NINA LEVY: RELATED FORMS
June 10 - September 10, 2011
The Salamatina Gallery is pleased to announce “Related Forms,” Nina Levy’s first exhibition in New York in five years. The exhibition will feature two new sculptures, a new series of photographs, and a selection of Levy’s work from the last ten years.
“I work with bodies and body parts in representational sculpture. I hope that by manipulating the scale, placement, and context of these figurative elements, I can explore both individual psychology and social context. I am interested in creating sculptures that can be aesthetically pleasing and playful while they are simultaneously slightly uncomfortable objects.” - Nina Levy
Nina Levy works from observation, but distorts, scales, fragments, and displaces her chosen figures. Her sculptures are modeled in clay or plaster, then they are cast in resin or hydrocal and painted with oil or automotive paints.
The exhibition will also include selections from Levy’s ongoing series of portrait heads. For over ten years, she has sculpted people involved in various aspects of the art world: artists, collectors, gallerists, critics. Each head is approximately life-size and is suspended at the approximate eye level of its subject. These heads have been exhibited at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, and the National Portrait Gallery, among other venues.
The most recent work in the exhibition will be a new group of photographs. Levy explains, “I make photographs documenting myself and others interacting with a series of sculptured props and prostheses. The most recent group of images focus on the problematic aspects of family life and the parenting of small children”
Nina Levy was born in Los Angeles, California, raised in Chicago, Illinois, and studied at Yale University (BA, 1989) and the University of Chicago (MFA, 1993). Her work is included in a number of public collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (La Jolla, CA); The Rockford Museum of Art (Rockford, IL); Grounds for Sculpture (Hamilton, NJ); The Chicago Atheneum Museum, (Schaumburg, IL).
Nina Levy lives in Brooklyn, New York.
JAN MAARTEN VOSKUIL, CLOSING THE GAP
May 6 - May 31, 2011
The Salamatina Gallery in Americana Manhasset is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition in the U.S., Closing the Gap, by acclaimed Dutch artist Jan Maarten Voskuil. The artist will show a selection of new works never seen before. In conjunction with Jan Maarten’s exhibition the Salamatina Gallery will present a collaborative symposium on Sunday, May 8, 2:30 - 4:30 pm including Matthew Deleget, Founder/Director, MINUS SPACE and Erik Saxon, artist. The panelists will discuss their work and ideas, as well as their relationship to new international directions in reductive abstract painting, in particular the monochrome.
Jan Maarten Voskuil
Voskuil’s “paintings” are about everything that a painting usually is not: sculpture, design, architecture, and installation. His uniquely constructed configurations of stretchers and linen expand, quite literally, the grounds of what can count as a painting, while the curved surfaces of his works confound any stable distinction between three-dimensions and two. Voskuil’s art draws upon both the perceptual Minimalism of figures such as Robert Irwin and James Turrell, and the literal Minimalism of figures such as Donald Judd and Robert Morris. But rather than rejecting painting as these predecessors did, Voskuil remains committed to this medium and its continuing potential, even if it is, in his own words, “nothing more than just wood, linen, paint, and a little craftsmanship.”
Jan Maarten Voskuil received his Master of Arts from University of Groningen and pursued post-graduate study at the Ateliers Arnhem, Art Academy Arnhem, The Netherlands. Voskuil has exhibited and widely in Europe, the United States, and Australia, and his work is held in the collections of the Frans Halsmuseum Haarlem, and the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, as well as numerous others.
February 4 – April 2, 2011
Born in Camaguey, Cuba in 1955, DEMI is one of the most critically acclaimed Cuban-American artists working in the United States. She depicts a vibrant and intimate universe centered upon children, but hers is neither a sugar-coated nor an innocent vision. DEMI paints luminous and powerful children whose lives have been exposed to the vagaries of the adult world.
DEMI has first-hand knowledge of the plight of children whose fates are altered by devastating events. Her father was executed in Castro’s Cuba when DEMI was still a child. Her family’s home and resources were all confiscated and they scraped together a living until DEMI was sent to Puerto Rico to live with relatives at the age of six. She finally joined her family in America in 1971, and they eventually settled in Miami where she studied at Miami-Dade Community College. DEMI is a sobriquet to indicate her life was cut in half by exile, and she emphasizes individuality and ambiguity by avoiding the use of a last name.
