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Artist Updates | Fall 2018

Artist Updates | Fall 2018

It’s October 2018 and the artists of whitespace continue to have a fantastic year. Check out these items of interest…

The Oblivion Seekers, Image courtesy of Stephanie DeMer's Instagram.

1 Our warm congratulations to Stephanie (Dowda) DeMer who graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with her Masters in Fine Arts this past spring. She is currently adjusting to life in Arizona with her husband Scott and promoting her photo book The Oblivion Seekers that has been published by Ultra Terrestrial.

Bojana Ginn, MOCA GA, Opening Reception

2 More congratulations are in order to Bojana Ginn who was awarded the 2018 Ellsworth Kelly Award, with the Mary S. Byrd Gallery at Augusta University. The Ellsworth Kelly Award goes to galleries that are recognized for the transformative effect they can have on the lives and careers of their artists. Additionally, Bojana Ginn also received the 2017-2018 Working Artist Project grant and has currently has a solo exhibition at MOCA GA from September 22 to November 17. So double congratulations are owed to her!

Vesna Pavlovic, Sites of Memory, Laufer Art

3 Whitespace artists are traveling the world with their creations. Fulbright scholar Vesna Pavlovic recently returned from her fantastic show Sites of Memory in Belgrade, Serbia at Laufer Art. Vesna also continues the promotion of her book, Vesna Pavlovic’s Lost Art that was released earlier this year. You can find it on Amazon as well as here at the gallery for purchase.

Pete Schulte and Johan de Wit, participated in a two-person show, at Art on Paper Amsterdam, Rutger Brandt Gallery, Amsterdam (NE).

5 Back in the USA, Nancy Floyd’s She’s Got A Gun was at the Joshua Tree Art Gallery, Joshua Tree, CA. The Print Center, Philadelphia, selected Nancy as one of 10 finalists at their 93 Annual Competition. The jurors, José Diaz and Lisa Sutcliffe. Diaz is the Chief Curator at The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh. Lisa Sutcliffe is the Curator of Photography and Media Arts, Milwaukee Art Museum.

Matt Haffner, Harmonic Dysfunction, Atlanta Airport

6 Matt Haffner’s show Harmonic Dysfunction left whitespace gallery at the end of July but stayed close to home going to the Atlanta Hartsfield- Airport. Countless travelers moving across the country and the world this summer saw his fantastic photo installation.

Wendy Given, You Darkness, Vernissage Fine Art

You, Darkness by Wendy Given is on exhibition at Vernissage Fine Art in Portland Organ from August 7 to October 30. Her prints and other works include images of birds and dark blue night sky images and her amazing sculptural pieces.

Standing Torso by Amy Pleasant, 2017, ink and gouache on paper, 30 x 22 inches

Amy Pleasant has a show in Hudson, New York at Tom Swope Gallery in collaboration with Jeff Bailey Gallery, September 15 – October 28. Amy’s paintings and sculptures are paired with early Chinese Buddhist sculptures displayed throughout the gallery. She is, also, in a group exhibition, The Unlikely Whole at the ArtYard, Frenchtown, NJ.

Eric Mack, Alpha Numeric, Chanel to Chanel

Eric Mack is in Nashville exhibiting Alpha Numeric at Channel to Channel through October 20. His works contain layers of materials to create geometric spaces from recognizable parts.

Sonya Jong James, A Hundred Blossoms

10 Sonya Yong James has an installation, A Hundred Blossoms and the Sweetest Scent, at the Zuckerman Museum of Art/Kennesaw State University. Her mixed media piece includes interwoven flowers, roots, and other mixed media materials. If you didn’t make it to the opening, never fear, it will be on view for an entire year.

11 whitespace artists Elizabeth Lide and Zipporah Camille Thompson have both received prestigious residencies. Elizabeth Lide is in residence at Mass MOCA, North Adams, MA. Zipporah Camille Thompson is winding up a 3 week residency the Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists Residency. This much sought after residency interrupted her show at whitespace, September 7 through October 20th. The show was recently reviewed by ArtsATL and Art Papers so please check it out to see what these writers have to say about Zipporah’s work.

12 Saturday, October 6 from 6-9PM, there will be a dance performance by Zoetic Dance in the main gallery and courtyard. This is a collaboration between Zipporah, choreographer Christina Noel Reaves and the Zoetic Dance Ensemble.

Mary Stuart Hall, Drawn From Memory, shedspace

13 Mary Stuart Hall’s beautiful and sensitive installation continues in shedspace exhibiting Drawn From Memory through October 20th.

