Category: Uncategorized

A conversation with Fiona Grady. When light activates art.

Uncategorized July 28, 2017

Fiona Grady (born 1984, Leeds) is an abstract artist whose practice recognises the relationship between architecture, installation art, and decoration. She plays with light, surface, and scale; often using traditional mediums in a modern context. Her geometrical pieces work as atmospheric printed stained glasses that change with the light of day, emphasising the passing of time and the ephemeral nature of the work itself.

The concepts of repetition-discontinuity or inside-outside work here, altogether, by creating systems, apparently static, that interact with their surroundings as if they were alive. Is in the process of reflection, when the light enters through the windows and touches the skins inside the room- walls and bodies-, the moment the artwork becomes unlimited.

Grady studied BA Fine Art at the University of Wales in Cardiff before completing a Masters degree in Fine Art at Wimbledon School of Art (UAL). Grady has been short-listed for several printmaking prizes including Neo-print Prize 2014, Bainbridge Open 2012, and Clifford Chance’s Survey of MA printmaking 2011. She currently lives and works in London.

Image courtesy of The Art House, Wakefield and Axis

Could you describe your artistic process?

I create large site-responsive drawings on walls, windows, and floors using sequences of dispersing geometric shapes. The drawings are spatial systems composed from repeating intervals that expand in proportion or direction. The use of repetition is a means to set in place an unconscious balance or understanding that can be interrupted by the introduction of a changeable factor.

What kind of feelings, ideas, or emotions do you wish to communicate with your artworks?

My work is site-responsive; when I approach a new installation I consider the function of the site, it’s architectural features and the purpose of the project. I aim to create pieces that have motion within a space, either through the movement of the shapes I introduce, or the interaction with outside factors such as daylight. I don’t seek to tell the viewers how to feel, but I purposefully choose colour palettes that respond to the loudness or quietness of their venue.

Repetition occurs in my motifs and placement. I use geometric shapes as they have rules attached to their forms, by using them repeatedly I can explore their restrictions and introduce subtle changes that allow the artworks to move or grow.

Cathedral, 2016

What are the possibilities of working in the wall vs. the traditional canvas?

I’ve always considered my primary practice to be drawing. When studying I trained as a printmaker rather than a painter so I’ve never felt a strong inclination to work on a traditional canvas. I began working directly onto walls during my Masters, partly led by my admiration of the artist Sol LeWitt. I found that a wall drawing can only ever be the perfect size as you are restricted by its physical layout. In addition, creating site-specific works introduces a range of factors that are out of your control, these limitations can help determine and influence the final result. I find these challenges exciting.

Field Drawing, 2015

Image courtesy of The Art House, Wakefield and Axis

Who or what inspires you?

The artists that have the most influence on my practice are Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin and Daniel Buren. Each of them has a very strong sense of identity and utilises the transformative qualities of art. For Sol LeWitt his use of geometry is inspiring, his works are puzzles that are never really solved, only interpreted by their viewers/makers. Agnes Martin’s use of colour is almost spiritual, her exhibition at Tate Modern was very powerful. Despite the simplicity and subtleties of her paintings, I find them moving. On the much bolder scale, I am fascinated by Daniel Buren’s early line paintings that he installed in public spaces, many without permission, to question where art belongs.

Shutter, 2016

What are your future projects?

At beginning of July, I’m having my first solo exhibition in Germany at a space called Adhoc in Bochum. Each year they invite a selection of artists from around the world to create a site responsive artworks for the gallery. I will be making a series of wall drawings using geometric forms. I’m really excited about the opportunity to work abroad and keen to explore a new art scene to meet the artists there. I also have a couple of solo projects later this autumn. I’ll be making a series of new works on paper and a digital artwork for a crypt gallery in Hastings as part of Coastal Currents, an annual art festival. It’s going to be a challenging space to work in as it’s a listed building but it’ll be a great canvas for my drawings. Plus, I’ve been invited to present work for Coventry Biennial. The details are still secret but what I can say is that it will be first time I exhibit wall and window drawings together. It’s going to be a busy and fun year!


