dm contemporary is proud to present THEN & NOW, a group exhibition celebrating 10 years of exhibitions at the gallery. The exhibition will be spotlighting six artists, whose work as a group is representative of the gallery's core program. Focusing on emblematic works by each artist, this 'micro-retrospective' of each artist's work offers a glimpse of their career history, relative to their affiliation with the gallery, and sheds a light on the gallery's history and growth over a decade. The featured artists are Steven Baris, Linda Cummings, Carole Freysz Gutierrez, Tomomi Ono, Frances Richardson, and Caleb Taylor. The exhibition opens on Friday, November 14th and remains on view through January 17th, 2015.
Steven Baris' paintings offer a unique perspective on the rapidly expanding, highly engineered, 'new landscape' - exurbia. His bold, unpredictable color juxtapositions, the hard-edge geometric forms on lush painterly grounds, and the deliberate spatial ambiguity, enact spatial tensions and paradoxes similar to the environments he references. Linda Cummings' affiliation with dm contemporary is the longest - it began in 2004, when she had her first solo show with the gallery. Two of her black and white, silver gelatin photographs from her performance-based, feminist 'slip' photographs (exhibited in that first solo show), will be on view, alongside urban-centric, digital photographic scrolls from her 'Momentum' series, and a five panel large format photographic work of close-up waterscapes from the 'Stirring the Waters' project that documents the artist's encounters with the Farm River, CT, and the 'response' of the water's surface to the artist's movements and her direct physical interaction with it over the span of a year. The more recent vertical scrolls of the 'Waterlines' series quite literally 'spill' from the wall, with the curling of the paper giving volume and making the form more sculptural. The surface of the more recent works reflect a versatility in the artist's approach to the photographic medium, and a merging of the practice with mark making, and drawing, not unlike her earlier integration of the practice with politics and performance.
Carole Freysz Gutierrez's earlier paintings of stylized still life, that were exhibited at the gallery in 2005, gave way to her 'Layers' paintings, that in turn were the precursors of the subsequent pattern paintings entitled 'Atmospheres'. While bright, extravagant color has consistently been in the foreground, the once organic forms have become more geometric in the recent paintings and the floating patterns have been locked into a grid - favoring symmetry, but retaining her characteristic playfulness.
Tomomi Ono's delicate lithographs of imaginary seeds and fruits were first seen at the gallery in 2008. A masterful printmaker, she deftly exploits the nuances and tonalities of her medium to explore existential themes. Her recent lithographs, and monotype lithographs, focus on the day and night skies. Charting the clouds, the stars and the vast expanse of the universe through her senses, her feelings and her memories. the artist is charting her own position within that universe.
Frances Richardson's drawings have a more conceptual framework. Her reductive approach strips down her materials and markings to the bare minimum, using pencil and paper, and the plus (+) and minus (-) signs to form her meticulously constructed drawings since 1997. It is with that simple 'vocabulary' that the artist is able to express an infinite array of emotions and ideas - such as loss and gain, probability and infinity, doubt and belief, advantage and disadvantage, permanence and transience - demonstrating how expansive those reductive tools can be.
Caleb Taylor's sweeping broad gestures across the bold and muscular 'Gate' paintings formally dialogue with abstract expressionism, but the tension and duality of what is near or far, concealed or revealed, link directly with his earlier series 'Covered', exhibited at the gallery in 2011. Because of the artist's facility with various media, and shift in scale from large to small and back, it is not surprising that his newest works are small minimal collage works in gray scale.