NEW YORK Chelsea
27 July – 2 September 2017
This Summer, Flowers Gallery New York is pleased to present 'No Lemon No Melon', opening July 27th, 2017.
No Lemon No Melon brings together eight international artists whose work uses mirroring and layering to reveal structures and patterns present in the surrounding world. Through diverse practices of photography, sculpture and video, the artists approach physical and psychological interactions with commonplace materials and natural phenomena by applying transformative processes of layering, reflection, distortion and repetition. From sculptures that respond to the effects of light, air and gravity to attempts at mimicking or altering the natural world and patterns of behaviour, each implies the notion of a nuanced truth. Reflecting the palindromic title, the works in No Lemon No Melonaddress the unstable and subjective activity of identifying and manipulating meaning and order within our everyday lives.
Colette Robbins’ Archaeological Fiction series is inspired by the iconography of archaeology, neuroscience, psychology, and the mining of her personal history. Influenced by klecksography (creating images through inkblots) and the well-known psychological test, the Rorschach inkblot test, Archaeological Fiction mirrors the human tendency to seek meaning and patterns in visual data, known as apophenia or patternicity. On view in the exhibition are 3D-printed ‘totem’ sculptures from Robbins’ archive of symbolic images and objects. An avid rock collector, the sculptures are created using her photographs of their various shapes, which are manipulated using digital sculpting software, inviting a subjective reading of their abstracted symmetrical forms.
JUSTIN AMRHEIN • COLETTE ROBBINS
FEBRUARY 17 – MARCH 26, 2017
OPENING RECEPTION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 6–9 PM
In Remainders, mythological totems, meticulous drawings of mechanical objects, and graphite drawings reminiscent of Rorschach tests coalesce in an investigation of rational and psychological interpretations of reality. While Justin Amrhein’s schematic drawings depict recognizable objects in a mechanical, seemingly rational and practical manner, Colette Robbins harnesses the irrationality of projecting meaning onto abstract forms in uncannily symmetrical drawings and sculptures. Both artists scrutinize the distinction between fact and fiction, and question the reality that we routinely navigate.
In his drawings, Justin Amrhein utilizes an instructional, schematic format to label the components and functions of objects ranging from mechanical walnut trees to a large-scale engine depicting political history in America. Left open to interpretation is what we are to do with his schematics, and whether they refer to objects that exist in the past, present, or future. Why might a mechanical tree exist, if not to replace the natural species which has gone extinct? One may conclude that the human relationship with technology and the natural world may lead to a post-apocalyptic reality; one in which we must build our environment per Amrhein’s instructions, in order to sustain humanity.
Conversely, Colette Robbins peers inward, and through a process-oriented practice, investigates psychological states and the human drive to project meaning onto visual information. Klecksography—the art of altering inkblots into recognizable images—inspired Robbins’ work, leading her to create hundreds of her own inkblots. She scans and digitally alters these, incorporating images of personally significant places, which lead to her large-scale graphite drawings. Further transforming the abstract, nonobjective inkblot, Robbins creates three-dimensional ‘totems’ from a meticulous process of digital repetition, 3D rendering, 3D printing, sanding, soldering, and painting. Ultimately, the totems take on an allegorical presence reminiscent of ancient archeological forms.
Justin Amrhein, born 1979, received his MFA from San Jose State University, and has exhibited at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts (NY, NY), The Center for Book Arts (NY, NY), Pierogi (NY, NY), Michael Rosenthal (San Francisco, CA), and Axis Gallery (Sacramento, CA), amongst others. His work has been reviewed in numerous publications including Artnews, Wall Street International, and Hyperallergic. He currently lives and works in New York, NY.
Colette Robbins, born 1980, received her MFA from Parsons, the New School for Design, and has exhibited at 101/Exhibit (Los Angeles, CA), The Hole Gallery, (NY, NY), P.P.O.W. (NY, NY), Deitch Projects (NY, NY), Kirk Hopper Gallery (Dallas, TX), Koki Arts (Tokyo, Japan), and Workshop Arte Contemporanea, (Venice, Italy), amongst others. She has been awarded residencies in Norway, Ireland, and at the Vermont Studio Center, and has been actively teaching, lecturing as a visiting artist at several universities, and curating exhibitions at various venues in New York. She lives and works in New York, NY.
On View through March 11th by appointment and Wednesdays 6 - 9 PM (Closed February 3 - 12).
Dana Harel and Colette Robbins merge archaeology and psychology in works whose rough exteriors, negative space, and composition recall ruins and antiquities. They confront fragility and vulnerability by alluding to the destructive nature of time. The artists transform emotional discomfort into objects of beauty exploring the link between past and present, decay and regrowth.
Harel’s vessels explore the meeting of mind and matter. Beginning with an upturned skull as her base, Harel sculpts clay to form a mold into which she pours plaster. The freehandedness of the rough additive process preserves an element of the unknown in the vase. The inversion of the head serves as a symbol of the artist’s internal struggle and conflict. Yet, the sacred space of the skull is stable, untouched by the turmoil of the surrounding world. Harel presents fresh flowers blooming out of the sculptures—invoking the skull as a mechanism of rebirth and transforming the empty vessel into a breath of life.
