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Construction Site
 June 17 - August 13, 2016

Construction Site examines the influence of architecture and the built world on abstraction. The exhibition includes paintings, sculpture, photography and textile pieces by Cathryn Arcomano, Mel Bernstine, Samantha Bittman, Eric Brown, Kellyann Burns, Paul Corio, Alison Hall, Jason Karolak, Liv Mette Larsen, Noah Loesberg, Christian Maychack, Erin O’Keefe, Gary Stephan, Altoon Sultan, Don Voisine, Laura Watt and Will Yackulic.
Gary Stephan’s painting references a wide variety of architectural forms, from cruciform floor plans, the structural decoration of a cross vaulted ceiling, to inverted volutes. While also exploiting a cruciform structure, Laura Watt executes an imaginary ceiling decoration in a kaleidoscopic pattern recalling tilework, as does Paul Corio’s optically charged and vividly colored painting which creates dimensional space through transitions from light to dark. Norwegian-born Liv Mette Larsen draws inspiration from the industrial environment of Bushwick, where she now lives and works on her reductive geometric paintings. Mel Bernstine’s colorful and playful interlocking polygons capture the rhythms and patterns of the urban environment. Jason Karolak’s linear paintings allude to architectural forms seen in his Brooklyn studio environment as well as travels to Italy, while his palette is suggestive of neon colors found in commercial signage. Kellyann Burns polishes the surfaces of her paintings, revealing earlier layers and creating multiple surface textures to convey the beauty of erosion and regeneration seen in the built world. Erin O’Keefe is a trained architect as well as a photographer; she explores the ambiguity of spatial perceptions by transforming three-dimensional arrangements of simple materials in her elegant staged photographs. The subtle and irregular geometries in Eric Brown’s paintings suggest the simplicity of a shadow cast on an urban sidewalk as well window frames or floor plans. Samantha Bittman’s geometric paintings are hand-woven on a loom and augmented with acrylic paint, in works whose patterns recall structures, passageways and architectural decoration. The simple, koan-like geometric shapes in Cathryn Arcomano’s paintings are set against richly surfaced gold or silver grounds, inspired by architectural forms seen in Fra Angelico’s paintings. Similarly, Noah Loesberg encases linear wooden patterns in resin sculptures that reference architecture depicted in Islamic manuscript painting. Will Yackulic thinks of his small scale ceramic vessels as portraits of individuals but rendered in the vocabulary of architecture: pyramidal forms, ziggurats, coffering, and even smokestacks. Christian Maychack deconstructs forms found in the built world in his painting/sculpture hybrids. Wooden slats and an asymmetric frame reveal intersections of colorfully stained epoxy sheets which resemble torn sheetrock and plaster. Don Voisine’s paintings of simple overlapping geometries are influenced by architectural plans and elevation views; the monumentality of his forms suggests the scale of the built environment. Altoon Sultan lives and works in rural Vermont. In an egg tempera on parchment painting she explores the subtle but glowing effects of light and shadow articulating the architectural surface of a shed for newborn calves. In her hooked wool textile piece, blues squares centered on the boundary between lighter and darker fields is at once purely abstract but also recalls windowed barn structures. Alison Hall’s paintings in indigo or black use Venetian plaster grounds of gesso and rabbit skin glue, painstakingly applied in multiple layers. They are adorned with subtle and shimmering linear geometric patterns inspired by architectural details seen during frequent travels in Italy.
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