Kenise Barnes Fine Art is pleased to present a group show featuring the artists Lisa A. Frank, Francine Fox, Margot Glass, David Konigsberg, Catherine Latson, Joseph Scheer and Elijah Schwartz.
Surrounded, as we are in Northwest CT with abundant nature, the inspiration for curating the Bugs in The Barn exhibition was close at hand. This exhibition focuses on the smallest members of our animal community; the bugs and insects. With environmental changes and habitat loss we are increasingly aware of the delicate balance of the ecosystem. Butterflies, beetles, moths, and other insects hold a special place in many artists’ hearts for their intricate beauty, delicacy and essential roles. This show features photographs, monotypes, drawings and watercolors by seven contemporary artists.
Lisa A. Frank’s large-scale photographs and videos are kaleidoscopic multilayered images of nature. Each composition’s complex patterns are composed from the artist’s deep archive of her own photographs. The images of flora, bugs and insects are digitally collaged and arranged in patterns that take cues from historic patterns and her own daily rambles in the Wisconsin countryside. Densely ornamental, the work draws upon the artist's background as a textile designer as well as the archives of Britain’s Aesthetic Movement of the late 19th century. The ability of these patterns to endlessly tile creates the potential for multiple sized works ranging from large individual prints to full room installations.
The artist was awarded the MacDowell Colony’s Evelyn Stefansson Nef Fellow in photography. Frank was a Senior Research Fellow at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She was the first artist/collaborator to be given this distinction. At the University of Wisconsin, Frank is currently part of the Discovery to Product (D2P) incubator program, through which she’s developing virtual reality content based on her two-dimensional photography. Frank has an MFA in Design Studies from the University of Wisconsin and has completed extensive graduate work at Yale University, New Haven, CT and School of Visual Arts, New York, NY. The artist lives and works in Wisconsin.
Francine Fox uses watercolor, colored pencil and gold paint in her newest work for this show. As always, her work is at once both striking and unsettling. The artist intends the compilation of formal and conceptual elements to parallel and reveal the intricacies of gray areas between seemingly dissonant traits. Fox’s work frequently returns to the gray areas between the themes of physical and metaphysical, evidence and faith, chaos and order, and identity philosophies rooted in either individualism or collectivism. Her paintings and drawings create records of the perceived significance and beauty of these
transitional spaces, the imagery includes figures, gently anthropomorphized animals, traditional and contemporary semiotics, and depictions of invisible forces through modified and invented charting symbols. In this show three paintings about 150-year-old mummified orchid bees that were recently found in the spiral volutes topping columns in a Panama cathedral. Dr. David Roubik, the leading orchid bee scientist working for the Smithsonian, supply the artist with reference photos for the work.
Fox earned and BFA from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, Kutztown, PA and an MFA from University of Delaware, Newark, DE. The artist has shown extensively throughout the United States, she lives and works in Nebraska.
Margot Glass draws with 14 karat gold and graphite (appearing silver) not only for the delicacy of line the metal point provides, but also for the allure of using semiprecious and precious metals as a drawing material. Working on a dark ground allows the gleam and luster and delicate reflective silver and gold properties of the metallic medium to present as high tones against the black ground. Glass is interested in the tradition of using nature as idealized ornament in art and design while seeking to observe and represent creatures and plants as accurately as possible in all their irregularity and imperfection. The metallic lines enhance the decorative qualities of the filigree patterns formed by the transparency of an insect wing and leaf veining. Her compositions are tightly cropped to bring the subject as close to the edge of the picture plane as possible.
After attending Art Students' League of New York, New York, NY, Glass earned a BA with Honors from Brown University through Brown/RISD Exchange Program, Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI and went on to study Surface Design at Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, NY. Glass’s work has been exhibited widely in the United States as well as in Italy and Spain. The artist lives and works in Massachusetts.
David Konigsberg’s new work focuses on the most visceral places where nature and humanity meet, conflict with, and accommodate one another. As always, Konigsberg’s works bridge the divide between art and real life in semi-narrative paintings that are both objective and conceptual. His work occupies a netherworld of image and memory in his very personal narratives, which are not meant to be deciphered but experienced as emotional possibilities. For this exhibition he produced and series of monochromatic monotypes on paper mounted on panel. The forms of moths and beetles are reduced to lines that aptly describe the strength and fragility of these creatures.
Konigsberg’s work has been exhibited throughout the United States and has been featured in the New York Times, Chronogram, Wall Street International, and Brooklyn Journal as well as numerous art and culture blogs. David Konigsberg lives and works in Hudson, New York.
