Joshua Liner Gallery’s new show Summer Mixer opened on Thursday night, a spirited get-together of emerging and established voices from national and international galleries. This group exhibition featured works by nine artists, all of whom are making their first appearance at Joshua Liner Gallery. Each one takes a fresh approach to the material and historical basis of art making, flouting conventional notions of genre, discipline, and context.
From EB&Flow in London, artists Neil Ayling and William Bradley are making their New York debuts with Summer Mixer. Materially adventurous, Ayling offers cheeky hybrid sculptures that merge photography, architecture, and metal- work. Photographic details of facades, cornices, windows, and other architectural elements are printed on vinyl and affixed to geometric armatures of bronze, steel, and brass, as well as concrete and wood. These abstract sculptures distort the images’ natural lines into new planar configurations, creating playful studies of perspective, form, dimensionality, color, and texture. Earlier this summer, Ayling unveiled a large-scale public artwork in central London commissioned by Kings Cross Community Projects.
Big and brightly colored, William Bradley’s abstract oil-on-canvas paintings explore spatial and formal relationships among a few primal elements—thick bans of color on contrasting fields, ovoid and block forms, or crude circles and squares interpenetrating. These seemingly simple elements are complicated through Bradley’s subtle treatment of line, edge, and scumbled surface, creating complex investigations into how images are constructed. Bradley was a finalist for the Catlin Art Prize in 2009.
The act of cutting is central to the work of Ann Toebbe, Mark Fox, and Nicola Lopez. The Chicago-based Toebbe uses cut paper to embody familial memory in exquisitely precise schematic views of domestic spaces—kitchens, parlors, and dining rooms—viewed from above. Mark Fox revels in the intricate lines of hand- written language in his sculptures and mixed-media works. Cut from skeins of linen tape, his script pours out in hanging masses of marks that both reveal and obscure meaning. Brooklyn-based artist Nicola Lopez is completely free-form in her Linked series of woodcut on Mylar and paper works. These ambling collages suggest construction sites, ductwork, or technological systems that twist and torque into infinity.
Wayne White, a Tennessee-born artist represented by Western Project in Los Angeles, makes madcap dashes through art history, both high and low. He “dialogues” with existing images, overlaying borrowed works with his own nonsensical commentary in graphic typeface—Jellyball in the Bone Dome over a vintage still-life reproduction, for example. The interplay of original text and appropriated image, with their contrasting eras and contexts, generates a lively cultural exchange that White stages in individual works as well as large-scale installations.
Also contrasting settings and timeframes, Philadelphia artist Alex Lukas takes existing printed imagery and overlays his own updated versions in acrylic, gouache, and serigraphy. In mixed-media works that are both humorous and foreboding, Lukas enhances aerial views of cities with imagined layers of new architecture, high- ways, or climate-change flooding.
Eric Cahan presented works that celebrate the spectrum of pure color in light. His translucent “wedge” sculptures of cast resin posses their own vibrant tints while interacting with ambient light and surrounding views. In his ongoing Liquid Glass series, Cahan captures portions of sky in uniformly framed photographs, each work emphasizing the stunning shifts in hue and brilliance accompanying changing times of day—colors of sky with the intensity of a summer cocktail.
Lastly, from Rhode Island School of Design, Rebecca Shenfeld will present The Man and the Butterfly, a mesmerizing hand-drawn video animation with lush layers of mixed media and symbolism; a limited edition of this work will be available, each accompanied by a unique original drawing.
Summer Mixer – August 8 to August 30
Event Photography by: Jamie Martinez