What’s Up Buttercup?
March 30th ~ May 12th, 2109
Rose Freymuth-Frazier was born and raised in Nevada City, California – a small gold rush town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
She attended Interlochen Arts Academy, a private boarding arts high school in northern Michigan. Upon graduation she was awarded a scholarship to study theatre at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. After completing her training, and a couple of years spent in Hollywood, (which included a stint on a campy, nighttime teen soap opera), Rose turned her attention to her other interest – figurative oil painting.
Seeking rigorous, technical training that most schools could not offer she returned to New York City and studied for two years at the Art Students League. After taking a master class at the New York Academy of Art with Steven Assael, she continued her studies in a tradition common to painters of the past, through full-time apprenticeship. Her first apprenticeship was for two years under Assael in his New York City studio and her second was with Odd Nerdrum in Norway, at his farm and studio on the North Sea.
References from a broad swath of art history can be found in Freymuth-Frazier’s solitary subjects. Influences range from Balthus’s discomforting depictions of preadolescence, and the queen of Kitsch, Margaret Keane’s “Big Eyed” children and animals, to the heavy chiaroscuro and technical rigor of Caravaggio and Rembrandt. This unique combination of classicism and pulp results in something of a hybrid between Lowbrow esthetic and Old Master technique.
Scooter LaForge is a full-time artist living in New York City. He has recently collaborated with Belgian fashion designer Walter Van Bierendonck, supplying 20 paintings as images to be incorporated into the fabric of his menswear line. He worked in conjunction with Norwegian painter Bjarne Melgaard in the creation of sculptures for an exhibit. LaForge was chosen to be a keynote speaker at the Montreal Fashion & Design Festival, and presented a solo show at the Galerie MX in the same city.
LaForge has commissioned garments for various high-profile performers including Madonna, Beyoncé, and Debbie Harry. LaForge was also commissioned to provide art for an installation at Commes des Garçons founder Rei Kawakubo’s Dover Street Market fashion retail and concept store. The space featured his sculptures as well as garments incorporating painting. Artforum, Vogue, Vogue Italia, Vogue Ukraine, V Magazine, T Magazine, W Magazine, Billboard and Spirit & Flesh are among the publications that have recently featured LaForge’s art.
In 2015, he was featured in shows at the Leslie-Lohman Museum in New York, the Friedrichshof Museum in Vienna, and the Spiritmuseum/Absolut Art Collection in Sweden. LaForge’s previous solo show, How to Create a Monsterpiece, shown at the Howl! Happening Gallery in New York, was included on Autre’s list of top ten exhibits of 2015.
“I’m focused on the creation of a mythic cosmology developed through imagery culled from cultural, sacred and scientific systems. Rooted in a micro versus macro framework, the work contains imagery that is manipulated and reconfigured, merging the past with the present and fact with fiction, to create new relationships and meaning. Similar to the construction of a jigsaw puzzle, each painting is a portion of the larger whole. The work’s content and aesthetic aim to create a sense of beauty and mystery akin to a meditative, contemplative or sublime experience.
My paintings are executed in acrylic paint on beveled wood constructions. The gathering and planning of my source material involves both traditional methods (book research and sketching) and technological practices (graphic manipulation through design software) while the end results are painstakingly painted. Although tedious and demanding, my creative process fosters introspection that allows the abstract theories and concepts within to become experiential, offering personal insight to the possibilities of a world beyond the material plane. Interestingly enough, this journey offers few concrete answers to my questioning, but it nonetheless provides a sense of purpose and security in an ever-changing world.” ~ D. McManus
Ciler‘s artistic practice involves the defacement or manipulation of existing images with an often darkly archeological intent to unearth their emotional substrate. Through his collage, drawing, painting, and installation work, he twists found images into visceral commentaries on death, violence, beauty and the built environment.x
Focused on graffiti and urban interventions in the beginning of his career, his work has been developed into visual graphics and contemporary popular culture. Today his interests fall on people who inhabit his everyday spaces in which he lives in. “My work shows a constant concern for man and his surroundings: moods, loss of sanity, and death. “
His work has been exhibited in Mexico, USA, Spain and UK.
Bill Miller is a collage artist who has been using vintage linoleum flooring as his medium for almost 20 years, and currently lives in Pittsburgh PA. Linoleum was the ultimate interior medium, present in all aspects of 20th century life from Grandma’s kitchen to the corner drug store and neighborhood school. Miller’s innovative work is recognized for pictorial assemblages that rely only on the flooring’s found surface, with no added paint, to render his subjects. Miller’s images range from bucolic landscapes to surrealistic, fiercely political pieces that draw on iconic news and pop culture images that have informed society’s common memory. His unexpected use of familiar patterns taps into the medium’s nostalgic qualities, imparting a sense of personal history and rediscovery within each piece.
