East Wing Guest Room Corridor
Installed at the Hotel Henry are a group of paintings by New York-based visual artist, Rebecca Allan. Allan is known for her richly layered and chromatically nuanced abstract paintings. Her work investigates watershed environments of the Northeast, Pacific Northwest, New Mexico, the Gulf Coast, Lebanon, France, and Norway, and is inspired by her interest in landscape ecology, botany, and geology.
The artist explains,
My paintings are rooted in the dramatic cycles of nature as well as a deep curiosity about science, and the forces underlying what we observe on the surface of things. My working process involves drawing, mixing pigments and layering color over time — in response to the environment, and to observed and felt experience. For me, the language of color is a sanctuary within which the questions and problems of art making — indeed, of life — are confronted. I work within a transcendental American landscape tradition that includes painters such as Charles Burchfield, Joan Mitchell, and Neil Welliver but I also draw from the works of Renaissance masters such as Giovanni di Paola and Pieter Breughel in my desire to invent a new, cosmological landscape.
Exhibiting in the United States and abroad for more than 25 years, Allan has been represented in numerous solo group exhibitions. Many of the paintings on view in this installation were included in the recent solo exhibition “This Ravishing Earth” at The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, NY. Allan is also a contributing writer for publications including Fine Art Connoisseur, and the online journal artcritical.com. In addition, she has had a professional career as an arts administrator, museum educator, public programs curator, and teaching artist.
East Wing Connector
Sczerbaniewicz’s most recent work aims to translate the concept of cognitive dissonance through a sculptural, architectural lens. Included in the Hotel Henry installation is a body of work that depicts scenes of what Sczerbaniewicz describes as a “fossilized agency—an agency that in its current and diminished state acts as absurd mockery of its once proud and functional past.” Sczerbaniewicz’s practice involves an insatiable fascination with interior and often, uncanny architectural spaces. Sczerbaniewicz is interested in spaces that “evoke a sense of psychological unease.” Drawing upon these marginal spatial subjects, Sczerbaniewicz constructs intricate sculptures, which he refers to as “psycho-geographical vignettes.”
Gary Sczerbaniewicz was born in New Hartford, NY in 1967. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 1995. He relocated to Buffalo, NY in 1996, during which time he worked in the architectural/masonry restoration/construction profession as a designer/drafter, estimator, field surveyor, and project engineer. Sczerbaniewicz received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the Department of Visual Studies at the University at Buffalo in 2013. Sczerbaniewicz is a 2016 fellow in Architecture, Environmental Structures, & Design from the New York Foundation for the Arts. He was a recipient of a 2017 NYSCA DEC Individual Artist Grant, 2013 Jacob Kassay MFA Award, 2010 NYFA Strategic Opportunity Stipend, and was a 2010 member of the NYFA Mark Program. He has exhibited in NYC, Philadelphia, PA, Wilmington, DE, Toronto, Ontario, and Buffalo, NY. Sczerbaniewicz has recently completed artist residencies at Yaddo (2017), the Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts (2016), and Sculpture Space (2013). Since 2013 he has taught Sculpture, 2D & 3D Design classes at both the University at Buffalo and Buffalo State College. In 2017 Sczerbaniewicz was named Visiting Assistant Professor of Sculpture at the University of Notre Dame, in South Bend, IN. A recovering child of the Cold War, his works often display an ongoing preoccupation with politics, history, psychology, horror film milieu, the architectural uncanny and various iterations of what he cites as ‘high-strangeness’.
West Wing Guest Room Corridor
Included in the Hotel Henry’s installation is a survey of works by Eric Magnuson created over the past few years, some of which was created while the artist was in Buffalo.
Magnuson’s practice explores the history of westernized painting as sign, language as landscape and semiotics as subject. The artist explains:
“As topography is to landscape, typography is to language. The words and sentences we speak and write form our cultural and social landscape. We look through our language to see ourselves. We read through the terms of our vocabulary toward a horizon of self-definition. Idiom, lexicon, and vernacular form the lens through which we see and understand the world. I consider painting to be a convention, a language of seeing, and in turn I consider language as malleable and as viscous a medium as paint. I therefore paint with language and the supporting materials of pigment and linen/canvas are allowed a textural as well as textual voice within this physical aesthetic activity and historically charged genre.”