Robbins has long been inspired by antiquities such as The Tricephalic Head, a stone sculpture from the first century CE. Its’ symmetry led her to obsessively paint Rorschach inkblots. She conceptualized the inkblots in 3-D format as visual, physical manifestations of her inner anxieties and emotional states. In a dizzying, meticulous, and time-consuming process, Robbins blends drawing, photography and digital technology to create the towering 3D printed sculptures. The sculptures illicit the human tendency to assign meaning and seek patterns in random information, known as apophenia or patternicity. The Totems give tangible form to the psychological and physiological history of the mind.
Dana Harel was born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel. She received her B.Arch from California College of the Arts in San Francisco, where she currently works. Harel has had solo exhibitions at the Laguna Art Museum, Palo Alto Art Center, Gallery Wendi Norris (San Francisco), Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art (Herzliya, Israel), and Gensler Architects (San Francisco). Her work has been included in group exhibitions at Headlands Center for the Arts (Sausalito), the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, Napa Valley Museum, and Root Division (San Francisco). Dana received the Irvine Fellowship at the Montalvo Arts Center Residency in Saratoga in 2009.
Colette Robbins’ artistic practice explores the mind’s constant attempts to create meaning, build connections, and contextualize visual information. Robbins received her BFA from The Maryland Institute College of the Arts (MICA) and her MFA from Parsons the New School for Design. She has held residencies at Austevollportalen (Marstein Island, Norway), Cill Rialaig Project (Ireland), and The Vermont Studio Center. Her work has been shown at 101/Exhibit (Los Angeles), Mass Gallery (Austin), Field Projects (New York City), Deitch Projects (New York City), Koki Fine Arts (Tokyo), and Workshop Gallery (Venice, Italy), among others.
Curated by Jackie Hoving and Norm Paris
January 6th – February 12th, 2017
Opening: Friday, January 6th, from 6-9pm
Tiger Strikes Asteroid New York is pleased to present Past Continuous, a group exhibition including the works of Matt Bollinger, John Lehr, Colette Robbins, Kara Rooney, Mickalene Thomas, and Jenny Vogel.
The Past Continuous tense implies an ongoing action rather than a finite occurrence - instead of “she ran”, one would say “she was running.” Here the past is linguistically conjoined with the present. This form of grammar embeds itself within these drawings, photographs, animations, and sculptures in a way that sidesteps nostalgia by negotiating time – its traces and artifacts – as malleable for redefinition.
For John Lehr and Kara Rooney, the trace of an action, or the detritus gathered upon a surface, becomes a source of spectacle and atmosphere. John Lehr’s close inspection of worn surfaces turns Roland Barthes’ observation of the “this-has-been” of photography into a nearly abstract optical experience. Lehr’s images imply a dynamic painterly expanse due to the lack of contextual information, even as his photographs are in fact describing commonplace abraded surfaces in vivid detail. If in Lehr’s work the performance of entropy becomes atmospheric, in Rooney’s, the concrete object becomes performative. Her sculptures and photographic collages hold within them the potential for and echo of past actions. The objects she makes have been acted upon by multiple bodies, and in turn leave a record when animated. Often working in collaboration with choreographers and dancers, Rooney inspects the slippage of language through these forms and structures; exchanges that address, as she says, “the breakdown between memory, linguistic interaction, and actual event.”
Mickalene Thomas and Matt Bollinger recall parental figures as a vehicle for a sort of time travel. Thomas has cast her mother’s belongings in bronze. This material, associated with permanent memorial, turns once-daily accouterments into calcified mementos. An old digital camera, a necklace, and earrings become powerful relics, the lost-wax casting process destroying the original object while creating a transformed record. Bollinger’s work also mines his own familial history. His large drawing is a reconstruction, based upon the various shops that he would encounter while his father made deliveries for his auto parts retail business; these are places where Bollinger spent countless hours as a child. His hand-drawn animation, titled Mark of the Wolf, is a kinetic archive of many drawings, where both medium and subject invoke the passage of time.
Both Jenny Vogel and Colette Robbins employ modern technology to evoke a synthetic sense of antiquity. Robbins researches diverse sources - rock formations, Rorschach inkblots, and anatomical diagrams – on her way to creating what appear to be artifacts. She uses a combination of traditional drawing media and 3-D modeling software, evoking the mystery of prehistoric form as a metaphor for the way the mind interprets, synthesizes, and forgets information. Vogel has used related technology to create her video The Art of Forgetting, which is built with open-source 3-D scans of sculptures from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The scans meet within a virtual non-space, where both our view and the spoken chorus circulate around these antiquated ghosts.
The works included in Past Continuous do not historicize static moments, but instead actively reformulate the seemingly old into the new through process and material engagement. Time is not so much linear as it is circular. As William Faulkner wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
"CONFIDENCE TAKES PRACTICE, BUT YOU NEED IT IF YOU WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL AND THRIVE."
Psychology has been a major theme throughout the career of New York artist Colette Robbins. “Understanding how our brains function, why we react to certain stimuli the way we do, and especially how we are always trying to make meaning out of abstract things is my passion,” she says. “As humans, we’re always seeking to understand, because we’re meaning-making machines,” she says. Art, she believes, is just another way to find meaning in our lives. “Ultimately, art is a manifestation of a person’s extreme curiosity about the world outside of them and trying to put that into something solid,” she explains.
