Materiality at Amy Simon Fine Art


Panoramic view of Ready, Aim, Inspire
From left: Jeesoo Lee, Cecile Chong (on dividing wall) and my paintings, foreground and in the distance; scroll below for a virtual tour of work by each artist

So there we were, in Westport, Connecticut, the middle of a nor'easter, having an opening. This was on March 13. The three artists showed up--Cecile Chong, Jeesoo Lee and myself--along with an assortment of partners and friends, and Amy Simon had put out a fabulous spread. Then, despite the winds that were blowing trees down all around us, artists and collectors and friends of the gallery started showing up. .

The Amy Simon Gallery, just off I-95, is in an oddly shaped and utterly charming former mill. The floors look to have their original wide pine planks, and there's even a river that runs by the building. I knew of Simon's gallery because she shows a few other artists whose work I love--David Ambrose, Carolanna Parlato, Scott Richter and Paul Shakespear--so when she invited me to show, I was pleased. In bringing together Chong, Lee and myself, Simon acknowledges the materiality of our work, even though we all work differently. Chong and I work mostly in wax, though she is narrative and I am reductively abstract; Lee creates large-scale linear abstractions on paper that are sewn. It's an odd but satisfying mix.
The show is up through next Saturday, April 24; if you're in the area, please stop in. In this post, I'm going to take you on a virtual your.

Chong, born in Ecuador to Chinese parents and now living in Brooklyn, paints Japanese geisha figures, often shown interacting with little white girls. Talk about a cultural mix. This painting of Chong's is on the back side of the dividing wall shown above. From this vantage point you can see a drawing by Jessoo Lee over the flat file and a glimpse of the long end of the gallery, where most of Chong's work is installed

Below, we travel down that section of the gallery to see Chong's paintings

Below, turn to your right and you see a wall of work by Jessoo Lee, with a glimpse of my work in the distance . . .

. . . and that brings back, more or less, to where we started

Since I talked about materiality, I've got a detail from each artist. Chong, above, in fact serves up substantial passages of abstraction within her narratives. Just above the chunky corner (shown in full view just above the detail) is the outline of a figure with legs and skirt. The staccato line suggests stitching, which leads us to . . .

. . . a detail of Jessoo Lee's collages work, shown top and just above the detail of Chong's work

In this detail of my Vicolo 42, visible in the bottom row center of the near grid shown in the installation shot a few images above, you can see how I've carved into the surface, allowing under layers to push their way visually to the surface.
You can see more of my work here; Chong's here, and Lee's here.


Nancy Natale said...

This is a great-looking show, Joanne. I enjoyed all the work and was sorry I didn't see it in person. Thanks for posting.

Angeline Marie said...

Joanne, I don't know how you do it, but once again a wonderful photo spread of an art show. I lurk and read your blog because of the quality art reviews and photos. Thanks!
Angeline of

Michele Fraichard said...

Looks like a great show. fyi, I tried to see more of the works via the links, but 2 of them didn't work, including yours.