HKJB’s Upside Downturn at Galerie Laroche / Joncas

Maria Walker at Galerie Laroche/Joncas
Maria Walker at Galerie Laroche/Joncas

On display this month at Galerie Laroche/Joncas is the exciting new show Upside Downturn which is being presented by HKJB. HKJB is an artist directed curatorial group created by founding members Benjamin King and Jay Henderson in New York in 2009.

HKJB is seeking to collaborate with a cross-generational group of artists to explore the larger contexts that encompasses their work. HKJB’s goal is to assist in the working process for both the artist and curator that create new art contexts or evolve the focus of existing ones.

Upside Downturn is HKJB’s first month long exhibition to be held outside of New York City at Galerie Laroche/Joncas. The theme for this show is abstraction and its many incarnations in artistic expression.  It is an exploration into the shared artistic values that cut across different intentions of discrepancy that distinguishes each artist in the show.

The fragile economic market acts as a perfect backdrop for this show. There are 11 artists taking part in this effort and all of them have brilliantly portrayed their perspective of the current theme.

Kris Chatterson explores limitation through his use of tools. Working with acrylic on paper Chatterson produces pieces that are vibrant and fluid with brush strokes that weave in and out of each other but still remains detached in its use of black static space. Vince Contarino submitted his piece The Book I Read which is an interesting look at the juxtaposition of nebulous space created through the distortion of brush strokes and clear, delineated lines. These lines run through the nebulous space further reinforcing the theme of abstraction through an undetermined area on the canvas.

Michael Dopp’s use of space is influenced by brutalist architecture and abstract cinema. The canvas is monochromatic grey with rows of squares covering the entire piece. Done with gouache and Cel-Vinyl on canvas, this piece takes from the viewer more than it gives. The form is static yet the repeating pattern is functional and devoid of movement.

Abstraction through sculpture is also represented in this show through the submissions by Benjamin King and Jay Henderson. King  worked with wood and stone for the piece Cycladic Warrior which is organic and rooted in nature while Henderson’s piece called ‘Chess’ is comprised of using small Plexiglas squares to suspend a pyramid, amethyst crystal, New Zealand Green rock and a spherical piece of stainless steel in unstructured space.

Osamu Kobayashi uses thick textured coats of oil on canvas with a soft pinks and white pierced with highly charged  shot of electric blue that break the isolated stillness of the canvas.

In both her pieces, Lauren Luloff allows for mixed media by way of strips of cotton applied to the canvas to explore movement of individual pieces through a structured landscape.

In this exhibit, Yadir Quintana employs mixed media to create unconventional portraits of other artists. In his piece Everest Quintana uses silver leaf and lays the sheets beneath another artist as they work to captures footprints, sweat, dirt, drops of paint to confine the essence of the artist which creates a portrait of the artist in a distinct moment of time.

While not a sculpture in the true sense of the word, Maria Walker explores form in a three dimensional quality by stretching canvas over handmade wooden frames contorted into irregular shapes. Once the canvas is set, Walker use of paint allows the work to evolve into a restructured format of expression.

Holly Zausner uses film as her medium to create collage work while still recounting a tale through the 7th art frame by frame. One could call it montage but in this static format a work in pointillism is first seen by the observer but upon closer inspection, the essence of the work is the storyboard itself.

Rob Nadeau’s bold use of colour is an explosive combination of controlled lines and improvised shapes. The work is alive and pulls the viewer into the swing of undisciplined gestures that in their movement are casual while reaching for form outside the canvas.

In Upside Downturn there is something for everyone in the dynamic and highly personal rendition of abstraction.

Galerie Laroche/Joncas, space 410
Upside Downturn
September 6 – October 20, 2012

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