From Curator Ryan Steadman
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a phenomenon that is hard to conceptualize. It has been described as an “island” of varying thickness in the center of the vast North Pacific, estimated at twice the size of the continental United States and comprised primarily of man-made debris. The reality of our large carbon footprint has slowly seeped into our collective conscious, first through the recycling movement and then the call for renewable energies, yet Americans are more reliant on cheap disposable materials and fossil fuels than ever. The life of a new product has shortened to the point where product and garbage are quite similar; products often get discarded in bulk without ever being used, and materials are often produced so cheaply that they are seconds away from being classified as garbage. Because of this high turnover of production, older trash materials (such as reclaimed wood) are considered more valuable than newly produced ones. With the sheer amount and variety of waste products readily available, it is not a surprise that artists would naturally recycle or reuse this type of material as a part of their process. Being artists, the application of a handicraft alongside an objet trouvé is generally of equal importance, and can range from a more traditional form of painting to more mundane crafts like woodwork or embroidery.
About the Artists
Brian Belott is, above all else, an experimental artist who pushes the boundaries of painting, book-making, sculpture, drawing and performance. His signature sock paintings use the lowliest of objects, a single sock, as a starting point for his luminous geometric paintings. The sock patterns often become the foundation for larger patterns that reflect works from the canon of abstract artists, including Hans Arp and Peter Halley.
Belott was born in 1973 in East Orange, New Jersey, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn. Recent exhibitions include a solo show at The Journal Gallery, New York, a group show at Venus Over Manhattan, New York and a two person show with Joe Bradley at Retrospective Gallery in Hudson, New York. In addition to S|2’s Save it for Later, this summer, Brian is included in an exhibition at Suzanne Geiss Company, New York curated by artist Torey Thornton as well as a group shows at Acme Gallery, Los Angeles; Zach Feuer Gallery, New York; and The Hole, New York.
Graham Collins utilizes a combination of sourced and found materials that range from discarded paintings to car window tinting. In his tinted wall pieces, Collins focuses on the supporting cast ofartworks, including gnarled and damaged reclaimed wood, which border a glass facade sheathed in unusually distressed window tint, leaving the incased monochrome canvases an afterthought. In a new series, Collins repurposes found paintings, allowing them to take on new meaning after they are re-stretched around his own handmade shaped stretchers, creating odd juxtapositions with the original compositions. These found paintings touch upon important ideas about authorship and artistic value in art.
Collins was born in 1980 in Washington, DC, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn. This past fall he had a solo show at The Journal Gallery, Brooklyn and has been included in exhibitions at Venus Over Manhattan, New York; Luce Gallery, Torino; Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York; and West Street Gallery, New York. Graham’s work will be featured in an upcoming solo show at Jonathan Viner Gallery, London and a two person show at Cooper Cole Gallery, Toronto.
Rachel Foullon reclaims rural devices from another era and combines them with a host of sourced materials such as polished nickel and fabric to create gorgeous abstractions. Utilizing the sophisticated design of these objects as inspiration for greater compositions, Foullon has an almost aesthetically fetishistic relationship with these tools that have been replaced or out-moded by newer machines.
Rachel Foullon was born in Glendale, CA in 1978. She has had soloexhibitions at Halsey McKay Gallery, East Hampton, NY; University Art Museum, University at Albany, NY; ltd los angeles, CA, Artissima19, Torino, IT and Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, NY. Foullon has participated in group exhibitions at SculptureCenter, Brennan and Griffin, Wallspace, Kate Werble, Museum 52, Nicole Klagsbrun and Andrea Rosen in NY; Fourteen30, Portland, OR; Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK and Workplace, UK among others. She is represented by Halsey McKay Gallery.
Jack Greer utilizes sewing in a large portion of his work, a skill he developed while designing for Nike and Opening Ceremony. In his patchwork paintings, Jack combs the studio he shares with his fellow Still House Group members, for leftover materials, collecting bits of discarded canvas and paintings. With his accumulated findings, Jack pieces together clusters of scraps from his peers’ studios and sews them together creating chronicles of life in the studio.