Born 1962 in Cleveland, OH, Miller originally concentrated on painting and printmaking. He relocated to Pittsburgh where he was a founding member of the Industrial Arts Co-op, which sought a collective artistic response to the devastating impact of decaying industrial infrastructure on surrounding communities. Together they constructed immense sculptures inside abandoned industrial buildings from materials found on-site. While scavenging, Miller was drawn to scraps of vintage linoleum, and compulsively began collecting what was to become his new pallet and principle medium for almost 20 years.
Miller’s work has long been shaped by the tragic impact of industrialization. Both his parents were from West Virginia coal mining families. His grandfather was killed in the mines when Miller was a child. His parents raised Bill and his sister in the industrial center of Cleveland OH, where his father too lost his life in an auto factory when Miller was a teen. Miller moved to Pittsburgh as a young adult just as the steel industry collapsed, decimating long time communities and creating a rust belt of crumbling towns and massive structures.
“In these paintings of flowers I’m exploring a classic motif, combining the vocabulary of Pop Art with an Italian Renaissance sensibility. The surfaces reveal patches of underlying color, reminiscent of aging frescoes and peeling billboards.~ D. Palmer
“…like Rosenquist, Lichtenstein, and others over the past half-century who have painted the visual racket of a consumer society, Palmer manifests not so much a love-hate relationship with the modern condition of image assault as an awe at its immensity and the thoroughness of its presence in our consciousness.” – Peter Frank
David Palmer’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums across the US, and appears in numerous public and private collections. He is the recipient of a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, an Artist’s Grant from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, and a residency at 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica. He has also created digital effects for over a dozen feature films, including The Polar Express, Spider-Man 3, and the first Harry Potter movie. He lives and works in Los Angeles.
I see abstraction everywhere, interpreting the word around me by its shadowy depths, shapes and contours that hide in plain sight in my everyday environment. I find that shapes have their own presence; they push the space around them as they interact with each other. Therefore the nature of my painting is always fluid, rushing forward and gathering influences form the world around me. I survey these swirling currents to capture elements for my work. During my painting process, shapes and colors make connections.
I draw some lines slowly and thoughtfully, others with a quick movement capturing the speed and weight of my hand as I hold the charcoal, pastel, or brush. Drawing is not something that just happens in my hand or wrist. It is a process that happens in my mind as I respond to what I see in my environment, and reveals itself when I pick up a brush loaded with paint. I feel the weight of the brush, anticipating what marks will be made as I pour paint on the canvas and move it around with a trowel, as gravity works alongside me pulling the paint down into drips.
I am reaching for Notan, a design that embraces light and dark, in this work I have given a stronger voice to the quiet simple spaces, I find refuge in those spaces that allow my eyes to rest and my mind to clear. There is space for a small memory to come forward maybe a shadow from my travels.
My sculptures and works on paper are inspired by basic human needs: food, shelter, clothing and love. The intersection of the natural world and the human-made world is central in my work. For decades, female body imagery has been central in my art – based on my experience as a woman, and on ways women’s bodies have been controlled and represented throughout history.
I draw, print, model, and cast by combining organic materials such as plants, paper, clay, and fabric with plaster, concrete, metal, and resin. Recent works on paper have taken on new lives as animations. In my current sculpture series, Supports, architectural details are imbued with human expression – making visual poems about the unruliness of life. Forms are precariously stacked to evoke different meanings of “support:” balance, endurance, holding together, and falling apart.
Collage is a scavengers’ medium, and though collected from the discarded, this work is not meant to be nostalgic. These bits of bone and sinew are not unlike a memento mori – a remembrance of ones mortality – in a state of reanimation.
These maps, postcards, children’s book illustrations, matchbooks, sheet music, and calling cards are the guts and gristle of common things people collected over a life, spared the fate of being buried in the rubble and shadows of once prosperous towns. This group of work contemplates the most humble of human remains: old matchbooks from junk shops, antique postcards and books, sheet music, cracker jack toys, and other objects once treasured, lost and resurrected. By collaging these elements amidst drawings and other media, I create small relationships to arrive at a whole image. Like delicate strands of DNA, these tiny pieces in combination hold the key to unique identity – the common as well as the fantastic.
Marie Najera lives and works in San Diego CA. Painting professionally for over 22 years, Marie’s work is developed as stories of her life, a visual diary overlaid with the influence of current inspirations. After a fire destroyed her studio in 2016, Marie’s work transformed and abstracted as she built her portfolio again from scratch. Najera works without any preconceived notions about the finished piece, applying her mixed media materials freely. Her process follows the emotional fluctuations of her daily life, each layer a product of the varied facets of her inner being.
Cara Enteles is best known for her nature, landscape paintings on Aluminum and plexiglas panels. She has developed a unique technique that combines silkscreen printing and oil painting on theses industrial substrates.