Colette’s own curiosity was born in fifth grade, when she started experimenting with oil painting. During high school, she toted her portfolio to her local college, Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and told them she wanted to take college classes. “If you have drive, you can be creative,” she says. “And then you should practice creativity, because really, creativity is a type of problem solving.” After high school, she attended art school, and earned her undergrad degree at the Maryland Institute of Art and her graduate degree at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City.
Higher education didn’t teach Colette how to be creative. She wholeheartedly believes it’s not something that has to be taught. But, higher education did expose her to a community of like-minded people, and she urges all people with a creative dream to find their community. “Finding the right people around you to give you really honest feedback, the kind that’s going to strengthen your vision, is so important.” If curiosity and community are the cornerstones of her creative practice, the third point of the triangle is confidence. “It’s extremely important to just trust that you are worth being out there, while still respecting your inner critic. There should be a nice balance of trust and pushing, and trust and pushing, and those are the things in life that take practice. Confidence takes practice, but you need it if you want to be successful and thrive.”
All Photos by Distinct https://www.distinctdaily.com/features/60655e5c-6772-4b4c-8e1e-88bbcfc329e4/
Presented by Some.Time. Salon
Colette Robbins, Rorschach Totem: Apophenia, Graphite on Papier-Mache on Polymer, 15.5 x 7 x 5.3”, 2015
Inspired by Rorschach dripping ink blot, artist Colette Robbins brings dimensions to life in totem sculptures. In a rigorous technique uploading ink blots into CAD renderings and finishing the sculptures with papier-mache, the artist explores phenomenon wherein one interprets meaning from meaningless patterns.
SOME.TIME.SALON will be presenting at Art on Paper Miami [Booth J5] with works by Kari Cholnoky, August Oz, Colette Robbins, Lauren Toomer, The Second Impression, and Jake Ziemann.
SOME.TIME.SALON's booth features a playful conversation exploring the limits of 2D through color, line, and form between collages by Jake Ziemann, drawings by Kari Cholnoky, and painterly drawings by August Oz. The artists create whimsy in self-referential abstractions by utilizing quotidian materials and repetitive gestures. The sculptures on view - ceramics by Jake Ziemann and a hybrid of 3D printed plastic and paper by Colette Robbins - are both of the artists attempts to give physical form to the languages developed in their works on paper.
contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a pass
Tuesday December 1, 2015
5:00pm to 10:00pm
Wednesday, December 2, 2015 — 11:00am to 7:00pm
SOME.TIME.SALON‘s booth features a playful conversation exploring the limits of 2D through color, line, and form between collages by Jake Ziemann, drawings by Kari Cholnoky, and painterly drawings by August Oz. The artists create whimsy in self-referential abstractions by utilizing quotidian materials and repetitive gestures. The sculptures on view – ceramics by Jake Ziemann and a hybrid of 3D printed plastic and paper by Colette Robbins – are both of the artists attempts to give physical form to the languages developed in their works on paper.
I met artist Colette Robbins in 1995 and recently had the opportunity to interview her for X. about some of the visual, psychological, and scientific themes she explores in her work. Robbins lives and works in Queens, New York. She attended the Maryland Institute College of Art and received her MFA from Parsons, The New School for Design. She is represented by 101/Exhibit in Los Angeles and teaches at Hofstra University.
I’ve seen you refer to your pieces as “Rorschachs,” after the psychological test, but they also evoke body parts like pelvises, nipples, and anuses. It feels very Freudian. Can you talk a bit about this tension between the bodily and the psychological?
I love the Rorschach test as a format because its reference to mammalian symmetry makes our meaning-making brains start to see faces or demons. I love that adding a texture from water or a cave inside of the Rorschach format makes the viewer think of imagery from the body. I think our ideas are so linked to our psychological states, that I am happy to hear that translates in the work.
Your pieces have titles like “Hypothalamus” and “Basal Ganglia.” The texture of your work references geological forms and there is also a sense of artifact, of something being passed on or inherited. I recently read an articleabout new discoveries in epigenetics, that psychological traumas or resiliencies actually impact our DNA and are passed down to future generations, and it immediately made me think of your work. I am wondering if this, or any neurological research informs your work.
I think that the new discoveries in neuroscience like this one really help psychologists get better and better at helping people determine the roots of their anxiety and depression whether they are physiological or habitual. Also these discoveries help debunk much of the mythology we have built up around mental illness as a culture. I hope that my work helps open up a conversation about mental illness through the discussion of the Rorschach test, since that test has become an icon of psychology.
That is interesting that you see them as an artifact and then you think of genetic information being passed on from generation to generation. I think that our emotional states can be like very nuanced landscapes with cracks and crevices and with rough and smooth patches that very directly can influence those around us. I personally think of my pieces like the insides of a thought or emotion. Even though emotions or being emotional can be stigmatized as being bad, we are all made up of so many emotions and our interactions with the world are based on our emotions and emotional states.
I’ve known you for 20 years and I’ve followed your work. Your background is in painting, and then a few years ago you started working in graphite, and have recently started using watercolor and incorporating color again. You also co-curated an exhibitionthat discussed uses of color among New York-based vs. LA-based artists. Can you talk a bit about this transition, why you went more monochromatic and then back to color?
