentrations in Painting and Ceramics as well as a minor in Special Education.

Her desire is to be as versatile as possible in order to take advantage of any opportunity that comes her way. She has determination and motivation to fulfill any task and her academic performance, in her five years at Miami, exemplifies this. During her time at Miami, she received many scholarships and grants for her studio work, her art education research, as well as her academic merit. During her five years at Miami, she also had many opportunities for involvement and leadership; she served as president of the student chapter of the National Art Education Association on the Miami University campus for the 2015-2016 academic year.

She is also passionate about arts education and travel. In the summer of 2016, she was an intern at the Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati for their arts summer camp. She has also had international experiences during her time at Miami; in the summer of 2015, she traveled to the city of Freiburg im Breisgau, Baden-Württemberg, Germany for an intensive language summer course at the Albert-Ludwigs Universität. She also had teaching experience that was facilitated through her university. She taught in the United States and Luxembourg; she spent eight weeks teaching kindergarten through fourth grade at Madeira Elementary School in Cincinnati, Ohio and then spent eight weeks teaching at the Nordstad Lycée in Diekirch, Luxembourg teaching sixth grade through twelfth grade in English, German and French.

A passionate artist, she is in a tumultuous yet prolific time of making in her studio. She is searching for her own independent voice through the creation of seemingly every idea that enters her mind. During her last semester, she participated in her Capstone Exhibition “Still Just as Qualified” where she exhibited new experimental works. She has had an exhilarating last semester at Miami that will propel her into her next chapter of life.

She will be vigilant and open-minded for: exhibition opportunities, publication opportunities, collaboration opportunities, almost any opportunity that allows her to continue making and share her work with others. Kirsten will be creating a portfolio over the next two years with the goal of applying to and then attending graduate school in Germany where she hopes to work toward her Master of Fine Arts.

My art investigates my identity as a woman and what it means to be a 21st-century woman. My work explores who I am and the relation of my identity to women’s identities in the past. I work in a variety of materials and kind of collect items but in a very specific way. I almost pay attention to each detail of a piece as well as the process of creating a piece. I nurture each piece as it takes nurturing to develop as an individual, the process of coming to where we are now is something that is very important to me. I also am interested in the topic of ‘high’ art versus ‘low’ art; meaning highly revered, traditionally and often costly materials versus creating art with easier to access, less costly materials. I make informed material choices also for the kinds of thoughts it provokes in viewers. Sewing and textile work traditionally falls under the ‘low’ art category because it can be learned/taught. It is also used more readily and is more accessible to people when compared to traditional oil painting, sculpture work, etc. Sewing is part of everyone’s lives; clothing, bedding, towels, repairing clothing, quilting, etc. I explore the art of sewing and textiles in my work and take into consideration the perspective of them as ‘low’ art and traditional feminine crafts. In this exploration, I work in nontraditional methods, incorporating nontraditional materials. Along with the subject of femininity, feminism and the modern world, I explore the ideas of discovery, investigation/exploration, veiling, symbolism, color and light. I experiment with texture, light, color, fabric, stenciling, layering, installation, thread, and other materials that catch my curiosity. The ideas that I explore also come into consideration when I consider the vocabulary or language used for my work. Veiling, investigation, fog: these words contribute to my exploration and the language that purveys my work, which aids me in asserting my voice.

Katherine Bradford

Bradford (b. 1942, New York) lives and works in New York and Maine. Her works have been exhibited at MoMA PS 1, New York; the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Portland Museum of Art, Maine; the Addison Gallery of American Art, Massachusetts; the Weatherspoon Gallery, North Carolina; and the University of the Arts, Philadelphia. She has been honored with an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her work is in the permanent collections of New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the New York Public Library; the Wooster Art Museum, Ohio; the Portland Museum of Art, Maine; Farnsworth Museum, Maine; Smith College Museum, Massachusetts; Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania; the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; and the University of Delaware.

Surviving Art Basel: A Guide For Beginners

via Artconnect

If you hadn’t noticed yet, last weekend from June 15th until 18th Switzerland was opening its doors to strangers from all over the world. Is my native country improving its immigration politics? No, it was the 48th edition of Art Basel, one of the leading fairs for modern and contemporary art in the world.

So, let’s get our facts straight: 

Art Basel was founded by Swiss gallerists Ernest Beyeler, Trudi Bruckner and Balz Hilt in the 70s and takes its name from its place of origin; Basel, a ravishing little town set at the borders between Switzerland and Germany.

