Tuesday, May 17, 2016


special map by Michael Merck

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Thursday, February 25, 2016


"Knife Hits" at Spring/Break Art Show, curated by Rachel Phillips - Room 4032


Curated by Rachel Phillips

Featuring Works By:

Katie Bell
Andy Cross
Jeff DeGolier
Elizabeth Ferry 
MaDora Frey
Chris Held
Takashi Horisaki
Roxanne Jackson
Robin Kang
Ben Pederson
Max Warsh

Dates: March 1st - 7th, 2016
VIP Vernissage: Tue, March 1st, 5-9pm
Hours: Wed - Sun, March 2nd - 6th: 12-8pm
                        Mon, March 7th: 12-6pm
Location: Skylight at Moynihan Station (Main Post Office Entrance),
421 8th Ave, NY, NY
RM 4032

In an age saturated with digital media and machine made artwork, the artists selected for this exhibition respond with a fresh approach to the hand-made object. Grounded in familiar territories such as craft, collage, sculpture, painting and design, these artworks are unified in their blending of history and tradition with post-internet sensibilities. A dominant theme of process with a diverse and expressionistic approach to material usage results in an awkward mashup, Art Brut made current with a vague reference to utility.

For instance, Jeff DeGolier’s absurdly exaggerated ‘furniture’ -- reminiscent of oversized chairs and living room speakers -- depict a contemporary approach to sculpture meets folk art. This idea is expanded upon in Chris Held’s Man Craft Lamps, those which are traditionally created from driftwood, he references now with melamine and corian -- an awkward combination of the rugged and the refined. MaDora Frey’s illuminated, wall mounted sculptures draw from design and utility, while reinterpreting nature with slick, crystalline forms. The carefully collaged photographs by Max Warsh achieve a similar aesthetic by combining the grid and architectural facades, bringing a handmade nod to today’s digital cut & paste culture.

Taken from his artist statement, the “Alien Primitivism” of Ben Pederson’s aesthetic calls to mind the mobiles of Alexander Calder, made incongruous and grotesque. This segues into the macabre, ornamental and brilliantly glazed ceramic sculptures of Jackson – splayed alien-cat heads morph into subversive meteors. The fantastically sublime creations of Elizabeth Ferry flaunt materiality with whimsy as innocuous plaster cast prayer hands have transformed themselves into googley eyed hand-shadow creatures.

Katie Bell’s wall mounted reliefs push so hard on the traditional boundaries of painting, that there seems to be critique at the core. Similarly engaged in the scrutiny of painting, though with a more humorous approach, works by Andy Cross feature a mashup of cliché portraiture and art historical subject matter. Also engaging the pictorial plane, the tapestries of Robin Kang combine ethnographic symbolism, computer related imagery, and digital mark making by way of interlocking threads. Taking another approach to this idea of referencing technological objects with unusual materials, Takashi Horisaki creates life size drooping cellular devices made from gloppy latex.

The artists in this exhibition use a hands-on approach to translate the noise, constant tweets, and general “information overload” that exists in our current universe. They pick and choose from the multiple and conflicting aesthetics to carve out a new voice that is loud, forceful, and totally out there.

Concept // www.springbreakartshow.com
Collection // www.springbreakartfair.com

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Monday, February 8, 2016

Upcoming at Transmitter (Brooklyn, NY)

FEBRUARY 19 – MARCH 20, 2016

“I am interested in scenarios and artifacts where the artificial and natural are confused.”—Katie Bell

In Faulted Valley Fog, Katie Bell, Elliott Green, and Kevin Cooley and Phillip Andrew Lewis subvert and distort preconceived notions of space, material, and functionality, creating illusory environments, which we must struggle to understand.

In “Casualties,” as with all of her site-specific installations, Katie Bell utilizes her surroundings to provide her materials. She forms relationships with neighbors and strangers and scavenges from their detritus to fashion what she considers “future ruins,” time capsules of sorts, existing only briefly until she deconstructs and transforms them into something else. Bell embraces and investigates the physical qualities of such construction materials as Formica, linoleum, and drywall—overlooked yet always present in our environment—allowing them to support or pierce one another, forming shattered arenas, an explosion missed by mere seconds.

Elliott Green’s paintings contain expansive planes of color reminiscent of hillsides, deep oceans in the midst of ravaging storms, or psychedelic states, while rendering deceptive and contradictory spaces unexpected in landscape painting. Green, who has been painting for over 30 years, shifted his focus to considering the landscape after a 2009 visit to Segesta, a Roman temple in Sicily, from which vast expanses—both in space and in human history—can be seen. The application of paint varies greatly in each composition, with small portions rendered tightly amidst large swaths of color. Highly considered and often subdued color palettes evoke both weather patterns and emotional states—subjects of great interest to Green. Waves, bands, and blocks seamlessly intersect and overlap, collapsing against and fading into one another. The results of this process subtly defy the constraints inherent in two-dimensional painting, concealing both beginnings and ends.

In “Keep Pushing On,” Kevin Cooley and Phillip Andrew Lewis assemble a pair of common box fans, running with concealed smoke-producing mechanisms, to conduct a visually compelling experiment, the purpose of which is left unknown. Cooley and Lewis bring together opposing forms, glorifying tension and unison, creation and destruction. Their process- and material-based projects—often taking the form of durational actions documented with photography and video—are fused with their shared interest in the unexpected and unresolved, resulting in sublime and uncanny experiences which tend to raise questions rather than provide answers.

Katie Bell was born in Rockford, IL in 1985. She received her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, RI, and BA from Knox College, Galesburg, IL. She received a New York Foundation for the Arts painting fellowship in 2015, was awarded the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation Space Program in 2011/12, and has exhibited extensively in the US. Her work has been reviewed in Art F City, the Boston Globe, City Paper (Baltimore), and has been featured in numerous magazines in the US and abroad. Bell currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. 

