Posts Tagged 'New York'

Mayen Alcantara – Studio Visit – November 2nd, 2011

Studio Visit: Mayen Alcantara
Date: Wednesday, November 2nd
Location: Bushwick, NY

Collapsing Agreements in Disputed Territories paper on panel 2011

Image: MidPhenomena: Northern Lights (Arctic Ocean), 2011, paper, 23 X 54 inches

“My work reflects the distortions that occur when a range of pressures force a formalization of long established traditions or informal agreements.  I am drawn to the exaggerations and compromises that are devised to fit non-compatible loose volumes into rigid paradigms that, though generally logical, often generate disorienting results.”
Studio Visit Synopsis:
Mayen AlcantaraInitially to many of the studio visitors, Mayen Alcantara’s new color paper collages read at first as purely abstract compositions. Upon closer inspection, in fact, they refer to landscapes, places in transition that have been transformed through human impact. Mayen is however not engaged in representing direct images of trees, clouds or buildings but is instead interested in nature as phenomena. Mayen refers to all of the collage work currently in her studio as drawings.In two of her drawings, the composition is divided using pieces of paper forming a grid with the upper images reflecting the lower panels. These pieces are translated from source imagery relating to acts of nature: the Aurora Borealis over Michigan and an image taken before the impact of hurricane Irene in Vermont.Two of the other works relate to the effects of human action on the landscape and borrow from satellite images of the compounds of Osama Bin Laden and Muammar Gaddafi. These drawings titled Collapsing Agreements In Disputed Territories differ from the other works in the angular shapes of cut paper used and the type of focal, centralized satellite derived composition used.The aim of the background surfaces, board and sketch book sized paper, which contain the collage images were a topic of contention in the discussion. While some participants found the panel and paper framed the collages  successful, others questioned the necessity of a bounding box in favor of the bare wall as the background surface.

Mayen’s past work has included large-scale installations incorporating wood and paper structures. Present in the studio were several older pieces, geometrically constructed paper relief pieces mounted to the wall. These pieces incorporate different types of paper and mark making absent from the more recent collage drawings and seem to more directly reference the language of topography and maps. Some studio visitors felt that the bas-relief sentiment and construction could be utilized to inform the new collage work.

The group discussed whether a reading of the work beyond an aesthetic, compositional understanding is readily available to the viewer without background information or title. In Mayen’s case, titles help to provide a window into the content of her source materials. What is the necessity of knowing about the source material or background information in order to understand or appreciate a work?

– Amanda Lechner


Julie Mehretu
Ink Blot
Cabinet: The Paper Sculpture Book and Show


Matt Bollinger – Studio Visit – September 27th, 2011

Studio Visit: Matt Bollinger
Date: Tuesday, September 27th
Location: Zürcher Studio, Manhattan, NY

Matt Bollinger

Image: Locker Room, 2011, collage, 60 x 48 in. (152,5 x 122 cm) - Image courtesy of Matt Bollinger & Zürcher Studio NY

Fence flashe and acrylic on cut and painted paper 58" x 72" 2011

The Party graphite on paper 30" x 22" 2011


Our visit with Matt Bollinger took place at Zürcher Studio, the gallery where he mounted a solo exhibition about midnight Saturday. There were two sets of media represented in this show: medium to extra-large graphite drawings on paper and a series of works collaged from painted and torn paper.

The discussion started with a description of the largest piece in the show: a graphite drawing on a few huge pieces of paper with accompanying audio housed in an 8-track player and amp constructed out of brown chipboard with real 1970’s vintage head phones. Matt synopsized the audio recording, an interview in which his father describes in detail the events leading up to the near-fatal stabbing that took place the day before his 20th birthday decades ago. Growing up in the same neighborhood where the incident took place, this event became omni-present matter of family lore during Matt’s adolescence. In dark slate-velvet graphite Matt envisioned his father’s account of the event and rendered it as an un-peopled tableau. The details of the elder Bollinger’s descriptions make up the details of the drawing down to the make, model and interiors of the vehicles pictured. Listening to the audio while looking at the drawing seems to create a feedback loop of aural and visual information.