Greer was born in 1987 in Los Angeles and currently lives and works in New York. He received a B.F.A from Pratt Institute and is a member of the Still House Group based in Red Hook, Brooklyn. He has recently been included in shows at such institutions and galleries as the Fondazione Museo Pino Pascali, Italy; Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels; ReMap 4, Athens; The Fireplace Project, East Hampton; and Mark Fletcher, New York. Greer’s work was featured earlier this summer in a solo exhibition at White Cube, London.
Dave Hardy creates deceptively simple arrangements out of found materials such as cushion foam, pencils, window frames and even pretzels. While Hardy’s arrangements seem simplistic, they are in fact highly engineered with a variety of hidden structural elements. As such, Hardy manages to bend these synthetic and industrial forms, giving them a completely foreign aesthetic and feel.
Hardy was born in 1969, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn and received a M.F.A from the Yale School of Art. Hardy has been included in group shows at Bortolami Gallery, New York; Jack Hanley Gallery, New York; Regina Rex, New York; and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. He has been exhibited by such institutions as MOMA PS1, New York and the Sculpture Center, New York. In 2011, Hardy was selected for a fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts.
Jo Nigoghossian creates densely layered abstract sculpture out of both new materials and repurposed objects. She even goes so far as to recycle failed sculptures within newer works. Nigoghossian is a master of balancing incongruous materials such as found fabric and cement, or rusted steel and neon. Each piece has a surprising density, revealing a multitude of complex interior lines and spaces.
Nigoghossian was born in 1979 in Los Angeles, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn. She received a M.F.A in sculpture from Yale University and has recently received grants and awards from such institutions as the Rauschenberg Residency, The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and Socrates’ Sculpture Park Emerging Artists Fellowship. Nigoghossian was recently featured in a solo show at Night Gallery in Los Angeles.
Demetrius Oliver works in a variety of media, often utilizing or documenting refuse in a transformative way. His painted works on paper incorporate discarded umbrellas, the most useless of city garbage, to form images resembling stellar constellations. Here, he is relating the common dome of the umbrella to the celestial sphere, discovering distant mysterious phenomena within the dreary everyday object.
Oliver was born in 1975 in Brooklyn, and currently lives and works in Harlem. He received a B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence and an M.F.A from the University of Pennsylvania. He has been included in institutional exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; and the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. He was recently commissioned to do a public, billboard for Manhattan’s High Line.
Borna Sammak uses lowbrow cultural artifacts from his childhood era as the foundation for his multimedia compositions. Flat-screen TVs, found signage and t-shirt iron-ons are some of the materials that Sammak uses to explore his nostalgic imagery. For this exhibition, Sammak alters an Internet found sign, implementing intricate embroidery and heat transfer to highlight the objects inherent cultural symbolisms.
Sammak was born in 1986 in Philadelphia and currently lives and works in New York. He recently had a two person show with artist Alex da Corte at Luxembourg Dayan’s Oko Gallery, New York and was recently included in Vito Schnabel’s DSM-V group show curated by David Rimanelli as well a show organized by Matthew Higgs at Shoot the Lobster, New York.
Hanna Sandin re-interprets Alexander Calder’s Modernist mobiles in the context of the 21st century by incorporating common objects such as AC vents, rubber tubing and plastic cans. Sandin uses detritus from her work as a jeweler, as well as from her everyday life, to create these formally arresting compositions. Inspired by the everyday and utilitarian, Sandin’s precise form of bricolage feeds her jewelry making and vice versa, while reinvigorating the Bauhaus ethos of synthesis within the arts.
Sandin was born in 1981 in New Jersey, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence and started a jewelry line called Samma. She has been included in exhibitions at MoMA PS1, New York; Philips de Pury & Co Gallery, London; Lisa Cooley Gallery, New York; Karma International, Zurich and shown with artists such as Joe Bradley, Jonas Wood, Eddie Martinez and Kon Trubkovich.
Jack Siegel focuses on finding a quiet counterpoint to city life. As seen in his work created for this exhibition, Siegel starts with a simple yet manufactured material, plastic bubble wrap, and uses its imprint to create permutations of a similar, resultant grid. The subtle changes in surface and color demonstrate the spontaneous moments that punctuate the routine modern life.
Siegel was born in 1986 in San Francisco, and currently lives and works in New York. He is currently included in group exhibitions at Roberts & Tilton, Culver City and Loyal Gallery, Stockholm. Siegel¹s work will be featured in an upcoming solo show in Turin, Italy.