 

Front cover image: Umbra Slip, 2017
Created for Sid Motion Gallery

The stories we remember are the stories they told us.

Uncategorized June 25, 2017

 

Amy Ash is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice incorporates curatorial projects, socially engaged outreach, installation, collage and other forms of making. Her work is shaped by the stories they told us and the stories we remember, showing an interest in the relationship between collective and personal memories.

Here vintage found photographs work as triggers of nostalgia, a memory object found by chance that helps Ash to build up narratives that make us reflect on our own past. This makes me think of Roland Barthes and his Camera Lucida when talking about family photographs he claims that the images we see of others do not have the same meaning or familiarity in us. It is just to the intended audience of family and friends that the significance is understandable. We are external to their stories, we cannot feel them in the same way, we cannot long for them, the photograph would be a mere curiosity. But for Ash is in this crossroad where our most private experiences become something universal. The stories you tell yourself, the secrets you decide to keep, the memories you inevitable remember, are not so different from the others.

 

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Staging time

 

Originally from Atlantic Canada, Canada, Ash holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Mount Allison University (CA) and a Bachelor of Education from the University of New Brunswick (CA).  She has exhibited and curated programs in Canada, Japan, and the UK.  Amy Ash has been granted residencies in Canada (The Banff Centre for the Arts, 2015), Wales (Stiwdio Maelor, 2016) and London (Gerald Moore Gallery, 2017) and her projects have been awarded the support of groups and funds including: The Sheila Hugh MacKay Foundation (Canada), The Peter McKendrick Endowment Fund for Visual Artists (Canada), Arts Council England (UK) and The Canada Council for the Arts (Canada).

Amy currently lives in London, UK, where she is an artist in residence with Cubitt Arts in their Mildmay community studio.

 

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A fraction of a moment

 

What can we learn about ourselves through art?

I think that art affords us an opportunity to notice something that might otherwise have been missed. It also allows us a glimpse into our own meaning-making process, which can foster self-awareness. In turn, it allows us to make meaning without being shepherded to a specific reading of the world, which nurtures autonomy.

What kind of feelings, ideas, or emotions do you wish to communicate with your artworks?

The ideas I hope to communicate through my work shift, depending on the project or piece I am working on. However, I do always aim to present opportunities for autonomy among those viewing/participating in the work. I hope to leave certain ideas unresolved, loose ends which can be re-tied in a million different ways, depending on the situated knowledge of the person engaging with the work.

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The use of old found photographs and the construction of new narratives through them is something we can find in your work. What does the emotion of nostalgia and the concept of memory mean to you?

I see memory and nostalgia as pathways we can trace to help us understand more about ourselves and our communities. Likewise, disrupting or drawing attention to these pathways can reveal some of the stagings which support our ideas of identity and belonging.

I am attracted to found photographs and other ephemera because they are traces of human experience and they are widely understood as objectified memory. The cultural value of memory is so fascinating and I collect and use these objects within my studio practice to make links between the individual and the collective. To encourage people to engage with the collective memory through their own associations and, in some ways, to open a channel to the memory framework which dictates a person’s sense of nostalgia.

Amy Ash. in the way that worked. 3. 2015

In the way that worked

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Who or what inspires you?

Making Connections. Learning—especially experiential, tangential, play and incidental learning. The personal and the collective. Situated Knowledge. Pedagogy. Serendipity. Traces of experience and, above all, listening to people and their stories.

Could you describe your artistic process?

