Archive

Tag Archives: #contemporaryrealism

SILVERMAN AND MAJESTIC THEATRE CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION presents
Sarah Becktel: Modern Menagerie

Opening Reception: Friday, November 6, 2015, 7–9 p.m.

The Majestic Theatre Condominiums
222 Montgomery Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
201.435.8000

Exhibition on view in the lobby from November 6, 2015 – February 26, 2016

Sarah Becktel, Restless Tides, 2015, Oil on canvas, 18 x 30 inches. Courtesy of Sarah Becktel, sarahbecktel.com

Sarah Becktel, Restless Tides, 2015, Oil on canvas, 18 x 30 inches. Courtesy of Sarah Becktel, sarahbecktel.com

“The word contemporary is important to my work. I’m interested in depicting the world as it is presented to me, and I experience it.” —Sarah Becktel

SILVERMAN AND MAJESTIC THEATRE CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION presents “Sarah Becktel: Modern Menagerie,” curated by Brendan Carroll. This exhibition will present approximately twenty works that includes oil paintings on panel and colored pencil works on paper. Her brand of contemporary realism is defined by clarity of vision, attention to detail, and technical virtuosity.

Becktel uses portraits and landscapes to transform the unusual and make it natural, from stuffed animal heads in a tavern in Wyoming to domestic goats grazing in a cemetery in gritty Jersey City. Her paintings and drawings explore how humans relate to and interact with animals in the modern world. Her work is as much about biodiversity, sustainability, and conservation, as it is about the sober observation and depiction of the world.

Animals appear as confidant, pastoral beast, and stuffed trophy. In one painting, the artist and a raccoon sit at a table to share confidences and Oreo cookies. In another, goats stand and loll atop headstones in an overgrown Harsimus cemetery under the midday sun. However, the relationship between species is not always as benign as it appears. Several works depict taxidermy animal heads eyeballing the viewer with their impenetrable, and vacant stares.

Sarah Becktel, Lost and Found III, 2015, Oil on Panel, 11 x 14 inches

Sarah Becktel, Lost and Found III, 2015, Oil on Panel, 11 x 14 inches

The German Expressionist Franz Marc said that painting animals brought out “All that was good in me.” Becktel shares the same sentiment. “Interacting with and observing animals probably gives me the highest level of joy,” notes Becktel. Her love of animals did not seamlessly find its way into her work. At first, she used them as symbols for abstract psychological ideas. Now, animals are more the central subjects of her work.

The development of her paintings is not a fixed phenomenon. At times, an image is the impetus that drives the painting. “I could be out in the world and observe something that just sticks with me…so in that case, the imagery is the inspiration into a painting composition,” she notes. That said, Becktel does not always rely on the visual alone to inspire an image. In some instances, an abstract idea is the motivation for a given work. In these cases, she has to find “the best way to translate the concept into a tangible image.”

Becktel, who began studying with a classical realist at age ten, is proud of her academic training, but she is not beholden to it. Reference photography plays a pivotal role in the development of her paintings. “Anytime something strikes me as interesting, I snap a photo,” says Becktel. “I’m always coming across things that might end up in a painting.” The link between photograph and realized painting is not instantaneous. It may take months or years before the initial interest develops into a more concrete painting idea. During the gestation period, she often clicks through her photo libraries to see what jumps out at her.

Sarah Becktel, Wolf Tavern, 2013, Oil on Panel, 20 x 16 inches

Sarah Becktel, Wolf Tavern, 2013, Oil on Panel, 20 x 16 inches

Once a raw idea starts to become more tangible, she will do some sketches to determine the scale and composition of a piece. Sketches never become complete works. She finds spending too much time on preliminary drawings can sap the excitement and energy of her paintings. “I like to save the detail for the actual painting,” notes Becktel.

Becktel is drawn to representational painting because it puts her in control of how much information to give or withhold from the viewer. “You essentially set the scene for them,” Becktel said. What I find interesting in her work is how it manages to create immediately recognizable images without sacrificing mystery or suggestion.

