Alchemy, Typology, Entropy at Fleisher Ollman Gallery // June 8–August 25, 2017

 

Adam Lovitz, Peter Allen Hoffmann, Alexis Granwell: Alchemy, Typology, Entropy

June 8–August 25, 2017
Reception: Thursday, June 8, 6–8pm

Fleisher/Ollman’s Summer 2017 exhibition presents three miniature solo shows by three Philadelphia artists. The exhibition title reflects respective descriptors as an entry point to tease out meaning within and across each distinct body of work.

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From Press Release: Alexis Granwell’s background in print and paper-making imbues her sculpture with a unique material sensibility. Adhering handmade paper to papier-mâché and wire armatures, Granwell creates forms that suggest eroded bodies, bodily fragments, and biomorphic shapes—a fusion of Jean Arp, Constantin Brancusi, and classical sculpture by way of the entropy of millenia. Accentuating the forlorn, Granwell uses a variety of coloring techniques (spraying, spilling and brushing) to suggest lichen encrustation and erosion. Granwell’s organic forms are radically juxtaposed with the pristine, rectilinear, monochrome pedestals of wood or concrete block on which they’re installed. Granwell’s attention to the pedestal as a sculptural object equal in weight to the works that lie on top places her in the company of recent contemporary sculptors (Matthew Monahan, Huma Bhaba, Thomas Houseago, and Lisa Lipinski) who creatively explore the aesthetic function of the base (all indebted to Brancusi). Like the artists mentioned above, Granwell’s work departs from the all-encompassing aspirations of installation art that gained traction over the last 30 years and instead returns sculpture to a discrete entity occupying a more circumscribed notion of space. In dialogue with Adam Lovitz’s paintings that conjure the surfaces of ancient rocks and minerals, perhaps Granwell’s biomorphs are not ruins after all, but scholar stones placed respectfully on oddly yet carefully crafted bases for deep contemplation. In any regard, Granwell’s evocation of entropy through sculptural form resonates with Lovitz’s paintings that explore sedimentation and the passage of time, and the geometry of Granwell’s pedestals pair well with Hoffmann’s geometric abstract paintings.

Risky Behavior at Field Projects

Presented by Field Projects and TSA LA

Carl Baratta, Loren Britton, Vanessa Chow, Alexis Granwell, Erin Harmon, David Humphrey, Julian Kreimer, Sheila Pepe, Brian Porray, Warren Schultheis, Laurel Shear, and Christopher Ulivo

Dates: September 15th - October 29th, 2016
Opening Reception: September 15th, 6-8pm

http://www.fieldprojectsgallery.com

Field Projects and TSA LA are pleased to present Risky Behavior, a group exhibition that threads together artists from each coast to create a lively visual soirée. 

Tiberio Fiorillio was the boisterous son of an actor famous for his lewd rendition of the violent stock clown Punchinello. Sometime around the 1620’s, Tiberio created a new character, the cad Scaramouche. He was invented from remnants of Il Capitano, the boastful soldier and Zanni, the untrustworthy servant. Scaramouche crooned and swooned women away from their jealous husbands. He knew how to hide in a closet or under a bed whenever one came home earlier than expected. Sometimes he made it off without a hitch and sometimes he was clubbed while scrambling down a trellis. A loveable opportunist and a coward, he made fools and he was a fool.

Freddy Mercury calls him out in “Bohemian Rhapsody”: “I see a little silhouetto of a man, Scaramouch, Scaramouch will you do the fandango?" Then, “Thunderbolts and lightning”, followed by Brian May’s anthemic solo. Someone, I imagine, is left picking up the pieces behind Scaramouche, little people! Confidence without reason, confidence with cowardice, cowardice with talent.

How to caricature the collaboration of Field Projects and Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Los Angeles? Both spaces are superficially similar operations, forthright and scrappy artist-run, curator-driven galleries. Perhaps a balding Dennis The Menace crossed with an injured Laura Ingles? The match should be fruitful.

The artists in Risky Behavior each in their own way incorporate, embody or feign trouble, doubt and uncertainty. They seek to give something and sure as hell are trying to get away with something.
  
Tiger Strikes Asteroid is a network of artist-run spaces with locations in Philadelphia, New York, and Los Angeles. Each space is independently operated and focuses on presenting a varied program of emerging and mid-career artists. Their goal is to collectively bring people together, expand connections, and build community through artist-initiated exhibitions, projects, and curatorial opportunities. For more information visit their website at http://www.tigerstrikesasteroid.com/.