My process is fairly intuitive and also varied, but it usually follows this pattern…

I start with an idea, experience, object, memory or question and branch out from there with research, collecting information and related objects, stories, hearsay. I am a huge fan of a sprawling mind-map and of post-its, highlighters, lists, and sketches to get me started. I mine through the poetics, metaphors, etymology, and history of the catalyst. I always go way beyond what I think I will need in terms of research and support material, as sometimes there are serendipitous connections just on the periphery of the idea. Once I’ve done this, I reconfigure the elements—rewriting the ‘narrative’ to different ends. Sometimes the narrative is a community engagement project and sometimes it is a cyanotype, drawing or an installation. Doing the research and making the connections is best as a slow process, which I prefer not to rush. Sometimes, of course, I have to put these steps on fast forward to make deadlines, but I still follow a similar approach. I am working on being better at accepting the moments when I have to rush—it doesn’t come naturally.

 

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The moments add up

 

Future projects…

I’ve been focussing a lot on developing certain aspects of my practice. I’ve been working on a few collaborative projects which are very close to my heart. I recently finished a month-long residency and exhibition with the artist, Emma Finn, in London. The project, Muscle Wire, which was commissioned by Gerald Moore Gallery, allowed us to use the formal white wall gallery as a workspace to research, make/build and facilitate events and instances for making meaning. We invited a group of fourteen young people from three south London schools to participate fully in the residency as researchers and artists. Together we built an archive of collaborative research surrounding the future of memory. An experiment in collaboration and pedagogy, using shape memory alloys and the body as a living archive, Muscle Wire, presented a layered dialogue about meaning making and the storage, reconciliation, and recall of information.

I also recently completed a project called Bound Together: tracing roots for Orleans House Gallery, also in London. Here I worked with a community of individuals who, like me, are from other parts of the world but now live in London. Together we looked to the non-native flora which can now be found in and around London to trace evidence of human migration.

With the support of Cubitt Arts, who have commissioned thematic outreach projects for their annual Islington Summer Social, I am also working on a project which will layer personal stories with imagery of birds migrating to negotiate ideas of journeys with an elderly community in North London.

In addition to these projects, I am working, as ever, through ideas in the studio — specifically I am working on a series of materially driven works, which explore the links between copper and memory.

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Johanne Lykke Poulsen. Painting with water

Uncategorized January 19, 2017

Today I want to introduce you the work of Johanne Lykke Poulsen (1989). This young Danish visual artist works with large abstract paintings, though her artistic practice also involves text and vocal based sound art. She finds in natural elements like water a constant source of inspiration. And it is through a soak stain technique that we feel the halo of her works. A glow that has to do with the concept of the sublime related to nature. The wild and uncontrolled nature is here expressed through explosions of colour, infusing a sense of greatness to the work in an affective and sensible way that wraps you with wonder and admiration.

Johanne Lykke Poulsen is a graduate from The Jutland Art Academy in Aarhus, Denmark (2015) and has been an artist-in-residence at The Danish Institute in Athens (2016), Taekker Air Berlin (2016) and Residency Unlimited in New York (2014). After living and working in Berlin, she recently relocated to Copenhagen.

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No Storms (2016)

What does the relation between water and color mean to you?

In my work, color and water are two significant components that compliment each other. They are necessary and important. One couldn’t be without the other.

What kind of feeling or emotion do you wish to communicate with your art works?

I aim to let my art communicate an open-ended aesthetic sensibility rather than specific emotions. I think of communicating emotion in an abstract way. American painter, Agnes Martin said that sensibility is the same as beauty. I like the idea of communicating sensibility.

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Wild Greens (2017)

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Poem by a Tree (2016)

Where do you find beauty?

I grew up in a country with a coastline so long that no matter where you stand you’re less than 20 miles away from the sea. Water is a fundamental element in my work. I find beauty in water both physically and emotionally. Water is complex, sublime.

Who or what inspires you?

Agnes Martin and Helen Frankenthaler are true inspirational sources to my work. These two strong women’s work motivates me to paint everyday. I remember when I first came to New York in 2014, I saw Roni Horn’s installation of glass sculptures filled with water at House & Wirth. Her work with water made a huge impression on me. As I also work with text, I find inspiration from Cy Twombly, Gertrude Stein and Sylvia Plath.

