Equity Gallery is pleased to present Collective Memory: Artists Reflecting on the Arts, a group exhibition curated by Jessica Daryl Winer, featuring the work of Elliott Arkin, Babette Bloch, Christopher Carroll Calkins, Valentina DuBasky, Gabriel Ferrer, Ana Golici, Emilie Lemakis, Marc Mellon, Michael Townsend and Jessica Daryl Winer.
The artists within Collective Memory explore the idea that over the millennia of human history, the arts remain the singular and lasting footprint of civilizations. It asks the question of artists, how does one reflect on and respond to being part of this continuum. Or as phrased by President John F. Kennedy, “Behind the storm of daily conflict and crisis, the poet, the artist, the musician continues the quiet work of centuries…”
The exhibition’s title embraces the notion that the arts have existed since the first humans, and that over time, artists and the work they make comprise humankind’s pieced-together memory.
“Artists have always held tremendous power, which is not usually in evidence except when you look at the long view of history,” says the show’s curator, Jessica Daryl Winer. “But when you see terrorist groups willfully destroying archeological remnants of great civilizations past in order to subjugate populations, you realize the enormous power that arts and culture holds.”
The eleven artists juxtapose divergent approaches in conversation with each other, reflecting on primal questions consuming artists over the millennia: Elliot Arkin’s conceptual use of web-based commerce spins an absurdist view on the commodification of artists; Babette Bloch’s stainless steel reassessments of nature and artistic precedent limn positives and negatives through light; Christopher Carroll Calkins’s street photography captures moments of under-the-radar narratives; Valentina DuBasky’s acrylic and marble dust works on paper and plaster are a contemporary comment on the prehistory of art; Gabriel Ferrer's performance-like in-the-moment sumi-ink drawings on handmade paper reflect on memory and personal narrative; Ana Golici, in pergamano and collage, takes inspiration from 17th Century female naturalist, entomologist and botanical illustrator Maria Sibylla Merian to explore questions of science, nature and objective truth; Emilie Lemakis’s monumental amplification of an ancient Greek krater employs scale to upend perceptions for the viewer’s reconsideration; Mark Mellon’s bronzes address the oppositions of movement and stillness; the alchemy of Michael Townsend’s uncontrolled poured acrylic paintings equate the properties of materials with the turbulence of the universe; Jessica Daryl Winer’s engagement with luminous color and choreographic line reflects in visual resonance the sonic history of a musical instrument.
About the Artists
Real Salvator Mundi is the nom de plume of artist Elliott Arkin and follows in his exploration of humor and the absurd. Each piece created under the S.Mundi signature is a part of the larger project www.RealSalvatorMundi.com inspired from the sale of Leonardo da Vinci's painting for $450,000,000 in 2017. Arkin has exhibited throughout the US and Europe. In 2014, his work was the subject of a major solo exhibition at the MAMAC museum, Nice, France.
Babette Bloch is a pioneer in the use of laser-cut stainless steel to create sculptures that range from table-top scale to monumental. Her works embrace her eclectic tastes, pleasure in aesthetics, and technical curiosity. These works touch on Modernist abstraction, the cut outs and collage found in Pop art, and the long-standing practice of storytelling in art. Bloch studied at UC Davis with Wayne Thiebaud, Robert Arneson, and Manuel Neri. Her works are in numerous collections in Europe and the U.S.
Christopher Carroll Calkins is a New York-based street art photographer. His explorations range from light and motion to human interactions in urban settings. His work as a photographer began when he was 12 with the gift of a camera from his father, also a photographer. The nature of his observation is entwined with the emotional feeling at the moment of capturing an image.
Valentina DuBasky’s paintings of horses, bison, stags and mythical creatures are pitched between ancient art and the contemporary imagination, and take inspiration from her travels along the Silk Routes and in Southeast Asia. A Fulbright Senior Specialist and recipient of two Pollock-Krasner grants, DuBasky’s paintings have been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Artforum, ARTS Magazine, Art in America, Art News and on WETA Public Television.
Gabriel Ferrer is a Los Angeles-based artist and Episcopal priest (academically trained for the former, not for the latter.) His firm belief is that painting (as well as all the arts) can act as a window into the ineffable.
On her arrival in New York, Romanian born Ana Golici began experimentation with new techniques such as electrostatic transfers and digital imagery, as well as Scanning Electronic Microscope images which she has used in her scientific explorations of nature. Golici’s works are in the permanent collections of the Romanian Museum of Art, The Library of Congress, The New York Hall of Science, and in private collections in Europe, Asia and the U.S.
Emilie Lemakis finds that only by working with a variety of methods, materials, and media can she really accomplish what she’s looking for. To make invisible feelings visible.
Figurative sculptor Marc Mellon has been creating lyrical dance bronzes, iconic sports bronzes, and insightful and revealing busts and statues for over forty years. He has exhibited internationally, and has works in numerous museum collections including the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery.
Michael Townsend attended Mansfield University to obtain his Bachelor's in Studio Arts, but his critical artistic education has developed over a 28 year expanse working in the laboratory and technical departments at GOLDEN Artist Colors, Inc. There, Townsend gained an appreciation for paint-making and artist technique. This fuels his constant quest for understanding the universal forces impacting his painting process.
Jessica Daryl Winer’s work is infused by her native New York City; her explorations of color, composition and subject in her paintings, refract architecture, nature and the performing arts. She has had numerous exhibitions, large public works, and project collaborations with prominent institutions including American Ballet Theatre, Central Park Conservancy, Lincoln Center and Times Square.