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Syntagma
April 12th - May 10th 2016

Opening 5 -7pm, Sky Bridge Art Space
65 West 11th Street, New York 3rd and 4th floors

Wilder Alison
Aurora Andrews
Marissa Bluestone
Al Freeman
Marley Freeman
Sophy Naess
Anibal Padrino
Jonathan Van Dyke

"Syntagma" presents the work of eight artists who approach the medium of painting from various perspectives. Syntagma is the Greek word for a systematic collection of statements or propositions. The exhibition extends this idea with a series of propositions made by the works on display. These contemporary artists are in conversation with modern ideas of art, “reveling in the materiality of painting” as Megan Paetzhold, a curator of the show, phrases it, while also pushing its formal qualities. The paintings are not only aesthetically pleasing or speak to themes relatable to the viewer, but the work also urges them to think of painting as more than the act of placing paint on a canvas.

As Paetzhold observes, “objects that only have one purpose seem inherently useless in a contemporary context”. Together, the work in “Syntagma” will illustrate the multi-functionality of painting. Aurora Andrews will show work constructed with sharp lines and deep color, which reevaluates the relationship between shape and emptiness. A large-scale mural by Wilder Alison focuses on finding rather than making, collapsing time and space. Similarly, the work being shown by Marley Freeman creates an organized sense of chaos through gestural brushstrokes. Large and colorful figurative paintings by Marissa Bluestone examine space and explore social interaction and rituals. Anibal Padrino’s series of oil paintings grapple with the structure of the “meme” in contemporary visual culture. Another artist analyzing the modern day meme is Al Freeman, whose satirical series of color pencil phrase drawings lifted from text messages extend one of the exhibition’s main questions: what is painting’s surface? Jonathan Van Dyke pairs painting and its own structure in his work, or makes the performative nature of painting visible. Lastly, Sophy Naess’ elaborately painted soaps question the relationship between temporality and disintegration.

— Holly Ericsson, Cheyenne Fiennes, and Trevor Brooks

Curated by the students of Practicing Curating, Spring 2016, at Eugene Lang College in New York with Megan Paetzhold and Natasha Marie Llorens.


Image: Sophy Naess, Pelagic plastic on rising tide. (100% soap), 2014. Shea butter and clear glycerine soap base, Oil of Amyris and Peppermint, cosmetic pigment. 16"x20"