The Van der Plas Gallery represents both contemporary and outsider artists. This year, the gallery put out an open call for its first annual international juried exhibition. It received 350 submissions from around the world. Of these, 12 were selected to be included in the group show titled Anthology 2015–closing next week.
Anthology 2015 is constructed as “a disruptive poem composed by multiple artists, each illuminating a hidden facet of the human condition.” This year’s winning piece, “Anthropophobia (Fear of Other)”, evokes the world’s current sociopolitical climate, highlighting the intimate and fundamental place where human conflict starts. Working in ceramic and acrylic, North Carolina-based artist, Angelique Brickner, has formed two equally sized nudes–a man and a woman–that face one another with equally peeved expressions. Nearly touching at the nose, the figures are separated by a thin transparent barrier. A bluish-purple tinge to their skin tones lends an additional chill to their staring match.
Among my favorites, “Sisyphus #1” by Midwest-based artist, Mandy Cano Villalobos, is an abstract piece painted in a muddy-red on paper that appears old, worn, perhaps even burned. Bearing a clear resemblance to henna art in color and design, Sisyphus #1 is surprisingly painted in pig’s blood. Its concentric circles bring to mind continuity, growth, and target practice.
“Forest VI” by Cardiff-based artist, Julia Brooker, is both serene and disruptive. Brooker has used graphite and acrylic on aluminum to form a deceptively orderly thicket. Long, vertical grey, black, and olive-green lines belie haphazard marks beneath them. Perhaps most striking are the silvery strips that gleam throughout the piece. These metallic reeds could feel unnatural and intrusive if they weren’t so expertly woven into the design.
Other works in Anthology 2015 include: “Ghost” by Colin Smith, “So Near But Yet So Far” by Jennifer Martin, “Antonio Y Cleopatra” by Leonardo Cuervo, “North Avenue #1” by Wayne Toepp, “Untitled” by Alcides Rivas, “Dark Room” by Jeffery Morabito, “Form and Format” by Lynn Arnold, and “Surface Fetish” by Robert Samartino
Anthology 2015 at Van der Plas Gallery
December 3 – 31, 2015
156 Orchard Street, NYC
Writing by Kate Bernard