Sheer visual pleasure would have been reason enough to visit Patty Horing’s new show Underdressed at Anna Zorina’s delightful new ground floor space on 24th St in Chelsea. But there was much more awaiting viewers there in these large figurative canvases and smaller drawings. Horing brings a novelist’s sensibility to these sensitive contextual portraits, allowing us to enter into a relationship with these fully formed characters: neighbors down the hall with the cat, the woman in your reading group or the happy biracial couple celebrating their new baby. Today’s Edith Wharton, armed with a brush rather than pen, Horing shows us how we live, what we care about, and who we are today with humor and psychological depth.
A decade of embracing Horing’s work has led to the joys of tracing various influences in her work. It is a pleasure to watch her practice mature over time, her New York Academy training prominent in this new body of work. These paintings display the increased confidence of perspective, line and brushwork as well as in this increased foray into nudity. Horing completed her MFA in 2015, but continues working the same vein of largely frontal, full-body portraiture and character study that she’s been pursuing all along.
Horing’s work situates itself in dialogue with prominent artists such as Eric Fischl, David Hockney during the 1960’s Los Angeles period, Alice Neel, and Lucien Freud, among others. Figures in these works confront viewers directly, almost always peering right at us. They are at ease in their homes or personal spaces. Spaces are claimed by these subjects, indicated by the personal touches in each artwork ranging from a jar of Aquaphor on the nightstand, velvet upholstery, embroidery on the bed quilt, or rattan on the floor covering. These details situate the subjects in times and spaces that we recognize. We also feel as though we know the people in Horing’s paintings, or at least we imagine we do – whether the teenager slouched on the sofa with a game controller, tween girls texting, or a couple at the kitchen table, intimate moments feel inclusive to a devoted audience encountering this body of work.
“Betty’s Grandparents” (2018), oil on linen. Copyright, PATTY HORING, Photography: Stan Narten Courtesy Anna Zorina Gallery, New York City.
Since moving from Westchester County to New York, Horing’s treatment of interiors has changed – tall Tribeca windows and loft floors replace the wallpaper patterns and upholstery of suburbia. The figures depicted are also different, but the time is always unmistakably situated within the now. The nudity in this series is also worth delving into, in part since the garments subjects wore in Horing’s previous work often functioned as nuanced identifiers of social cues and status to viewers who have absorbed lots of fashion-industry imagery. Horing encountered many nude models in her years at the New York Academy – a part of that classical training once again gaining currency in art schools, which may account for all this undressing. In this series, people are depicted naked or half-naked, allowing us to contemplate their bodies as the vehicles they get around in: familiar, lumpy or bluish, saggy in places. These subjects are certainly not in any way idealized; yet, still somehow perfect. Their nakedness serves to bring them even closer to us, allowing a lapse into their vulnerability and inviting us to see them as normal people like ourselves.
In the end I think that is reason enough for this work to matter to us. “Simply Connect” may be the best advice we’ll be giving each other in the years ahead. With so many things that divide us, finding simple, wholesome, human ways to reach out to another, to allow ourselves to be touched by another may just become the next great front in the Resistance. Horing’s work can give us a head start.
Underdressed, a solo exhibition of Patty Horing’s works at Anna Zorina gallery, featured at 523 W 24th Street through late February 2019.
The art world is above about the current exhibition on view at the CORE Club New York: iconic American artist Judy Rifka. A legendary member of the Lower East Side arts scene in New York City, Rifka has worked across painting and video, and this current exhibition, Ionic Ironic: Myths from the 80’s, is curated by LatchKey Gallery and features at the CORE Club now through March 29, 2019.
A seasoned artist whose earlier work featured in the memorable 1980 Times Square Show, two Whitney Museum Biennials (1975, 1983), and Documenta 7, Rifka’s approach mounts a fearless examination of everything from painting to new media, figuration to geometric abstraction. Featured in publications ranging from Artforum to the New York Times, Rifka’s work has recently received renewed attention from the art world. For Ionic Ironic: Myths from the 80’s, the artist displays works that haven’t been on view to the public since a 1988 exhibit at Brooke Alexander Gallery. Rifka’s knowledge of art history is on display in these eclectic, graphic works. Pastiched, remixed motifs ranging from classical antiquity to mid-century minimalism appear through Rifka’s History of Sculpture series – including these works on view at CORE Club.