Matt’s collage paintings inhabit an emotional space somewhere between nostalgia and anxiety. Reference to the era of Matt’s adolescence is demarcated through the placement of objects and products specific to the early 1990’s. The group discussed whether these details nail the narrative to a specific generational experience or give surface detail to scenarios familiar to a viewers belonging to any cohort.

This body of work is a slight departure from Matt’s last large body of paintings, which were created through a process of narrative invention and removal constructed from original video source imagery that contains images of young adults. The current work is primarily a product of memory and invention that focuses on the violence and low-level menace inherent in many adolescent experiences. The group discussed the ways in which the making of the work relates to the context of the narrative. The anxious vibrations of color between the ripped, torn and cut paper add a visual weight to the narratives alluded to. The textured flatness and variation between areas of generalization and sensitive detail seem to invite a viewer experience that is like memory from another’s perspective.

– Amanda Lechner

Amanda Lechner – Studio Visit – October 29th, 2011

Studio Visit: Amanda Lechner
Date: Saturday, October 29th, 2011
Location: Brooklyn, NY

In her most recent series of egg-tempera paintings and ink drawings, Amanda Lechner pulls from the history of optics and art to invent speculative narratives.

Rebecca Sherman – Studio Visit – September 21st, 2010

Studio Fuse is pleased to present a studio visit with Rebecca Sherman Wednesday, September 21st in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

In her current practice, Rebecca Sherman combines traditional materials and drawing techniques with digital manipulation of photographs. Most of her imagery is based in architectural abstraction with a photographic impetus. During her studio visit she presented watercolor drawings, digital drawings printed on translucent vellum and a series of oil paintings on canvas. The imagery in the oil paintings led to her more current drawing and print work. The group examined the color palette, shapes and line quality that both carry-over and differ from aspects in the oil paintings. Some of the drawings in the studio seemed to lend themselves to further investigation and experimentation in scale and materials.

Last year Rebecca was involved in a collaborative project that culminated in a temporary spatial installation comprised of paper and painted elements. The group discussed how she translated her drawing language in a new scale and dimension and how this experiment and other possible presentation methods may affect her continuing practice especially in her digital print and drawing work.

Much of Rebecca’s work is not only inspired by architecture and buildings, but also by music. Many of the painting and drawing titles site specific songs. The group considered whether the visual interpretation of the emotive qualities are discernible to the audience or seem incidental.

During the studio visit the group discussed the challenges of producing a well-crafted artist statement and how disconnected the process can be with the everyday studio practice. Where is the boundary between informative and audacious or between concise and evasive?

Outside of her regular studio practice Rebecca has also produced a line of hand-made and recycled garments and accessories under the moniker Bheki. The methods used to create these pieces involve experimentation and attitude, and while differing considerably from the studio work, these methods could positively influence Rebecca’s future painting and drawing work.

-Amanda Lechner

Discussion Links:

Ingrid Calame

Thomas Demand

Kristin Baker

Jack Goldstein


Build it Green – Recycled Materials Salvage

Artist Residency Roundtable

Artist Residency Roundtable

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Location: Chelsea, Manahattan

The Artist Residency Roundtable is organized by Audra Wolowiec and Yuka Otani as a part of Studio Fuse’s ongoing mission to foster dialog and to share resources among artists. Guest artists will discuss their personal and professional experiences at various residency programs in New York City and across the country from LMCC, Socrates Sculpture Park, Skowhegan, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, MacDowell, Yaddo and Djaressi, to name a few. Artists will present their work and an open, roundtable discussion will follow. A comprehensive list of available resources online and in print, for national and international artist residencies, will accompany the discussion.