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Two Rose Tall (2016)

Could you describe your artistic process?

I am not sure where a painting exactly begins to me. I believe in intuition. Its a religion to me. It’s a fine balance, of course, and naturally our intuition is affected by so many things – culture, experience, trends, other artists, the internet and so on. Though, I would say my process involves quite a lot of intuition. My paintings can start as a note on a small piece of paper, as an impression that another painting made on me or it can start with me simply pouring paint onto the canvas. As I paint, I apply thinned layers of acrylic paint onto the canvas. I always work on the floor. With the high ratio of water I work with, it is necessary to paint horizontally. The repetition of using water in my work has become a ritual in my studio practice.

Future projects for 2017? 


I spent the first week of 2017 moving from Berlin back to Copenhagen. Im excited about being located in my home country again for a while. With that said I love travelling and exploring new cultures as it gives me inspiration and energy to be creative. Right now, I am in Costa Rica exploring a whole new climate and environment. I am hoping the cloud forests and waterfalls will leave their marks on my next paintings. In the spring, I have a one month residency in Portugal. There I will produce field studies of the surrounding landscape and implement this in a new series of large scale paintings.

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White Water Falls (2016)

Learn more about Johanne Lykke Poulsen here.

Ana de Fontecha. Outside space

Uncategorized December 18, 2016

I remember how much I liked her Oxford shoes. I also remember the way she used to keep some tiny pieces of paper with geometrical motifs around her desk. It’s funny how those small details about a person can stick in your head for such a long time. I’m talking about the artist Ana de Fontecha, whom I met during our Masters in History of Contemporary Art, around three years ago now. I want to share her work here today.

Ana de Fontecha (1990) is a Spanish artist based in Madrid and a member of ‘Estudio Mendoza. Her work is mainly focused on the concept of space. She is interested in the relationship between the subject and the outside, and on how this contextual demarcation helps to define us. We can think of natural, domestic, or urban spaces, and how we are always connected to one or another. Ana reflects not only on how we are shaped by our surroundings but also how we give meaning to them by our presence.

These thoughts are translated into a very elegant artistic language, infused with a minimal art influence. Materials like wood and paper, the colors blue, green, and pink, geometrical repetitions, or constructions like boxes or roof beams, are the elements that form part of Ana de Fontecha’s powerful artistic universe.

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David Marmota: “The new has never attracted me as much as the old”.

Uncategorized December 8, 2016

David Marmota is a collage artist based in Barcelona. His work made out from vintage magazines is known for his geometrical patterns and colorful compositions. He has also collaborated with the band Doble Pletina since its very beginning. I really love this ‘quiz’ music video for their song Nada.

 Who is David Marmota?

The truth is I still haven’t figured out very well how to answer to that question. The easiest thing would be to me to say that I’m thirty-three years old, that  I watch films (I’m a fan of horror, noir, precode, from 1930-70 I could watch anything), I read books (A Night Among the Horses by Djuna Barnes is the last one I have read and I really liked it), and I buy magazines (Americans and French, late 50’s, early 60’s, because of the colours they use in the composition, they use a lot of color stain) which I use to cut all the time. I like pastel and golden colours. I also draw, take walks, and make a lot of mistakes, just like everybody does. Putting all this together make give a clue about who I am.

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What does nostalgia mean to you?                        

Well, as an invention to sell things of the past, right? I have always liked old things, but not for nostalgic reasons or anything. I guess the attraction that we feel for old things has to with a certain kind of sensibility, and I’ve felt this attraction since I was a kid. I don’t know, but it feels difficult to understand why cutting out a magazine from fifty years ago causes me more pleasure than cutting out a modern one. Since I was a kid the new has never attracted me as much as the old, but it has nothing to do with nostalgia.

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A fictional character that inspires you

 I can’t think of many fictional characters that inspire me, I prefer real people. Five people on my favourites list starting from above: Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Kenneth Anger, Joseph Cornell and Curtis Harrington. From Anger and Harrington, I really love Puce Moment and Night Tide. If I think about artist I have felt inspired by Agnes Martin o Corita Kent, just to name two.

