Erik Benson, Paul Brainard, Pia Dehne, Hiroyuki Hamada, Elizabeth Huey, Erika Keck,
Emily Noelle Lambert, Frank Lentini, Eddie Martinez, Brian Montouri, Bryan Osburn, Kanishka Raja,
Erika Ranee, Tom Sanford, Christopher Saunders, Kristen Schiele, Ryan Schneider, Oliver Warden,
Frank Webster, Eric White and Doug Young
Allegra LaViola Gallery | 179 East Broadway | New York, NY 10002
T 917.463.3901 E email@example.com
Wednesday – Saturday: 12-6PM
Opening Reception: October 26, 6-9PM
Allegra La Viola Gallery is pleased to present Die Like You Really Mean It, a group exhibition on view
from October 26 – December 7. The exhibition is curated by artists Paul Brainard and Frank Webster
and features new paintings and sculpture by over twenty artists living in the New York metro area.
The curators have assembled an energetic and dynamic show, where each work registers as a highly
charged expression of the individual artist. Brainard and Webster have maintained a special interest
in choosing works that register not as intentionally ironic but rather as sincerely and at times
viscerally rendered. This exhibition celebrates painting as a healthy, living, and variegated mode of
art making in New York.
The works included in this exhibition are often resistant to purely formalist and conceptual concerns,
engaging themes that extend beyond the material media of painting. Figurative and scenic elements
may invite narrative readings while color is used forcefully, liberally, or selectively. The expressive
qualities of color among the works range widely from Oliver Warden’s transformative explosions of
color, to Hiroyuki Hamada’s restrained, bi-chromatic capsule-like wall reliefs. Also of concern among
the works is the relationship between the human being and its environment, exemplified by Erik
Benson and Kristen Schiele’s depictions of inhabited indoor and outdoor settings, Pia Dehne’s
complex compositions in which figure and ground are enmeshed through lyrical patterns of line and
geometry, and Kanishka Raja’s use of pattern to unite various specific locations depicted in the same
Atypically, this show exalts in its contrasts. The works of Chris Saunders and Brian Montouri could
best sum this up. Saunder’s paintings are slick and calm on the surface but belie an unsettling and
subversive content, while Montouri’s vision is a veritable disgorgement of expressionist storm and
bluster. Each artist pushes the medium with equal passion, but in radically different directions, with
starkly different results. This passion however is one thing all of the artists in Die Like You Really
Mean It share in common.
—Paul Brainard, Kristen Lorello and Frank Webster
Hiroyuki Hamada: Two Sculptures
IN GALLERY II
September 15 – October 15, 2011
Reception Thursday, September 15, 6 to 8pm
Lori Bookstein Fine Art is proud to announce its first exhibition of the work of Hiroyuki Hamada. One free standing piece and one wall work will be on view in Gallery II.
Hamada received his initial training as a painter and as such, the integration of form and surface are paramount to his process. He begins each sculpture by making a foam and wood core, builds it up with burlap and plaster, and finally applies a combination of enamel, oil, plaster, resin, tar, and wax to create an austere and mysterious finish.
Hamada’s underlying forms imply a deep connection with the geometry of nature, but they remain non-representational. Basic shapes such as the circle, ellipse, and square are gently stretched and torqued under his hand. Hamada favors a limited palette, but he nonetheless conveys myriad ideas, objects, and emotional tones. It is perhaps one’s inability to decisively “place” each work that makes it so richly allusive. Indeed, Hamada’s sculpture may connote an archeological relic, a futuristic spaceship, or the microscopic worlds of cells and molecules, but these are the viewer’s personal speculations, not the artist’s deliberate intentions. The absence of descriptive titles – each work is numbered rather than titled – both frustrates and encourages these open interpretations.
If a true subject can be said to exist in Hamada’s work, it is the communication of pure visual ideas through a profound dedication to material and craftsmanship. The results of his mature works (the two pieces on view, #53 and #63, were made in 2005-08 and 2006-10, respectively) are elegant but not easy. They are a series of paradoxes: familiar and foreign, painterly and sculptural, minimal and effusive, modern and archaic, industrial and warm. Despite this, each sculpture is a self-contained whole, able to evince formal ideas amidst association and contradiction.
