Joshua Liner Gallery presents the third edition of Summer Mixer, a spirited group exhibition of emerging and established contemporary artists. For some, this will be their debut offering with the gallery, while others continue to foster a growing relationship with the exhibition space. An extensive scope of artistic mediums is covered in this exhibition including installation, sculpture, mixed media, and painting. Summer Mixer opens with an artist’s reception on Thursday, July 16, 2015.
Berkeley-based artist Libby Black will present a selection of paintings and sculptures exploring commercial products, luxury designer items, personal possessions, and their influence in shaping an individual’s identity. EZ Duz It—a guitar case constructed of paper and acrylic paint—bears a collection of bumper stickers with political statements, fashion labels, and positive affirmations. The artist explains, “Usually you can tell a person by their car and their bumper stickers… a little bit of fashion, pop culture, political statements and affirmations. It’s a mix of what I like, and somewhat of a self-portrait, although I feel all of my work is like that.”
Also working in a three-dimensional medium, Brooklyn-based artist Daniel Joseph presents a new installation: When Actually That Was All That Was Really Happening. This piece exists in two stages and forms, alluding both physically and conceptually to Marcel Duchamp’s seminal works The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Green Box), and The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass). Like Duchamp’s Green Box, the first stage of Joseph’s work consists of a wooden box filled with 365 notes and drawings written to an ex-lover over the course of one year. Based on the Ebbinghaus curve (or forgetting curve), the writings are visually displayed in stage two between plexiglass panels, mirroring Duchamp’s The Large Glass. Joseph explains, “The result is a collection of real notes inside a fictional story… profane love as imagined inside something beautiful, yet imperfect, falling apart. A testament and celebration of what was and remains unfinished.”
Geometric abstraction and painterly exploration is central to the work of Elise Ferguson, Antonio Adriano Puleo, and Eric Shaw. Ferguson’s works on MDF panel combine painting and relief printing, exploring simple patterns with circles and rigid lines to form dynamic, optical compositions. While abstracted, the emerging patterns in Ferguson’s work often resemble naturalistic elements such as lighting fixtures, linoleum floor designs, electric stovetops, and industrial packaging. Antonio Adriano Puleo’s abstract grid paintings and sculptures explore form, color, and process. Each work in the artist’s twelve by nine-inch works on panel bears an independent set of colors and structures. Unified by their identical size, these grid paintings reveal the artist’s dedication to the endless possibilities of simple patterns, form, and color combinations. Eric Shaw merges elements of geometric and gestural abstraction in his vibrant works on canvas. Composing sketches on a smartphone drawing app, the artist translates fragments of these doodles onto canvas. Shaw explains, “I am interested in capturing a moment, where all the forms are still but feel as if they were just in motion. In some of the more complex compositions, several sketches are incorporated, and a landscape compiled of forms interact and create tension.”
Contrasting the angular geometric work of the aforementioned artists, Brooklyn-based Jane LaFarge Hamill explores a gestural, impasto style of painting. Hamill’s abstract portraits on canvas capture the suggestion of a human figure with faces that are skewed and unrecognizable through her thick slabs of paint and raised brushstrokes. The most recent work from the artist examines emotion and identity as moving, breathing, and flowing human attributes, constantly changing form.
Brooklyn-based artist Kristen Schiele mixes collage, screen-printing, and painting to create multi-layered planes in her patterned, angular works on canvas. Combining snippets of architectural structures, diamond Navajo patterns, images of German B-movie actresses, seven point stars, and high contrast between dark tones and neon hues, Schiele’s works are brimming with electric energy. The work pulsates with various references to the many places the artist has lived around the United States and Germany. Describing her layered process, Schiele notes “The abruptness of a cut panel or a clash in painting, drawing, and printmaking techniques keeps the practice of painting exciting to me, and keeps the picture plane jumping around.”
The otherworldly bronze sculptures by San Francisco artist Mario Martinez (Mars-1) are informed by cosmology, extraterrestrial theories, scientific phenomena, and patterns occurring in nature. The artist’s round, molecular shaped bronzes are detailed with concentric circular patterns reminiscent of Fibonacci sequences, with evenly spaced impressions that are both naturalistic and very alien.
Lastly, Barcelona-based artist Michael Swaney’s vivid works on canvas present fantasy worlds filled with geometric shapes, mosaic patterns, and clown-like figures. Evoking influences of Art Brut and its pioneer Jean Dubuffet, Swaney’s joyful use of line and sunny color palette exude the playfulness and innocence of a child’s drawing: heartwarming and uplifting.
Summer Mixer will be on view through August 21.