14 And, last but not least, Zipporah will have an artist’s talk on Wednesday, October 10 at 7 PM. We hope to see all of you here soon!

Q&A with Sabre Elser

Sabre Esler is an Atlanta based multimedia artist with an MFA from SCAD. Esler’s work has a focus on human psychology and visual metaphors of thought. Her exhibition White Lies filled whitespec with a tangle of carefully tied white strings overlapping and bending away from each other in a matrix. Upon entering the exhibition, the artist displayed a statement for the audience about psychology and politics and its relation to the work. To better understand the metaphors and logic behind White Lies whitespace asked Sabre Esler a few questions about White Lies.

Installation image of White Lies by Sabre Elser

whitespace: How does the title, White Lies, relate to the current political climate that you reference in the exhibition wall text?

Sabre Esler: I am always interested in the patterns that decision making creates. In this case, the current cultural and political climate is one with little trust, because our culture has turned a blind eye to the importance of truth. I was fascinated to learn that lying actually causes different pathways in the brain to form. I had no idea when I first decided the theme would be white lies, that there was a body of research devoted to understanding how lies affect the way people think. In reading about white lies, the general belief is that if there is a portion of truth, but not the whole truth, that it’s not a bad thing to do.

Further investigation exposes that white lies are really the beginning to a much deeper, more troubling, breach in the pathways and circuitry that are constituted in the brain and its wiring. White lies allow people to begin to deceive, but its easier to tell outright lies, because practice makes perfect. So yes, our current climate and culture have an acceptance of this phenomenon of lying. I want to expose that cultural norm for what it is a state of mind we have put ourselves in.

whitespace: The work involves a viewer being immersed in the space that you’ve created, can you talk about the relationship between the viewer and the installation? As the artist, you are controlling where the viewer can be within the space, can you elaborate on your decision making process as well?

Sabre Esler: I like the concept of installation work because the viewer can be immersed in the artists’ ideas. Because I am working in a conceptual way about something that is inside our mind, I like the ability to immerse my viewers in the overwhelming and abundant patterns inside the space.

Ultimately, space determines how my patterns will play out. Because this space is long and narrow, I wanted the viewer to be able to see great depth in how the patterns keep happening, just like experiences, and how they overlap to create a very complex web of connections. However, I also wanted viewers to be able to approach the work, that meant leaving the narrow walls in the middle with layers that are intricate, but don’t have the sense of depth that the ends are able to afford. If it was a square room, perhaps I would have created the depth equally on all four sides. I’ll leave that for my next installation.

whitespace: Who has influenced your work?

Sabre Esler: Tomas Sarenceno was the first artist that I saw using cording to create a web-like structure. I had the opportunity to travel to Berlin and see his amazing piece in The Bunker. I researched what he was doing and fell in love with his concept. I am not as interested in spiders as he is, but I do appreciate his expertise and novel approach. I went back to my studio to see if I could incorporate the size of what he was doing with my small sculptures that I had made the previous year. I discovered there is a huge learning curve in creating installations. Shortly after that, I received the opportunity to create my first mind space installation and had to get up to speed quickly in how to create my work on a grander scale.

It just so happened that Chiharu Shiota was showing at the SCAD Savannah Museum. I went down to see her work in person. Her work is similar in weaving to mine, although different because our ideas aren’t exactly the same. When I see her work, which is amazing if you haven’t, you should look her up; I am taken with the emotion of longing, sadness, or wistfulness. Many of her pieces imbed tokens or signifiers of memory, things of the past. My interest, on the other hand, is more of a universal appeal to everyone of the experiences and pathways towards decisions we face given a certain set of circumstances. I hope to explore other decision making concepts in the future, but I don’t think I will use tokens as she has done.

whitespace: As an installation artist, how do you know when your work is completed?

Sabre Esler: I am happiest with the work when I can see an evolution of the patterns that I am making. I start with the grid in the background, which is like a pristine construct of the world we live in. If everyone did the right thing, or was a computer, only understanding and doing binary things, we would have a grid-like experience and world. However, we are not computers, we are imperfect machines that make a mess of things, many times, but it is a beautiful mess. The patterns I am going for are complex, but have a crystalline structure, they alter, but still abide by many of the same rules, even when altered over time. I like it when I can get at least three or four layers of patterns so that the size and scale of the pattern can be seen. I am not sure if I know exactly about the completeness, other then that the space can only hold so many layers, and then I just have to be finished. Also, my materials can only support so much weight or the structures start to wilt. I feel like I am using a lot of architectural thinking in my structures. I am taking a material that has no structure to it, and making it appear to have geometric properties. I feel like it is successful if the shape holds up, can support itself, even though it is really using cantilever type construction. I haven’t worked larger then the current installation; I suppose I would be testing myself and the concept of “complete” if the room was bigger then the patterns I could construct.

