Stirred Up Still

Opening Reception: Friday, May 3rd, 2013 6-10pm

Organized by Jennie Sears

FJORD is pleased to announce its first anniversary with its eleventh group show, “Stirred up Still,” organized by Jennie Sears. This show features works by:
Hector Arce-Espasas
Tatiana Berg
Brian Michael Dunn
Jack Henry
Gloria Maximo

While these artists’ individual practices are diverse in their explorations, the works presented here consider the notion of a gesture made still- the capture of a temporal, fluid moment. The artist’s gesture is a timeless and fascinating element of artmaking- think of the thrill of seeing cave painters’ thirty thousand-year-old handprints, and Michelangelo’s unfinished Dying Slaves. The gesture has endured as a touchstone of art, through Clement Greenberg’s idealist Modernist Painting of 1960 and Richard Serra’s postmodern thrown molten lead works of the late 60s. Together these works carry this conversational thread by carefully considering the gestures executed in their making.

Hector Arce-Espasas’ works combine multiple markmaking approaches on single canvases to create a network of painterly patchwork. The original layer is a brushy monoprint directly pressed onto the canvas support, which is then overlaid by a playful and skein-like fence of sketchy movement. The push and pull between the paint and support layers is heightened by the fact that the various materials (clay, linen, polyester and paint) reflect light at different angles, creating a visual interplay that prompts an interactively rewarding viewing experience.

Tatiana Berg’s exuberant, gestural paintings evince her exploratory studio practice. Her focus and self-criticality bring to mind Philip Guston’s declaration, in Faith, Hope, and Impossibility (1965/66), that “decisions to settle anywhere are intolerable.”[i] This notion is explored and made evident in her work- Berg has said of her practice that “you leave the window open, and you climb through it to the next painting.”[ii]

Brian Michael Dunn has a varied oeuvre that includes paintings on canvas as well as painted floor- and wall-bound sculptures. The works in the show are representative of a few different threads of his work, from gestural or collaged works on canvas to brushstroke marks constructed out of wood and then painted. “X” is a consideration of an iconic gestural mark enlarged in an inherently non-gestural material, and the repetitive marks of “Mire” call to mind Japanese calligraphic landscapes.

The elements in Jack Henry’s “Untitled (FS# 8, 2, 6, 9)” are created by placing a jumble of detritus gathered from the streets onto plastic sheeting, and then pouring plaster onto it. The resulting forms, evidence of the artist’s pour along with the particularities of the folds in the plastic and the materials contained in them, are then reworked, painted on, and mounted as intriguing relics of contemporary urban life.

Gloria Maximo utilizes the repetition of similar gestural motifs to evoke an intangible quality of contemporary life. She works in a serial manner through a repetitive markmaking vocabulary that illuminates her making as thought process made physical. Her intimately hand-drawn lines bring to mind the warblingly meditative movement of Agnes Martin and the wabi-sabi of Japanese aesthetics.

[i] Guston, Philip. "Faith, Hope, and Impossiblity." Ed. Clark Coolidge. Philip Guston:
Collected Writings, Lectures, and Conversations. Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press, 2011. 53.
[ii] James, Jamilla, “Tatiana Berg,” Queens Museum, Three Points Make a
Triangle (