PATRICK CARRARA JANET PASSEHL
FLAT FILE FEATURE ARTISTS
KURT STEGER JESSE HICKMAN
October 27 – December 3, 2017
OPENING RECEPTION: FRIDAY OCTOBER 27, 6-8 pm
For Patrick Carrara and Janet Passehl, a completed work of art is the final moment captured in a series of repeated gestures, performed over time. The smallest variations invite shifts in perception, as they pay strict attention to their materials. Both artists create physical boundaries, which become the stages upon which a rigorous process of consciousness, layering, folding, pressing, and draping invite us to come in for a closer look.
Our Flat Files are curated and change with every exhibition. We are pleased to feature new sculptures and drawings by Kurt Steger and Jesse Hickman.
Born in Nice, France Patrick Carrara began his studies in visual arts in Paris. Upon completing his studies at the Fine and Graphic Arts school, he crossed the vast breadth of the Sahara. Then his journeying took him to the other side of the Atlantic, where he traveled north through Central America to Mexico and the United States. He traveled light, but never without his leather briefcase in which he carried paper, colored pencils, and pen. They were, the tools of his trade, the instruments of his art, and rare was the time that he was not putting them to creative use.
When he returned to Paris, he established himself fully as a painter and illustrator. But he soon realized that the center of the art world was the city of New York.
He moved to Brooklyn, NY where he currently resides.
Traveling is one of the best ways to nourish our soul. Moving to New York helped him to find a balance between geometry and minimalism in his work.
In his current series Appearance, begun seven years ago, Patrick Carrara uses black ink on Mylar, layering thousands of lines freehand, spreading the ink by lightly touching the Mylar’s surface line after line. In Carrara’s mind this process replicates the density of information we take in every day.
By changing a single detail (or very few) in a highly complex pattern, Carrara leaves us open to discover that these small variations modify and alter each individual work and our perception of them.
Janet Passehl is moved by how Hokusai treats rain: arrays of carefully drawn long vertical or slanting lines that exist strongly as both marks and illusion. In rendering something fleeting so concretely, Hokusai brings his rain to Eliot’s “still point of the turning world.” As viewers, we are privy to the inconceivable: the eternal present. Slashing rain brings pathos and intimacy to Hokusai’s pictures, as human figures—pedestrians twisting under blowing umbrellas, fishermen rowing their boats hard— are also held in suspension.
Drawing, especially line with its immediacy and potency, is at the heart of the artist’s work. The four pieces in this show continue an ongoing collaboration with space, light, gravity, and the nature of woven fabric. The cloth is plain and her interaction with it simple. “Material knows more than I do, so in the studio I act less and watch more.’
Passehl’s concern in the studio is not to make a “work of art” but to pay attention to the changing conditions in a continuum of moments as she interacts with her chosen materials. A piece is “finished” when it seems to contain all the moments.
Janet Passehl is an artist and poet whose work has been exhibited on three continents. Although her influences are wide-ranging, she is frequently associated with first-generation “minimalists” and has been shown alongside Agnes Martin, Marcia Hafif, Carl Andre, Sol LeWitt, Fred Sandback, Dan Flavin, and others.
In 2013 her ironed cloth was featured in the survey Art & Textile: Fabric as Material and Concept in Modern Art from Klimt to the Present, at Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, and Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Germany.
Passehl’s work is in several private collections as well as teaching museums such as the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College, The Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas, Austin, and the Tang Museum at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Passehl’s first full length poetry collection, Clutching Lambs, was published in 2014 by Negative Capability Press.
ODETTA is pleased to introduce the newest series of sculptures by Kurt Steger. L.A. Structures. The evolution of the Urban Structures series was inspired by a 2017 extended stay on a mountaintop in northeastern Los Angeles.
The views were reminiscent of his childhood as a native of Southern California. This extended visit reacquainted him with mountains, beaches, and deserts, all within reach and became a pilgrimage into the sources for his earliest artistic development. Steger’s appreciation of nature and an attraction to the progressive teachings of mid-century modernist architecture eventually drew me even further into the past, to traditional Zen gardens.
In L.A. Structures Steger’s return to these early influences of his life offer a pathway to the core ideas that have always shaped his work.
Kurt Steger makes art that is of service, intended for healing our inner nature. Steger believes that it is our job on this earth to step into our brilliance and his job as an artist to facilitate that with objects and images.
Steger is active in the Men's Movement and is interested in the shamanic role that the contemporary artist can embody in today's culture. No matter their diversity of material and method over the last 20 years, all of Steger's works employ a sense of motion, power, rugged sensitivity, and a sense of humor.
His most current output is obsessed with ephemerality –often incorporating self-combusting objects, inviting viewers to wake up, release their sense of denial, and heal.
In 2016 Steger’s solo exhibition at ODETTA, Scribing the Void, was commissioned and recreated for Coach’s flagship store and is permanently installed on the 2nd floor of their 5th Avenue and 54th Street location. In 2017, Steger was awarded a NYFA Fellowship Grant.
Jesse Hickman works intuitively, making abstract, painted sculptural objects and works on paper. Most of his current works are small scale and hang from the wall. This newest series Higher Grounds are charcoal and graphite drawings created from used one pound coffee bags. With these drawings, Hickman is thinking less, and drawing and erasing more, until it feels right.
In the late 80’s, Hickman began making minimal abstract paintings and sculpture. This self-taught work earned Hickman the first of his two Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grants. Work from this period was included in exhibitions at the Bemis Foundation, Rose Art Museum, the Renaissance Society and multiple gallery exhibitions.
Hickman’s work is in numerous public, private and corporate collections, and has been in nearly 100 solo and group exhibitions.
Hickman received a second Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2015, which helped make possible this current body of work.
APPEARANCE is the gallery’s 28th exhibition. There will be an opening reception for the artists on Friday October 27, 2017 from 6 – 8:00 pm and the public is invited. Gallery hours are Friday thru Sunday 1-6 pm, and by appointment. Please check the gallery website for related events throughout the course of the exhibition.
ODETTA is a Bushwick-based gallery created and run by artist Ellen Hackl Fagan. The gallery exhibits the works of contemporary artists focusing on Color Theory, Minimalism, Glyphs, Buddha Mind, Fluxus, History, Humor, Psychedelia, Ephemera, Science, Math and Music.
Ellen Hackl Fagan
To get there: Cook Street is bordered between Bogart Street to the north, and Evergreen Street to the south. The Morgan Ave stop on the L train is 3.5 blocks from Cook Street.