An insightful curator brought artists Anne Finkelstein and Cora Jane Glasser together last year for a New York exhibit of their paintings, one she called Archi/Texture.
Neither painter knew each other at the time, but curator Mary Garret recognized a pattern in the way each treats architectural references, both literally and metaphorically.
“We’re both native New Yorkers,” says Glasser. “We’ve grown up looking at architecture at the same time – we use what we see in New York as source material. We use similar aspects of the built environment.”
That first show now has inspired a second – this one at the FXFOWLE Gallery, called Archi/Texture: New Work.
When seen together, the work of the two artists exhibits striking similarities and differences. Similarities between the works include color, structure and imagery, while differences involve surface treatment and technique. Both begin with photographs of architecture but abstract the imagery in very different ways.
“It’s a little spooky,” says Finkelstein. “We both take photographs of structural scaffolding, and the reason is that we each have an attraction to geometric abstraction.”
Taking her imagery from construction and demolition sites, Glasser deconstructs, fragments and distorts the structure of the architecture and its environment, leaving surface elements to capture the essence of a scene. Often using black as her blank canvas, Glasser evokes the Deconstructivist style of architecture, which is characterized by fragmentation and an interest in manipulating a structure’s surface or skin.
“My color palette is driven by repetitive patterns I see in a construction site,” Glasser says. “There’s a starkness to the grays and blacks and whites, and the other colors – the oranges and blues – pop out of that.”
Finkelstein creates montages of images with contradictory perspectives. Using an additive technique, she builds up layers of intersecting structural lines and juxtaposed spaces, taking the viewer on a journey through a constructed landscape. The result is a densely textured surface, which fluctuates between abstract patterns and recognizable spaces.
“It’s a consciousness of the city,” she says. “People think it’s monochromatic, and then suddenly a bright color jumps out. It’s an extreme contrast of values.”
Unknown to one another a year ago, the pair will open their second show of complementary work on January 17. An opening reception will be held from 6 PM to 8 PM, and the exhibit will run for three months.
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