Elser’s exhibition, White Lies, ended on September 1, 2018.

CC Calloway | Long Lasting Chew

Review: CC Calloway’s “Long Lasting Chew” at Whitespace

June 12,2018
burnaway.org
By Logan Lockner
View more CC Calloway

In Rachel Kushner’s electrifying 2013 novel The Flamethrowers, about a young woman who falls in with a fictionalized crew of post-conceptualists in 1970s New York, an artist tells the unnamed protagonist, “You don’t have to immediately become an artist… You have the luxury of time. You’re young. Young people are doing something even when they’re doing nothing. A young woman is a conduit. All she has to do is exist.”

With her exhibition “Long Lasting Chew,” on view at Whitespace’s project space whitespec through this Saturday, June 16, Atlanta-based artist CC Calloway manages to both reject and embrace this proposition.

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CC Calloway, s.o.s. (after ABBA), 2018; mulch, rocks, broken floor tiles, spray paint, Thai kozo, India ink, wire, dimensions variable.

Matt Haffner | Harmonic Dysfunction

Barns, back roads, barbecue, billboards and Buford Highway

June 5,2018
ArtsAtl.com
By Jerry Cullum
View more Matt Haffner

Matt Haffner’s photographs in his Harmonic Dysfunction exhibition (at Whitespace through June 16) confront a different, less distinguishable part of the South, the spaces on the margins of cities where the architecture is determined by the function of the services provided by auto body shops, liquor stores and other unromantic enterprises that are often visually identical in cities across America.

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Matt Haffner, Fast and Friendly (Image courtesy the artist/Whitespace)

March Madness

March Madness

It is already March…how is that possible?  We are trying to live up to our new year resolutions but we only have 8 up and running. So, here we go, not quite 10 awesome things to know about whitespace artists.

 1 & 2 Congratulations to Amy Pleasant (AL) and Vesna Pavlovic (TN), two whitespace artists, who are finalists for the South Arts Southern Prize. They will receive $5,000 each and together with nine other southern visual artists, are in consideration for the Southern Prize, which includes an additional $25,000 cash award and a two-week residency at the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences. The winner of the Southern Prize and the $10,000 finalist prize winner will be announced at a ceremony celebrating the State Fellows on April 16 in New Orleans.

Eric Mack, SRFC-49, 67 x 117 inches, mixed media on canvas

3 More congratulations are in order. Eric Mack, has a show opening in Los Angeles at the California African American Museum (CAAM) on March 14. Eric and Pamela Smith Hudson’s show, Charting the Terrain will be on view through September 8, 2018. So if you’re in LA this spring or summer, be sure to check it out.

installation image courtesy of the artist

4 Kudus to Sarah Emerson Are We the Monsters, curated by Teresa Bramlette Reeves, is a solo show of Sarah’s large scale drawings and murals at the Zuckerman Museum at Kennesaw State University. Berserk Planet will blow your mind and really worth the drive to Kennesaw. This museum is curating some real cutting edge work.

 

5 More congrats to Zipporah Camille Thompson who is opening at the Atlanta ContemporaryNight Powers opened on Tuesday, February 20 and is open until April 1.  Beautiful and powerful, just like Zipporah.

6 Yawn…just another vinyl album cover for Seana Reilly. Her previous albums include (1) Piano Music of David Burge, 2010, (2) Daughter & Warpaint special 12” single, 2014 Label: 4AD, (3) Attan – debut EP.metal band from of Norway, 2015, (4) Telepathy, an instrumental metal band out of the UK.  Album (5) is in production and (6) is in discussion. Rihanna, Madonna and…Seana! That Seana is such a rock star!

7 Tommy Taylor is sitting on top of the world, well really on top of a volcano in Costa Rica. He is working on Starbucks largest global project alongside Mata Ruda and Jade Rivera, Latin American muralists. This Starbucks center is headquarters for agronomy that includes a wet mill, nursery and roaster so that visitors can see the process start to finish. This is the only place in the world to drink this particular coffee.

8 Craig Dongoski’s stunning show, Kissing of the Gods, is not to be missed.  His artist talk is this Saturday, March 3rd at 2 pm. A performance (Spring Equinox) of course, Wednesday, March 21, 6 – 8 pm.