I decided to go with an achromatic palette because color no longer became an important part of what I was trying to communicate. I wanted the focus to be on the values and textures, so removing color was a way to put the viewer in direct contact with what I was trying to say. However, I am always changing, and now I want to incorporate colors to create a different atmosphere in the mood of my work. The show I co-curated about LA-based artists using colors vs. NYC artists’ use of no colors was a show that allowed me to playfully observe why people living in different locations use color differently in general.
You teach painting at Hofstra University and have also done some consulting for emerging artists. Do you have any advice for aspiring artists or art historians who may be reading this?
For any career in the arts, in order to thrive, you need a community that supports you. Sometimes you have to build that community from scratch, one person at a time.
Labyrinth by Keri Oldham & The Devil Within and Without: curated work by Oldham and Colette Robbins
Inspired by the 1980s cult classic, Keri Oldham creates a modern allegorical watercolor and mixed media series in which she investigates issues of identity, psychosis and story archetypes. The group exhibition curated by Oldham and Robbins explores the inner and outer demons that shape artistic practice. Artists in that exhibit include Lanie DeLay, Bruce Lee Webb, Erin Stafford and more.
This week we visit Kirk Hopper Fine Art and talk about Keri Oldham’s exhibition, Labyrinth.
Labyrinth is primarily composed of fantastical watercolors of strong women and beasts. Sometimes they have their heads cut off. Also at KHFA is the show“The Devil Within and Without”, which was curated by Keri Oldham and Colette Robbins.
Which is what’s brought her back to Dallas for an opening night at the Kirk Hopper Fine Art Gallery. Her new show features her brightly-colored watercolors of maze-like grids and fantastical beasties, often beaten by warrior-princesses — hence, the exhibition’s title, ‘Labyrinth.’ But in what seems her typical, superhuman, workaholic fashion, Oldham co-curated asecond show at the gallery with Colette Robbins called ‘The Devil Within and Without,’ which includes both New York and Texas artists (including Shane McAdamsand Bruce Lee Webb), on the things that bedevil them.
Work by Ken Tisa on the left and Colette Robbins on the right
Work by Shane McAdams, Bruce Lee Webb, Erin Stafford, and Colette Robbins
Solo Exhibition by Keri Oldham on the left work by Richard Hart and Shane McAdams on the right
The Devil Within and Without
Curated work by Keri Oldham and Colette Robbins
October 10-November 14, 2015
Opening reception Saturday, October 10, 6:30-8:30 pm
Artists will be in attendance
KHFA's upcoming group exhibition, The Devil Within and Without: Curated work by Keri Oldham and Colette Robbins, presents themes on the inner and outer demons that shape many artists' creative practices.
Drawing inspiration from folk and outsider art traditions as well as psychology and religion, this exhibition features work by both Texas and New York based artists. The Devil Within and Without includes work by Lanie DeLay, Bruce Lee Webb, Ashley Whitt, Erin Stafford, Colette Robbins, Shane McAdams, Ken Tisa and Richard Hart. Using sculpture, painting, drawing and photography, this group of artists lifts the wool from our eyes to show us the psychological underbelly of a variety of personal and cultural norms. These artists do not stop at the surface level, but delve into the dark side of their ideas, not to be masochistic but rather to gain new insights into the world, by exploring what is sticky, prickly, or uncouth.
Shane McAdams's (NYC) reliefs consist of stump-like cross sections of trees, ballpoint pen, Elmer's glue, and resin. The psychedelic motifs he paints inside of each tree sculpture suggests a new history or meaning to the patterns normally found in the cross section of a tree. Fetishized with bright swirling colors, each piece appears to be part of a ritualistic act.
The drawing "Failure I" by Lanie DeLay (Dallas) makes a darkly humorous and possibly familiar flow chart of failure. This drawing opens up the possibility of deconstructing failure as a negative thing. Instead, failure becomes a playful game showing that our cultural constructs of what is to be avoided sometimes needs to be examined.
Richard Hart's (NYC) installation Grace, a wall sculpture made out of hair, brings to mind an unknown religious ceremony or sacrificial rite. Hart challenges our perception of cultural specificity and weaves together many types of cultural stereotypes and relics in order to create new powerful meanings and hierarchies.
A self-proclaimed lover of "hobo lore and train-car graffiti," Bruce Lee Webb's (Waxahachie) portraits of devils have a loose vibrancy often found in folk and outsider art. His style of painting on vintage paper has a homespun quality, while his portraits of devils echo American religious fervor, superstition and fear surrounding ideas of the devil.
Colette Robbin's (NYC) graphite paintings on paper uses the format of a Rorschach ink blot test, which is an iconic image and method of study of psychology. Inside of the ink blots is a detailed textured landscape that shows the possible worlds a person might encounter while gazing into a Rorschach and their own perceptions.
Erin Stafford (Dallas) takes sentimental objects, like vintage china tea sets, cutlery and serving ware and re-contextualizes them by slowly adding mineral formations onto them. When completed, they are no longer the cultural symbols of southern propriety, but hyper renditions of their former forms. Each piece, like a talisman, speaks to our desire to possess, own and absorb the power of objects.
Ken Tisa's (NYC) gouache and watercolor paintings depict figures being wrapped in lasso-like abstract shapes. This obsessive layering of lines obscures the features and clarity of the human form. In doing so these paintings unveil a psychological drama that encompasses the person, reminding us that we are made as much of thoughts and emotions as we are flesh and blood.
