Playtime: From Innocence to Debauchery
On view May 22 - July 15, 2020
This Artsy.net-exclusive exhibition is an exploration of pleasure and gratification. Spanning drawing, photography, and ceramics, the media and technique are as sentimental and devious as they are diverse. From the innocuous and endearing: a wiffle ball, a boy with his kite, a pristine playground--to the depraved: worn out condoms, brothel closets, and illicit substances, Playtime has something for every whim or fancy. Each artist renders their subject with immense care, honoring the instinctual need for play and levity, regardless of its form.
The dichotomy of this selection of artworks demonstrates the impact of context and tone, and excavates the underpinnings of these spaces of play. Particularly relevant during our time of quarantine and isolation, Playtime gestures towards the paradox of play: is it joy or pain, inane or momentous, sordid or simple? Furthermore, what is play when it occurs in the same space as work, and how radically does it change when conflagrated with age and setting. Which pieces in the show resonate a sense of play with you most? We welcome comments on our Instagram and Facebook pages. Have fun!
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Christopher Adams experienced his first forays into ceramics while in high school; he went on to study Biology at Harvard University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1994 with a Bachelor’s degree in organismic and evolutionary biology. He worked as a curatorial assistant and illustrator at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, and then at an architectural firm specializing in the design of zoos and aquariums. In 2004 he graduated from Columbia University of Physicians and Surgeons with a degree in dermatology. Adams currently balances his professional practice as dermatologist with his prolific artistic life. Influenced by his biology background, Adams illustrates the concept of adaptive radiation (when an organism enters an unpopulated environment and differentiates rapidly) in with his surreal series of animal and plant-like forms.
Ann Aspinwall (born in New York) received her MA in art history from the University of St Andrews in Scotland in 1998, and studied printmaking at studios in Scotland and Italy. She went on to work as a print specialist at the New York Public Library and then as a master printer at Pace Editions in New York. In 2012 Aspinwall and Knut Willich founded Aspinwall Editions, a fine art print publisher and studio in New York. Aspinwall’s work of the past few years employs the fundamental elements of line and a few select colors to suggest luminous expanses of water, landscape, and sky. The lines, all hand-drawn from her imagination, convey the topographical features of the invented terrain, while the colors evoke certain light and atmospheric conditions. The optical effects of highlights, shadows, and depth are achieved through variations of line density and the meticulous choice of colors.
Will Barnet's professional career spanned nearly nine decades, from his early work in the Graphic Arts Division of the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration to recent retrospective exhibitions. His work appears in more than 200 museum collections, including the MFA Boston, the MoMA in New York, the Guggenheim in New York, the Vatican Museum in Rome, and the British Museum in London. Barnet went on to teach at many institutions, including Cooper Union and Yale University. He was a member of the National Academy of Design and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London. In 2011, Barnet received the National Medal of Arts from President Obama in Washington DC.
Charles Birnbaum graduated from Kansas City Art Institute. After his graduate work at Tyler School of Art, he started sealing, altering and re-contextualized his vessels; and eventually began creating abstract porcelain sculptures. Today, he lives and works in New York City, creating one-of-a-kind gallery and commissioned pieces. Birnbaum's sculptures have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout the U.S. and abroad and they are in multiple and private collections, including those of Jack Lenor Larsen, Hilda Longinotti, renowned editor of American Ceramics Ronald Kuchta, Longhouse Reserve, the Kapfenberg Cultural Center of Austria, and the Museum of Modern Ceramic Art in Mino, Japan.
Dina Brodsky is a contemporary realist miniaturist painter and curator known for her detailed drawings of architecture, trees, and wildlife. Her miniatures carry with them the tradition of the form, offering up a meditative experience for both the viewer and her, as the creator. They invite possession on a symbolic level and allow the viewer to take ownership of the experience in addition to the object. Dina was educated at University of Massachusetts Amherst and the New York Academy of Art, where she received her MFA. She lives and works in New York City. She has taught privately, and in several institutions including the Castle Hill Center for the Arts, the Long Island Academy of Fine Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Frederick Brosen is one of America’s finest watercolor artists. A native New Yorker, Frederick Brosen began his studies at City College of New York, graduating in 1976. He studied art at the Art Students League and at Pratt Institute, receiving his MFA from Pratt in 1979. Mr. Brosen has been recognized with a Silver Medal of Honor by the Royal Society of Arts & Letters in London and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. Watercolors by Frederick Brosen have been acquired by the New York Historical Society, the Knoxville Museum of Art, The Museum of the City of New York, Frye Art Museum (Seattle) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art and are in many private collections.
