First Friday Opening
October 3, 2014
6 - 9
Stamps, acrylic on paper, 3.5" x
The Joplin Paintings
October 3 - November 1,
I make art to
translate my existence into material memory. The act is at least as much like
burping or farting as it is philosophizing or reasoning with language. Myself
with my material circumstances in addition to whatever I consume combine and
concentrate in a work of art and this alchemy will usually produce something of
substance even if unpleasant. This helps me to become hyper aware of the
particulars of my existence and to more fully appreciate them while producing a
tangible relic of both the existence and its examination. It is a way to conjure
memories, a tool for investigation and above all a toy for messing around.
Drawing is at the core of everything I make and acts as an armature for all
other decisions to build on. The immediacy of capturing gesture and emotion and
creating space with a marking tool is an endless source of interest to me. This
process grants access to a conversation with my predecessors, my peers, and
artists to come.
On May 22, 2011 I woke up early to meet a
collector for breakfast in lower Manhattan to see about selling a triptych cheap
in order to save my truck because it had just been towed for the third time. It
went well and as I went to the bank I realized my state tax return had been
direct deposited. I called a friend to celebrate. After eating and drinking our
way through Lower East Side and Chelsea we ended up at the theatre watching
Werner Herzogs Cave of Forgotten Dreams. When I woke up (it was a soothing movie
and I’d had a big day) the movie was over and I noticed my mom had called eight
times. I didn’t listen to the messages and called her back. "A tornado hit
Joplin, Travis! It wiped out everything!”
I took the photos referenced in these paintings
my first hour or so in Joplin, Missouri when I was driving around town with my
dad looking at where his mother and grandmother had lived and taking in the
scale of the mess. I spent a little over a month on two visits helping clean
around my grandpa’s property before settling back into New York where I started
to paint from photos for the first time. A conversion occurs in “The Joplin
Paintings.” A fast, random, incredibly destructive force fuels slow, deliberate,
creative effort. I am acting as the not quite equal but opposite reaction to the
2011 Tornado. This slow labor also mimics the clean up and rebuilding effort hat
Because the source in photography is obvious the
paintings have a sense of fact about them. They are proof of something that did
happen. They likewise call attention to deviations from that source. It’s
possible to trace the decision-making and see where I’ve strayed off course or
goofed off. These formal considerations refer to the limitations of the flat
surface as well as exploit a picture’s freedom from the laws of gravity and
mass. Those manipulations are an attempt to paint experience back into the
International Friendship Art Exhibition
for Edgar Snow
Mr. Tang Mingsong & Mr. Nie Chengxing
October 3 - November 1, 2014
Stoic, oil on panel, 14"x14"
Waiting, oil on canvas,
October 3 - November 29, 2014
Over the last five
years, I have been primarily working with the figure and exploring different
combinations of representation and abstraction. The painting process is
intuitive, with one mark informing the next and very little planning done in
advance. This sense of uncertainty is one of the more rewarding parts of the
process for me and leads to an active dialogue between the painting and myself.
Though the abstractions are not mapped out, the marks are intentionally precise,
as opposed to being "painterly". Within this pursuit, I have also been trying to
develop my use of color and create greater complexity throughout the work. Upon
close examination, a wide range of skin tones can be seen along with hundreds of
minuscule abstract marks. The work in Aberrations is the culmination of
this broad exploration and is a bridge to a new, more refined pursuit that this
visual language can continue to build upon.
The word "aberrations" refers not only to the cloud-like
swarm of abstract marks surrounding and encompassing the figures, but also to
what these marks could represent. Over time, I have begun to consider these
marks as analogous to the subtle chaos and seemingly infinite complexity in
life. Some days they simply represent the bombardment of digital information and
visual stimuli we are increasingly subject to. Yet at other times, the neutral
facial expressions paired with these abstractions imply a more internalized
narrative and a glimpse into the psyche of my subjects. This imbuement of
meaning is relatively recent and has added a much more intellectually
stimulating layer to what was primarily a technical pursuit.
Born in 1985, David Slone received a BA in Art from
Anderson University in South Carolina. After graduation, he worked as a graphic
designer while maintaining an active studio practice, and became a contributing
member of Art Bomb Studios, an artist collective in Greenville, SC. Since 2012,
he has been living and working in Sterling, KS.
He was as Tough and Romantic as the City He Loved
October 3 - November 1, 2014
Lower Level Gallery
You close your eyes while waiting for the subway. The train is about to arrive and the thick summer air which has been trapped underground is disturbed and made refreshing. You want the temporary wind to touch your arms, your legs, your forehead.
We have to stand close to one another in the subway. We see people staring at the floor, as if in mourning, or maybe they're just incredibly bored. We see children holding their mothers' hands, drifting between waking and sleep.
Minutes later we gather ourselves and enter the chaos contained in numbered avenues and streets. Sunlight heats the garbage heaps on the sidewalk, which we are beginning to not notice anymore. We deal with the city differently - some of us want to organize it, some record it, analyze it, observe it. The city is alive and changing, and we keep up in our own ways. It's interesting to write about something that seemed so much in the present. Something about New York makes it impossible to dwell on the past and difficult to plan far in advance.
It's what they call a whirlwind romance. You feel nervous, and maybe your palms get a little sweaty and you long to make it work, to make it beautiful, or at least understand.
Soon you're in the middle of Times Square and you think it could be a good time to yell something important, or maybe just to whisper.
30” x 30”
30” x 30”
Somewhere Over 5
Collagraph and relief print
26” x 20”
Collagraph and relief print
42.5” x 36”
Structure, Story & Flow
Jessie Van der Laan
September 5 - November 1, 2014
Pele Prints is a collaborative fine art printmaking studio dedicated to creating limited edition prints and original works of art. At Pele Prints, we take a non-traditional approach to each project and encourage experimentation. Here artists are free to explore their ideas in the studio, using multiple print processes as a jumping-off point. While the print medium is the primary focus, finished pieces may also include three-dimensional components, collage, handwork, and/or various other elements. The goal is to create a unique body of work that displays the curiosity, learning, and constant discovery exemplified in the collaborative process at its best.
In addition to being an artist, Amanda Verbeck is the collaborative printer and publisher at Pele Prints. She is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and has 14 years of experience as a printmaker. After working with several presses in the St. Louis area, Amanda started Pele Prints in 2006.
Featuring a selection of new and recent work created at Pele Prints by a range of artists, these exhibitions will ex-plore related themes of design, structure and narrative inspired by organic forms, nature and humanity.
Structure, Story & Flow presents imagery inspired by nature, form, and human fantasy. Opulent, large-scale prints invoking waves, wings, landscapes and atmosphere juxtapose intimate, textural works reminiscent of cell struc-tures and light. These formal, more abstract adventures of color and gesture complement fantastical narratives merging aspects of human, animal and architecture within psychologically charged vignettes.
This exhibition is curated by Heather Lustfeldt, a curator, writer, educator and collection consultant in Kansas City. Heather is currently Curator at Epsten Gallery Foundation in Overland Park, KS.