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 What can we learn from ourselves through art?

I have learned a lot from myself (though not so much as to answer the first question). It teaches you to think about how to solve problems, to be more resolute, more practical, to look for the essential, and to leave aside what is not so important. 

 What are your next projects?

I would like to start 2017 animating my collages (now I’m planning how to do it), and getting some interesting proposal (I would love to exhibit my collages or to get something published with them). In the meantime, I will continue drawing, watching films, reading, and cutting out.

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Ana H. del Amo. Colours between the lines

Uncategorized December 4, 2016

Ana H. del Amo is a Spanish artist (Cáceres, 1977) interested in the study of form, movement, and texture. Her wooden and metal pieces could be described as sensorial sculptural paintings because of the vividness they express through colour. Her artworks breathe life. We feel their corporality due to their liberation from the flatness of the canvas. Ana H. del Amo’s work is an invitation to experience art in a ludic way, pleasing the eye, but at the same time asking for reflection and time.

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Jimena Kato: “Every artwork is a way we have found to solve a specific problem”.

Uncategorized November 30, 2016

Jimena Kato (Lima, Perú) is a multidisciplinary artist currently based in Madrid. I discovered her in an art fair and the pieces she was presenting remained in my memory for a long time. Time. Unstable. Precarious. Delicate. Popcorn. These are the words I would use to describe her work, if only art could be translated to language. Her artworks could be thought as time experiments where matter is studied through the slow but constant processes of change. As if they were natural objects, as if they were us.

Jimena Kato studied sculpture, video and performance in ESADMM Marseille, France. After that she  obtained her transmedia post-diploma in Sint­Lukas Hogeschool, Brussels. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including Paris, Lima, Brussels, Philadelphia, Bogotá, and Spain.

 

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How would you describe your work?

Adaptable to circumstances.

What can we learn from ourselves through artworks?

Every artwork is a way we have found to solve a specific problem, so with every piece we make, we learn something.

 

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What kind of feelings do you wish to communicate?

I don’t want to communicate feelings, nor I think I have anything to tell to other people, I think what I do are tests, attempts, trys and fails and then when I show my work the question is more likely “what do you think?” or feel for that matter. I’m curious about the reaction in other people, if they get something. Of course I want them to like it, to take with them something from it after experiencing it, but that is all I can wish for.

 

 

Where do you find beauty?

Normally I don’t find it because I’m not particularly looking for it. I think beauty happens, as a consequence of something. It doesn’t exist as a closed predetermined form, it is more a sort of transitional movement that suddenly unveils it. Beauty always surprises me coming from nowhere or from unexpected places, gestures, situations, always from nature, nature can be terrible too.

 

 

 

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Learn more about Jimena Kato here!

 

Interview with Jessica Wilson: “Creation is the rebellion”

Uncategorized November 20, 2016

Jessica Wilson (b. 1986) is a British visual artist currently based in Glasgow. She studied Fine Art at University College Falmouth (UK) before going on to become part of the Turps Banana Painting Programme, an experimental art school in East London, run by Marcus Harvey and Peter Ashton Jones. Since then she has co-founded the artist led initiative The Juncture and had a two person show at Standpoint Gallery, London. Jessica Wilson has recently completed a Masters at Glasgow School of Art and was a finalist for the 2015 Discerning Eye Drawing Bursary. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is in public and private collections.

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Untitled (2014)

I remember that the first thought that came up to my mind when I came across Jessica Wilson’s paintings was “wow, this has kind of a Mary Heilmann spirit”- and Mary is definitely one of the cool girls-, so I started following and very soon loving Jessica’s work. One of Wilson’s project is an imaginary exhibition under the title, ‘Mary, Blinky, Jessica, Yay!’, where she fantasies about exhibiting her work next to Heliman’s and Palermo’s. So that made me realize that I had captured her essence in some sense from the beginning.

