This summer Bridgette Mayer Gallery
will be featuring a group exhibition entitled Young and Fun: Abstraction, which includes the work of seven renowned contemporary painters. The artists are locally, nationally, and internationally-based, but share a common interest in that they all seek to explore the properties of their medium of choice through non-representational subject matter. This exhibition will be complemented by a neon work by conceptual artist Alejandro Diaz in the Vault gallery space.
Of the seven artists who will be exhibiting work in Young and Fun: Abstraction, four are from the Philadelphia area. Arden Bendler Browning creates what she describes as sprawling wall-sized paintings that express her interpretation of how the urban environment she experiences as a city resident is in a continual state of flux. Both Nathan Pankratz and Rebecca Rutsteins large-scale paintings are characterized by their striking color relationships, Pankratz utilizes gestural strokes and washes to build value while Rutstein layers complex geometric forms over her more painterly marks. Laura Watt also incorporates patterning into her works, drawing inspiration from such sources as Arabic tiles, Buddhist mandalas, Pygmy bark cloths, Amish quilts, and Scottish tartans to infuse her pieces with both decorative and cultural elements. New York artist Clara Fialhos paintings initially grab the viewers attention with their bold, vivid tones, but then encourage closer inspection with their intricately rendered details. Graeme Todd, an international artist of Scottish descent, produces taut, layered mixed media abstractions that seek to imply space on a two-dimensional surface. Federico Herrero, who currently lives and works in San Jose, Costa Rica has been recognized for his punchy landscapes by being featured in such prestigious exhibitions as Art Basel, the Venice Biennale, the Seville Biennale, and the Aichi World Expo in Japan, to name a few. Herrero has also recently been added to the Guggenheim and Saatchi permanent collections and is to exhibit with the Guggenheim later this year, and with the Saatchi Museum in London early next year.
Featured in the Vault space, the contemporary artist Alejandro Diaz is well-known for his conceptual, recurrent use of everyday materials, his humor infused politics and his ongoing involvement with art as a form of entertainment, activism, public intervention, and free enterprise. He began making and selling his cardboard signs Mexican Wallpaper, on the streets of Manhattan in the late 90s. More recently, he has translated them into a compelling series of colorful neon signs. [artist statement]