Participating Artists:

Laura Braciale –
Rachel Frank –
James Huang –
Stephanie Lempert –
Christopher Robbins –
Yuka Otani –

Yuka Otani at Chashama North

Stephanie Lempert at Socrates Sculpture Park

Rachel Frank at Sculpture Space

Laura Braciale at LMCC Studio

Christopher Robbins at Art Farm, Nebraska

James Huang at Yaddo


Residencies /Artist Opportunities:

* Alliance of Artists Communities –

* NYFA Source –

* Res Artis –

* Trans Artists –

* –

* Residency Unlimited –

* Art Deadline List –

* Nuture Art Calendar –

* The Arts Council of Lapland (AiR programs in northern areas of Finland, Norway, and Sweden)

* AIR_J (AiR programs in Japan) –

* Alternative Spaces / Opportunities by Region: “Phonebook” by Green Lantern Press (purchase online for $15)

Other great resources to look at:

* College Art Association (online search + ‘standard guidelines’ resource for cv, etc) –

* NYFA Learning (tips for grant writing and project proposals etc.) –

* Foundation Center (grants for individuals) –


On application:

-How did you hear about this program?

-Did you propose what you were going to do? How specific was your proposal?

-Did you know anyone? Did you have a prior personal connection with a resident / instructor / board member?

-If you submitted a proposal, was it site-specific to the program?

-What kind of resources do you use to search for residency programs?

-How often do you send applications? How many residency applications have you done so far?

-Did you get into the program in one shot, or did you apply more than once?

Pros and cons:

-What were individual residency programs like? Was it productive?

-Were you content with the accommodation / work space / facilities provided?

-What kind of supports (separate live/work spaces, stipend etc.) did you have from the program?

-Were you required to pay or work?

-How long was the residency? Was it a desirable length for completing your project?

-Did you have a lot of interaction with fellow residents?

-Did the residency culminate in an exhibition?

-Was it difficult to transport your work home from the residency?

-Did you gain opportunities because of this residency? Was the residency professionally helpful?

-Did you start off with a lesser-known program to get into more well-known program?

*  *  *

Christopher Ulivo – Studio Visit – June 30th, 2010

Studio visit – Christopher Ulivo – June 30th, 2010 – Brooklyn

Studio Fuse is happy to present a studio visit with Christopher Ulivo.

A selection From Christopher Ulivo’s Artist Statement:

“Although my paintings are thematically specific they avoid a sense of an internal ‘plot’ of events. The narratives of my paintings are therefore able to remain in some way irresolute. My aspiration is for the image to remain permanently open to possibility.

Each of my paintings tries to be one embodiment of some majestic spirit of adventure. I am a “would-be adventurer” that is, I would be if not for the daring and physical exertion required. Instead, I am a top-notch adventure enthusiast. Having a love of the subject but no first hand knowledge my treatment of adventure and exploration has more empathetic humor and awe rather than drama or conquest.”

Ryan Mrozowski, Dustin Dennis, Rachel Frank, Chris Medina, Alexis Semtner


In the year since we last visited Chistopher Ulivo’s studio his methods have not drastically changed but have become more finely honed. He has spent the year working almost exclusively in egg tempera, a process, which is centuries old and very labor intensive . This method of painting requires grinding one’s own pigment, preparing specially primed and sanded panels and an almost daily mixing of new paint, vehicle and medium. After exploring other paint mediums, Chris has found this labor of love has allowed him a specificity of color and surface unequalled.

While many aspects of the subject matter explored in Chris’ work remain akin to his previous work, he has changed many of his characters, introducing widely recognizable protagonists from classic monster movies and TV science fiction. Popular icons from decades past like The Mummy, Wrestler Gorgeous George and Elton John have largely replaced the 19th century and contemporary explorer/adventurer/contractor types we have seen in Chris’ prior paintings. In the new paintings characters are brought together from different sources for new narrative interplay. For example one new painting depicts Captain Kirk of Star Trek being electrocuted in a room that also holds an un-risen Frankenstein’s Monster.