The show, recorded from the beginning as a great success, became in few years the Mecca for Modern and Contemporary art, being at the forefront of the best and newest artists and galleries as well as expanding internationally with shows in Miami Beach and Hong Kong. La crème de la crème in other words!

The fair is organised over 3 full days and offers a variety of events such as talks, films, performances, photography, but the actual core of Art Basel are the galleries, counting up to 291 spaces and featuring the artworks of more than 4,000 artists.

If you had as little time as I did to enjoy this wonderful concentration of culture and art, let’s say that you will probably get out looking like one of Picasso’s paintings (mine was probably similar to “La Femme qui Pleure” (1937)).

Molly Catherine Scannell 

Molly Catherine Scannell Words have never been my friend. I consider myself mostly, a visual social hermit. I love my friends intensely and love having fun, but I will always sneak away and mostly, curiously, secretly observe the world as it whirls around me with a big smile.

I have learned much from 'living' a big life and the people living around me, including the ‘familiar strangers’ and familiar friends. I often see them in my work. I love people, making, working with teams, and being absolutely ‘100% solo’. Also, I deeply love mentoring and learning new things everyday. I maintain my identity as not only and artist but as a working mother/woman because it brings so much deep responsibility to me. The best kind, which is the kind you must curate and grow with unyielding passion. You MUST own it. My three daughters will learn this; know that they have choices to be whomever they want to be in life - no matter how hard. They get to write and direct the opening scene as they see fit. That is how I feel about the art I make. They are windows really, to mostly somewhere, hopefully, amazingly fantastic.

I feel as though I have purpose and meaning to why I do what I do everyday- it’s fueled by passion and desire... my minimal requirements. I often reflect on my own childhood and how precious it was that has made me who I am today. It was a magical space to cultivate curiosity and creativity. I wish there was more of that purity in the world today.

Live your everyday as a gift…..or as often as you can.

Lauren Bierly

Lauren Bierly is a visual artist and arts professional living and working in New York City. Her artwork has been exhibited in New York City; Portland, OR; San Francisco, CA; and Kolkata, India. She is also Manager of Special Exhibitions and Projects for The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Bierly holds an M.A. in Modern Art, Connoisseurship, and History of the Art Market from Christie’s Education, New York (2010), and Bachelor of Architecture and Minor in Art History from Pennsylvania State University (2009).

My work is an investigation into sensory perception on both personal and communal levels. Through artwork, I identify visual languages and systems to draw out commonalities between people and the differences that make people unique.

Using invisible differences, like neurological conditions, I unpack subjectivity and the mental space of feeling. Synaesthesia—a neurological condition in which sensory modalities, such as taste, sound, and vision, are cross-wired—is an entirely subjective experience. Subjectivity rendered it taboo and thought-to-be-impossible to diagnose until a resurgence in neuroimaging with MRIs in the 1980s. "Color Translations" is a tangible exercise in translating my neurological experience of grapheme-color (word-to-color) synaesthesia into reality. The series is a study in color theory, form, and spatial perception governed by one process: translating essays, letter by letter, into color.

Erin Loree

Suffused with vibrant colour, swirling with the rhythms of life, the richly expressive paintings of Erin Loree draw you in and don’t let go. While the field of abstraction has become densely populated, truly original voices in this contemporary art mainstay are relatively few. Erin Loree is one such voice, and this breakout show will prove it. Erin Loree creates a sense of churning chaos, held in perfect balance yet ever on the verge of collapse, and captures the quality of impermanence that she views as an essential aspect of life.

Erin Loree graduated with a BFA in Drawing and Painting from Ontario College of Art and Design University, where she was awarded the 2012 Medal for Drawing and Painting. Since graduating she has participated in numerous group shows including the influential Kim Dorland-curated I  Paint 2 at Angell Gallery in Toronto, and in San Francisco. Solo exhibitions include Midnight Bloom at Angell Gallery in Toronto and Become the Sky in Montreal. In the fall of 2016, Erin was selected for the Bill and Isabel Pope Residency in painting at NSCAD in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Loree’s work has been featured in, the Toronto Star, Beautiful Decay and the Huffington Post.

Andy Dixon

Andy Dixon is hyper-aware of art’s relationship with money. Signifiers of wealth abound in his large acrylic paintings, which take as their subjects stately lords, reclining nudes, ornate ballrooms, bathing beauties, and prominent paintings of the aforementioned motifs. Borrowing content from Renaissance art, Flemish still lifes, and Google Image searches of "most expensive vases", his subject matter is selected on the basis of public expectation of what an expensive painting should look like. By sampling content verified as valuable by the market, Dixon positions his own work to ask, "What is the value of a painting of a valuable object?"