Field Projects
526 W 26th Street, #807
NY, NY 10001
www.fieldprojectsgallery.com
info@fieldprojectsgallery.com

Hours: Thursday - Saturday
12:00-6:00pm

Wait For the Echo at Dickinson College

    

WAIT FOR THE ECHO February 9, 2016-February 28,2016

Dickinson College, Goodyear Gallery, 595 Louther St., Carlisle, PA      

Philadelphia artist Alexis Granwell will exhibit works on paper and sculpture.

Reception & artist's talk: Tuesday, February 9, 5:30-7 p.m.

Gallery Hours: Tues.-Fri., 3-5 p.m., Sat. 2-5 p.m.

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Pressure Points at Savery Gallery curated by Cindi Ettinger, Alexis Granwell and Alex Kirillow

Savery Gallery is pleased to present Pressure Points, curated by Cindi Ettinger, Alexis Granwell, Tory Savery, and Alex Kirillov, an exhibition that examines dynamic approaches to printmaking. This exhibition will feature 26 contemporary artists from across the United States whose work is at the forefront of the medium: BJ Alumbach, Katie Baldwin, Marc Blumthal, Victoria Burge, Tom Burckhardt, Deb Chaney, David Curcio, Amze Emmons, Cindi Ettinger, Steven Ford, Rebecca Gilbert, Alexis Granwell, Christopher Hartshorne, Daniel Heyman, Anna Hoberman, Nicola Lopez, Virgil Marti, Sarah McEneaney, Yoonmi Nam, Alexis Nutini, Golnar Adili, Bill Scott, James Siena, Mike Stack, Andrew Spence, and Joe Wardwell. Presented as part of The Print Center 100. On view October 9 – November 20, 2015. Opening Reception: October 9, 6:00 – 9:00pm.

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CATALOG FOR MATERIALIST IS AVAILABLE AT PULLSTRING PRESS

Materialist is a group exhibition featuring the work of six artists at the forefront of exploring the potential of material as subject. Materialist investigates strategies of production that consider site specificity, function, artifact, and redirection. The materials used by each artist create pluralistic interpretations of the objects as they are presented. Resisting traditional classification, the works exist as both ruin and artifact, serious and whimsical, unresolved and rigorous. While maintaining a transformational ambition, the artists create a tangible energy that derives from the investigations and demands placed upon the materials they’ve chosen. From carrying objects on our backs to presenting previously unknown relation- ships between materials, this exhibition displays a full range of work that embodies the Materialist.

http://pullstring.co/print/materialist/

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PROVISIONAL REMAINS: EXHIBITION ESSAY: “LEAN TO” BY LAUREN VAN HAAFTEN-SCHICK

Alexis Granwell: Provisional Remains

The ruin is a site of decay and remembrance – the armature that allows us to imagine life in a past or parallel time. Thus the ruin is always destroyed and re-creating itself in our individual psyches and collective culture. When archaeologists uncover a historic site, their first order of operation is to photograph every detail using black and white film, so that in the event that digital or advanced photographic technologies are not available, the images will be legible through the elementary act of holding the processed film to the sun. This is a logic appropriately developed by those who specialize in the lost, destroyed, discarded, decayed, and forgotten. It is crucial that these disinterested images capture the site as it was found, untouched and unexamined, revealing only fragmentary evidence; all that is seen is what lies at the surface, and the new skin that has come to envelop it. Clues are numbered, collected, classified, or their identity may be left unsolved. Sometimes additional pieces of the puzzle emerge, further illustrating the fiction and conjecture that has developed around this curious trove. It is typical that a complete history never emerges.

Production and maintenance of the unresolved have a distinct presence in current art. As painter and critic Sharon Butler has observed on the renewed interest in abstraction among contemporary painters, there is a distinct predilection for the incomplete, or forms that remain fixed in an unfinished state, while also asserting and reassessing “basic elements like color, composition, and balance… looking for unexpected outcomes rather than handsome results.” Sympatico with Butler’s observations, the works in Lean To signal only the provisional, or at their most defined, the mere traces of remains.