Sarah Becktel is a painter who specializes in contemporary realism. She received her B.F.A. from Tyler School of Art in 2005. She continued her studies of figurative drawing and painting at Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia and the Art Students League in New York City. Jersey City Museum, Trenton City Museum, Monmouth Museum, Ben Shahn Center for Visual Arts, and Salmagundi Art Club, among other institutions, have organized exhibitions featuring of her work. Becktel has received numerous honors, including PLAYA Artist Residency in Summer Lake, Oregon, and Brush Creek Arts Foundation Residency in Laramie, Wyoming. She currently resides in Jersey City, NJ and works out of her studio in Newark, NJ.

The exhibition will be on view at Majestic Theatre Condominium Association through February 26, 2016. For further information, please visit us at SILVERMAN or call number (201) 435-8000. Majestic Theatre is located at 222 Montgomery Street in Jersey City.

“Sarah Becktel: Modern Menagerie” is the twenty-eighth exhibition that Brendan Carroll will organize for SILVERMAN. For additional information on the artist, go here: Sarah Becktel.

SILVERMAN has presented the works of Kati Vilim, Mark Dagley, Candy Le Sueur, Ed Fausty, Anna Mogilevsky, Ali Harrington, Sara Wolfe, Anne Percoco, Shauna Finn, Melanie Vote, Paul Lempa, Fanny Allié, Michael Meadors, John A. Patterson, Charlotte Becket, Roger Sayre, Karina Aguilera Skvirsky, Tom McGlynn, Margaret Murphy, Valeri Larko, Tenesh Webber, Glenn Garver, Jennifer Krause Chapeau, Michelle Doll, Tim Heins, Megan Maloy, Laurie Riccadonna, Thomas John Carlson, Tim Daly, Ann Flaherty, Scott Taylor, Jason Seder, Sara Wolfe, Beth Gilfilen, Andrzej Lech, Hiroshi Kumagai, Victoria Calabro, Asha Ganpat, Darren Jones, Ryan Roa,Laura Napier, Risa Puno, Nyugen E. Smith, Amanda Thackray, and Kai Vierstra.

Transportation directions from Lower Manhattan to downtown Jersey City.

Transportation directions from Lower Manhattan to downtown Jersey City.

Transportation directions from Lower Manhattan to downtown Jersey City.

Advertisements

SBMT_Art_Anna Mogilevsky_Back_March2015_Pcard_Released

SILVERMAN AND MAJESTIC THEATRE CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION present
Anna Mogilevsky: Mirrors, Mirages, and Archetypes.

Opening Reception: Friday, March 6, 2015, 7–9 p.m.

The Majestic Theatre Condominiums
222 Montgomery Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
201.435.8000

Exhibition on view in the lobby from March 6, 2015, to June 30, 2015.

I create allegories of the inner workings of the mind with archetypal narratives in which all of the roles and characters are played by my own reflections” – Anna Mogilevsky

SILVERMAN AND MAJESTIC THEATRE CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION present “Anna Mogilevsky: Mirrors, Mirages, and Archetypes,” curated by Brendan Carroll. This exhibition will include seven large-scale works on paper that the artist started in 2013. If there is one word to describe her sumptuously drawn works, it is enigmatic.

Working on paper with pencil, Mogilevsky has created interlacing self-portraits that are forged through a synthesis of personal contemplation and imagination. At first glance, the drawings appear to depict straightforward domestic interiors populated by young women. On repeated inspection, they reveal a peculiar, idiosyncratic world that is inhabited by one character—the artist herself—performing multiple roles: the glutton, the provocateur, and the double, to name a few.

In Point of View, we see five representations of Mogilevsky. Each Mogilevsky has her back turned to the viewer, as she stands, squats, and stumbles in a spare room with a large window. In Veiling and Unveiling, Mogilevsky appears three times, but facial recognition is obscured. A seated and standing Mogilevsky are presented in Allegory of Drawing, but both versions avoid eye contact with the viewer. In Searching for the Light, Mogilevsky stares into the mouth of her seated opposite. These drawings mimic traditional portraiture in name only: The scenes feel remote, not of this world, dreamlike. There is not a single work here that will not reward close looking for its virtuoso draftsmanship and cerebral acuity.