Rifka exudes a keen grasp of line in her carefully constructed compositions. Negative space flanks sparse, emphatic, painterly lines delineating the figure. This creates a dissonance: figures feel lost from themselves, flanking the canvas but demarcated yet hidden simultaneously. Vaguely reminiscent of established graphic works such as the Matisse Cut-Outs, Rifka’s energetic lines and muted tones combine to exuberant effect in these thoroughly contemporary-feeling artworks.
Hierarchies dissolve across the picture plane in Ionic Ironic: Myths from the 80’s, with shapes colliding and ricocheting across the canvas. Iconographies dissolve into mythic status with recurring motifs and shapes juxtaposing against flat swaths of color in methods recalling De Stijl legend Piet Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie. Rhythm and line jostle for the viewer’s attention, creating a complex yet ultimately rewarding composition. Rifka’s works seduce, beguiling visitors over time – multiple viewings continue to reward the viewer with something previously undiscovered. Somehow both complex yet reassuringly straightforward, works by Judy Rifka evade easy categorization.
A contemporary of art world luminaries such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Rifka remains ahead of her time in her keen, insightful approach to artmaking. Unafraid of juxtaposition and provocation, the artist continues to innovate as she continues working in a multi-disciplinary style in her artistic practice. Most recently treated to a retrospective of her long-spanning practice at the Jean-Paul Najar Foundation in Dubai, Rifka continues to mount more visible exhibitions of her work. The art world continues to delight in rediscovering her work, as her dedication to probing the boundaries of possibility across figure and line result in artwork so fresh and vibrant that it seems to belong to the future.
Valentine’s day promises to bring vivid red and pink hues to the forefront, and nowhere are these bright inviting tones more welcome than at Le Board for the opening reception of works by Indira Cesarine in Indira Cesarine x NEON. Opening Thursday, February 14 from 5-8 pm, and on view through April 13 at 800b 5th Avenue, the exhibit presents original neon artworks by Cesarine, and signals the inauguration of Le Board’s artist in residence program in partnership with Untitled Space. Curated by the renowned Jenny Mushkin Goldman, of KIN + GOLD, Indira Cesarine x NEON features stunning recent neon compositions by the artist. Opening night also includes carefully crafted cocktails by McQueen and The Violet Fog and Mi Campo, and even a surprise experience by Receptra Naturals.
Displaying Cesarine’s perceptive eye toward feminist topics and witty wordplay, Indira Cesarine x NEON proves to be a formidable survey of contemporary neon installation artworks dealing with activism and social justice. Considering the weight of words both heavy and light, these neon expressions give voice to contemporary issues while engaging directly with contemporary culture. Under the precise eye of Mushkin-Goldman, Indira Cesarine x NEON allows Cesarine’s works to shine and reach a whole new array of visitors.
Sponsored by Le Board, a Part French-part Greek, New York living brand founded by John Aghayan and creative directed by Sofia Karvela, this partnership is sure to light up a brand new experience for art lovers and those who live inspired by culture, fashion, and fine art.
For more details about the event and to RSVP please visit the event page.
BOUND/LESS, opening at 222 Bowery on Tuesday, February 12th from 6-8 pm, features a selection of artists presented by Arcilesi|Homberg Fine Art. For one night only, artworks contemplating the many facets of love and its endless scope will be presented, alongside music, wearable art and refreshments on the Bowery right across the street from the New Museum.
Works by Vincent Arcilesi, Eileen Coyne, Maria Dimanshtein, Jun’Ichiro Ishida, Carolyn Oberst, Arlene Rush, Margaret Withers and more populate the historic space. From the gestural figurative to the geometric abstract, love in all its forms is present for visitors to explore. The show features a plethora of artists brought together to honor love in all its splendor. Featuring a majority women artists in this exciting group exhibit, don’t miss the only chance to witness all this magnificent, loved-themed art in one space!