Top 10 Favorites in 2017

Whitespace Top 10

Top 10 Favorites in 2017

 

The December Top 10 is a wrap up of the best things I saw in 2017! I hope you enjoy it!

Love, Susan

1. Atlanta BalletCarmina Burana, Cobb Energy Center, Marietta, GA

The choreography and music was the best, and the Georgia State University singers and master singers knocked it out of the park. This performance instilled a sense of pride in me for the city we live in and the great art and cultural institutions that make a difference in Atlanta. The performance was, quite simply, beautiful and seductive.

Rachel Van Buskirk and Jonah Hooper in “Carmina Burana.” | Courtesy of Charlie McCullers

2. The Dougs…

Doug Aitken – Mirage House, Palm Springs, CA

I’ve never seen anything like it…the mirrored (inside and out) single story ranch house was a perfect realistic, and unrealistic, object set in the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains. It made me question everything. I’m still not quite sure what is real and what isn’t?

Doug Shipman – New CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center

He’s pounding the pavement, meeting and talking to everyone and taking the efforts Michael Rooks started a few years ago to a whole new level. The best thing about Doug is that he probably knows it all because he is really smart and has accomplished a lot on this planet and for this city, but he doesn’t act like he knows it all and he still listens.

Doug Jones – First Democratic Senator in Alabama in 25 years.

This election shows us that our votes do matter and change can happen anywhere.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZglqkCRNt8

Artist Doug Aitken, Mirage House, Palm Springs, CA | Courtesy of Susan B.

3. Nick Cave – Mass Moca, North Adams, MA, Closing performance of Until

This was the most moving contemporary arts performance I have ever seen. As Nick danced, he physically touched almost everyone in the audience. As he was doing so, he began to cry. The tears were for Michael Brown and the violence in Ferguson and all over this country. Nick’s tears were our tears.

Artist Nick Cave, Until, Mass Moca, North Adams, MA | Courtesy of Susan B.

Underneath the center of Nick Cave’s sculpture | Courtesy of Susan B.

Bob Faust and Nick Cave, Until, Mass Moca, North Adams, MA | Courtesy of Susan B.

4. Robert Irwin – Chinati Foundation, Marfa, TX

Irwin has been working on this site-specific installation at Chinati for over 20 years, and it’s one of the best examples of the California-based light movement that started in the early ‘60’s. Irwin’s ability to traverse ultimate darkness into complete illumination using a simple scrim is indescribable. The installation is subtle, perfectly composed and completely immersive. I can’t label it – if I try, it dilutes the experience.​

Robert Irwin, Exterior view of inståallation at Chianti, Marfa, TX | Courtesy of Susan B.

Robert Irwin, Exterior view at sunset (natural light filtered through scrims) | Courtesy of Susan B.

Robert Irwin, Interior view of installation at Chianti, Marfa, TX | Courtesy of Susan B.

5. The Eclipse – The Cumberland Plateau, August 21, 2017

Paul Thorn at the Song Bird, Days Inn, Trader Joe’s, Chani Nicholas, Seana Reilly, and homemade eclipse helmets. It took us from the ridiculous to the sublime and was beautiful and transformative. Who needs land art when you have solar art?

Paul Thorn’s airstream at the Song Bird, Chattanooga, TN | Courtesy of Susan B.

My precious daughter, Caroline, wearing a homemade eclipse helmet to view the Eclipse, Cumberland Plateau, TN | Courtesy of Susan B.

The Eclipse Cumberland Plateau, TN | Courtesy of Susan B.

6. Cover BooksEphemera in shedspace, Atlanta, GA

What began as a temporary outpost for art books at whitespace is now a welcome addition to our ever-expanding whitespace environment at 814 Edgewood. We are so happy to have Katie because we are Cover Lovers.

Ephemera by Cover Books | Courtesy of Katie Barringer

Inside shedspace | Courtesy of Katie Barringer

Cover Books founder/owner, Katie Barringer

7. Kahlil Joseph – Wildcat at Prospect 4, New Orleans, LA

I almost overlooked at Prospect 4 this year but a definite fav was the poetic, narrative video, Wildcat. A black and white piece about the black rodeo subculture in the United States. It had all of the elements that intrigue me – it was dark and dangerous but beautiful both visually and musically. The sound by Flying Lotus is as important as the film.

Artist Kahlil Joseph, Wildcat, Prospect 4, New Orleans | Courtesy of Susan B.

Artist Kahlil Joseph, Wildcat, Prospect 4, New Orleans | Courtesy of Susan B.

