September 14, 2012 – October 27, 2012
Deborah Brown, Dawn Clements, Lisa Davis, Jay Gaskill, Baris Gokturk, David Hansen, Eric Inkala, Ati Maier, Rob de Oude, Amanda Valdez
One River Gallery is pleased to present its inaugural exhibition “Two River.” The group exhibition celebrates the work of a new generation of emerging and mid-career artists living and working in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn has emerged as the American centerpiece of contemporary artistic production. Fueled by a gentrification process that began in the early nineties, it is home to a highly concentrated population of working artists who continue to break ground in the contemporary art space. Williamsburg was the early mover, but now artists are redefining the landscape in Bushwick, Greenpoint, Ridgewood, Gowanus and other neighborhoods. Though diverse in their method and subject matter, all of the artists in Two River are united in their commitment to rigorous craftsmanship.
In her luscious oil paintings, Deborah Brown uses the Bushwick landscape as literal subject matter. Brown’s fluid brushstrokes portray sprawling junkyards and barbed wire, and radioactive color enlivens detritus. Both enticing and ominous, these scenes recall the history of landscape painting while emitting a distinctly unfamiliar atmosphere. A common feature in David Hansen’s works is the horizon line, used to anchor nebulous ink splotches and flurries of color. Hansen incorporates resin into his acrylic and ink paintings, building layers of varying transparency. Like Hansen, Lisa Corinne Davis deals with pattern and the grid. In Veritable Aberration (2012), cartographical imagery is fragmented and imposed over a series of lines, signaling destruction, a fractured universe.
Pattern and its relationship to painting are further explored in the work of Ati Maier, Rob de Oude, and Jay Gaskill. Swirling bands of color rendered with ink and acrylic intertwine to form compositions that at once evoke constellations and explosions. Delineating hard contours within billowing forms, Maier holds dynamism and stasis in tension. De Oude’s paintings exhibit painstaking precision, with the grid often constituting the entirety of visual information the artist provides. Linear patterns accumulate on de Oude’s slick surfaces, creating optical illusions. In Gaskill’s paintings, one perceives very few aberrations, departures from a predetermined pattern. The seamless precision of these works is complemented by Gaskill’s sensitivity to form and color: globular and teardrop-like shapes in pastels and primary colors of varying intensity push against each other, causing surfaces to vibrate. For Gaskill as well as de Oude, process itself is present in each painting: we marvel at the invisibility of the artist’s hand.
Process is at the forefront of the work of Amanda Valdez and Baris Gokturk. Valdez preserves the raw canvas in her paintings, reminding the viewer of the material components of her work. Reinforcing our awareness of the surface as fabric—as opposed to a blank slate eclipsed by the paint and the illusion it generates—Valdez embroiders this surface with bold, colorful thread, bracketed by chunky forms of color. Gokturk similarly calls attention to the sculptural quality of his surface, which feels as integral to his works as the paint that coats them. In INTDES (2010), Gokturk applies plaster to polyurethane, building a crude, almost organic armature for his complex subjects. Ambiguous figures mingle with extraterrestrial forms and intimations of commercial imagery. Massive and commanding, INTDES sits on the floor and leans against the wall, bolstering its sculptural presence.
The paintings of Eric Inkala possess a narrative quality. A street artist, Inkala incorporates characters in his vibrant compositions in acrylic. Calligraphic sentences oscillate between being legible and utterly indecipherable. The fluency of Inkala’s marks is complemented by drips of paint peeking through the surface.
In Dawn Clements’ fastidious drawings, silhouettes of figures and barren trees generate vague narratives. A large masterful drawing entitled Pont Aven (2005) depicts a room’s interior, with a mirror that reflects a wood beam ceiling. No figure appears, but the intimacy of the space and sensitivity of Clements’ hand suggest a human presence, a domesticity.
About One River Gallery
One River Gallery is dedicated to presenting the most innovative exhibits just west of NYC. Our program focuses on emerging artists who are prepared to participate on the NYC art stage, while also presenting important projects from mid career artists who have already built a brand there. The space is also home to One River School of Art and Design, a new direction in art and digital design education. Focused on the importance of lifelong creative learning, One River School offers a wide variety of creative classes and programs for all ages. Contact: www.OneRiverGallery.com or 201-266-5244.