BOUND/LESS takes place from 6-8 pm at 222 Bowery on Tuesday, Feb 12th produced by AHA Fine Art.
The art world calendar is kicking into high gear- but don’t fret, we’ve pulled together a guide to help you navigate the zoo that is local and international art events happening from Feb 6-10. Call it an extended weekend survey. Take a look at the below, in NYC and beyond!
Mexico: Art Rising
This week in the zoo that is the art world, Mexico takes front and center as ZONAMACO Mexico opens in Ciudad Mexico (on view through Feb 10). Featuring the best and brightest in emerging talent, ZONAMACO Mexico is rapidly rising as a reliable barometer for art world trends and artists to watch on the international stage (with a focus, of course, on talent engaging with Latin America.)
Meanwhile, Frida Kahlo opens at the Brooklyn Museum on Frida(y), Feb 8 (yuk yuk). The retrospective marks a watershed moment for Kahlo, who went back and forth from Mexico to New York City during periods as an emerging artist. Tickets for the first few opening days caught fire – watch this space for our ANTE. review in mid-Feb!
Don’t fret if you’re stuck in the City this week without tickets to Frida – or even if you managed to snag some, know that there is plenty to occupy your time!
Starting on Thursday, 2/7 MIRROR|MIRRORhosts an artist reception from 6-8 pm (RSVP is required, firstname.lastname@example.org). Featuring February James and Shona McAndrews, the exhibit is organized by LatchKey Gallery in collaboration with Select World’s S 12 Studio. On view by appointment through February 15, 2019, MIRROR|MIRROR explores two artists whose depiction of women offer a counter narrative to beauty norms and standards.
Located at the prestigious Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery (Sheila C. Johnson Design Center / 2 W 13th St, NYC), the opening reception for the exhibit takes place Thursday, 2/7 from 6-8 pm and will be attended by the exhibiting artists including The artists in this exhibition include Morehshin Allahyari (IR/US), Scott Benesiinaabandan (CA), Matias Brunacci, Yu Hong(CN), Francois Knoetze (ZA) and Erin Ko (US) & Jamie Martinez (CO/US) in a joint project, who – intriguingly – create a journey to the afterlife inspired by the Egyptian Book of the Dead.
Saturdayand Sunday are dominated by talks and performances, with Saturday hosting the bulk of the fare.
Saturday 2/9 events include at artist talk at Lesley Heller Gallery in conjunction with Jim Osman’s The Walnut Series at 2:30 PM.
DUMBO plays host to Smack Mellon‘s artist talk, “Bonnie Collura: Prince & Rachelle Mozman Solano: Metamorphosis of Failure”: free & taking place from 4-5pm, while over in Long Island City, Queens, SculptureCenter hosts viewings into the Late Night of current exhibiting artist Banu Cennetoğlu’s Moving Image Work (RSVP required; entry from 6-10 pm with event ending midnight).
While Sunday is a mostly slow day, there is an intriguing, Chinese New Year-appropriate event at Pearl River Mart featuring a performance by Arlan Huang & Mee Mee Chin: “Cantonese Opera Makeup” for “Closing Distances”, free 1-3 pm at Pearl River Mart Gallery.
Enjoy your long, extended-art-weekend in NYC and beyond!
Swiss artist Nat Girsberger is no stranger to creating visual harmony from the seeds of chaos. The artist, currently based in Brooklyn, New York City, holds a degree in visual communication from NYU and specializes in analog collaging, taking commissions in her Bedstuy studio for clients such as Universal Music Group, NYU and Magilla Entertainment. Girsberger also works as an installation artist and production designer, and is a committed student of meditation and yoga.
Gisberger notes, “applying an instinctive process, I artistically adventure into the infinity of my psyche to break the structures that externally limit my inner vastness.” Her work utilizes collaging to create new links between the subconscious mind, juxtaposing elements which do not usually go together. Girsberger’s New York City exhibitions include solo shows at the Storefront Project (2018) and at Ivy Brown Gallery (2017) and group shows at Carrie Able Gallery, and Wallplay, and her work has been covered by Bedford + Bowery and Whitehot Mag, among others.
