After the year we have had, what else is there? In the face of tragedy, artists and poets have characterized these Bohemian ideals over and over again saying, that in spite of everything, have faith in truth, joy in beauty, hope in freedom, and above all things, trust in love. Curators Andrea Kantrowitz, Donna Scarpa, Kristin Osterberg, and Randi Reiss-McCormack chose artworks by sixteen Art File artists for the brilliant season finale celebrating the resilience of the human spirit.
Andrea Kantrowitz brings together Julia Bloom, Myra Eastman, Lilian Garcia-Roig, and Kathleen Migliore-Newton for her vision of Truth. Bloom’s omnipresent charcoal drawing looms behind her complex stick and wire sculpture. Eastman’s political and social narrative paintings are expressive and obsessive while Migliore-Newton’s scenes take us into a New York City subway to offer a snapshot of humanity and a snatch of conversation. Garcia-Roig, a 2021 Guggenheim Foundation Fellow, makes plein-air paintings that “have become documents of a real-time process: the accumulation of fleeting moments, the experience of the day.”
Donna Scarpa curating for Beauty finds inspiration in the beautifully painted images by artists Rachel Hellerich, Heide Follin, Rebecca Katz, and Karl Pilato. Hellerich’s hand has exquisite command over her geometric abstraction pattern and spatial shifts that feels other-worldly. Follin, as alchemist, invites her fascination of the materiality to make paint feel like something that is actually alive. Katz brings her passion for atmosphere and the full range of artistic, historical, and emotional meaning in her large glowing canvas. Pilato’s artistic practice is a meditative and improvised dance between energy and stillness.
Kristin Osterberg’s Freedom takes us on an emotional and playful journey with artists Tinka Bechert, Katie Davis, Pamela Marks, and Ellen Weider. Bechert, who lives and works in Ireland, uses painterly, graphic, and collage-like techniques that encourage the viewer to freely “sail into the ocean of memories.” Davis’s installation springs from her personal story of freeing herself from “the guilt and shame that society places on mothers of children with autism.” Marks questions how a perceptual experience translates into a non-religious conception of the transcendent in her mixed media collagraphs that reference sensory memory. The ironic humor present in Weider’s work suggest spaces/houses free from humans and are now inhabited by lively animated objects.
Randi Reiss-McCormack chose work that caught her imagination for Love featuring artworks by Mary Crenshaw, Hilary Goldblatt, April Hammock, and Rhia Hurt. Living and working in Milan, Crenshaw is in love with Italy. Her prints and ceramic pieces relate to the landscape, architecture and the migrants who inhabit the city as second-class citizens. Goldblatt is driven by process, problem solving, and the physicality of scraping away layers of paint “to reveal hidden gems.” Hammock’s fantastic and frenzied abstracts collide and pulsate. And Rhia Hurt’s installation encompasses gestural experimentation and intuition seeking to capture the spontaneity of the moment.
Truth, Beauty, Freedom, Love artists are Tinka Bechert, Julia Bloom, Mary Crenshaw, Katie Davis, Myra Eastman, Heide Follin, Lilian Garcia-Roig, Hilary Goldblatt, April Hammock; Rachel Hellerich, Rhia Hurt, Rebecca Katz, Pamela Marks, Kathleen Migliore-Newton, Karl Pilato, and Ellen Weider.