Careful observation of the natural world, boundless curiosity and patient dedication to craft are manifest in Catherine Latson’s fantastical new creature/object sculptures. Latson, who has a degree in biology, is inspired by the complexities of organization in living organisms. The Specimen Series explores forms that blur the lines between animal and plant, realism and fantasy, sculpture and specimen. Radial symmetry and tentacle structures are common denominators in the mysterious variety of forms in Latson’s newest work. Each wall sculpture describes a hybridized and imagined organism in arrested motion. While materials are simple (cotton embroidery floss and wire), construction is complex, entailing thousands of pieces and countless hours of whipping and knotting. Each piece aims to reimagine the gracefulness, mystery, and complexity of an organism in motion. For the artist, nature is the text and her full-fledged collaborator. Latson’s intricate “specimens” are framed in acrylic shadow box frames, further amplifying the illusion of a creature being isolated for closer observation and timeless study.
Catherine Latson earned a BA in Biology from Macalester College, St Paul, MN. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States, including at The Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY, and in the Macy’s Flower Shows in Philadelphia, PA and New York, NY and has been featured in the American Craft Magazine and The New York Times. The artist’s studio is in Yonkers, NY.
Selections of Joseph Scheer’s large series of the moths from Changbai Mountain in Jilin province, China are featured in this exhibition. The artist describes his attraction to moths not only because they are amazing and beautiful, but also because of their imagery and symbolism. They are mostly creatures of the night, as opposed to butterflies, which are creatures of the day. They are a family of insects that people typically know little about, either visually or environmentally. Some people are afraid of moths. Some revile them as small, ugly creatures that mess up their food and eat their clothes. And of course, the idea that they are attracted to light, to the flame, is a powerful metaphor. Think of what exists in the human world at night that is not part of the mainstream culture. For me, moths are a symbol of all that. They are beautiful creatures that most but not all, are only seen at night, they are short-lived, and have this intensity, and then they are gone.
Joseph Sheer moth print project is titled Imaging Biodiversity and includes over 300 species. The work is about living in the world in a particularly intense way. Although the artist in not formally trained as a scientist he uses the same observational skills that are practiced by researchers, in the scientific process. His explorations include species specific environment and location affects. The phase of the moon, temperature, the types of plants around, all of these factors determine which moths we encounter. There is a complexity to their patterns that I have slowly come to appreciate, and I am now much more aware of the fragility of our ecosystem.
There are two notable books published about Sheer’s work: Night Visions, the Secret Designs of Moths,Prestel and Night Flyers, Nexus Press. His work has been written about in over 120 books and periodicals including: National Geographic, New York Times, ArtNews, ArtForum, Science, Nature, Forbes, American Photo, DERSPIEGEL, and The Chronicle for Higher Education. Interviews and discussions of his work have aired internationally including on ABC News, BBC News, BRAVO TV, PBS, and numerous appearances on NPR. The artist’s work is widely exhibited in the United States, Europe and China. Scheer is a Fulbright Scholar, Professor of Print Media, and Co-Director/Founder of the Institute for Electronic Arts at the School of Art and Design, Alfred University, NY and the Dongshi Scholar Chair, Professor at Northeast China Normal University in Changchun China. He is Vice President of the International Academic Printmaking Alliance (IAPA), Beijing China and is a Deputy Dean of the International Printmaking Institute, International Printmaking Institute at Central Academy of Fine Arts I, Beijing China. He has served as a panelist for the Fulbright Scholar Program for Mexico and Central America 2015 - 2017. He received an MFA from the University of New Mexico in 1987. Scheer lives and works in New York State.
Glass artist Elijah Schwartz explores the relationship between the universality of common forms and emotional memories. Using a variety of lampworking and furnace-pulled techniques, the artist transforms glass rods into delicate replicas and interpretations of the natural world
From an early age, Schwartz spent time in his parents’ glass hot shop gaining inspiration and experience. At the furnace, he grew to appreciate the timing and technique necessary to make traditional glass forms, such as drinking glasses and bowls. Schwartz’s own work grew to include torchworking and evolved through experimentation and mastery. The artist skillfully transforms glass into tiny animals and insects with fanciful embellishments, Italian-style cane-work, and elaborate detailing at a miniature scale.
Elijah Schwartz’s work has been included in Contemporary Marbles and Related Art Glass, by Mark P. Block. Schwartz is also known for his classes and glass workshops including at The Studio, Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY. His work has been shown throughout the Unites States and at The Venice Glass Week, Venice, Italy. The artist lives and work in Minneapolis, MN.
Please contact Kenise Barnes, director: Kenise@kbfa.com with inquires or to arrange a preview of the exhibition.
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