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PAINTINGS: Nancy Manter, Joanne Mattera
WORKS ON PAPER: Babe Shapiro

  November 6th - December 15th, 2006
Private reception Sunday November 5th, 1 - 5 pm

DM Contemporary is pleased to present the recent paintings of Nancy Manter, and Joanne Mattera, and new works on paper by Babe Shapiro in three simultaneous solo shows. Interestingly, all three artists have adopted techniques that involve elaborate processes. While these processes are not the focus of this exhibition, they do define the work and contribute to its physical qualities.

Nancy Manter’s paintings are bold, richly colored – even when mostly black – translucent, X-ray like records of the traces of human interaction, mostly hers, with the environment. Whether by moving about in the snow, dragging her feet in mud, or using her car to make skid marks on the road, Manter makes marks or “environmental drawings”, which are then photographed, and become the starting point of her paintings. Her use of a painting material called distemper, a process developed during the 14th century, made by mixing pigment with glue, yields a surface that is very translucent, which allows her to achieve this X-ray like quality. In her more recent works, her digital photographs are actually embedded in the paintings, and the paintings themselves are assemblages of connected panels.

Joanne Mattera has taken an early painting material that some had called a lost art, encaustic, and made it her own. In her expert hands, the process-intensive medium becomes a perfect contemporary medium of expression. Using encaustic’s materiality, and lushness to her advantage, Mattera creates sensuous, luxurious paintings that are rich in color and surface, yet minimal in form. Working in a series gives Mattera the opportunity to explore the many possibilities, and subtle varieties within a single idea. Her ‘Silk Road’ series, an ongoing body of work, is her most reductive so far. Each painting in that series is seemingly monochrome - though in reality it is composed of layers of color – is square-shaped, and the paintings are typically installed in a grid. In ‘Quadrate,’ the new series she recently began, she is working in acrylics, which she calls her “second language”, to achieve a similar luminosity but in a larger scale.

Babe Shapiro, widely recognized for his large-scale, minimalist paintings of the 60’s and 70’s, that used meticulously calculated geometry to create optical distortions of light and space, will be exhibiting a series of works on paper that are more improvisational in approach. The new works are delightful and delicate compositions achieved by playfully scattering dots, bursting with bright colors, sometimes touching, reaching or overlapping each other, across the surface of the paper or Mylar. By mixing his own paints from pigment-based dyes, colored inks and clear acrylic medium, Shapiro is able to vary the transparency, or simply play up the intensity of a color.

There will be a series of artist talks in November: on the 16th at 12 noon, and on the 20th and 30th at 10:30 a.m. The talk will be held at 148 Roger Canoe Hollow Road in Mill Neck, NY. Gallery talks are free and open to the public, but registration is necessary as seating is limited. For directions and further information please contact Doris Mukabaa by phone (516) 922-3552, or email

DM Contemporary, Box 263 Mill Neck New York 11765 TEL: 516 922 3552