Tucked away on a lane in the Financial District, the Anderson Contemporary is slightly intimidating with towering glass windows, high ceilings and immaculate white walls, not to mention the security guards at each entrance who make this place equally formal and exclusive; minimal in one word — reserved just for the, well, contemporaries.
Currently, the gallery is presenting “Chromatic Convergence,” a group exhibition with works by Andrei Petrov, Gary Kaleda, Jamie Martinez, Eleanora Kupencow, Rodolfo Edwards, Riad Miah and Milo Hess. Quite true to its title, the exhibition is vibrant, filled with colors, perhaps the thread to all the works coming to meet in this one location.
I was greeted by the sculptures of Eleanora Kupencow, which were easily noticeable upon entering, mostly because they were larger-than-life. At one point, I did not realize the bench I was resting on was a part of her work. Quirky, her work immediately reminded me of cubism and Picasso. Joy and movement are reflected in Kupencow’s pieces and the artist herself who enjoys biking and kayaking. Her paintings are equally colorful, with references to geometric shapes and angles.
Moving forward, I saw Gary Kaleda’s work, which felt the most modern in the direct form of technology and the usage of digital techniques. His inspiration comes from the mixed media and he uses graphic shapes and patterns as “brush strokes;” he also creates, poses and lights his own digital models. But the most interesting aspect was the incorporation of Quick Response, or QR codes which we now often use to scan for immediate data. Using these codes in his work gave a distinct definition to “contemporary.”
Milo Hess’s photography was quite entertaining. At first, the blown-up photo was a bit difficult to decipher but taking a step back, I realized it was a photo of a gumball machine. The vivid colors were almost blinding, so crisp and defined. Hess, who won five Emmy Awards for his broadcast graphic design work, has been the art director for WCBS TV, FOX 5 and WPIX TV News. He also designed graphics for Magnet Communications among other things. His work proves that art is not a limited world but a necessity in all aspects of every industry.
Rodolfo Edwards, who graduated from The Arts Student League, is inspired by architecture and urban tools and then deconstructing them with fragments, lines and grids. At first glance afar, individual works are hard to see but a second look shows various pieces of art in one work. It is as though his pieces are a map that one has to figure out. Dissected by color and lines, Edwards’s work requires the viewers to hold structure and patience.
Andrei Petrov’s paintings reflected emotions. As he put it, “power colors juxtaposed judiciously may produce a physical reaction or conversely, softer hues may calm and tranquilize.” Abstract yet defined, his paintings resembled rivers, oceans and skies. Using handmade tools, sandpaper and even rags to drag across the canvas, Petrov specifically wants to create a metaphor for each stroke.
I immediately thought of physics and science when I saw Riad Miah’s paintings. Suitably, I was right. His work explores Buckminster Fuller’s inventions. In other words, space: flat surfaces versus depth and layers. He also uses patterns to create fractals, or similar shapes in various sizes and degrees.
Exhibition: Anderson Contemporary
Location: 180 Maiden Lane
Date: December 6th to January 8, 2015
Hours: 10 am to 6 pm
Writing by Crystal Soojung
Photographs by Lisa Zari, Milo Hess, Crystal Soojung and Arte Fuse
Rodolfo Edwards and Jamie Martinez courtesy of The Villa America Fine Art