“I belong to a forgotten group: children of those executed in Cuba for political reasons,” the artist states. “Sons and daughters still too young of age to understand why we were confronted with death, separation and loneliness. My paintings blossom from the inner depths of those childhood memories.”
DEMI deliberately employs a naïve style and paints mainly children. Her subjects are denuded and androgynous, preternaturally mature and far from ingenuous, reflecting their precocious experiences. Although rooted in her personal history, these subjects are fanciful and universal, with powerful social and political overtones. According to art historian, Lynette Bosch, “DEMI has created almost a new medium in her manipulation of acrylic paint because she is able to apply the acrylics in the translucent layering that is the property of oils. In stretching her medium in defiance of the limitations of accepted practice and expectation, DEMI has broken through pictorial boundaries that would bind any other artist. These paintings are exceptional in imagery, content and theme, but it is their technique that makes them significant artistic statements for those who value the manner in which an artist can reform our sense of materials.” For DEMI, the meticulous layers of paint represent layers of memory and meaning.
DEMI’s work is highly acclaimed and has been widely exhibited and published. She has been represented in group and solo exhibitions for more than 25 years, and often uses her work as a forum to raise awareness for children’s rights. Since 1998, the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art has been collecting DEMI's primary records (correspondence, notebooks, drawings, photographs, catalogues). In 2009, DEMI was personally invited by the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Miguel Diaz, to display one of her works in the U.S. Embassy residence in the Vatican City. The painting, Two Artists and Their Children of Their Imagination, will be on view for two and a half years as part of the prestigious ART IN EMBASSIES program. DEMI’s works are featured in many public and private collections worldwide and have been widely exhibited in galleries and museums in Switzerland, France, Panama, Puerto Rico and the United States.
Victor Skrebneski: Five Beautiful Women
October 1 – November 3, 2010
Beauty, allure, style, look is the summary
of what Victor [Skrebneski] shows...
– Hubert de Givenchy
A glamorous exhibition by the legendary photographer, Victor Skrebneski, featured black-and-white fashion images from 1962-1987. FIVE BEAUTIFUL WOMEN presented timeless portraits of Estee Lauder models: Phyllis Connor, Karen Harris, Karen Graham, Shaun Casey, Paulina Porizkova and Willow Bay. The exhibition opened with a champagne reception on Friday, October 1 from 6 – 9 p.m. and remained on view until Wednesday, November 3, 2010.
Skrebneski was commissioned by Estee Lauder to do her first cosmetic advertisement in 1962, the year she began the practice of selecting one model to be the “face” of the company. Lauder’s vision was to create an aura of beauty which was both inspirational and approachable. Skrebneski, whose lens captures everything from high fashion to celebrity portraits and sensuous nudes, brings out the soul of his subjects, as well as the sculptural lines of their form and face. As the exclusive photographer for Estee Lauder, he created 25 years of memorable portraits, each of which stands alone as an artwork of flawless and ethereal elegance.
FASHION ICONS by Laurent Elie Badessi and Andres Serrano
September 10 – 29, 2010
The Salamatina Gallery paid tribute to the thrill and glamour of Fashion Week with an exhibition of FASHION ICONS by Laurent Elie Badessi and Andres Serrano. This was a magical pairing of two creative geniuses: the French-born photographer, Badessi, with the American photographic artist, Serrano.
Featured were iconic black-and-white images which Badessi took when he was the exclusive photographer in 2004 for the Charles Jourdan luxury shoe brand. Shot in the Californian desert, they fuse mythology with Surrealism, depicting subjects such as Diana, Goddess of the Hunt, or Ganymede, being abducted by Zeus in the guise of an eagle. Badessi presents his models as emblems of fantasy and sexuality, dressed merely in masks and expensive shoes. Also in the show were color images from the photographer’s Ethnik series, where he introduced nomadic tribes in Africa to the allure of Western couture … as well as the notion of having their likeness captured on camera. Serrano’s bold, large-scale pictures were from his America series. In response to the 9/11 tragedy, he took more than 100 singular photographic portraits of citizens young and old, rich and poor, known and unknown, heroes and anti-heroes, from all ethnic backgrounds and walks of life. Direct, honest and devoid of editorial embellishment, these faces represent in the artist’s words, “My America. Without apology or prejudice. One flag over all.” Highlighting the exhibition at Salamatina were portraits of an American Eagle flight captain, an NYU undergraduate, and a buxom Playboy bunny, each of whom exudes a strong spirit and identity.