Richard Finkelstein works in many media, including photography, drawing, painting, model and installation building, and clay and wire sculpture. The work comes from his background as a trial lawyer; his art, like his trial practice, has always been about shaping narratives, telling stories, straddling truth and deception. Themes of guilt and innocence, shame and secrets, loneliness and voyeurism appear in his pieces.
Werner Hoeflich has been a working artist in New York City since receiving his BFA from the University of Colorado in ‘79. He has had numerous solo shows, beginning with the Paulo Salvador Gallery in the East Village in the early 80’s, as well as at the Penine Hart Gallery, Nicholas Davies Gallery, both of New York, and the Koplin Gallery in Los Angeles. Listed amongst his awards are Change Inc., Art Matters, and Yaddo, Ucross and MacDowell Fellowships. He also traveled extensively throughout Europe on a Glorious Foods Artists Grant. Reviews of his work have appeared in the New Yorker, Art News and Art and Antiques. Hoeflich has taught drawing and painting at the 92nd St. Y, School of Visual Arts, Cooper Union, and NYAA.
Timothy Hursley was born in 1955 in Detroit, Michigan, where he apprenticed in architectural photography with Hungarian photographer Balthazar Korab beginning in 1972. His apprenticeship continued until he moved to Little Rock, Arkansas in 1980, where he started his own studio, The Arkansas Office. From 1982 to 1987, Hursley made architectural photographs in New York of Andy Warhol’s last Factory on Madison Avenue at 34th Street. Eleven of Hursley's Factory photographs were published in Andy Warhol "Giant" Size (Phaidon Press, 2006). In addition, from 1985-1990, Hursley photographed legal brothels in Nevada. Hursley revisited the Nevada brothels in 2001, publishing his photography in Brothels of Nevada: Candid Views of America’s Legal Sex Industry (Princeton Architectural Press, 2003).
Kacper Kowalski is a Polish aerial photographer. Born in 1977, Kowalski is a graduate of the Technical University of Gdańsk, where he studied architecture. After working in architecture for four years, Kowalski now devotes himself entirely to flying and photography. Both as a pilot and a photographer, he takes aerial pictures of natural and urban environments in his native Poland. Kowalski’s photographs have been honored by World Press Photo (2009, 2014, 2015) and Picture of the Year International (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), among many others. His first book of photography, Side Effects, received awards from Photo District News and the Moscow International Foto Awards. He lives in Gdynia, a port city in northern Poland. Kowalski has had two solo exhibitions at The Curator Gallery, 2015’s Above & Beyond and 2016’s Fade to White.
Linda Lindroth, artist and writer, lives and works in New Haven, CT. Her work incorporates all media, particularly still photographs. Linda Lindroth frequently collaborates with her husband, architect Craig Newick. In her most recent series, Trickster in Flatland, 2011-12, and Recent Disturbances, 2015, Lindroth deconstructs and examines objects in an abstract way by photographing them. She finds something with an interesting color, surface or provenance and, with either a camera or flatbed scanner, creates a flattened image of it. In this two-dimensional photographic form, the object takes on an abstract quality with colors and details that invigorate the senses.
Elizabeth Mead’s sculpture, drawing, and photographs have been exhibited across the U.S. as well as in Australia, England, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Portugal, and Taiwan . She has designed more than two-dozen theatrical productions including work with the internationally acclaimed, Tony award winning Theatre de la Jeune Lune. Mead has received recognition for her work in theater by the Dallas Theater League (1998) and the Theater Communication Group/NEA Designer Fellowship (1997, 1998). She has been a visiting artist and artist in residence at Cité Internationale des Arts, Artist Residency, Paris, France, Slade School of Fine Art, University College, London, England, Nes Artist Residency Skagaströnd, Iceland, Youkobo Art Space, Tokyo, Japan , Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Southern Methodist University, and Burren College of Art, Co. Clare, Ireland.
David Morrison was born in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1956 and received his MFA in Printmaking from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1985. His colored pencil drawings are often nature-based, presenting iconic humble subjects with a quiet focus that is belied by their intensely rendered, almost microscopic details that appear upon close inspection. Morrison has exhibited widely, and his work is included in numerous public collections including The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and the Portland Art Museum to name a few. A visiting lecturer and guest artist at numerous universities, Morrison is very involved in the world of printmaking, specifically stone lithography, and he is the Professor of Printmaking at Herron School of Art and Design, Indianapolis.