Eric Magnuson has been consistently showing his paintings bicoastally since the mid 1980s including solo exhibitions at Thomas Solomon’s Garage, Los Angeles; Silverstein Gallery, New York; and 4F Gallery, Los Angeles. Magnuson has also been included in group shows at White Columns, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, London, England; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach; Ford Gallery, Eastern Michigan University; Center for Curatorial Studies Museum, Bard College, New York; Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach; and The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, among many other venues. Magnuson’s work is represented in numerous public and private collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach; Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach; Williams College of Art Museum, Williamstown, MA; Center for Curatorial Studies Museum, Bard College, New York; and The Norton Collection. Locally, Magnuson was featured in the Amid/In WNY series at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center. Eric Magnuson lives and works in Jersey City, NJ.
West Wing Connector
Presented in the Hotel Henry’s west wing connector installation, is a series of paintings by Julian Montague connected to a body of work titled “Fictions: The Thorold Gallery,” recently exhibited en masse at Anna Kaplan Contemporary. The exhibition featured Montague’s conceptual faux books, posters and other ephemera, which have been a large part of his art practice for the last several years. Over 100 posters and other printed materials related to a fictional 1970s art institution called “The Thorold Gallery” were installed. The posters depict a wide range of artists, artwork, exhibitions, and performances and invite the viewer to imagine exhibitions, happenings, and entire bodies of work into being. The content is mainly pure invention by Montague and allowed him to explore other media, including painting, which is where the body of work now installed at the Hotel Henry was born. Aesthetically, this body of work draws on the visual conventions of mid-century European graphic design- a central tenet of the artist’s practice.
Julian Montague is known for his photography, design, and installation work. His work often explores the peripheral features of the domestic and urban environment. Montague has exhibited throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. His work has received attention from Artnews, Art in America, Frieze, New York Magazine, The New York Times, The Toronto Star, the BBC World Service, and many others. Montague is represented in the collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Burchfield Penney Arts Center, The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, and The Norton Museum of Art, and the Progressive Insurance Company, as well as numerous private collections.
Historic Staircase Landing
John E. (aka “Jack”) Drummer was a prolific, yet reclusive, artist whose work was little shown during his lifetime. Drummer was most active as a visual artist in New York City in the late 1950s and early 1960s, culminating with the artist’s inclusion in the 1965 edition of the Young America series of exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art that featured young artists on the rise. In 2016, a large retrospective of the artist’s work, was installed at the Burchfield Penney Art Center. The exhibition, curated by Scott Propeack, was accompanied by a catalogue with an essay by Douglas Dreishpoon. Anna Kaplan Contemporary (then BT&C Gallery) organized a concurrent exhibition and pop up installation at Silo City. Up until the Burchfield Penney’s retrospective and companion exhibitions at BT&C and Silo City, Drummer’s rubber canvases were rarely, if ever, shown. This past Fall, Jack Drummer was featured in a solo show at White Columns in New York.
Second Floor Lounge
The photographic images installed in the lounge are a part of a series titled “La Lune” by Gigi Gatewood of work inspired by travel to Trinidad and Tobago. All of the depicted objects and spaces are connected by the fact that they are imbued with a spiritual significance.
The artist explains:
I am frightened and fascinated by the influence of belief. I have waded in a river sacred to thousands, I have stumbled upon a pipe in the ground only to learn that it’s a tool for a deity to communicate with the underworld, and I have unknowingly set down a leaned chair intended for a fallen angel. Everywhere I turn, objects, places, and even people are imbued with meaning. We as humans take comfort in connecting with our environment. There is power in that.
I wonder if the same forces that drive an artist to make her art are the same forces that drive a religious practitioner to make her idols. Are we looking for answers or creating mysteries? Or is the ultimate goal to make people believe in something we ourselves created?
Gigi Gatewood, born in Buffalo, now lives and works in the Hudson Valley, NY. After receiving an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (2009), she spent a year in Trinidad and Tobago (2011) as a William J. Fulbright Fellow researching and photographing the islands’ complex spiritual landscape. Her work has been included in exhibitions at Invisible Exports, Aperture Gallery, and the Chelsea Art Museum in NYC; Carrol and Sons in Boston, MA; David Cunningham Projects, Krowswork Gallery and Femina Potens Gallery in San Francisco; the Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo; and the Katherine E. Nash Gallery in Minneapolis. Gatewood participated in artist collaborative video and performance projects at the 2009 Venice Biennale and the 2003 Havana Biennial. Gatewood currently teaches at Siena College.