The choice of these surfaces is deliberate. The aluminum reflective ground, changes with the light, mimicking the natural world. The acrylic is built up in transparent layers painting on multiple sides to create great depth.
“I am influenced by Turner and the Hudson River school, looking for a modern way to create depth and light in landscape. Working on these surfaces lets the substrate become a more active part of the message.” Underlying these seemingly beautiful paintings, Enteles infuses her thoughts on man vs. nature and the conflicts that ensue. “In my mind the trees and plants of the paintings represent nature as a being. They exude power that man continually tries to manipulate.”
Enteles has long been addressing environmental issues that plague our natural world. Oil spills, colony collapse disorder, and fracking are some examples, but she hopes to present it in a positive light. “I aim to be an advocate for nature.”
-Cara Enteles with Sara Nightingale
Kate Blacklock is a Providence based artist who received her undergraduate degree from University of California at Santa Cruz and her MFA from The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). She has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Rhode Island College and for nine years co-chaired the Ceramics Department at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, where she was Associate Professor. She has been teaching in the Industrial Design Department at RISD since 2002.
Blacklock’s studio work has moved from sculptural and functional ceramics to 3D printing, photography and painting. She has had solo exhibitions around the country including, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, Providence and Ann Arbor. Her photographic imagery has been used in many large scale commercial projects including hotels in Florida, New York City, San Diego and recently in the country of Bahrain. In 1996 she was an artist-in-residence at the Manufacture National de Sèvres, outside of Paris. Her works are in many private and public collections.
“My studio faces my garden, which I planted and have worked on for more than 15 years. It is a continually changing painting, controlled by my hand as well as the uncontrollable forces of nature and the seasons. I spend time looking up close. These images were born from my observations.” ~ K. Blacklock
Robert Mellor’s paintings can be viewed as new propositions for visual enactment by the viewer, each work providing cues for engaging with the composition, layer by layer, edge by edge, line by line, color by color. While it can be said that any work of art comes alive as art by a viewer’s active engagement, Mellor foregrounds this relationship by composing works of arresting beauty that compel viewers to re-enact the process of composition with the artist. These original paintings are a set of enticements and seductions for viewers that make a bold, affirmative statement for new directions in painting today.
In his work Mellor often combines references abstracted from landscape and organic forms, cityscapes and architecture, and cascading fabric from fashion design in totally new ways. His astonishing and original color harmonies command attention and continually reward viewers who take a contemplative pause and convert compositional space into time. Mellor is also the edge master, sculpting visual space with his hard-edge lines and interplay of forms, working at the edge of figuration and abstraction, building paintings from multiple layers that push the works into three dimensions as substantial objects in their own right.
In new paintings, expansion comes through combining ground layers of ink washes on which the multiple layers of acrylic are imposed in sharp relief. Robert Mellor’s new paintings present several independent lines of inquiry. As in previous exhibitions, Mellor explores the tension between highly stylized forms and representation through his hard edge layered process. Shifting forms collide on the surface of the work, balancing frozen gestures with the organic. The result of improvisational sessions, these hybrid paintings merge flat pattern with spatial illusion, all presented in shallow sculptural relief. The physically intriguing and attractive nature of his unusual painting process is best experienced in person.
“Whether in drawing, painting, or printmaking, the process for me is about layering and energizing space in such a way that objects are fluid, interconnected and full of energy and movement. I try to utilize a variety of lines, marks and media to suggest both stasis and openness to possibility and transformation as well as the passage of time. As I attempt to describe the multiple realities which intermingle in memory, imagination and daily life, images emerge and diverge – reconfiguring in new relationships.
Everything is open and flows back and forth: empty and full, defined by its opposite -fleeting yet tangible – air and space dissecting form and formless in an effort to capture the unity and delight of life experienced, remembered, longed for.” ~ N. Lasar
Critics have described Nancy Lasar’s work with such phrases as “drawing with light”, “condensed energy and flow”, “calm and crazy”, and “organized chaos”. For over 40 years, she has worked with images observed from nature using a variety of drawing, painting, printmaking and photographic processes.
Nancy Lasar has exhibited her award winning images widely throughout New England, New York, Minnesota and as far away as Sweden and China and Japan. She is an exhibiting artist at A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, NY where she had a second solo exhibition in October of 2014. Her work is also represented and published at Van Deb Editions, New York, The Silvermine Guild, New Canaan, Ct., and at Amy Simon Fine Art, Westport, CT. Lasar has exhibited in other group and one person shows at the Mattatuck Museum, The Bruce Museum, The Washington Art Association, The Lyman Allen Museum, the New Britain Museum, The Center for Contemporary Printmaking and at The International Print Center, VanDeb Editions and Paperworks Projects in New York.