Our value of art is truly a phenomenon that operates on a set of rules distinct from the ones that govern the rest of our world. Paintings which feature the tropes Dixon samples from perhaps at one time had social or political agency but are now simply commodities assigned value by the highest bidder. Paintings of expensive things are themselves expensive things collected by the wealthy to promote the luxury lifestyle. However, Dixon isn't out to mock the affluent. Rather, he is a complicit player in the game; his larger paintings of upper class social scenes tend to feature his own previous paintings hanging on the walls in the background. As Alex Quicho writes in Luxury Object, Luxury Subject, “His postmodern non-interest in either vilifying or reifying luxury cooly transmutes its weirdness.” A self-taught painter, he treats his high-brow content in a crude manner, matching a vivid pastel palette with rough line treatment. His practice has recently expanded to include 3D sculptures which mimic the figures in his paintings—absurdly disproportionate, yet still created with an eye toward beauty. In this way, Dixon's own appreciation of his subject matter is evident; and while his work questions the subjective valuation of artwork, it also proves that it doesn't necessarily detract from its beauty.

ANDY DIXON (b. 1979, Vancouver, Canada) has exhibited extensively since 2007 including the following solo exhibitions; Expensive Things I, Winsor Gallery, Art Toronto (2016) and Expensive Things II, Winsor Gallery, Vancouver (2016), Leisure Studies, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, New York (2015) and Canadiana, Initial Gallery, Vancouver (2015). Dixon has participated in numerous Group Exhibitions and Art Fairs including Art Paris and Art Central; Fuse, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver (2012), Nova Festival, Café Mitte, Barcelona (2012), and I felt Board, Black & Yellow Gallery, Vancouver (2012). 

Via Beers London

Mark Liam Smith

Mark Liam Smith (b. 1973, Middlesbrough, England) developed an interest in art at an early age and spent much of his childhood drawing obsessively. After completing three bachelor degrees—Fine Arts (Painting), Science (Physiology), and Arts (Linguistics)—at the University of Saskatchewan, he moved to Paris to continue studying art in some of the world’s greatest museums. After some time, he returned to Canada to pursue a Ph.D. in Linguistics at McGill University.

Since moving to Toronto in early 2015, Mark has had several exhibitions, notably in Toronto, London, New York, and at the SCOPE Basel art fair in Switzerland. He has been granted the Emerging Artist Award by the Federation of Canadian Artists and featured by Hi-Fructose, Booooooom, and Bizarre Beyond Belief Magazine, among others.

Mark is represented by Galerie Youn (Montreal), Rouge Gallery (Saskatoon), and 19 Karen Contemporary (Gold Coast, Australia). 

Mark currently lives and works in Toronto.  


This series of paintings, A Day at the Met, examines the subjectivity of perception in art. When we view art, we filter it through our education, experiences, and emotions to derive meaning. An artist's intended meaning will thus have as many nuanced interpretations as there are viewers. This body of work is a meta-statement on the relationship between the artist, the art, and the viewer. 

This series was inspired by my observations of people at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. I wondered what these people brought to the art they were observing; specifically, how each interpretation was as unique as the viewer. In my paintings, I show what I imagine to be each viewer’s interpretation of the art they are observing by incorporating surreal elements and highly saturated color.

Because I am color-blind, I long had to rely on my knowledge of color-mixing formulas to recreate skin tones and other local colors. Later in my practice, I realized that local colors served only to restrict my expression. By viewing my color-blindness as a strength rather than as a weakness, I began embracing the use of non-local colors to develop my work. I use non-local colors to exaggerate the idea of subjectivity.

"A is Yellow" by Anchovy and Julija Goyd

Via Artconnect

A is Yellow is an ongoing collaboration between Anchovy ( and Julija Goyd. Born out of a simple curiosity of what language might look like, the collection of silk scarves suggests a literal way to speak through your appearance. Design of each of the pieces is defined by an algorithm that distorts letterforms, creating an abstract flow of color. The language thus becomes a tactile artifact bound by physical ties with the human body.

Pete Hoffecker Mejia

Born in Bogota, Colombia, of Indigenous descent, yet raised in the United States, Pete Hoffecker Mejía’s work assembles indigenous patterns of the Americas, retail and home décor motif, and Modernist geometric abstraction, to explore the intersection of contrasting cultural influence, the mediation of identity, and conflation and caricature in the representation of ‘otherness’. 

