Three artists present work that questions the nature of "surface"
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Three artists present work that questions the nature of "surface"
Installation view. Photo: Courtesy of Egg Collective.

NEW YORK, NY.- Egg Collective is presenting Surface Break, a group show featuring the work of Dan Boardman, Amanda Martinez and Cody Tumblin. All three of the artists in the show create work that questions the nature of “surface." The very existence of a surface, after all implies that there is something we are not seeing, something that exists underneath one’s view. Surfaces have long proposed to humanity the possibility of discovery, if willing to look. The surface of the ocean appears impenetrable from the shore but once broken another world is revealed. Dan Boardman, Amanda Martinez and Cody Tumblin leave just enough of a break to allow the viewer to contemplate the subtle references to culture, form, limitation, disguise and memory that exist within their given works.

Dan Boardman (b. 1984, California)
Dan Boardman is an artist living in Weedsport, NY. Boardman received a B.F.A. in photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2008 and an M.F.A. from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2012. His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally and is held in both public and private collections. He was a 2015 Light Work Artist in Residence (Syracuse, NY) and 2013 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellow. His work has recently been exhibited at 321 Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), Sad Gallery (Seattle, WA), Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), the Mills Gallery at the Boston Center for the Arts, and Musée des Beaux-Arts (Le Locle, Switzerland). His publishing company Houseboat Press has recently exhibited at Aperture Gallery (New York City) and Off-Print (Paris, France).

Boardman’s photographs bely their own making upon first glance, only revealing themselves fully after careful consideration and awareness of the artist’s process. Initial impressions of the images range from digitally composed mash ups to layers of google searched images and textures but the occasional light leak and the subtle imperfection of how edges meet one another, begins to hint at the analog nature of his process. Boardman’s begins by drawing his images at scale, creating multiple layer masks, each representing a single exposure and then exposing each sheet of film multiple times to layer twisting and turning form, texture and content onto a single sheet of large format film. In Boardman’s large scale works, each 4x5 or 8x10 inch sheet of film then becomes one component in the larger grid that forms the final image. A single work may contain literally hundreds of exposures created in camera and take up to a year to complete.

The viewer upon realization of the laborious process Boardman undertakes may wonder why he has chosen the highly fallible and chance reliant path when digital technology would allow for a similar and far more expedient outcome. For Dan Boardman however, the physicality and labor of the process is exactly what attracts him to it. It is in the end the vehicle that drives the journey towards an exploration into the medium of photography itself and the unknown and unexpected ways in which it allows us to see the world anew.

Amanda Martinez (b. 1988, South Carolina)
Amanda Martinez lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Originally from Greenville, South Carolina, Martinez received her BFA from Kansas City Art Institute in 2010 where she studied both sculpture and painting. In 2019 Martinez had a solo exhibition at Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art in Nagoya, Japan as part of Aichi Triennale. Her work has been shown at numerous galleries in New York City including most recently Underdonk, Vacation, VICTORI + MO amongst others, as well as Garis & Hahn in Los Angeles, Dateline in Denver, and N.A.D.A. NY with yours mine & ours Gallery. Martinez's work has also received recent press in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Maake Magazine and elsewhere.

In 2019 she curated “Object of Desire” at Tiger Strikes Asteroid New York and lectured as a visiting artist at Pratt Institute. She has been awarded residencies in Wassaic, NY, Kansas City, MO and Truth or Consequences, NM. Martinez will complete a public art commission in New York in 2020.

As a sculptor, Amanda Martinez attempts to navigate the relationship between experience and the often imperfect or poetic nature of its’ representation, utilizing repetition and labor to emphasize the presence of the hand. Martinez carves puzzle like forms which she then assembles into kaleidoscopic monoliths of flat color. Her forms read as weighty and the impulse to feel the waves of the surface of her works, before one’s hand dives off the edge, is undeniable. The hand expects the warmth of wood or the smooth perfection of a machined curve but there in that expectation of the experience to be had, lies the rub. For where one expects density an airy quality is found and instead of perfection the subtle variation of the hand carved surface exists. Mimicry is central to Martinez’s choice of materials. Polystyrene and shredded tires are the artist’s preference. A fascination with prop design and the idea of “the stand in” or objects that are meant to give the impression of something else, has lead Martinez to explore the line between reality and perception, much like in a piece made for a play there is a conceptual “backside” that tells a murkier story than the minimalist facade.

Cody Tumblin (b. 1991, Tennessee)
Cody Tumblin currently lives and works in Chicago, IL where he received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute in 2013. His work has been exhibited both in the US and abroad, including solo exhibitions at Devening Projects, Mild Climate, Good Enough, SPF 15, LVL3 and The Outlet Gallery. Recent group exhibitions include No Place Gallery, Andrew Rafacz, Chicken Coop Contemporary, Annarumma Gallery and Good Naked. Tumblin is a Hopper Prize Finalist and has been published in Art Maze 12 and Anniversary Edition 15. He was awarded a residency at Godsbanen in Denmark. He also recently released a community collaborative cookbook titled Today’s Special with Extended Play Press.

Tumblin’s paintings are rooted in a material investigation of fiber based processes, specifically dyeing, sewing, thread and needle. Conceptually, Tumblin works much like a cook in their own kitchen, remembering a family recipe in bits and pieces, substituting where the memory becomes vague, improvising when the needed ingredient isn’t available. He lives with his works, splayed out on the floor or soaking in large buckets of dye. No piece of material is left unconsidered, no segment of a painting stretched, removed and re-stretched is forgotten, as each piece is viewed as a part of something, a memory of sorts, a leftover in the kitchen being reborn. Tumblin’s process relies on traditional techniques used in collage based works. He cuts apart painted and dyed pieces of muslin, removing it from its’ source and layering it onto a new substrate. A dangling thread bears witness to this removal and reorientation. The landscape that forms both literally and figuratively in his swirling orbs, references longing, desire, memory and loss. At the heart of Tumblin’s work is a tenderness, at times physically manifested in a photo printed on cotton of the sun or moon from Tumblin’s drives back to his childhood home in Tennessee. As his paintings are cut apart, sewn, bleached, redyed, and painted over, the images slowly collapse, becoming palimpsests of recycled memory and emotional resonance. 

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