Ashley Whitt's (Dallas) ghost-like black and white photographs reference the history of the American occult. Whitt's photographs spark a playful curiosity into the unknown, with in her seemingly sinister achromatic worlds.
April 28th-May 4th
“Colette’s works evoke a visceral sense of my place on this earth, of my body in relation to my surroundings. Long inspired by natural forms – sprays of water, caves, mountains, islands – her graphite paintings have depicted heads morphing and blending into environments of rock and stone, sand and dirt.
Though the presence of the body is not quite so literal in her new works, I find anatomy in the outline of her Rorschachs and the patterns within them – a pelvic bone, conjoined heads, breasts. This tendency to assign meaning, to see familiarity where there is none, labeled “patternicity” by Michael Shermer, fascinates Colette. She has also begun to experiment with a new medium, watercolor, leading her to create contrast between the colors and dark backgrounds that glow like a starry night.”
~Anna Nearburg, Executive Director
September 19 - October 25, 2014
507 Calles Street, Suite 108, Austin, TX 78202 Get directions
Now that we’re all “wet robots” and “biological algorithms,” do you want to be a dead body or an exquisite corpse, this show asks? A big group, including Dan Attoe, Jay Davis, Bill Donovan, Austin Eddy, Amir H. Fallah, Chie Fueki, Joshua Hagler, Adam D. Miller, Kymia Nawabi, Christopher Pate, Max Presniell, Colette Robbins, Maja Ruznic, Tom Sanford, Alfred Steiner, Michael Shaw, and Dani Tull.
MASS Gallery in Austin, Texas recently opened its newest exhibition, Exquisite Corpse. The group curated by Beautiful/Deay’s founder Amir H. Fallah features a myriad of artists, with many that we’ve featured in Beautiful/Decay publications and on our site: Dan Attoe, Jay Davis, Bill Donovan, Austin Eddy, Amir H. Fallah, Chie Fueki, Joshua Hagler,Adam D. Miller, Kymia Nawabi, Christopher Pate, Max Presniell, Colette Robbins, Maja Ruznic, Tom Sanford, Alfred Steiner, Michael Shaw, and Dani Tull. In their own way, each artist explores the body and what it means to be human in the modern world.
Exquisite Corpse refers to the collaborative game whose origins are rooted among the Dadist writers as a poetic exercise and the Surrealist later turned into a drawing game. You might’ve played it before; when each person does their part well, it creates an alluring, sometimes grotesque body that was completely unexpected.
This exhibition brings together artists working in both Los Angeles and NYC. As MASS Gallery poetically describes:
A central problem of 21st century life is that the old, psychologically fortifying myths are fading. Philosophers and scientists have described us as wet robots and biological algorithms, which is perhaps an intentionally shocking way to describe humanity, but these descriptions also seems to get close to a dangerous truth that contains a kernel of abject horror. It is the artist’s job to create psychologically coherent images which look forward. It is now a matter of viewpoint whether, when it is all said and done, you are a dead body or an Exquisite Corpse.
In addition to the show, the gallery also produced a full-color catalog that showcases all of the work and an essay by Bill Donovan. The limited-edition, 102 page publication features a beautiful spot UV with fluorescent cover. If you can’t make it to Austin for the show (it’s up until October 25), then the inexpensive-yet-high-quality catalog is totally worth it.
More work by the featured artists as well as sample spreads from the publication after the jump.
Opening: Friday, September 19th 7-11 pm
Exquisite Corpse: The Body Altered in the Twenty First Century is a survey of established and emerging artists grappling with the complexities of representing the human figure in the 21st century. The exhibition is curated by Amir Fallah and features work by: Dan Attoe, Jay Davis, Bill Donovan, Austin Eddy, Amir H. Fallah, Chie Fueki, Joshua Hagler, Adam D. Miller, Kymia Nawabi, Christopher Pate, Max Presniell, Colette Robbins, Maja Ruznic, Tom Sanford, Alfred Steiner, Michael Shaw, and Dani Tull. MASS is excited to present this group of challenging, provocative artists as they explore the body and what it means to be human in these accelerating times.
We recently went inside Christian Berman’s studio at The Active Space to explore his material selections and sculptural works on cultural symbolism. Now he’s putting on his second show at Katrina Van Tassel Projects in the Lower East Side. Inspired by the romantic landscape of German artist Caspar David Friedrich’s painting, Wanderer Above a Sea of Fog (1818), Christian is curating a selection of artists whose works tend to their connections with the natural world.
From precarious desires depicted through picturesque landscapes in Sophia Narrett’s thread and fabric works to overwhelming love for person/place/thing in Giordanne Salley’s paintings, powerful relations to nature break through. While you’ll see a bit of magic in these pieces, there might also be a presence of depersonalized landscapes in the works of Andrew Woolbright and ink blots of abstracted landscapes in Colette Robbins’ Rorschach project.
“Wanderers above a sea of smog” opens on Saturday, August 9th and runs through September 1st at Katrina Van Tassel Projects.
NEW / IDOLS
9/5/14 6-9pm & on view through 10/5/14
The Varsity presents "New/Idols", a group exhibition opening September 5 from 6-9pm and on view through October 5, 2014. Featuring works by James Case Leal, Elizabeth Glaessner, Matt Jones, Shantell Martin, Alyssa Piro, and Colette Robbins, "New/Idols" invites the viewer to enter the playground of the future, join the creation of new mythologies, and bear witness to emerging iconographies.