Hiroyuki Hamada was born in 1968 in Tokyo, Japan. When he was a teenager, his father moved the family to West Virginia. Dramatically uprooted and unable to express himself in his native language, Hamada discovered a compelling means of communication through the study of drawing and painting. The orchestration of line, shape, and other formal properties of drawing were a revelation to him. Hamada attended West Liberty State College in West Virginia before earning his MFA from the University of Maryland. He has participated in artist residencies and exhibited throughout the United States, and was the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant in 1998. He currently lives and works in East Hampton, New York.
Pictured: #53 (2005-08). Enamel, oil, plaster, tar, and wax, 38 x 38 x 14 1/2 inches
I’ve been contacted by the office of Damir Doma, a French fashion designer, saying that my work is an inspiration for his Autumn Winter 2011-12 collection. It’s great to hear that the work spoke to him. To celebrate the opening of his space at L’Eclaireur, they are showing a few pieces of mine along with his work, his creative setting and etc. There will be an opening at the space on 9/13 from 5-9pm. The event happens as L’Eclaireur participates in Paris Design Week. The event was made possible by the generous cooperation of Bodo Vincent Andrin, Founder & Managing Director of LIGANOVA, who is loaning the pieces for the duration of the show (September 13 – 22). This marks the first public display of works from LIGANOVA’s LIGAart Collection. It’ll be a fun thing to stop by if you are in Paris.
I’ve been working with 7th graders to put up a show. There is a fancy private school in my area with a
program that lets the kids pick artists, interview them, do studio visits, curate a show with them, make
a catalog, do the opening, and do everything else that’s involved in doing an official exhibition for the public.
OK, they are 7th graders so they get help from their teacher. Sue Heatley, besides working at the school,
is also a sculptor herself and she is experienced in working with art institutions. Please do not underestimate
the tremendous feat of giving a good educational experience to a few dozen 7th graders while organizing
a professional looking show! She’s done a great job.
I will have three pieces in the show. And Drew will also have 3 pieces. Let’s show up for the opening and make
the kids happy!
Here is the info about the show from the school:
The Ross School Gallery presents its annual student-curated exhibition,
highlighting the work of professional artists from the community. This year’s
theme is “Passion and Process.” Curated by Ross School seventh graders,
under the direction of art teacher Sue Heatley, the show will feature works
by Hiroyuki Hamada and Drew Shiflett. The students will host an Opening
Reception on Wednesday, May 25, from 4 to 6pm. The public is invited.
As in past years, the students took on various rolls to organize and present the
show: they visited the artists in their studios, selected work, designed the
installation, organized publicity, and wrote and produced a catalogue.
They also had the opportunity to work with each of the artists in their studios
and will showcase their creations alongside the artists in the show.
Mr. Hamada’s sculptures start with wood, foam and plaster, and they are
finished with textured and painted surfaces. Ms. Shiflett uses handmade papers,
pencil and ink, watercolor and conte crayon with, as she says, “a focus on line,
light, and texture” to create intricately detailed pieces that fall somewhere between
drawing, painting and sculpture. The work of both artists is the result of very
time-consuming and detailed processes.
“Passion and Process” will be on view at the Ross Gallery through June 15.
To view the full photo set (15 photos), please go to the main part of the site and click “PHOTOS”. They are under “Roger Williams University Show
2/23-3/30, 2011”. Make sure to click on the thumb nails for large images (1500 pix in longer dimension). You can also see somewhat smaller
versions (faster loading/navigation perhaps) in a Facebook photo album at Hiroyuki Hamada Art. And, you can read more about the show here and here.
This is a two person show featuring Christopher Saunders and myself. It opens on 2/23/11 and up till 3/30/11. It’s organized by my dear friend Jess Frost from ART & ESTATE ARCHIVE, NY. I am excited that the show should cast some interesting perspectives on both Chris’ and my works. Jess will be speaking about the show on 3/23/11 at the university.
Thank you to many of you who came to see the show. It will be up through Saturday January 8th.
The closing reception will be on Thursday January 6th 5:00pm to 8:00pm.
636 West 28th Street Ground Floor
Between 11th & 12th Avenue
New York, NY 10001