FASHION ICONS opened with a preview party on Friday, September 10, 2010 from 6 – 9 p.m. and remained on view until September 29, 2010.
Valery Yershov: Celebrities!
Thursday, July 29 – Monday, September 6, 2010
New paintings by the Russian-born artist, Valery Yershov, were shown for the first time in the United States at the Salamatina Gallery. On view were stunning portraits of some of America’s youngest and hottest A-list celebrities from Lady Gaga to Taylor Swift, Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner and Justin Bieber. Also presented were images of famous contemporary Russians from Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to the oligarch and owner of the New Jersey Nets basketball team, Mikhail Prokhorov. The show opened on Thursday, July 29 with a packed party of art enthusiasts, who enjoyed live entertainment and Russian fare. “Celebrities are a reflection of the world we live in,” comments Yershov. “I analyze our present time through the images which proliferate in the media – paparazzi snaps, video clips, advertising – and transport these highly visible personalities from 2010 into a different era.” Yershov’s interpretation of the fame game was both imaginative and unique. He took America’s cultural icons and presented them in the context of the 20th century epoch of his homeland – also known as the Silver Age of Russian Art. Thus, figures such as Lady Gaga were depicted in traditional Russian costumes, complete with babushka or Ukranian-style braid. Teen heartthrob, Robert Pattinson, was shown in many guises, dressed as a peasant, an aviator, a gangster or Tsar Nicholas II. In the Russian sector, Yershov paired the popular Prime Minister Vladimir Putin with the infamous monk, Rasputin. Separated by several decades of history but linked by the artist’s creativity, these men were shown identically dressed as cosmonauts in one picture, and as robed monks in another.
Valery Yershov was born in Yessentuki, Russia in 1960. He studied at the prestigious St. Petersburg State Repin Academic Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, back when it was located in Leningrad. His formidable training in life drawing and art history is manifest throughout his work. Yershov blends classical elements with contemporary touches in a self-proclaimed style called “New Romanticism.” He relies on his academically-based technique to reinterpret the genre of portraiture; deriving inspiration from paparazzi snaps, video clips and advertising. He also experiments with his medium, applying such novelties as golf balls to a portrait of Mozart or dressing a modern day athlete in Victorian armor. With artistic fluency and imagination, Yershov mates classicism with pop culture, bridging several centuries of painting.
Yershov was a member of the “association” of underground artists when he lived in Moscow. He became a resident of a community on Furmanny Lane and led an alternative artistic lifestyle. His early work was Neo Expressionist in tone, dominated by distorted, mutilated characters dissolving into abstract, Medusa-like creatures. During the Perestroika years of the mid 1980’s, Yershov was recognized as one of Russia’s most progressive artists. Glasnost and liberation from censorship provided the artist with a new found freedom, resulting in a body of novel work centered upon current affairs and aesthetic issues.
Yershov emigrated to New York in 1989 and became a part of the Conceptual Art movement. His initial focus was monumental decorative objects which were designed to convey beauty and spirituality. Yershov then forged a distinctive brand of ironic Realism, one which reflects life in the age of digital manipulation and staged reality. With masterful detail he paints lavish interiors – elegant rooms with vaulted ceilings, arched doorways, parquet floors and neoclassical sculptures - that are whimsically inhabited by animals, some of whom are dressed as humans. Yershov is also noted for his dynamic portraits of popular figures - artists, entrepreneurs, cowboys, hippies and celebrities - everyone from Lady Gaga, Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner and Justin Bieber, to fellow artist Matthew Barney. Sumptuously painted with exaggerated figures and high-keyed colors, these images are spectacular flights of fancy that fuse daily life with popular culture.