Studio 301 NYC
301 Ten Eyck
Brooklyn New York
8/29 - 10/4
A visual exploration of dreams and memories through contemporary abstraction and portraiture featuring new works of art by:
Nathaniel Mary Quinn
"Nights, through dreams tell the myths forgotten by the day." - C.G. Jung,
Memories, Dreams, Reflections
For The Time Being is a group exhibition that explores the intersection of distant dreams and memories. The exhibition's concept is inspired by the American curator's lifelong interest in Japanese culture – a fascination that took the form of dreams and waking aspirations.
The exhibition is a meditation on the passage of time from childhood to adulthood, as well as an examination of time's ability to erode and obscure the past - making it difficult to discern between our memories of events that have actually occurred and our fantasies of what might have been.
Do we remember the past correctly or is there a point at which our dreams seep into our memory - affecting our ability to know what is real and what is imagined? This exhibition provokes a series of similar questions through a presentation of compelling paintings and drawings by a varied group of young, US-based artists.
Each artist is being shown in Japan for the first time. Hence, the exhibition also represents a dramatic shift in the timeline of their careers, as it brings their work to an entirely new audience.
For The Time Being features works of art that are primarily in black and white colors - a curatorial decision meant to strip each artist’s work down to the most basic, minimal elements, while offering the viewer a sense of tranquility and the possibility of greater introspection.
About the curator
Independent curator, Dexter Wimberly was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. A passionate collector and supporter of the arts, Wimberly has exhibited the work of more than 300 individual artists internationally. Wimberly maintains a critical dialogue with emerging artists throughout the world by way of his exhibitions, public programs, and lectures at galleries and public arts institutions such as Mixed Greens Gallery, Driscoll Babcock Galleries, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Brooklyn Historical Society, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), The Savannah College of Art and Design, and The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC). Dexter Wimberly is the Director of Strategic Planning at Independent Curators International (ICI).
1-15-2 Rose Bldg 1F, Higashi-Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 101-0031 Japan
Hours: 12:00-19:00, and by appointment
Closed: Sun, Mon, Tues, National Holidays
Katrina Van Tassel Projects
An exhibition curated by Christian Ruiz Berman
Opening Saturday, Aug 9, 6pm-10pm
Runs Aug 9- Sept 1, open wed-sun 10am-6pm
34 1st Street, NY,NY
Featuring the work of:
In 1818, the German Romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich painted “Wanderer above a sea of fog,” perhaps his most iconic and well-known work. In the painting, a young man stands atop a rocky escarpment, surveying an untamed and craggy landscape of forest and rocky mountains. The painting is emblematic of the Romantic movement in art and philosophy, which sought to espouse and examine the sublime; a reunion with the spiritual self through the contemplation of nature. The landscape of the romantics was not the safe, organized, and tamed garden of classical civilization; it contained danger, raw power, mystery. The scenes in Friedrich’s paintings are ones of Kantian self-reflection, expressed through the wanderer's gazing into the foggy unknown. The wanderer’s stance is contradictory, suggesting at once dominion over the landscape and the insignificance of the individual within it. Friedrich explained the need for the artist to match natural observation with an introspective scrutiny of his own personality. In one essay, Friedrich advises the artist to "close your bodily eye so that you may see your picture first with the spiritual eye. Then bring to the light of day that which you have seen in the darkness so that it may react upon others from the outside inwards." He rejected the overreaching portrayals of nature in its "totality", and presaged our 21st century understanding that human emotion and action are indivisible from the uncontrollable forces of nature. As wilderness has become increasingly conquered and abstracted in physical terms, it has never loomed larger in our own psyche.
Painting as a practice has long been entangled with humanity’s relationship to the wilderness. The earliest known petroglyphs and cave paintings are, in the most basic terms, an attempt to externalize and record an emotional connection to the power and mystery of the wild. As an act of expression, painting itself carries elements of our wild beginnings. As many artists have expressed, the moment we explain or write down an idea, we flatten it – we take it out of the wild, and place it in a room. Painting allows for ideas to be transmitted freely, poetically, and in a direct manner- a visual and manual exercise that is akin to the act of walking though a forest or meadow. Forays into nature allow for fascination and surprise, and most of all a type of involuntary attention to the rich variety of one’s surroundings that is not as commonplace in everyday urban life. While exploring the wild, we de-stress from the required attention and scheduled tasks of working life. Our psychological connection to nature has evolved as our species moved from the trees, to the savannah, to villages, to towns, and finally to network of civilization that has left few places untouched or unmapped. In terms of biological evolution, this shift in human experience has happened over a relatively short amount of time. Our genes and our collective memories still contain the awe, respect and fear of the wild unknown that kept our ancestors alive.
In 1977, Gene Rosselini walked into the Alaskan wilderness as part of a fateful experiment. Rosselini, obsessively organized, physically trained, and knowledgeable of basic survival skills, wanted to deduce whether it was possible for a modern human to live as a hunter-gatherer. Rosselini lived off of berries, trapped game, and plants, and managed to survive the Alaskan winters using only stone tools. At the end of his Alaskan sojourn, shortly before committing suicide in his hovel for unknown reasons, he wrote
“I began my adult life with the hypothesis that it would be possible to become a Stone Age native. For over 30 years, I programmed and conditioned myself to this end. In the last 10 of it, I would say I realistically experienced the physical, mental, and emotional reality of the Stone Age. But to borrow a Buddhist phrase, eventually came a setting face-to –face with pure reality. I learned that it is not possible for human beings as we know them to live off the land.”