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Average-pretty (2016)

I think that sharing what you love with others creates an invisible bond: a bond that we could name ‘having a particular sensibility’. Maybe is Mary Heilmann what brought me to Jessica’s Wilson art, but what really interests me is her own world.  A series of paintings that relate to echoes, moments, or remembered memories written in a language that we can only give meaning by looking, deeply.

How much can we learn from ourselves through art?

What we can learn is immeasurable. Art makes us question and search. It allows us to place things and to place oneself.

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Mary, Blinky, Jessica, Yay! (2016)

Why painting? And why abstraction?

I’ve always had a love of paint since I was young and my obsession with it continues to grow. For me, painting is discovery.

 I wouldn’t describe my work as abstract. They all come from life. They’re translations, just like Ellsworth Kelly’s works are translations of things he’s seen in the world.

Where do you find beauty?

 I look to nature first to find beauty but it can be found everywhere, from patterns in weather to music and relationships.

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The bricks that built the houses (2016)

What kind of feelings do you wish to communicate with your artworks?

 For me painting and drawing is about communicating things I don’t have the words for. I don’t have words for how I want the viewer to feel, I just want them to take the time to look, really look.

 A fictional character that inspires you

 That’s a tricky one to answer as I think I’m most inspired by other artists. Viv Albertine’s autobiography, ‘Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys’ jumps straight to my mind as an inspirational read. Her song that said “Typical girls / Don’t create / Don’t rebel / Have intuition / Can’t decide”? Well, Albertine decided. Creation is the rebellion.

Interview with Annekatrin Lemke: “Art encourages us to think and rethink about life”

Uncategorized November 8, 2016

Annekatrin Lemke (1980) is a German freelance artist known for her colorful ‘sculptural paintings‘ made out of wood. Abstraction, geometry, and powerful colors usually combined by a neutral white, meet in a three dimensional space of wooden relief. She studied wood design at the Academy Of Applied Art in Schneeberg, and currently she lectures at sculpting workshops and teaches future “master” wood-carvers. Her creations have been exhibited in Brussels, Karlsruhe, Liechtenstein, Erfurt and Suhl.

 I contacted Annekatrin to ask her some questions about her work and the meaning of art, here is what she told me. Hope you enjoy her words and her beautiful pieces!

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How much can we learn from ourselves through art?

Art encourages the viewer as well as the artist to think and rethink about life at all, about memories as well as future plans, about how to live, how to communicate and how to see. Yes, by dealing with art you get a more complex and precise view of what surrounds us.

 

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Where do you find beauty?

Beauty is everywhere around us. I find beauty in the nature as well as in the city and especially in art, architecture, music, literature, fashion and human relationships.

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What kind of feelings do you wish to communicate with your artworks?

I think this is open to the personality of the viewer. I like the different perceptions and the discussion about the artworks!

 

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A fictional character that inspires you.

Honestly, I’m more inspired by other artists- sculptors, painters and photographers-, as well as musicians and actors. There’s such a great amount of inspiring artists to focus on! I like for example Agnes Martin, Frank Stella, Imi Knoebel, Giorgio Morandi and Rachel Whiteread.

You can find more of Annekatrin’s work here!

All photos belong to the artist.

Abstract tape. Rebecca Ward

Uncategorized September 19, 2016

Rebecca Ward (1984) is my new art obssesion. I have been following her work for a while and I think is time to share her powerful but at the same time delicate universe. She is an artist from Texas based in Brooklyn. She studied Fine Arts in the University of Texas and received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York. Her light color geometrical paintings and her crafty site-specific installations made with tape are strongly influenced by minimalism, abstraction, and arte povera. Frank Stella, Daniel Buren, an Carl Andre are some of the artists that I hear echo in this beautiful work engaged with the exploration of space and color. Also she has one of the best artist statements I have ever read!

She is represented by The Ronchini Gallery.

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