ANTE. sat down with Nat to discuss her practice, learn more about what influences her conceptual approach and gain insight into her evolution into an ever-present emerging artist on the New York art scene.
ANTE. We’ve been following your works for some years now and noticed that you center your artistic practice around the medium of collage. Have you always been drawn to this process?
Nat Gisberger. I arrived at analog collage after playing with many different mediums. I went to school for photography and worked in film, behind the camera making sets and constructing installations. In 2017, I held an exhibition at Ivy Brown Gallery which integrated all of these mediums into one environmental installation. Shortly after the show, an old copy of LIFE magazine caught my eye at a local thrift shop. I have always been interested in magazines, even utilizing them for source material in the past. With the encouragement of my collaborator Kurt McVey, I began collaging found photographs and commercial images to make my work.
I really enjoyed the intuitive process of collage, and how it managed to combine diverse aspects of my previous work. Looking through that particular LIFE magazine – as well as the many more I found after that – I began to notice patterns: a visual subtext which revealed a lot about consciousness of a certain time. Much of my work prior to using collage revolved around describing a collective consciousness, so this is something that immediately inspired me. One of the first things I noticed was the sexually charged portrayal of women. I made it my quest to alter the historical narrative and drawing attention to these faults through collage.
After that initial project which centered around reclaiming the female image, I was hooked. I instinctively ventured to do the same in regards to my own inner world I started making work that expressed the transient, expansive terrain of my psyche, something which is influenced by what I consider to be ‘the collective unconscious’.
ANTE. What are some techniques you use to construct an image?
Gisberger. I fell in love with the process of analog collaging, hand-cutting found imaged and composing them into new planes, new realities. I found a parallel between the process of analog collage and how the psyche stacks and re-arranges experiences. I find it incredibly satisfying to layer my own psychology through found imagery. Through collaging, the subconscious mind finds new relationships, juxtaposing images that do not usually go together and then liberating them from the boundaries of rationalism. My collages challenge reality by encouraging the dialogue between ego and that which is unknown to it. Because I am limited by my material, when I make my analog collages I try to apply an ‘automatic’ unconscious process. I naturally pick and choose images and then assemble, rather than having a clear plan in which the ego would interfere. By doing this, it allows for all of the imagery to ‘pour’ out of me.
ANTE. You also translate your artistic practice goes beyond visual arts and into your practice as a yogi. Can you explain the crossover between image and physical body, and how this crossover manifested in your recent solo exhibition “Close Your Eyes” at Storefront Project?
Gisberger. For me, art has a lot in common with yoga and meditation: it’s about tuning into the multiple dimensions of being to enhance our overall experience and better engage with the physical world. Both art and yoga nurture our physical, spiritual, and psychological layers to keep them all balanced. Breath is a helpful tool which helps one drop down deeper beyond those physical layers and begin to appreciate the subtleties within vastness. This concept of vastness allows me to expand beyond my inner world to connect experiences with a new level of consciousness.
The shared goal between my visual arts work and my yogic practice is to create a reality which inspires others to tap into their full potential. I structured (the exhibit) “Close Your Eyes” as a visual meditation, following the typical chronology of meditative practice. This creates an experience: something that gets a viewer into an expansive feeling by visually drawing her inward into herself. My work shows unconscious energy, freed from the structures of ‘reality’ for an ultimately fuller experience of life.
ANTE. As a Swiss artist living and working in New York City what was it like to develop your practice? Looking back on your experience what advice would you give your past self?
Gisberger. Run while you still can? – just kidding. At least, mostly kidding. The thing is: I couldn’t have. If I could wake up one day and have the desire not to be an artist, that would be a relief in a lot of ways. I find it quite painful at times to create. The words, “only pursue art if it is an absolute necessity”, from Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet really resonate with me. Making art is a deep, inner work – a process that is never easy. At the same time, it is fulfilling to my whole being. Life being alive, experiencing the human condition— it’s so difficult and yet infinitely rewarding at the same time.