As every corner of the planet became documented and explored, the looming backdrop of the wilderness, onto which we could project our desires and fears, slowly faded. Rosselini’s experiment, which ended in the late 80’s, coincides with a growing sense that humanity had moved far beyond our ancient ties with the wild; and with a realization that a Romantic idealization of nature as a place to rediscover oneself might have been a naïve dream. Even intrinsically nature-related art, such as the land art movement of the 70’s, became focused not as much on our personal and emotional connections to the wild, but instead on a broader understanding of landscape as a concept. Urban centers like New York began to re-establish a new and central identity, and as wilderness disappeared, environmental protection dominated the discourse on nature. By the end of the 20th century, the canvas, itself an empty landscape, faded from prominence- as the power of the physical landscape declined and became politicized. In the 21st century, the untamed wilderness has become a lost fantasy and a symbol of a past reality; and as such, has regained, through nostalgic and mythological power, its connection to our emotional desires and expressions. Even as environmental action and “green” practices have become consolidated and commonplace, wild nature continues to disappear. The frustration, resignation, and anxiety associated with the seemingly unstoppable growth of manufactured civilization have changed our emotional link to what we perceive and value as wild. What we see in this body of work, and in the works of many other contemporary artists, is a return to painting in a way that connects the internal universe to the external unknown. This is an internalization of the concept of contemporary wilderness- a pictorial exploration of a psychological link with a forest, still strong in it’s symbolic power, but no longer removed from human stewardship.
This body of work that could only exist in our current timeframe; there is no idealization of nature here- no separation between pure wilderness and human concerns. However, as environmentalism fails, and humanity seems at times to be heading for complete catastrophe, the power of nature has gained a renewed presence. Interestingly, these artists grew up in a suburban American landscape that is being partially repopulated by the wild- in a world where trees have regrown into large properties, deer wander the streets, and coyotes and bears prowl at night. With the restructuring of the environment has come a strange and new cohabitation- one that forces us to both reconsider our place within the natural order, and also to reconnect with the palpable codependence with nature that our ancestors experienced. These paintings are not merely invented fantasies; in fact we see a deep physical connection with a natural world that is both present and powerful. The parallels between Friedrich’s 19th century world and ours are palpable; human progress has again led us to the brink of the unknown. Unlike the time of the Romantics, the physical wilderness of plants and animals, mountains and trees, has been largely tamed. However, the precariousness of our habitation on the planet still speaks of the universe’s indelible power and chaos. We stand on the edge of a new connection to the environment- and accept ourselves as partly controlling the fate of immediate nature. We find the magic, mystery, and freedom of the untamed wild in our exploring minds- still inextricably built to process life through the mirror of wilderness. Whether civilization continues to tame the unknown, or we are thrown back cataclysmically into the Stone Age- this question may hinge on our philosophies, the intimate knowledge of ourselves, and our ability to understand and control human emotion.
Art News & Gossip
“What I love about Kristen Schiele’s work is her ability to pull off work that is playful yet contains a powerful subtext,” artist Colette Robbins told us via email. “She weaves seemingly vapid images of graffiti or a cat growling into intricately layered reliefs, paintings, wooden totems, and screen prints.” Look out for both Robbins and Scheile in a group show at LA’s 101/Exhibit this June.
01 JULY 2014
New York-based curator/artist, Colette Robbins recently joined forces with101/EXHIBIT gallery director, Kevin Van Gorp and manifested, Koi No Yokan. The exhibition explores the concept of love and how it affects others. As cliche as this may sound, these works of art are anything but. Giant white sculptures carved in the shape of man consuming identifiable objects and kaleidoscopic paintings are scattered throughout the unassuming space. Both Gorp and Robbins called on a few artists from New York City and Los Angeles to create new and revisit old works for their surreal themed exhibition. If you’re perusing Hollywood area between now and July 26th, be sure to drop in and take peek for yourself.
