Curated by Ashley Garrett and Anna Ortiz
AUGUST 4 – SEPTEMBER 10, 2017
OPENING RECEPTION FRIDAY, AUGUST 4, 6–9 PM
CHRISTOPHER BERTHOLF • KAT CHAMBERLIN • MAUREEN DRENNAN • SHARONA ELIASSAF • PAUL METRINKO • MEREDITH HOFFHEINS • JENNY LEE • JOSHUA SEVITS • SUSAN WIDES
“The self is only a threshold, a door, a becoming between two multiplicities.”
“I never succeed in painting scenes, however beautiful, immediately upon returning from them. I must wait for a time to draw a veil over the common details.”
Portals considers the concept of landscape as a reflection of self. This range of paintings, drawings and photographs acts as a gateway into the experience of these nine artists. Depicted in personal, intimate scales, a range of real and invented imagery comprises a cross-section of approaches to the contemporary landscape. Energized and fantastical, dark and foreboding, these microcosms imply contradictory feelings of both safety and vulnerability. Creating spaces to peer into, but not necessarily through, these artists explore paths of escape while allowing us access to altered realities. As with the reflection from a portal’s glass, the viewer faces her own presence and occupation of space in the act of viewing.
Out of the shape and texture of a landscape emerges the first clue into an artist’s subjectivity. The works in Portals manipulate artificial proportions. These interpretations of the land break from traditional horizon-driven vistas into compositions that are jammed up, graphic, or ethereally floating. Spaces oscillate between perspectival depth and flattened surfaces, leaving the viewer in undefined territory full of potential. Through their imagined worlds, these artists transform memories and traumas into fantastical spaces; in some the results are haunting, while others are disarming.
Like a portal or passageway, technology can open uncharted mindscapes full of new kinds of energy and promise, while editing and shaping our experience. As we acclimate to experiencing life in conjunction with new technologies, we become further detached from our terrestrial surroundings, the physical space we occupy falling out of focus. We fight to stay present, often nostalgic for a recent past that did not include the digital mediation of our experience. In this increasingly digital world, the physicality of the landscapes in Portals is more vital than ever. Through brushstrokes, blurred and hard edges, these images test our attention, slowing down our consumption in spaces that pose more questions than answers.
Chris Bertholf is a Brooklyn-based painter and sculptor. Born in Kansas, he developed an
interest in art early on and pursued this, completing a B.F.A. in painting in 1999. After moving to Italy to continue to study painting and residing there for several years, Bertholf relocated to New York City in 2001. He currently works as a scenic artist at the Metropolitan Opera, is a founding member of the Underdonk Collective, and divides his time between New York City and the upstate Hudson Valley.
Born in the Netherlands and raised in Turkey, Kat Chamberlin is a Brooklyn-based artist whose work centers on fictions that fill vacuums of historic knowledge, such as legends, conspiracies or supernatural phenomena, as well as the identities that these fictions create. Spanning across drawing, installation and film, Chamberlin’s work has been exhibited across the U.S., internationally, and featured in exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, The Chicago Cultural Center, Barbara and Steven Grossman Gallery in Boston, and Gana Art in New York City. Kat completed her Masters in Fine Art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is the recipient of a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, the Toby Devan Lewis Award, and the William Dole Award.
Maureen Drennan is a photographer born and based in New York City. Her work has been included in exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C., the Tacoma Art Museum, Chelsea Art Museum, the Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design, Silver Eye Center for Photography, Newspace Center for Photography, Colorado Photographic Arts Center, and Aperture Gallery. Her images have been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, California Sunday Magazine, Photograph Magazine, Huffington Post, American Photo, UK Telegraph, Refinery 29, and the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. She has received awards from Aperture, The Photo Review, PDN, The Photographic Resource Center of Boston, Humble Arts, Artist as Citizen, the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and the Camera Club of New York. She currently teaches at LaGuardia Community College in Queens, New York.