To start the conversation, Chris invited the group’s opinions on how they engage with the subject matter in his new group of paintings. Points of view differed among participants as to the most effective way to narratively engage and guide an audience. It was noted that more apparent or more leading titling might be a way to invite further understanding of the paintings. Conversely, it was also mentioned that an over-dependency on titling could eclipse a more open understanding of the work. It was also questioned whether the introduction of recognizable characters invited access or a barrier to the narrative in each painting. A participant in the discussion described the work as “looking insular with a definite narrative yet maintaining a charming balance between camp and nostalgia without becoming cliché or snarky.”

At the end of critique, the group encouraged Christopher to talk more openly about his painting material process, since it is an integral part of his work and elevates his subject matter from boyhood daydreams of monsters and TV icons to a more serious contemporary realm. To further engage with his subject matter it was suggested that Christopher might want to explore writings on film theory and criticism, such as Michel Chion’s books on sound and vision.

Amanda Lechner and Rachel Frank

Discussion Links:

Jockum Nordström

Daniel Bozhkov

The Art of Illumination: The Limbourg Brothers and the Belles Heures of Jean de France

Michel Chion

Slavoj Žižek

Andrew Prayzner – Studio Visit – April 13th, 2010

Studio Visit – Andrew Prayzner – April 13th, 2010 Williamsburg/Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY

Studio Fuse is pleased to announce a group visit and discussion with artist Andrew Prayzner.

Artist statement for the works discussed:
The images in this series are from a National Geographic article that chronicles the Colombian drug trade in the 1980s.  Dozens of anonymous mules are posted on a corkboard, though there is a strange continuity to their poses and smuggling apparatuses. The interest for me in these pictures is the synthesis of a kind of vulnerable figurative narrative with the cocoon-like structures that cling to their hosts. The pixilated faces, while there to presumably protect the subjects’ identity, introduce a moment where individual features are sublimated by technological geometry. As stated in Peter Halley’s The Crisis in Geometry, “geometry (once) provided a sign of stability, order, and proportion, today it offers an array of shifting signifiers and images of confinement and deterrence.” Here the geometric form additionally operates as a representation of a postmodern power structure as demonstrated in contemporary architecture, technology, and aesthetics.

James Huang, Andrew Prayzner

Rachel Frank, Ryan Russo, Dustin Dennis


During his studio visit Andrew Prayzner did not display the images from a National Geographic photo essay on Colombian drug trafficking that he used as source imagery in his recent body of paintings. By way of the several levels of removal from the original situations of detainment and search, the paintings appear here as simplified vignettes of figures in institutional spaces. Abstraction is utilized in a few different ways within the paintings.  Andrew’s decisions and compromises break down, simplify and feature the shapes and colors in images where the format and palette is determined by artifacts in the original printed matter. Abstraction is also employed as a condition of the source material; the use of the digital grid obscures the face of each figure.

The group examined the artist’s place in the geometric imposition that dissembles the identities of the figures. Does the artist advocate for detainee rights, maintain a neutral stance on oppressive geometries or become implicated in the systematic violence perpetrated by organized crime and the US government against non-citizens? The group also considered the role and responsibilities of the viewers as image consumers.

Throughout the studio visit the group attempted to gauge the readability of meaning within the paintings if divorced from their backstory and source material. When the paintings are viewed autonomously the abstraction of the background, the pixilation and the stances of the figures may fluctuate in apparent meaning and emphasis. In this narratively structured abstraction Andrew faces a difficult freedom in the exploration of abstract ambiguity while keeping a fidelity to his photographic source.

The conversation on abstraction led to comparisons with other artists that have employed the appearance of digital abstraction to different outcomes in painting and the current prevalence of digital iconography and artifice in all genres of art work. It was mentioned that the visual abstraction employed by each generation may be tied specifically to the visual technology and the appearance of technological artifice of the time. The group talked about the current gradual movement towards digital modes of image making, conveying and viewing as it may relate to the analog languages of past decades.

-Amanda Lechner


Peter Halley-The Crisis in Geometry

Gerhard Richter

David Salle

Grants & Fellowships Calendar

The calendar is undergoing maintenance and will return shortly.

NURTUREart = green