New York City has had an influence on me from an early age perhaps because it embodies a powerful energy: it’s pulsating nature, diversity, magnitude, and honesty fascinates me. Even though I am Swiss, I often feel like I ‘grew up’ in NYC — I moved here when I was 18, right out of high school. I feel that I learned many of my bigger life lessons here, and I feel inspired to establish a dedicated art practice here. I also view the adventures and difficulties of establishing myself in a new country as a part of my inspiration. In the end, I believe that all my mistakes benefit my wholeness and growth. I would want myself to make them all over again. I’d be that annoying person that wouldn’t give young Nat any advice if I met her.
ANTE. Talk to us about your social media presence: you’ve managed to amass a large Instagram following (almost 12K and counting). How do you utilize social media? Do you consider it an extension of your practice or a marketing tool?
Gisberger. I finally caved when I knew I wanted my art-making, my collages, to pay my bills. In art world circles it can feel as though social media carries a negative connotation. I think this belief is rooted in nostalgia, and that notion that technology is disconnecting us from our physical reality. Although I’ve felt that in the past, I am quite interested in the invisible energy and psychology surrounding the rise of social media. I saw how empowering it could be as a tool after watching a close friend of mine, Julia Hunt, make a full-time living as a blogger. She is someone who is doing what she loves on her own terms.
I began viewing social media as a simple part of my overall marketing strategy. I felt it was really powerful sharing what I care about without it being edited by someone first. We no longer need agents to do our advertising for us. Instagram, because it is so visual, already lends itself to artists. It’s a low-stakes portfolio review, basically, that informs your audience as to who you are. My followers didn’t appear overnight, and I put in a lot of work to understand the best ways to get my works seen. I read about the subject and learned how to encourage growth on the platform – i.e. how to use hashtags and when to post: all of that stuff that makes most people cringe. Eventually, my following started growing on its own. I now make a large part of my income through Instagram – either through direct sales or commissions. In regards to my practice, it pushes me to produce work and to respond to themes I observe.
ANTE. Who are some contemporary influences on your work? What’s next for you in 2019?
Gisberger. I am a lot more inspired by life than the art world, actually. I have synesthesia, and so my senses constantly explode: I get inspired by my interactions with the world itself. Psychology, especially Jung, and philosophy and spirituality influence me. Don Miguel Ruiz and Michael E. Singer have both impacted me. To be honest, travel is probably my biggest passion next to my artistic practice. By changing environments I get to see the world in a new way which then inspires what I create. I am also really inspired by music — I love The Beatles, Queen, Pink Floyd, Patti Smith, Dylan, David Bowie and more modern bands like Beirut, Beach House and First Aid Kit – their sound gets me going. That’s why I’m very much into making album covers too, I love giving a musical piece a visual. I am currently working on a number of commissions including some album covers. I recently started a long-term project in the studio which will merge the 78 cards in Tarot card with my analog and digital collage sensibilities. If all goes well then later this year I plan to make an immersive 3-D installation which cross-pollinates my collages with a performance artist, so stay tuned. Lastly, I plan to take the “Close your Eyes” exhibit abroad.
On the afternoon of Saturday, Feb 2nd, United Palace theater will host Unity Earth: Liftoff, a creative performance event supporting world peace. The stunning, interdisciplinary range of performances – helmed by Creative Director Rhiannon Catalyst – features legendary talents Akim Funk Buddha and Kristin Hoffmann, as well as international talent including British Reggae legend Pato Baton, and Chinese chanting artist Mystic Voice. Part of United Nation’s World Interfaith Harmony Week, Unity Earth at United Palace (4140 Broadway at 175th St.), Sat 2/2 from 3-6:30 pm, will both stun and delight audiences.
Unity Earth is an ongoing, multi-year initiative to present engaging, interdisciplinary events to promote world peace on an international scale. Catalyst, the event’s Creative Director, has produced events ranging from Figment Festival to Creative Tech Week and the Winter Music Conference. Her experience lends an eclectic, mesmerizing eye to the potential for creative wonder to promote intercultural understanding and respect.
Promoting messages from social justice and environmental awareness to healing and artistic expression, Unity Earth: Liftoff this Saturday, February 2nd will bring a portal of wonder to anyone open to the siren’s call.