Sharona Eliasaf (B. 1980) is an American and Israeli painter who lives and works both in New
York and Tel Aviv. She received her BFA from Bezalel Academy of art and design, Jerusalem in
2004, her MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York in 2011, and attended the Skowhegan
School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine in 2011. Recently her work has been exhibited in a solo exhibition at Hezi Cohen Gallery in Tel Aviv and has been included in numerous group exhibitions an publications. Her work has also been included in the 2012 biennial exhibition at the Queens Museum of Art, New York, Braverman Gallery, E.tay Gallery, Trestle Projects, September Gallery, and Beverly’s, among others. In 2012 Eliassaf cofounded “The Willows” an artist run exhibition series in Brooklyn Heights with artist Emily Weiner.
Paul Metrinko (b. 1986) received his BFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 2011. He has exhibited nationally and internationally including recent solo exhibitions at CSA Space in Vancouver and Deli Gallery in Long Island City. He has also exhibited at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, FOUR A.M., The Hand, Zero Zero Los Angeles, and Harbinger Projects in Reykjavik. He lives and works in New York City.
Meredith Hoffheins was born in Hanover, Pennsylvania in 1987. Her hometown, having experienced a suburban transformation, has been a primary influence for the subject of her paintings. She is intrigued by mankind’s effect on landscape, especially when primarily decorative or subtly used as a palliative. Meredith earned her MFA in Painting and Drawing at Pratt Institute in 2012. She has recently exhibited with Crush Curatorial in New York, NY, Trestle Projects and Kentler International Drawing space in Brooklyn, NY and she was an artist in residence at Wassaic Projects.
Jennifer Lee is a Brooklyn-based artist from Pittsburgh, PA. She holds a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and an MFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design 2010. She has studied at École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris France and has attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in the summer of 2009. She has shown in various artist-run spaces in New York City and Brooklyn and at the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh. Her other projects include Sister, a curatorial platform and guest editor at Black Cat Journal.
Born and raised in New Jersey and New York City, Joshua Sevits is currently living in rural VT. Joshua Sevits holds an MFA from Lesley University College of Art and Design and a BFA from the School of Visual Arts. Most recently his paintings have been exhibited at the COOP Gallery in Nashville, TN, the Trestle Gallery in Brooklyn, NY and the Sarah Doyle Center for Women and Gender Studies at Brown University. In addition to crafting furniture in Calais, he teaches at the Community College of VT.
Susan Wides’ work has been widely exhibited and collected throughout the U.S. and Europe. Solo exhibitions include a recent mid-career survey at The Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY; The Center for Creative Photography, AZ; The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, New Paltz, NY; Art in General; MTA Arts for Transit; PS122; Visual Studies Workshop, NY; John Jay College, NY; Barry Singer Gallery, CA; Madelyn Jordon Fine Art, NY; Urbi et Orbi Galerie, Paris and eight solo shows at Kim Foster Gallery, NYC. Group exhibitions include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The High Museum of Art; Middlebury College Museum of Art; Pierre Bernard Gallery, Nice, FR; Cornell Fine Art Museum; Art in Embassies Program (Turkey); Howard Greenberg Gallery; Cornell University Gallery; Julie Saul Gallery; Snug Harbor Cultural Center; The Center for Photography; Ronald Feldman Gallery; The Bronx Museum; Guild Hall; The Museum of the City of New York; Princeton University Museum; Brooklyn Museum; New York Public Library and The Municipal Art Society, New York. Work by the artist is held in many public collections, including The International Center of Photography, NY; The Brooklyn Museum, NY; The Art Museum of Princeton University, NJ; La Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, FR; The Center for Creative Photography, AZ; The Norton Museum of Art, FL; Frances Lehman Loeb Art Museum, NY; The New York Public Library; The New School, NY; The Hudson River Museum; The Samuel Dorsky Museum; JP Morgan Chase; Indiana University Museum; Kenyon College and the Museum of The City of New York. Wides’ work appears in numerous anthologies and has been featured in Artforum, Art in America, Art News, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Le Monde, The Guardian, and Harper’s, among others. Wides is the Director and Curator of ‘T’ Space, a non-profit exhibition space dedicated to the cross-inspiration of art, poetry, architecture and music—embedded in nature in the Hudson Valley.