Still from Wildcat | Courtesy of IndieWire

8. Yayoi Kusama Festival of Life, David Zwirner NYC

Two concurrent, well actually three, shows at Zwirner proved that Kusama is an artist to be reckoned with and much more than an Instagrammer’s delight. The gallery adjoining the infinity rooms contained 66 double hung canvases that felt very much like works by southern folk artist, the late James Harold Jennings. These paintings were very colorful and filled with energy and playfulness. Mirrored balls, Christmas lights, and big red dots (you know how I love a red dot on anything) made standing outside on the sidewalk for two and a half hours on a snowy New York morning totally worth it. It was pure fun.​

Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Mirror Room, David Zwirner NYC | Courtesy of David Zwirner

Yayoi Kusama, David Zwirner NYC | Courtesy of Susan B.

Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Net paintings and With All My Love For The Tulips, I Pray Forever, David Zwirner NYC | Courtesy of David Zwirner

9. Jacqueline Humphries – Greene Naftali gallery, NYC

This show was quite a surprise and a good one at that. At a distance, her huge paintings could pass for an Agnes Martin/Cy Twombly mashup, but after close observation, Humphries’ are very much au currant. Her surfaces are layered with tight grids of cut out emoticons. What is she trying to tell us? Whatever it is, there is a lot of content, and much to think about in this work.

Jaqueline Humphries, (L) (#J^^), 2017, 100” X 111”, Oil on linen | Courtesy of Susan B.

Jaqueline Humphries, TQ555, 2017, 100” X 111”, Oil on Linen | Courtesy of Susan B.

Jaqueline Humphries, TQ555, 2017 | Courtesy of Susan B.

10. Mexico City, Mexico

I love everything about Mexico City.  The museums, the architecture, the parks, the gardens, the food and, of course, the lovely Mezcal cocktails.

Courtesy of Susan B.

Zeitgeist at Whitespace: A Tale of Two Cities

From left to right: “Atlantic Ocean, September 10th, 2016,” archival pigment print, ; “Panther Motel,” archival pigment print, Caroline Allison (2017)

In July, Whitespace hosted artists from Zeitgeist gallery in Nashville as part of an ongoing collaboration meant to stimulate conversation about the cultural and artistic trademarks unique to two of the South’s most vibrant and evolving cities. With the exhibition closing in early August, featured Zeitgeist artists were given the opportunity to reflect on their experiences of showing artwork in Atlanta.

“Well I suppose the obvious answer is that it’s always exciting to be sharing work with a wider audience,” wrote artist Caroline Allison about the benefits of showcasing outside of Nashville. “in our present life, we are constantly and instantly “half-communicating” with each other, so to send a “complete thought” (a finished work of art) . . . feels like sending a long letter to someone.

“As a child who saw firsthand the boom growth and changing Atlanta landscape of the 80’s and 90’s, I see the echo of that rapid growth period now in Nashville . . . Atlanta’s diverse and substantial contemporary art community is an inspiring path for Nashville to follow.”

Lars Strandh, an artist with roots in the Scandinavian art community, found that “all the interesting people I meet and the interesting conversations we have” remains a continual reward for showcasing his work around the world (Germany, Switzerland, France, Sweden, and other prominent cities in the U.S., to name a few). “So much knowledge being shared, so many interesting discussions and conversation, so many laughs. I believe that’s the important and benefiting side of being an artist.”

From left to right: “Untitled,” acrylic on canvas, 9 9/10″ x 9 9/10″; “Untitled,” acrylic on canvas, 26 3/4″ x 26 3/4″; “Untitled,” acrylic on canvas, 59 x 59″, Lars Strandh (2017)

Showcasing in the South, he wrote that “if someone can fire up a BBQ, I can get some beer and we can sit down to have a long, interesting discussion about art and life . . . is just a win-win situation. A lot of people in the art community have a lot of experiences to be shared. The exchange between Zeitgeist and Whitespace is a good example and a good start.”

Pictured from left to right: Caroline Driebe, Susan Bridges, Robert Reed Altman, and Cora Altman at the Whitespace screening of Nashville.

To pay homage to the dialogue between the two galleries, Whitespace showed the 1975 satirical movie “Nashville.” The director of the film’s son, Robert Reed Altman, himself a notable contributor to the modern film and television industry, and Altman’s daughter, Cora, attended the screening. Altman finished working on his most recent project, Father Figures, a movie filmed in Atlanta and set to hit theaters in December of this year. The heartfelt atmosphere of the gallery screening epitomized the connection between Nashville and Atlanta: their commonalities, the beauty of their differences, and the bond they share.

–– Jessika Bouvier, Whitespace Intern