The artist’s approach to portraiture begins with an idea or image that comes through a moment of inspiration. This sudden realization can occur at any time: while she is listening to music, walking through a park, or watching a movie. Sometimes the image can be realized immediately. At other times, it can take several sketches. Mogilevsky’s sketch serves as roadmap for a photo shoot, in which the artist inhabits the characters she has envisaged in her mind’s eye. From these photographs, the artist composes a digital collage in Photoshop that serves as the foundation of her drawings. In addition to her computer-generated collages, she often relies on individual photographs to inform her pieces, but Mogilevsky’s getting into character cannot be overlooked. “I feel that my poses have to be as close to the original sketch as possible,” says the artist. “I have to act out these archetypes in order to mimic the emotional and psychological states of these characters.”

Most of the settings are based on the artist’s actual living spaces. However, she modifies the scenes to serve her ultimate vision. For example, she will remove or add furniture, as well as introduce specific props to achieve her mental picture. That said, Mogilvesky does not want the viewer to get caught up in the visual trappings. For her, the key element to understanding her work is the interaction between the figures. “I am trying to create a tension between a place that is familiar to us yet foreign at the same time,” notes the artist. “The self-portraits are a way for me to materialize these intangible and mysterious moments and make the emotional aspect of each archetypal portrait more felt.”

In a world where selfies have become everyday expressions, why is self-portraiture still relevant in the art world today? The answer is intention. The selfie, in most cases, is a record of what the picture taker is doing in a given moment. By stark contrast, an artist’s self-portrait is a deliberate meditation on the artist’s place in the world, the universe, art history, and time itself. In Mogilevsky’s case, self-portraiture raises more questions than provides concrete answers, and that’s part of its uncanny appeal. “Self-portraiture reveals something about artists and their understanding of the world, their thoughts and feeling about the particular subject, their psychology, etc.,” says Mogilevsky. Here, she walks a fine line between technical virtuosity and conceptualism, and part of the joy in looking at these works is seeing how she balances those competing ends.

The exhibition will be on view at Majestic Theatre Condominium Association through June 30, 2015. For further information, please visit us at SILVERMAN or call number (201) 435-8000.

“Anna Mogilevsky: Mirrors, Mirages, and Archetypes” is the twenty-fourth exhibition that Brendan Carroll will organize for SILVERMAN. For additional information on the artist, go here: annamogilevsky.com

Born in Russia, Anna Mogilevsky immigrated to the United States in 1993. She attended the Rhode Island School of Design and earned her MFA at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Her work explores the depth of human character using her archetypal selves through mediums including pencil, photography, and performance. Mogilevsky has lectured at RISD, Northeastern University, University of Massachusetts Lowell and Dartmouth, and Bridgewater State University. She is currently leading her own artist development program, which offers online and private instruction.

Transportation directions from Lower Manhattan to downtown Jersey City.

JCF_final_small

Melanie Vote, These Apples, 2013, oil on panel, 9 x 12 inches

Melanie Vote, These Apples, 2013, oil on panel, 9 x 12 inches

SILVERMAN AND HAMILTON SQUARE CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION present
Melanie Vote: Looking Back Moving Forward: 2004–2014

Opening Reception: May 6, 2014, 6–8 p.m.

Hamilton Square Condominium
232 Pavonia Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07302
201.434.8000

Exhibition Run: May 6, 2014–August 31, 2014

“I am trying to reconcile the balance between reality and just painting … My challenge is to take the cuteness or irony out of the work, but at the same time to make work that is compelling—exciting for myself and hopefully for the viewer” — Melanie Vote

SILVERMAN AND MAJESTIC THEATRE CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION present “Melanie Vote: Looking Back Moving Forward: 2004–2014,” curated by Brendan Carroll. Vote is known for her paintings of gargantuan toy figurines that dominate sunbaked rural plains. Though they play a major role in her oeuvre, they represent only a fraction of her output. This exhibition includes roughly 25 pieces from the past decade, which include large-scale oil paintings on linen to small graphite drawings on paper. The subject matter ranges from straightforward realism to the grotesque to something hovering between the two.

Bringing old and new work together can often prompt new insights for artist and audience alike. Surveying her work, Vote is not so much surprised, as she is aware of subtle shifts in tone and temperament.