Valery Yershov has held solo exhibitions in New York, Connecticut and Arizona, as well as in Russia, Finland and Switzerland. He has been widely exhibited in group shows in the United States and throughout Europe. His work has a strong secondary market, and is often auctioned at Christie’s and Sotheby’s.
He currently lives and works in New York.
Niels Shoe Meulman - Calligraffiti: Letters of Independence
Thursday, July 1 – Tuesday, July 27, 2010
To celebrate America’s birthday, the Salamatina Gallery hosted an unprecedented installation, Calligraffiti: Letters of Independence, by the cutting-edge artist Niels Shoe Meulman. The exhibition opened with a live Calligraffiti performance on Thursday, July 1st, demonstrating how Meulman literally re-wrote the 1776 Declaration of Independence on site at the Salamatina Gallery. Meulman completed his Re-Declaration over a period of days, highlighting all 1,337 of the historic words in 262 works of art, executed in ink on U.S. letter-sized paper. These “Letters” were exhibited throughout the holiday weekend, and remained on view and for sale until July 27th.
Meulman, who lives and works in Amsterdam, has been a legend in the graffiti world since he was 18, tagging under the name Shoe. He is a pioneer of Calligraffiti, a revolutionary art form which combines the lyricism of traditional calligraphy with the speed and immediacy of modern-day graffiti. The artist broke new ground with this project, by interpreting a document of the length and cultural significance of the Declaration of Independence. He also explored his dedication to the art of writing, by choosing a document noted for its flourish-filled quill letters, as well as for its powerful - and universal - expression of human rights.
Sylvia Plachy & Gyorgy Beck [Metaphysical Landscapes]
Saturday, May 15 – Thursday, July 1, 2010
Sylvia Plachy & Gyorgy Beck [ Metaphysical Landscapes] was an exhibition of photographic works by two celebrated Hungarian-born artists. Featured were a number of images which were taken by Plachy and Beck during a photo shoot in the Ukraine in January 2010. There also was a selection of works in black and white as well as in color, representing different subjects, styles and periods from their long and independent careers. This was a unique collaboration between two gifted artists and good friends, who share an impulse to unearth the "meaning" or "essence" of their subject matter. Beck experiments with film, Polaroid and liquid emulsion, in his explorations of the profound and difficult aspects of creativity. "I constantly search for the essence of the art within (or behind) the pieces that I have been working on," Beck states. From natural settings devoid of humans or haunted by a lone figure or cyclist to street scenes empty of all but a single car, Beck’s images reveal the fragile nature of our civilization.
"I think almost all great pictures have ghosts in them," Sylvia Plachy reflects. She employs more traditional photographic techniques and infuses each picture with a poetic sense of wonder, by condensing multiple layers of meaning into a single, evocative image. The resulting "landscapes," which are both interior and exterior, range from the inner spirals of the Guggenheim Museum in New York to the wheels of a bicycle in rainy China; from a mystical forest in Transylvania to a hanging bridge in the snowy Ukraine. Rather than present a snapshot or document of reality, Plachy unearths that which is hidden within the corners or beneath the surface of her subject matter. "A photograph for me," Plachy says, "is something I feel rather than see."
Born in Budapest in 1943, Sylvia Plachy lived in Hungary until she was thirteen years old. She escaped with her parents in 1956, carrying only a modest suitcase, in the wake of the Hungarian Revolution. Two years later, her family was finally able to leave Vienna and immigrate to the United States. They first lived in New Jersey and later moved to New York City.
While still in high school, Sylvia commuted by bus to Manhattan on Saturdays to take figure classes at the Art Students League. Later she studied art at Pratt Institute, majoring in graphic arts, and earning her BFA in 1965. An encounter with photography during her junior year, led to the discovery of her life's work. This past February, the German Photographic Society honored her with the Dr.-Erich-Salomon-Prize 2009 and called her compassionate and "... one of the most intriguing photographers of our time..."
