Multiple Realities of Abstract Art at the Southeast Queens Biennale

In the universe created by Southeast Queens Biennale 2022, abstract art invited viewers to unleash their imaginations and contemplate the multiple realities conveyed by the seven participating artists through their distinctive visual languages.

Curated by the artist Rejin Leys, the exhibition bears the title formationspresented artworks by Jean Foos, Vandana Jain, Jeanne Heifetz, Anton Kerkula, José Carlos Casado, Carl E. Hazlewood and Dominant Dansby at the York College Fine Arts Gallery and the King Manor Museum.

“We chose to focus on abstraction to allow space for the imagination and to highlight how one material or one process can drive an entire project,” Leys said of the third iteration of the Biennial, which recently closed. after extending its term to April 29.

José Carlos Casado, left: “sacrifice.vHeadWar” (2013), archival inkjet print on canvas, acrylic and oil paint, plastic sculpture, polyurethane; right: “sacrifice.vmeat”
(2013), archival inkjet print on canvas, acrylic and oil paint, plastic sculptures, mirror PVC (Photo Carmen Graciela Díaz/Hyperallergic)

As noted by Leys, the similarities that emerged between the different works of art were particularly evident in the York Gallery.

José Carlos Casado uses digital technologies and media to create installations and sculptures, among other things. His approach is exemplified by “sacrifice.vMeat” (2013), in which the reflection of a mirror is reminiscent of a psychedelic alternative reality.

In his series R3-visi0n3DAnton Kerkula also uses the technique, in this case to transform his architectural photography into surrealistic images that challenge the viewer to rethink the logic of architectural structures.

Dominant Dansby, “Interlude of constructed Ideals or Mannerism” (2015), pastel, colored pencil, graphite, paper, wood (Courtesy York College Fine Arts Gallery)

Dominant Dansby’s abstract grids are inspired by the energy and improvisation of jazz. The collaged grids of pieces such as “Interlude of built ideals or mannerism” (2015) explore texture and dimension and reflect the importance Dansby places on the notion of artistic process.

In Carl E. Hazlewood’s artistic statement, he describes his intention to “create things that tend to be ephemeral in response to space and the surfaces of the place”. The Biennale is showing his BlackHead Anansi Web (2022), an abstract collage of organic shapes and translucent lines.

Jeanne Heifetz, “Pre-Occupied 72” (2017), graphite on flax paper tinted with iron oxide (courtesy York College Fine Arts Gallery)

In her series EmployedJeanne Heifetz confronts her fear of death and offers layered drawings based on the maps of various Jewish cemeteries, including those where her relatives are buried.

Jean Foos and Vandana Jain collect and transform discarded materials, creating images that suggest ritual. Foos’ towering sculpture Convulsive Beauty in the Fur Teacup Bar (2022) is reminiscent of a totem, while Jain’s works provide a boost of energy, transforming ordinary objects like a broom or a rope into stunning objets d’art to create pieces like Love Is Love ( 2020).

A poetic sense of materials unites the artists in the exhibition, as does the stories and ideas they express.

José Carlos Casado, “Hetty is B/W (1816)” (2022), custom-made tablecloth (Photo Carmen Graciela Díaz/Hyperallergic)

“One thing I realized as I looked at the exhibition and installed it…is that although the pieces vary in the processes and the things that the artists think, there is a continuity in terms of the approach to materials exist,” noted Nicholas Fraser. Director of the York College Fine Arts Gallery.

In the King Manor Museum, the contemporary works of art entered into a provocative and almost transgressive dialogue with the historical structure.

Like its previous editions, the Biennial served as a geographic and cultural bridge between the arts and the Southeast Queens community that surrounded it. “The Biennale was established to bring more cultural visual arts programs to Southeast Queens and to give our artists and venues greater visibility,” explained Leys.

In formationsfulfilled the curator’s desire for the community to experience and challenge the work of diverse artists by offering new perspectives on abstract art and its symbolic power.

Vandana Jain, Love Is Love (2020), cotton, acrylic and t-shirt yarn, jute and plastic yarn, orange rope, faux pine garland, holographic skeleton torso, faux fur, plastic rope, plastic bag, bedded wool yarn, sequins, Happy Birthday banner , orange hose, pink Easter grass, white acrylic ribbon, plastic flowers, broom (Courtesy York College Fine Arts Gallery)
Anton Kerkula, “R3-VisioOn 3D series Building 5” (2018), digital photograph on glossy photo paper (Photo Carmen Graciela Díaz/Hyperallergic)
Vandana Jain, “Khatta Meetha” (2021), mixed media; and “Thrum Bones” (2021), sewing table, organza “bones” filled with studio scraps (courtesy York College Fine Arts Gallery)
Jean Foos, detail from The Ballad of Mary Alsop King (2022), acrylic on paper packaging forms (courtesy York College Fine Arts Gallery)
José Carlos Casado, “Thawing Embryo III” (2016), aluminium, clay, wood, polyurethane, paint and found objects (courtesy York College Fine Arts Gallery)

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