The often colorful, found item and wooden structures investigate the blurred points of contact resulting from estrangement, while also looking at global cultural interaction and the continuing impacts of colonialization. 

He received a Bachelor in studio art from the University of Memphis and is currently at Indiana University where he is an associate instructor while pursuing an MFA in Sculpture.


Born in Bogotá, Colombia, of indigenous ancestry, adopted by a multi-racial family and raised in the United States, I have naturally been consumed with issues of culture and identity. This interest in identity is intertwined with the interrogation of seemingly monolithic histories, and the mediation of relational self. 

Pulling from a background in carpentry and store display; architectural framing and merchandising techniques merge with a decidedly modernist formal language. The combined interests in indigenous art, geometric abstraction, and representations of ‘otherness’ in consumer culture are assembled to explore the intersection of disparate cultural influence. The amalgamation of these elements works towards creating a subtext which explores global cultural interaction, mediation of identity, and conflation and caricature in the representation of otherness. 

A special attention to the pattern is iterated throughout the work. This is enhanced by an exaggerated, and almost plastic, a color palette which permeates, yet is softened, and offset by the natural character of the wood. The works adhere to, and at times disrupts the grid. The use of layering and multiplicity is employed to create a fragmented totality. The composite structure acknowledges derivation from indigenous visual sources, while also remaining strongly suggestive of Modernist geometric abstraction, retail clothing, and faux indigenous home décor motif. It also becomes a record of blurred references and codified symbols alluding to fragmented and conflated histories. 

Combining these traditions that share visual similarities, but are culturally dissimilar, and forging congruous and incongruous connections between them, allows me to identify and give identity to my own perceptual bearing. This also allows me to make work that explores the blurred points of contact resulting from estrangement while touching on our complicity in the conflated representations of ‘otherness’ in mass culture. 

It permits me to create a critical space to examine art, culture and the boundaries between them.

Parker G. Palenik 

I am constantly discovering fascinating colors, forms, and textures that speak to me as an abstract artist. I avoid representational imagery to give myself the greatest opportunity for improvisation and to give the viewer the greatest opportunity for interpretation. For me, each painting or sculpture has a feeling that I associate with it, but I don’t try to consciously draw a feeling, rather I try to let my hand work automatically as I sketch out forms. When I see something that resonates with me, I develop the image, re-drawing it several times, until I have a clearly formed visual idea. These sketches are then typically used to form a finished work or the foundation of a body of works. 

I expect the viewer's interpretation to be formed around their own memories and experiences. I hope the viewer can also find their own feelings for the work. Even though the forms are non-representational I am very comfortable with people saying “ it looks like a boat” or “a dragon.” To make connections! To see and understand the relationship between things or people is one of the highest forms of thinking we can do. Abstract art can teach us about how this thought process works and gets down to the origins of how we acquired this skill. As an artist, I understand that each viewer is asking themselves one of the most difficult questions humans have learned to answer "What does it say to me?"

Michele Kishita

Michele Kishita is a Philadelphia-based artist who grew up in the vastly different landscapes of rural Central Pennsylvania and the Arizona desert. She uses colors found in nature that are not typically associated with “natural” colors and focuses on water as her primary subject. Kishita lived in Japan and spent time as a Japanese print specialist and consultant, authenticating, translating, and appraising woodblock prints for auction houses and collectors. Her paintings are strongly influenced by the graphic, stylized quality of Hiroshige and Hokusai, as well as the compositions of ukiyo-e. Kishita’s paintings are in a number of private/corporate collections and shown extensively on the East Coast. She has been published in Fresh Paint Magazine and The Artist Catalogue, as well as several literary journals, and was selected to exhibit at the Sharjah Art Museum in the United Arab Emirates, which ran concurrent with the Sharjah Biennial. Kishita received both her BFA and MFA in painting from the University of the Arts.


My work is a dialogue between the wooden surfaces on which I paint and the trees from which those panels were built. By transforming a tree’s rounded mass into flat, rectangular sheets, man imposes control over nature with straight lines and angles. Despite the tree’s new shape, the undulations of what it once was emerge from the boxy surface. The panels are a record of man’s relationship with nature while also highlighting life's central interconnectedness. The measure of a tree’s growth and the amount of water taken annually, is evident in the wood grain’s concentric circles; thus, the history of the landscape is contained within the tree itself. In my work, I strive to tease out the landscape that is inherently a part of each panel, while expressing the visual contrast and harmony where man-made structures and nature intersect.