After college, Sylvia worked as a photojournalist and portrait photographer. She was on staff for the Village Voice from 1974-2004, and her photo essays have appeared in many publications, such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, Time, Smithsonian, Granta, Metropolis, Fortune, Geo, and Art Forum. Sylvia Plachy works in black and white, as well as in color. From early on in her career, she has worked and traveled on assignment, while simultaneously publishing books that are a blend of written and visual memories. Her first book in 1990, Unguided Tour, won ICP's Infinity Award for best publication. The book comes with a record by Tom Waits. Waits also contributed to the back cover, "… No one's afraid of Sylvia, she can go anywhere, and she doesn't scare the birds." Her book, Self Portrait with Cows Going Home, is about childhood in Eastern Europe and received a Golden Light Award in 2006. Her other books are: Red Light, in collaboration with writer James Ridgeway; Goings On About Town, a collection of pictures taken for The New Yorker; Out of the Corner of My Eye, based on a show at the Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid in 2007, and Signs & Relics, with an introduction by Wim Wenders. In a review of this book for Aperture magazine, Charles Harbutt paid tribute to, "... Sylvia's enduring sense of wonder... She seems not at all concerned with impressing us with the enormity of her talent or the trendiness of her concepts but rather with noticing and photographing signposts to a world of allegory. There is a poetic and literary component to her images."
Sylvia Plachy has had one woman shows at the Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris in New York, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and the Queens Museum of Art and also had solo shows in galleries in cities around the world such as Budapest, Ljubljana, Manchester, Berlin, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Paris, Rome and Tokyo. Her work was featured at photo festivals in Perpignan, Arles and Pingyau, as well as at PhotoEspana and Look3. She won a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1977 and a Lucie Award in 2004. Her photographs are in major collections.
She is married, lives in Queens, New York and has one son.
Frank Olt: New Paintings
Saturday, March 13 – May 9, 2010
Frank Olt: New Paintings was a selection of recent works by the New York abstract artist. These paintings are an expansion of Olt’s continuous work in the medium of encaustic, and are executed on portrait-grade linen. Some are as large as 6 x 6 feet; others are smaller in scale. All are dominated by grid-like patterns in which interstices pop and are as powerful and pungent as the tensile evocations of netting, ladder rungs or cancelling bars. Olt, who began his artistic training as a ceramicist, demonstrates a confident and sensuous gesture in terms of the application – and scraping or removal – of his materials. He manipulates the wax and its embedded pigments to create surfaces that vary from matte or powdery films to rich, viscous impastos. Pulsating orange and red pigments pay homage to the power of the flame and the role that heat plays in his artistic process, while passages of saturated blue are a direct reference to water and sky.
Elizabeth Jordan: Snapshots
February 11 – March 12, 2010
Elizabeth Jordan: Snapshots, was a selection of powerful images in color, as well as in black and white, by the London-based photographer.
“This show was a montage of my major work over the last few years,” comments Jordan. “It chronicled my international travels and reflected the magnificent cultures and poignant struggles that I have witnessed in such countries such as Africa, Bosnia, Burma, Russia and Thailand. Each of these pictures was a tribute to the land in which it was taken; a very personal response to a world in which beauty, dignity and grace can be found under difficult or harsh circumstances.”
Jordan employs many contrasting techniques in her photography from de-saturation to colorization, solarization and the application of paint by brush to elicit a “Pop” art effect. In each case, the technique or combined techniques are dictated by the subject matter, as well as by the light captured in the original digital negative. She distills her subjects to an isolated figure or parts of a figure, to which she subtracts or adds pulsating color and heightens contrast through a complex layering of processes.
The “snapshots” on view were deeply sensitive and dramatic portraits, ranging from young orphans to faces lined with age, from church domes to dusty soccer games, or the writings of a teacher on a chalkboard. Jordan’s main focus was upon women and children in distant or war-torn regions, and she imbued them with an artistry that is both evocative and uplifting.
Arrivals and Departures by Arturo Rodriguez
December 10, 2009– January 29, 2010
Arrivals and Departures is a recent series of 37 paintings by the celebrated Cuban-American artist, Arturo Rodriguez. Ranging in size from intimate to monumental, the works in this show are an intriguing blend of interior and exterior landscape, which serve as a meditation on the human condition and the passage of time. Rodriguez puts strong emphasis on light and pictorial space, employing a subtle palette of warm and cool grays, combined with earth colors. His reduction or refinement of formal elements, such as color and space, pays homage to film and photography, as well as to Japanese ukiyo-e prints and the masters, Bonnard, Corot, Degas, Hopper, Morandi and Pascin.
