Snuggies, scales, and fleece: three common elements in Eric Helvie’s abstract paintings exhibited in Format Neon. Helvie's blue fleece works, Untitled (Blue Fleece), are transfer paintings: the artist lays canvas on top of the fleece fabric and after painting, flips over directly onto the below fleece. The fibers of the fleece capture every subtlety - the movement of the paintbrush, the pooling of excess paint, and the ghost figures that have bled through the canvas. Helvie’s interest in process is also shown in his scales work, Untitled (Scales) and Untitled (Small Scales). Representative of sea monster scales found in ancient sea maps and Illuminated Manuscripts, the hand drawn, repetitive bubbles are both dizzying and meditative.
Martine Johanna’s acrylic paintings on Belgian linen and wooden panels, Happy Days, 1988, Control 1, and Control 2 are bright, hyper-saturated neon works that explore the duality between youthful naivety and anxiety-riddled adulthood. Five female figures crowd the compositions and occupy the majority of the space. Their torsos are brightly colored and each has her hand, or hands, prominently displayed as a point of focus. The women hold celebrated objects from youth - a sweet, smiling lollipop, a melting ice cream cone, exploding confetti - yet gaze distractedly into an ominous future. The paintings are visually stimulating and cheeky while expressing an underlying sense of uncertainty and unrest. Johanna lives and works in Amsterdam.
Mark Knoerzer uses color, light, and extensive layers to create geometric images and abstract symbols. He has developed a uniquely personal visual language, which references a spectrum of everyday life from humans and animals to landscapes and atmospheres. Each sleek work is methodically hand-painted on wood and layered with epoxy, giving each work a glossy, luxurious finish. Mark received an Associates of Fine Arts from F.I.T. and a BFA from Parsons School of Design where he was awarded an undergraduate Dean’s Scholarship and a BFA Scholarship. He also studied theater backdrop painting at the Studio and Forum of Scenic Arts in his hometown of Cornwall, NY. He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Please join us on Wednesday, March 2nd from 6pm-8pm for the opening reception. The show will run from March 2nd until April 9th.