6205 SANTA MONICA BLVD
LOS ANGELES, CA
CO-CURATED BY KEVIN VAN GORP AND COLETTE ROBBINS
TANYA BATURA, RACHEL ROSKE, KRISTEN SCHIELE, COLETTE ROBBINS, MICHELLE HINEBROOK
A three person exhibition at the ISE Cultural Foundation
curated by Ginger Shulick Porcella
January 10th - March 4th
Artist’s talk February 4th 6pm
Closing Reception March 4th
The Bastion, Graphite on Paper, 2014
Comparisons between the L.A. and New York art worlds are persistent and perhaps inevitable. The idea for decades has been that back East, everyone wears black and paints in black because it's all very serious and European and because, you know, gravitas, while out here in L.A. it's all easy and breezy and full of light and riots of color, from tie-dyed jams to tropical flora. This is a seductive trope in part because it's kind of true -- or at least it was. These days everyone is from everywhere and geography is no longer destiny, making this the perfect time to re-examine the issue at Kopeikin Gallery. Curators Amir H. Fallah (an L.A. artist) and Colette Robbins (a NYC artist) have picked their teams and will be making their respective cases. One of the most promising of this summer's big group shows, "Desaturated Rainbow" features six artists (including the curators) representing their coasts, with L.A.'s team bringing all the intense color they can find and NYC working those shades of gray like there's no tomorrow. Nevertheless, other factors such as generation, pluralistic personal and popular culture, and a shared taste for hyper-detail and post-punk surrealism intervene to broker an accord before things get out of hand.Kopeikin Gallery, 2766 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City; Sat., July 20, 6-8 p.m.; Tues.-Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m., through Sept. 7; free. (310) 559-0800, kopeikingallery.com.-- Shana Nys Dambrot
by: Rebekah Rhoden
Expertly curated by Amir H. Fallah and Colette Robbins, Desaturated Rainbow is a travelling show of work from New York and Los Angeles artists. The show revolves around context, stereotypes and originality of how artists use color on both ends of the country. Desaturated Rainbow will run from April 11th to May 18th at Field Projects in NYC. You can see work from LA-based artists Alison Blickle, Wendell Galdstone, Sherin Guirguis, Amir H. Fallah, Dani Tull, Feodor Voronov, in addition to NYC-based artists Justin Amrhein, Micah Ganske, Norm Paris, Colette Robbins, Michael Schall, and Heeseop Yoon.
Steal This Artwork: Adam Parker Smith Filches a Show
by brian boucher 03/13/13
A large group show opening this month poses cheeky questions about theft of ideas and artworks: artist-curator Adam Parker Smith stole all the objects to be included, from paintings to an artist's mouth guard, during studio visits.
"Thanks" will be at New York's Lu Magnus Gallery (Mar. 29-Apr. 26). Among the artists invited to participate (they can still decline) are Scott Teplin, A.i.A. contributor Dennis Kardon, Emily Noelle Lambert and Rico Gatson.
Smith sent e-mails (forwarded to A.i.A. by one of the artists) last night and today to the more than 70 New York "invitees." It reads, in part, "'Thanks' will be a large group show comprised entirely of stolen works of art or objects relating to the artists' practice."
After assuring the recipients that the work is safe and will be returned on demand, Smith writes that part of his goal was to call attention to the ways artists "share, appropriate and occasionally steal ideas and materials."
Three artists who spoke to A.i.A. by phone today took a friendly attitude toward Smith's practical joke.
"At first I felt violated," says Colette Robins, who had a drawing swiped. "But it's like he was acting out his coveting of the work."
"It goes to how much we trust our artist friends," she added. "I didn't even notice he was carrying a portfolio and a large bag. I'm kind of fascinated by it, to be honest."
Teplin, too, confessed to initial shock.
"I had to re-read the e-mail a couple of times," he said. "But if anybody I know could pull off something like that, it's him."
Alfred Steiner is an artist and a lawyer. Smith lifted a ring that Steiner created as an artwork. It resembles a piece of candy-a ring pop-but, Steiner said, is made from enameled silver and cut glass.
"Fortunately for Adam, when I found out what was going on I was surprised but not upset," he said. "He and I have spoken about theft of concepts."
While not a criminal lawyer--Steiner works in intellectual property law--he commented informally on legal implications.
"I'm not sure what criminal charge would apply," Steiner said. "My guess is you would have to establish he intended
See this exhibiton 'Thanks' opening at Lu Magnus on March 29th, 2013
Featured in Site 95's November journal
Studio Photoshoot and interview below with Isobel Schofield of Bryr
Small write up below in the layer project
Shout out below in Kathy Grayson's
Kathryn Hough interviewed me about my project for the Metropolitan
Museum of Art Hackathon Project, for Techli, click below to read:
Click below for an interview by Rhoni Blankenhorn on my recent work.
write up by the lovely Gace Johnstone click here:
Earth works : Ten Artists on Land and Industry
curated by Anneliis Beadnell and Stuart Morrison at P.P.O.W. Gallery, NY
The Graphite paintings 'The Warden' and 'The Sentinel' featured in the
Field Projects Show #1 The Living Room
Keri Oldham and Colette Robbins
Dates: Dec. 16th- Dec, 19th
Opening: Friday Dec. 16th, 6:00-8:00pm
526 W 26th Street, #807
Collapse curated by Micah Ganske includes works by: Diana Al-Hadid, Ian Davis, Maria Kozak, Colette Robbins,Erick Swenson, Maximillian Toth, Heeseop Yoon
November 1 — January 13, 2012
"a desert in the ocean" The View from Cill Rialaig: an exhibition of works resulting from a convergence of Irish and American artists and writers in retreat in Co Kerry, Ireland
June 30 - August 19, 2011
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 30th, 6-8pm
Artists/Poets: Katrina Balling, Gemma Billington, Vincent Desiderio, Nicole Etienne, Micah Ganske, Caroline Hinkley,Catherine Howe, Sue Hubbard, Ronnie Hughes, John Jacobsmeyer, Trevor Joyce, Nancy Lorenz, Helen O'Leary, Colette Robbins, Judith Schaechter, Barry Schwabsky, Carol Szymanski
Lesley Heller Workspace
54 Orchard Street
New York, NY 10002
fәˈsäd- Curated by Michael Meadors.