The settings – airports, train stations, parking lots, bus stops – invoke some of life’s most transient and poignant ambiguities. Humans are depicted isolated or in groups; some are waiting, some embracing, others float on escalators or moveable walkways. These are anonymous figures, often shown dramatically cropped or eclipsed by their personal effects, such as cell phones, newspapers and suitcases. Rodriguez presents them in potentially bustling or hectic places, which he imbues with a paradoxical stillness, emptiness and loneliness. Dominated by vast windows and skies, each conveys its own narrative, with an architectural awareness, refinement of spirit, and economy of scale that is both haunting and poetic.
Marc Andre Robinson
October 24 – December 7, 2009
Marc André Robinson at the Salamatina Gallery was an in-depth exploration of the artist’s signature sculptures, complete with previously unseen preparatory drawings, as well as a selection of recent works. This comprehensive and revealing show offered insight into the talent and vision of a deeply engaging New York artist – whose work cross-references African American history, social and art historical movements, jazz music and his own autobiographical narrative.
Known for his monumental sculptures in which discarded furniture is reconfigured into lively assemblages, Robinson presented several towering pieces, accompanied by drawings which chronicle his artistic process from 2005-2009. These drawings had never been shown together and represented a vital and un-encumbered view of Robinson’s seminal work.
Also featured were a fresh series of charcoal drawings, which formed an alphabet grid or configuration of streamlined symbols, executed in densely layered and richly monochromatic material. These were complimented by a large-scale drawing installation, in which individual tesserae or cobblestones were pinned together to elicit a massive wishing well, pathway or mandala.
Group Show 2009
September 1 – October 15, 2009
Group Show 2009 at the Salamatina Gallery was a selection of works by international artists in media ranging from paintings to prints, photography, installation and calligraffiti – a revolutionary art form. The show presented the work of artists whose roots can be traced to Amsterdam, France, Hungary, Slovenia and America.
A mélange of many talents and perspectives, Group Show 2009 offered some of the freshest and most intriguing expressions in the Contemporary art world. Featured were large-scale paintings by the Parisian-born, Jerome Lagarrigue, along with a bold, multi-canvas installation by the Slovenian artist, Gasper Jemec, inspired by his summer visit to Long Island. Other highlights included a broad selection of unique, hand-coated prints on aluminum by the Hungarian cinematographer, Gyorgy Beck; calligraffiti by the legendary Dutch artist, Niels Shoe Meulman, and evocative black and white photographs by the young French photographer, Nicolas Sisto.
March 12 – April 12, 2009, Moscow
June 25 – August 16, 2009, Manhasset, New York
46, XX, a celebration of the female impulse in Contemporary American Art, was debuted at Na Solyanke Art Gallery in Moscow's Red Square, where it drew record audiences and overwhelming media attention. Curated by Oksana Salamatina, Director of the Salamatina Gallery, the show became the focal point for the gallery’s opening in Manhasset, New York on June 25, 2009.
Featured was the work of the famous Hyper-Realist sculptor, Carole Feuerman, whose sensuous nudes, swimmers and bathers, capture the very essence of beauty and tranquility. On view was a broad selection of Feuerman’s water-drenched figures from all periods of her career, along with her more recent and highly tactile explorations in bronze.
46,XX also presented the work of collage artist, India Evans, in addition to silicone portraits and flashe-paintings by Christy Singleton, and uniquely textured paintings on fabric by Lisa Wade.
In conjunction with the opening of 46, XX, the Salamatina Gallery launched ArtWalk Americana. Spread throughout numerous luxury boutiques in this world-class destination, was the work of international artists both male and female. ArtWalk Americana provided a moveable feast melding the realms of art and fashion, and offered a full range of expressions from paintings, drawings and prints to sculpture, collage and photography. A site-specific installation for the Donna Karan window was designed and executed by Marc Andre Robinson.
Artists in ArtWalk Americana: Gyorgy Beck, India Evans, Carole Feuerman, Komar & Melamid, Jerome Lagarrigue, Dimitry Merinoff, Robert Motherwell, Robert Natkin, Arturo Rodriguez, Rotem, Christy Singleton, Nicolas Sisto and Lisa Wade.