Mandala: Locus of Thought

OPENING RECEPTION:  Thursday, Jan. 9; 6-8PM

January 9 – March 3, 2014

Mandala: Locus of Thought explores the Mandala’s elemental form and union of seemingly irreconcilable binaries as a guide for parallel systems of reasoning.

An ancient symbol of the universe, the mandala is a visual aid to the transformative process of meditation, depicting a synthesized physical and metaphysical ideal.  This exhibition explores the duality of the mandala as a locus–both a locality and an abstract center of power–through the work of fifteen contemporary NYC-based artists. These artists employ familiar geometry and architectural elements to represent intangible concepts, reaching towards the absolute with a vocabulary of earthly equivalents.

Arlene Shechet’s Flow Blue series is a centerpiece of this exhibition. These cobalt-colored drawings in paper reference blueprints of Buddhist stupas, collapsing the architectural lifespan from origin to ruin in the map of the mandala.

The shape of the Buddhist monument proliferates in Brian Bulfer’s Sacred Exchange; trails of stupa silhouettes are silkscreened over a concentric, mandala-like reflected image of a Thai storefront stocked with religious commodities. Drawing from the powerful symbolism of Tantric imagery to create a hybrid iconography, Stephen Mueller’s jewel-hued abstractions oscillate between broad planes of color and geometric volumes in the digital lexicon of gradients. Chromatic vibration attains physical presence in Fabienne Lasserre’s Are. Matt Jones’ cosmological tondo paintings are simultaneously dense with matter and portals to an infinite void.

Diving into parallel realities steeped in Hindu myth, Prithi Gowda’s film Televisnu follows a young woman’s odyssey through her own psychic landscape. Chuck Webster brings a signature palimpsestic application of paint to a visual language of metaphors at once recognizable and ambiguous, figurative and architectural.

Exhibition date:  January 9 – March 3, 2014

Artists:
Alyssa Gorelick
Andrew Molleur
Arlene Shechet
Brian Bulfer
Chuck Webster
Fabienne Lasserre
Francesca Capone
Jeffrey Scott Mathews
Jenny Blumenfield
Lauren Smith
Matt Jones
Meredith Walker
Prithi Gowda
Steph Gonzalez-Turner
Stephen Mueller

ARTIST BIO:

Arlene Shechet has exhibited her work extensively, most recently in a solo exhibition at Sikkema Jenkins & Co, NYC (October 2013), the Weatherspoon Art Museum, NC (2013) and the VCUarts Anderson Gallery in Richmond, VA, where the exhibition debuted (2012). In January 2014 the RISD museum will open “Arlene Shechet: Meissen Recast,” focusing on the 2012/13 sculptures she made at the Meissen Porcelain Manufactory in Germany.

The artist is the recipient of numerous awards including a John S. Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant and an American Arts and Letters Award for Art. She was the subject of a 2012 cover story in Art in America. Her work has been included in collections at the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA and the Walker Art Center, MN. She lives and works in New York City and upstate New York.


Andrew J. Molleur
is an artist/designer based in Hudson Valley, NY. He received his BFA in ceramics from the Rhode Island School of Design, where he also studied architecture and design, which had profound influence on his ceramic work. Molleur has recently started a small design business focusing on ceramic objects, and continues to develop his sculptural work.


Alyssa Gorelick
received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College (2001) and her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts (2006). She has exhibited her work in the US and internationally, including exhibitions at Artadia, Brooklyn, NY; Eli Ping Gallery, NYC; Silvershed, NYC; Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; and The Royal College of Art, London. Alyssa is one of the co-founders of the artist-run gallery, Regina Rex, and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Brian Bulfer is an artist, researcher and educator interested in the embodiment and representation of information. Referencing shamanistic and religious ritual practices and visual didactics, Bulfer utilizes repetitive and concentrative rituals to explore learning and holistic education. His work seeks to encode numerous visual symbol systems that reference different cognitive modes, moving between sensory phenomenon and the symbolic. Ultimately the data used becomes a part of a non-discrete narrative between numerous systems.


Chuck Webster
received his BA from Oberlin College in 1992 and an MFA from American University in 1996. The artist’s work can be seen in numerous public collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX; and The Beinecke Library at Yale University, New Haven, CT. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the Milton and Sally Michel Avery Visual Arts Fellowship, at Yaddo, in 2000 and 2010; the MacDowell Fellowship, Peterborough, NH, 2004; and the Winter Fellowship at the Fine Art Works Center in Provincetown MA, 2004.  Webster lives and works in New York City.


Francesca Capone
is an artist and designer working in textiles, visual poetry and graphic design. Her recent work compares the structure and diagrams of weaving to that of written language. She is currently pursuing an MFA at Brown University in Cross-Disciplinary Literary Arts.


