July 16. Virginia Katz

curated by Virginia Katz

Jimi Gleason, Amy Green, Doug Harvey, Rebecca Niederlander, Richard Turner, Keith Walsh, Carrie Ungerman, Shiva Aliabadi and Virginia Katz

In a description of ephemeralityusing language, one could characterize it as a “preposition,” a part of speech that is a locator of place and time and is expressed in words such as:  in, out, under, between, and through.  In a description of ephemeralitybased on experience, one could characterize it as “varying states of transitory being,” such as reflection, flux, immediacy, and impermanence that often may be found in behind-the-scenes occurrences that tend to initiate, stir, entertain possibility, and alter our experiences. 

The artists in this show are sensitive to the background – the white noise of our world – and they create insightful works from quiet observations that are conduits to the visual vocabulary of ephemerality.  These behind-the-scenes fleeting moments often go unnoticed to some degree but are materialized in art in this exhibition. 

Shiva Aliabadiuses malleable materials to express constant change and displacement. She creates records of places and experiences that point to the fact that even our records cease to last, fading in memory like our life stories.  Within these documentations is embedded her own personal narrative of being an Iranian immigrant and her sense of displacement. She arrived in the US soon after the Hostage Crisis and was confronted by an American culture that resisted inclusion.  It resulted in years of nomadic relocation to find her “home.”  Through the production and processes of her work she attempts to reign-in what proves to be an ephemeral storyline of her life.  www.shiva-aliabadi.com

Jimi Gleason’s highly emotive and interactive paintings are made with an assertive, luminous palette of pure silver and transparent automotive paint resulting in a reflective and absorbed medium.  The interactive element between the viewer and the painting where color, texture, tones, and subtleties emerge and shift in response to the viewer’s perspective, produces an enigmatic and ethereal effect casting a mood over each moment.  His paintings reflect motion and its transitory nature and hold within them a collection of myriad frozen moments in time. www.williamturnergallery.com

InAmy Green’s heavily textured paintings, the artist creates abstractions using fabric, urethane, and industrial pigment. Experimentation and impulse are at the center of her studio practice.  The surfaces are built up slowly as enamel drenched materials accumulate.  Multiple layers are recycled over time, covered over, cut, and resorted.  The result is highly abstract imagery that combines the residue of process and performance with loose and marginal mark-making that calls attention to the continuing process of becoming but always leaving room for more ...  www.amygreen-art.com

Doug Harvey’s Return of the Moldy Slides– compiled from a collection of several thousand 35 mm photographic transparencies found in the detritus excavated from a local hoarder’s house during an apparent intervention, the slides had been subjected to flooding and grown various types and degrees of fungal layers, altering the pictorial content of the emulsion – sometimes slightly, sometimes transforming the image into a total abstraction and accompanied by found and improvised sound track elements. Harvey describes the resulting artifacts as “a stochastically linked collaboration between the original vacation photographer, crazy hoarder dude, the mold and me – plus the found and improvised soundtrack elements, and finally the audience.”  Return of the Moldy Slideswill consist of a new selection of the actual original slides using vintage Kodak carousel projectors, accompanied by a live performance of improvised music by Keith Walsh.  www.dougharvey.com

Virginia Katz’works on paper in this exhibition mapped the energy of wind and the rhythmic pattern of ocean tides.  In Wind Diagrammatic, Yellow, Off-shore Flow, 10/02, during Santa Ana wind conditions, Katz tied strings to tree branches and fastened pens at their ends.  The energy force of the wind left its traces on the paper that was weighted on the ground. The Difference a Day Makes – 28 days, 06/05,was a work that charted the Pacific Ocean tides and was made during 28 consecutive days.  With each wave that broke at the shoreline, for a period of two hours each day, she painted a line with watercolor that corresponded to the height and observed color of each wave.  Invisible, natural energy is made visible and located in space and time. www.virginiakatz.com

Rebecca Niederlander’s sculptures and site-specific installations are data visualizations of the ephemeral in life.  Her labor-intense abstractions use repetition and the inherent nature of the materials to address the individual’s position within the larger intergenerational community.  The shift between micro- and macro-nature as it relates to the ego and its need for solitude and boredom in the creation of individual thought, is a concept that is at the core of her work.  Mary Oliver wrote that “attention is the beginning of devotion.” Rebecca uses common, individual elements, such as wood, paper, wire, and plastic and brings them together precariously; stressed by gravity and tension.  “At its essence: Things fall apart and reconnect.  I document it.”  www.becster.org

Richard Turner– For centuries in Chinese and Japanese Art (Chinese “scholar’s rocks” and Japanese “suiseki”), scholar’s rocks were collected and displayed to excite the imagination and “contribute to the narrative about the interaction between man and the natural world.”  [Hao Sheng, Curator of Chinese Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston]  The forms and cuts, swirls and patterns worn by water, volcanic activity and other natural energy forces seemed to contain worlds within them.  The American practice is barely a half-century old.  Richard’s Viewing Stone Project is a vehicle for the study of received traditions and the exploration of their present-day potential.  In this exhibition, this enhanced found, then manipulated, object will be installed in the back-yard area in a raked setting.  www.turnerprojects.com

Keith Walsh’s self-taught music performance emerged in the mid-1990s from his post-graduate experiences of drawing, sculpting, and making body-language-ritual art performances in his pursuit of self-determination through art.  The one-man band became a matrix for his love of Punk Rock and Out-Jazz, wordplay, and the physical demands of “drawing in time and space” within the ergonomic form of a unique kit.  For ephemeral, he will perform an extended duration of ambient-raga-electronic-guitar-percussive drone in the “spiritual” key of D, and he will perform to Doug Harvey’s Return of the Moldy Slidesprojections.  www.thekeithwalshexperience.com

Carrie Ungerman’s work moves between sculpture and drawing and often takes the form of large-scale, site-responsive sculpture, installation, and wall works whose ephemerality is offset and underscored by labor-intensive processes. Ritualized collecting, sorting, and arranging of common and culturally-encoded materials are an intrinsic part of her work. By her choice of materials, her installations allow and invite all the elements that surround a work to interact and collaborate with them culminating in a more completed form of itself.  www.carieungerman.com

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