Sarah Phillips is the founder and CEO of Ugly Produce Is Beautiful. She has been an innovative force in the food business for 30 years. She is the author of The Healthy Oven Baking Book (Doubleday, 1999 and Baking 9-1-1 (Simon and Schuster, 2003). She considers her website, www.CraftyBaking.com, founded in 2000, as her third and online cookbook. It has over 1,000 unique recipes and pages upon pages of original content, added to monthly. She's also busy developing recipes for this Ugly Produce is Beautiful campaign.
David Schorr (1947 – 2018) was an American artist whose works span painting, drawing, intaglio printmaking, lithography, and engraving. Lauded for his in-depth and multifaceted projects, Schorr explored diverse themes ranging from comedy and music to the AIDS crisis and feelings of nostalgia. Schorr’s creative process rested on an emphasis on historical research, the idea of the collection, and the animation of everyday objects. His paintings, drawings, and prints are known for their layered surfaces of objects or figures. An illustrator and calligrapher, Schorr often incorporated text and literary references into his work.
Wade Schuman studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts,. He has taught painting and drawing privately for over fifteen years and at various institutions including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. He has received many awards, including three Visual Arts Fellowship Grants for Painting from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He has also received an Award of Excellence from the Philadelphia Museum of Art and was a National Endowment for the Arts Mid-Atlantic Regional Fellowship Finalist. His work has been shown in many publications including The New York Times, the New Yorker, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Art in America, Slate, and The Sciences magazine. He is represented by the Forum Gallery, New York and the More Gallery, Philadelphia.
Constance Scopelitis comes from a formally trained background with a degree in art from Indiana University, then furthered her studies at the Art Students League in NYC. Constance first approaches her oil on linen canvases with a deliberate color palette. Her imagery then comes from a deep psychological place, influenced by Contemporary life, where subliminal narratives emerge through the reinterpretation of visual icons from ad campaigns, fashion, graffiti and sexual politics. She juxtaposes highly rendered figure work with expressionistic pop culture archetypes. On the horizon is abstraction.
Sharon Shapiro’s paintings and collages explicate and untangle the multilateral constructions of the female self. Layers and fragments of oil paint and collage mingle with references to memory, pop-culture, and iconography, resulting in kaleidoscopic scenes that are at once deeply rooted in personal history, yet somehow detached. Shapiro’s women and girls are permitted to be complex without being convoluted. Visual disruption thus functions as a tool for examining female vulnerability and self-possession. Shapiro lives and works in Virginia.
David Shevlino was born in Jersey City, NJ in 1962. A graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the University of Pennsylvania, he also studied at the Art Students' League in New York. After many years of experimenting, Shevlino began exploring a looser paint application which straddles the line between representational painting and abstraction. This "in between" area is where the painter feels most comfortable and best able to express his artistic voice. His paintings are characterized by broad brushstrokes, a sensuous application of paint and an obvious feel for tonal harmonies. At the same time, the artist demonstrates a firm sense of control, tightening up the composition through his deft modeling of the human form. Shevlino has exhibited work nationally in both solo and group exhibits over the past two decades and currently lives in Wake Forest, NC.
Serge Strosberg studied Graphic Design in Paris at Academie Julian and Morphology at Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts. In 2010, Strosberg was an artist in residence in China and received a grant from The Shanghai Himalayas Art Museum to paint a series of chinese countrymen to be exhibited near Shanghai. He was the recipient of the Jan Cockx Prize given by The Director of Mukha, The Museum of Contemporary Art of Antwerp (Belgium) and has exhibited with major realist painters such as Lucian Freud and Philip Pearlstein in group shows at The Felix Nussbaum Museum (Germany) and The Musee de Pontoise (France). His work is currently in five Museum collections and 130 private collections.
Mary Reilly (b.1963 in Yorktown, New York) studied art at SUNY Purchase, the School of Visual Arts, the Art Students League of New York, and the National Academy School of Fine Arts. After a short stint as a graphic designer, Reilly decided to pursue a career in fine art. Mary Reilly is devoted to drawing with graphite, her medium of choice. Her work is included in the permanent collection of the New-York Historical Society and has been exhibited at The Museum of the City of New York, The Arsenal Gallery in Central Park, The Arkansas Arts Center, the National Academy of Design and numerous other venues. She currently lives in Stowe, Vermont.
Danielle Riede earned a BA degree from the University of Virginia and studied with Daniel Buren at the Kunstakademie Duesseldorf. She earned an MFA degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. Of her recent work, she says “When creating my Wingspan paintings, I don’t have a preconceived image in mind. Inspired by dance, I begin with an intuitive movement off of the canvas and then record that same movement in paint. This gesture morphs as I move across the surface of the canvas and an image unfolds.”