Fabienne Lasserre
is from Montreal, Canada, and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Recent solo shows include “Here Like a Story Like a Picture and a Mirror” (2013) at Jeff Bailey Gallery, NY and “The Us and the It” (2012) at Gallery Diet, Miami. Lasserre has participated in numerous group exhibitions throughout the United States and internationally, including “Outside the Lines,” Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, TX (2013); “Saber Desconocer,” Museo de Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia (2013); “Building Materials,” Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT (2013) and Control Room, Los Angeles (2012); “Cheat Chains and Telephone,” Kansas Gallery, NY (2012); “La Triennale québecoise,” Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (2011); “Come Through,” Sikkema Jenkins & Co., NY (2010), “Foreign Object,” Regina Rex, NY (2010), and “Hace Mucho que No Te Veo,” a two-person show with Christy Gast at Espacio Matucana 100, Santiago, Chile (2010). She recently completed a residency at the Workspace Program, Dieu Donné Papermill, NY, and was a recipient of a Project Grant for Visual Artists from the Canada Council for the Arts (2013).


Jenny Blumenfield
is an artist and designer living and working in Brooklyn, New York.  A graduate with honors from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Ceramics, Jenny has worked at Christie’s Auction House, the Daniel Reich Gallery, and Greenwich House Pottery.  Blumenfield’s passion for ceramics extends beyond the functional into the sculptural, where she continues to play between the craft and fine art realms.


Jeffrey Scott Mathews
work is primarily concerned with fusing the improvisational gesture within preordained systems. Working with both heavy metals and textiles, his work evokes the tactility and precariousness of post-minimal material based painting, while exploring the harmony between chaos and order.

The artist has recently exhibited at Sadie Halie Projects, Brooklyn, NY; Blackston Gallery, New York, NY; Heavy Metal Sunburn at Jolie Laide Gallery in Philadelphia, PA; “Improbable Self: Notes from the Void” at St. Cecilia’s Convent, Brooklyn, NY; and in “Grid List” a traveling exhibit between Detroit, MI and New York, NY. Mathews received his MFA from Cranbrook in 2007 and currently lives, works, writes and composes music in Brooklyn. He is currently an adjunct professor at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia where he teaches classes in art, sound and interactive design.


Lauren Smith
is a Brooklyn based artist who received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Focusing on the body’s constant state of transition, Smith creates blind drawings describing the body’s internal landscape. Using line, she translates the physical experience of the body through density, open shapes, and stroke speed, a repetitive practice that seeks to offer a look at the ephemeral self.


Matt Jones
is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Jones received his BFA from the Cooper Union, was awarded the Vera T. Carroll Prize for Painting, and attended the Yale Norfolk Summer School of Painting in 2001. His work serves as a playful exploration of a variety of inter-related genres, including astronomy, theoretical physics, ancient history, the occult and humor.
Jones has exhibited at a number of prominent galleries and institutions including the Morris Museum, Mass MoCA, NADA Art Fair, The Hole, Freight and Volume, and Anonymous Gallery. His work has been reviewed in Purple Diary, I-D, and NY Arts Magazine, Art Net, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Paper Magazine. Jones continues to work with The Hole (New York), Bleecker Street Arts Club (New York), and Anonymous Gallery (Mexico City).
Meredith Walker received her BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2010. She was awarded a scholarship to attend the Ox-Bow Artist Residency where she learned traditional and contemporary paint-making processes. After moving to New York City she interned for Dieu Donné Papermill, initiating her experimentation with handmade paper. Her practice is rooted in drawing, but has recently expanded to include the use of formally specific found objects. The artist’s focus on the vocabulary of excavation combined with paint and papermaking processes lends itself to meditations on time and delineations of beauty, value and potential.


Prithi Gowda
is a New York-based filmmaker and graphic designer, who has produced work for Nike, Doo.Ri, Goldman Sachs and CUNY Architecture School. A graduate of NYU, her short thesis film “Televisnu” premiered at SXSW, received a grant from the National Board of Review, and was a Wasserman Finalist at NYU’s First Run Film Festival in 2011.


Stephanie Gonzalez-Turner
received her BA in Fine Art and English from the University of Pennsylvania. Her work is a collage of various visual lexicons unified by a process using dye as the primary medium. Gonzalez-Turner has written reviews for Art in America and The Daily Beast. She is currently based in New York City.


Stephen Mueller
(b.1947) was renowned for his color field paintings, a style that he expanded and refined from the 1970s to the 1990s. Mueller’s abstracted forms are infused with symbolic meaning and spiritual power.  His inspiration is drawn from a myriad of sources: eastern and middle-eastern art and culture, especially tantric symbols, as well as from modern and contemporary abstract painters. His use of geometric patterns, vibrant colors, and Tantra iconography creates an ethereal, otherworldly spirit that is meant to awaken, inspire, and reveal the transience of everything.Mueller received his MFA from Bennington College where he was exposed to leading influential artists, critics, and theorists of the 1950s and 60s. In his work, he explored interactions between paint and color, figure and ground, and infinite perception. He passed away September 2011 at the age of 63.