January 6, 2009

Monya Rowe: Doubtfully optimistic? Optimistically doubtful?

Monya Rowe is presenting a group show, 'Perception as Object," which originally stemmed from the anticipation surrounding the recent presidential election and the current post-election uncertainty. The work in the show investigates how individuals perceive and interpret objects and ideas differently, and that sounds like a pretty good theme even without the compulsory Obama connection. Artists included are Kevin Christy, Josephine Halvorson, Farrah Karapetian, Jayson Keeling and Carrie Pollack.

At The Old Gold, Jon Lutz speaks with Carrie Pollack about her images, process and source materials. "
My goal is to make a painting with as little as possible, almost stopping short to keep it open. I want them to be quiet, slow and a little unclear. I think when this happens it becomes more of a conversation then a statement, maybe somewhere in-between deliberation and intuition. I react to specific things in the world. These things have similar qualities so the choice of source is deliberate. Once I have this catalogue of images I know I want to work with I just sit and look at them for weeks. Through the looking at these images I begin to see other things at play, I think I am intuitively responding and arranging images at that point." Read more.

From the press release:
Josephine Halvorson's new small-scale paintings examine familiar objects. In "Problem Set" (2008) an old notebook page from a calculus class is replicated on linen; the word "sin" (a mathematical function) now has multiple readings. The painting is a construct of a problem and an answer, a start and a finish.

In Carrie Pollack’s new mixed media paintings, she examines how perception can change and evolve - for better or worse - over time. Giving rise to ambiguous interpretation, Pollack questions the initial meaning of an object, and then turns it into another meaning. Pollack’s works, echoing the outlines of minimalism – repetition, neutral surfaces - are formal compositions of subject matters ranging from distorted details of woven fabric to blurred photographs.

Kevin Christy presents two large mixed media drawings. In Untitled (2008) - a 3 by 5 foot work on paper - an elongated image of a white t-shirt bearing the American flag is set against a black background. The image, ghostly and rooted in working class values, is Christy’s interpretation of a design for the “Freedom Tower” in New York City.

"Perception as Artist," Monya Rowe, New York, NY. Through Feb. 14.

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