Elliott Green was born in Detroit, MI in 1960 and attended the University of Michigan. He has had solo exhibitions at John Davis Gallery (Hudson, NY) Tibor de Nagy (NY, NY), and Postmasters (NY, NY), and has exhibited collaboratively as Team SHaG with David Humphrey and Amy Sillman at various US locations including the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art (Ridgefield, CT). He has been reviewed in The New York Times, Art in America, and Artnews, among others, and has received the Rome Prize (2011-12) and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2005). He currently lives and works in Athens, NY.

Kevin Cooley was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1975 and received an MFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts, NY and a BFA from Lewis and Clark College, Portland, OR. He currently lives and works between Los Angeles, CA and New York, NY. Phillip Andrew Lewis was born in Memphis, TN in 1973, and received an MFA from the Memphis College of Art, TN and BA from the University of Memphis, TN. He currently lives, works, and teaches in Chattanooga, TN. Lewis and Cooley met during a residency at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NE in 2013 and have since exhibited collaboratively at Kopeikin Gallery (Los Angeles, CA), Sonoma State University (CA), Pierogi (Brooklyn, NY), and Zeitgeist Gallery (Nashville, TN), among others. Cooley is a 2013 recipient of a Central for Cultural Innovation Grant and Lewis received a 2012 Creative Capital Grant for his ongoing project SYNONYM, and their first collaborative project won the 3-D Award at ArtPrize, Grand Rapids, MI in 2013. 

'Take Out' in Painting Reassembled at SUNY Westchester

Monday, February 1, 2016

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Collaboration with Namesake Vintage

A couple of months back I made these backdrops for Namesake Vintage's Pre-Fall 2015 look book...

Namesakes: Katie Bell

Your studio is located in Sunset Park - in an area known as “Industry City” - that has rapidly evolved into a community of artisans and renovated studio/office spaces. How long have you been here and how do you feel about this change? 
I’ve had my studio in Sunset Park for four years. I live really close by so I’m in the neighborhood all the time. I share the space with my partner, so we’ve seen this change together. When we first moved in there were still a lot of artists and small businesses, as well as a ton of vacant space.  Just in the last year there’s been a lot of big box stores moving in, so it’s identity is really shifting. It used to be an artist’s haven where you could have a lot of space and now those space are being taken over by businesses like Williams-Sonoma, who’s one of my neighbors.  The time is ticking here, and all over Brooklyn, to have space that is affordable.  For now, I am in Sunset Park and really enjoy working here.

There’s so much to look at in here! Quick - what’s your favorite object?
The Kleenex box in the paper mache rock. I made it when I was in grad school. I made a whole series of them and gave them away. People probably just threw them away, it wasn’t meant to be a “thing”.  It reminds me of grad school but also the idea of just goofing around in the studio. I think sometimes I forget to do that now. In school, maybe because you’re with this group of people for an extended time, it kind of fosters that prankster mentality where you’re just messing around with people and being funny late at night.

How would you define your artistic style?
I make work in different scales and materials, but the common thread that ties everything together is dualities- light/heavy hard/soft, rough/gentle. The piece that I’m working on now has this delicate balance of thin sticks and these really heavy, aggressive plaster marks.  What defines my artistic style is swinging back and forth between these extremes. I think that also defines me in terms of my personality, where I'm able to be two things at the same time. Strong but also really weak or smart and ditzy, a kind of play between forces.

What are some of your favorite materials to work with?
I don’t think I have a favorite; I’m just always looking for new things. I am someone who has always had collections, -rocks, stamps, corks, stickers, etc.  I am always on the hunt for something. Construction and building materials have become my latest collection. Whatever material I have in my hand is the favorite.  It is about the finding and bringing together rather than the individual on its own.

Your work is very textural - much of which is clearly the result of mindful, well- executed layering. Would you say your personal style reflects your work? If so, how?
Sometimes I feel like when I look at my closet or the way my shoes are laid out it starts to reflect a painting of mine.  It gets a little scary when I’m dressing like my art, but there is something to be said for that.  Since it is the same eye looking at my work and dressing myself, I sometimes come up with similar solutions.  I like subtle textures, like a wool sweater with a felted skirt.  There’s a similar balance that I’m trying to find with my work and that of my wardrobe, where I want to be noticed over time not just stand out in the room because I’m wearing something flashy. I hope there is a slowness to the way I dress, in that there are small details you won’t notice unless you hang out with me for a while. I guess that’s similar with my work, where it can be like one major move but a lot of it reveals itself over time with careful looking.

Why did you choose this dress?
I chose this piece because to me it's classic with a few unique moments. Like the buttons on this piece are really nice and contrast to the color of the dress. I love a dress with pockets because I’m working in my studio a lot and so they come in handy.  The buttons up the front are nice; you can make it a bit sexy when you’re going out. Today I wore this dress when I was at work teaching and now I’m at the studio.  It is a versatile, classic piece and of course the color is totally me.

If you could choose, what {object/action/feeling} would be your namesake?
My namesake would be the feeling when you’re carrying something heavy and you’re arms start shaking really hard and then finally you drop it.  It is the best feeling when you drop it, but then you always have 10 more blocks to walk.  That’s the “Katie Bell”. In some ways that sounds extreme, but one of the biggest things about my work is that I’m carrying stuff all the time.  Not in a weird heroic way, but I just have to carry stuff from one place to another.  My hands and pockets are always full.
Posted on October 18, 2015 and filed under interview.

Sunday, October 11, 2015