Shawn McNulty‘s color field paintings are extremely physical abstractions, a hard edged series of pictures that echo the distressed urbanscapes of the city, the layers of paint scraped away and covered, a fragment of history, of process, revealing and hiding, thickly textured surfaces that are made with both his hands and feet.
Nick Meyer‘s photographs from ‘Pattern Language’ are a paean to the past, a nostalgic recollection of his own personal history, his life with his friends and family, of life on the beach, at picnics, camping, partying, hanging out and sleeping without a care in the world.
Matt Eichs photographs from ‘American Solstice’ are both a lament and a celebration, an attempt to articulate that time you pass through; from feckless youth to adult responsibility, unfettered freedom in a world that promises everything to an uncertain future and the blinding realisation that the uphill struggle towards emotional equilibrium has just begun.
Rarely. If ever. Do I post up Manga comic art. However, as an art form it’s always interested me, and in the work of Junko Mizuno we get the opportunity to see an artist who uses this Japanese comic aesthetic to create a strange world that plays off our fascination with the cute and the macabre.
Tal R‘s paintings are confounding, hard to pin down, when you think you get it they swerve off on another riff, take you into another place, delight and dazzle you with their mix of child like images and painterly sophistication.
Louis Heilbronn‘s photographs from ‘Paris Texas 2013′ take us on a visual trip through his wanderings, his pictures an intuitive snapshot of his life as an outsider, as someone travelling through, seeing things, moments that capture his state of mind, his sense of where he is.
Joel Seaman‘s photographs from ‘Americana’ are complex pictures that explore the relationship between the natural diversity of America and the detritus of industrialisation that turned the country from a wild, untamed frontier landscape into a 20th Century World power that embraced materialism and the accumulation of wealth, things and objects.
We have turkeys and geese, raccoons and foxes, animals that are as much a part of contemporary American history as are the products that spawned a culture of accumulation. As a series it works on many levels, we’re brought into a rubbish dump in which live the totems of America, feeding and struggling to survive amongst the rusting kitchen appliances, packets of empty cigarettes, discarded books, bottles and fruit.
Perhaps it’s a vision of a land without people, of animals retaking their rightful place from a society that wantonly destroyed its environment. A land whose great writers and philosophers expressed a romantic idyll based on liberty, fraternity and equality only to see it besmirched by capitalism.
Seaman was originally a master cabinet maker - and spent 10 years working in a Shaker village – and you get the sense from his pictures that he hankers for an America that has been lost, only lives in the memory, a world that was slower, appreciated the physicality of making, once had a deep relationship with the land, the seasons and preciousness of life.
This desire to reclaim the past, to pursue a more examined life is wonderfully evoked in all his work yet it is in this series that he strikes out at those who are determined to trample over humanity to reach their selfish goals. Here’s what he has to say about these pictures:
These pictures are rooted in a gestalt of memory of traditional landscapes, still lifes, sporting illustration, and advertising imagery. They are informed by years of wandering in and being absorbed by museums, images, artifacts, history and the expression of understandings of our relationship with the natural world.
Rick Stevens landscape paintings trip between abstraction and impressionism, playing with light to create a series of pictures that are luminous, colourful and oddly surreal. His world an over abundance of foliage all reflected in a mirror of water that separates us from his harmonious universe, that is at peace with itself, unaffected, unblighted by humanities relentless march forward. They are paintings that oppose our world, they refute industry in favour of a wild untamed future.
Dina Oganova‘s photographs from ‘I Am Georgia’ is a wonderfully apt title for this love letter to her home country. It is a poignant series of pictures that treasure everyday life in this country that straddles Europe and Asia bordering Russia, Turkey, Azerbaijan And Armenia.
Katrin Freisager’s photographs from ‘Untitled’ don’t reveal anything, what and why is left to us, even the title is an enigma. All Freisager has given us is frames filled with contorted bodies in stockings; limbs caught in motion, a dance perhaps, women playing, shaking, moving, flying, folding over each other, striking poses. There’s alot of fun yet we’re left in ignorance, left to work it out, wanting, needing a narrative to give context to what we see. But none is given.
Fred Free‘s collages are a wonderful exercise in design, a process of free form image making that begins with a single image, a random piece of text that, like a single note, builds a visual melody, a jazz riff of pictures, words and empty spaces.
Monique Belitz’s paintings trace the cultural and geological history of the American landscape, in particular the places she has lived in; Maryland, Oregon, New Mexico and Nebraska, each offering up a different story, a moving narrative of people, animals and the land itself.
Alex Crétey Systermans photographs from ‘Familiar’ traverse the known world of personal history; memories, friends and family. His pictures attempt to capture a collective unconscious, a beauty in the everyday, of our need for the familiar; family gatherings, a quiet moment, staring out the window, watching a child play in the backyard. All of these small, seemingly insignificant details becoming a signifer, a singular moment that encompasses a lifetime.
Jesse Marlow‘s photographs from ‘Centre Bounce’ take us into the Northern Territories and Central Australia and reveal the rich tradition of indigenous Australian football. This series of pictures echoes the foundations of all sports across the world, from soccer in the favelas of Brazil to hurling in the fields of rural Ireland, each image capturing the energy and desire to play, to enjoy, improve and to hone natural skills despite the lack of resources, training pitches or stadia.