“Ten years ago I felt a need to prove myself as a straightforward realist, often editing out any tangential or spontaneous activity in fear of being labeled as something other than a realist,” says Vote. “At one point, I just got bored and began to be more playful  . . . I need to feel I have the license to do something spontaneously. I have little drive to just paint a natural image.”

In the past decade, Vote has moved away from indirect painting (layering and glazing) to direct painting or a combination of both styles. She has painted forthright domestic interiors, tawdry pin-ups girls, and post-apocalyptic landscapes. Though her subject matter has changed, Vote is steadfast in her aim to create psychological narratives. What is appealing about her newer work is the evolving relationship between observation and invention, spontaneity and premeditation.

For example, These Apples (2013) presents a close-up shot of apples on a branch, which are set against a flat blue sky. At first glance, the treatment of the subject is objective. The apples have depth, weight, and color. (They are ripe for the picking.) However, on second look, a vertical pink and white checkerboard band divides the composition. The effect is jarring. What makes this seemingly straightforward painting more evocative is Vote’s handling of the leaves, which alternate between naturalistic and abstraction. One leaf, in particular, is white and marked by polka dots.

The artist admits to being afraid one might undo or over the other.

“Oh, yes, I am afraid, and that is what is exciting for me. Taking chances, exploring, changing things from how I initially imagined them to be. . . . But there is a balance I am aiming for, almost like walking a tight rope. I hope not to fall off into the pit of absolute ridiculousness. With realism, if you deviate at all from nature, you take a chance of being labeled a surrealist, or worse. It is a difficult balance; one can easily go down a slippery slope of sheer cheesiness.”

Vote’s approach to picture making, in the artist’s words, is a “mixture of daydreaming and pragmatism.” She is a visual scavenger—culling images from the Internet, direct observation, family photos, old paintings, imagination and memories. At first, she begins with a clear notion of what the image should be. That said, she is does not allow herself to be tyrannized by the original idea.

“I let a [picture] steep for months, sometimes years … Then I have a pivotal moment of ‘Yes, this is how it has to be!’ Subsequently, I have to work in a very focused manner to finish, and that takes as long as it takes.”

The exhibition will be on view at Hamilton Square Condominiums through August 2014. For further information, please visit us at SILVERMAN or call number (201) 435-8000.

“Melanie Vote: Looking Back Moving Forward: 2004–2014” is the nineteenth exhibition that Brendan Carroll will organize for SILVERMAN.

Vote earned her BFA in Craft Design from Iowa State University (1995) and her MFA from the New York Academy of Art (cum laude in 1998). She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, including group exhibitions with Sloan Fine Art, DFN Gallery, Flowers East Gallery, The Lodge Gallery, and Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, among others. Recent exhibitions include a solo exhibition at Hionas Gallery, NY. Additionally her work was featured in “Hyper-narrative” in Seoul, South Korea, at the Hangaram Art Museum, and at ADAH, Abu Dhabi, while in residence.

She was a recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2007 and has been awarded various residencies, most recently ADAH, Abu Dhabi, in 2013; Jentel in Banner, Wyoming, in 2009; and the Vermont Studio Center with a full fellowship from the Dodge Foundation in 2002. For three weeks in June 2015, she will be in residence at The Grand Canyon. Vote teaches drawing painting and foundations at Pratt Manhattan and New Jersey City University.

For additional information on the artist, go here: melanievote.com

SILVERMAN has presented the works of Paul Lempa, Fanny Allié, Michael Meadors, John A. Patterson, Charlotte Becket, Roger Sayre, Karina Aguilera Skvirsky, Tom McGlynnMargaret MurphyValeri LarkoTenesh WebberGlenn GarverJennifer Krause ChapeauMichelle DollTim HeinsMegan MaloyLaurie Riccadonna, Thomas John Carlson, Tim DalyAnn FlahertyScott TaylorJason SederSara WolfeBeth Gilfilen, Andrzej Lech, Hiroshi KumagaiTom McGlynnVictoria CalabroAsha GanpatDarren JonesRyan Roa,Laura NapierRisa PunoNyugen E. SmithAmanda Thackray, and Kai Vierstra.

Screen Shot 2013-08-20 at 10.55.33 AM

Directions from Lower Manhattan to Hamilton Square, Jersey City, NJ via PATH