In works identifiable as neither armature nor skin, rigid geometry is clearly a starting point but yields nothing stable. Small sculptures composed of interlocking skeletal and tendril-like limbs are reminiscent of the interior of Antoni Gaudi’s Basilica of the Sagrada Família, as these corporeal and alien structures appear at once to be on the verge of collapse while also growing exponentially. The holistic geometry of Buckminster Fuller is apparent as well as these lines converge to form erratic polygons whose meeting, miraculously, yields solids.

Laid out on a work table and appearing at once as tools, models, and portals, Granwell’s structures are direct and immediate protective spaces, in the artist’s terms, they are built for survival, integrated with nature, and capable of degrading back into the land. Neither monumental nor miniature, the jarring metaphysical effect of either status is experienced simultaneously and remains ever present and unresolved. In some works, wooden supports precariously prop tangles of richly worked Abaca paper and water putty over wires, echoing each other in their obscuring and reinforcing of ageless tensions between form and function. In another instance, a skewed tangle of bending and stretching lines pile and collapse as they arc over a stoic white cube that serves as a base. Here, a rich prussian blue coats the segments that rest on this anchor, while those reaching towards the ground quickly fade to whites and grays, signaling a new relationship to the stark white below, and assuming an organic quality evocative of an inevitable cycle of wither and decay.

Color for Granwell serves a transitional function for its capability of fusing two disparate elements, such as wire and paper, in a unified visual and physical form. Curator Edward Fry wrote of David Smith’s painted cubist sculptures that the artist’s use of color in these works was both for the purpose of “perceptual tension and illusion to a picture plane,” thereby challenging the established boundaries of sculpture by allowing color to serve a three-dimensional purpose. Smith’s practice, like Granwell’s, began with formal investigations into the relationship between the physical and pictorial. Trained as a painter and always operating with a visual focus, Smith’s migration from the picture plane to dimensional forms necessarily maintained an inquiry into the ability of color, according to Fry, to convey information about structure. In Granwell’s works, color similarly expresses a relationship between skin and support, where one inspires the legibility of the other. Previous sculptural works resembling architectural reliefs traversed the 2 and 3-dimensional by relying on the wall as their support, while their composition depended on a dense layering of engineered elements and rough scraps of discarded material. In these works, like the current series, color and line also become codes for weight, support, and the dual illusion of mass or minute scale.

This consideration of underlying and overlaying structure is also apparent in a series of large scale prints. In these 2-dimensional works, sparse lines and points also seem to signal coordinates, or appear as fragments of a greater schematic. They may map an ancient city, or are perhaps the deteriorating plans for a home or a tomb. Color is again fundamental, yet here as an indicator of temporal shift between the present time of the artist, and an envisioned future or past.

An assertive streak of yellow washes down Continuous Footing, as a curtain draped over a set. This image is purely uncanny, and can at once be recognized as a lavish house, a temple or simply a shelter. Interior details as a half-moon window and an ornamental doorway can be partially deciphered, yet may also be a trick of the eye and imagination, searching for the familiar in what is otherwise now plainly barren. In Phase-locked we see the foot of a rocky slope, the face of which is mottled and degraded from weather, war, overgrowth or drought. In stark contrast to the intricate texture of this surface, a blank slab rests at the perspectival center of the composition indicating a door or a missing piece. Regardless of its origin or function, this monolith is recognized as the ruins of industry, craft, social activity or trade, a monument to former use, or signaling a past reality now relegated to myth. Doors feature widely in each of these works, and uniformly obscure as much as they reveal.

Other works in the series include openings and enclosures depicted as the mouth of a cave, raw and molded by the natural elements surrounding it. Deceptive in their neutrality, a cave may readily be various kinds of shelter: one designed for safe-guarding in times of war and turmoil, while also evidence of an intentional act of destruction, or a last-resort line of defense. One of these caves allows us a glimpse inside, where the familiar crossing of beams and braces conjures scenes of the earliest American industrialization and the expansion of the railroads, or the archaeological discovery of a crypt. Yet this footprint of human activity reveals no clues, and instead appears as a relic, or a snapshot framed by a vast rocky expanse that was once an impediment, a shield, or both. The cave in another work rests with its mouth gaping open, speechless and timeworn. This hole is also an impasse; Obscured as it is, this site cannot be analyzed and cannot be read. There are simply the traces of something entirely other, and that is all.