'En Plein Air Reloaded: Green Fuse' opens at Black & White Gallery / Project Space

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'En Plein Air Reloaded: Green Fuse' opens at Black & White Gallery / Project Space
Isadora Capraro, Red landscape, 2020. Mixed media on paper

SOUTHAMPTON, NY.- Black & White Gallery / Project Space is presenting the group exhibition En Plein Air Reloaded: Green Fuse. The show, which is on view from July 23rd – August 29th features the works of artists including Cristina del Campo, Isadora Capraro, Megan Foster, Jack Henry, Michael Krondl, and the late Shimon Okshteyn.

The show brings together artists with unique perspectives and diverse backgrounds, who propose new experiences rooted in nature endlessly re-forming and reshaping itself. Through their uses of contemporary artistic forms, in various scenarios and formats—each with their own conventions — they each infuse life into dead fragments and propose different modes of contemplation: of nature and the boundaries between the visible and invisible; of the firmament that surrounds us as part of that nature; and of life through art. They invite the public to approach their surrounding reality in a poetic-artistic-ecological way.

The show features over 30 works with highlights including Birds of a Feather Flock Together by Shimon Okshteyn from 2019; Purple Bear by Megan Foster from 2017; Wilderness 2 by Jack Henry from 2020; Environment #3 by Cristina del Campo from 2012; Beach Grass Drawing by Michael Krondl from 2021; and Red Landscape by Isadora Capraro from 2020.

Cristina del Campo (b. 1981, based in Basel, Switzerland)

Cristina del Campo focuses on concepts of fragment and reconceptualization, playing with natural and manmade, abstraction and figuration. She blends fragments of architectural structures and plants taken out of their natural contexts and creates a new fictitious reality with those fragments contextualized in a new, more abstracted way.

The objects and structures Del Campo selects are fragments of our environment that often go unnoticed. They interest her for various visual and conceptual reasons. She sees them as isolated, out of context overlapping characters in this fictional reality that fuses artificial and natural.

Cristina Del Campo earned her BFA degree at the University of Salamanca, Spain (2004) and her MFA degree at the University Complutense of Madrid, Spain (2007). She is the recipient of several prestigious awards in her native Spain, such as Visual Arts Government of Cantabria Award (twice), Gaceta Foundation Award, Ibercaja Award, Pancho Cossío Award or Government of Cantabria Visual Arts Grant.

Isadora Capraro (b.1994, based in Southampton, NY)

In her abstracted landscapes Isadora Capraro constructs a universe in which the human figure tenderly merges with the subtle world of nature. In this space time slows down and offers the state of peace and stillness.

Isadora Capraro was born in Italy and immigrated to Buenos Aires shortly after. After attending the Manuel Belgrano National School of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires she moved to the United States apprenticing for artists to achieve complete and practical art education. She worked for artists of note in Los Angeles, New York, Sagaponack, and Buenos Aires, while developing her own art practice.

Isadora had her first solo show in 2018 and after that, she participated in several group shows in the United States. Her work is in private collections in Buenos Aires, New York City, Southampton and Mexico City.

Megan Foster (b. 1977, based in Brooklyn, NY)

With irony and humor, Megan Foster portrays often-overinflated expectations of the way we live and how we try to better ourselves from previous generations. Her work suggests a narrative by presenting a frozen moment in time, aiming to preserve and give authority to the everyday experience. Utilizing appropriated images from art, architecture, technology and popular science as starting point, she depicts sometimes banal scenes that have the potential to be spectacular and fantastic.

Foster frequently uses nature as a backdrop. Toys, hybrid plants, designer pets and naturally occurring spectacles find their way into the work as she rethinks the meaning of contemporary landscape and the technological sublime.

Nite Bright is a series of paintings made during the height of the pandemic while under strict quarantine regulations. Influenced by liminal time and space, the series explores real and artificial reality. Platforms such Zoom, Zwift and Apple’s operating system are used to explore altered rituals and the everyday experience.

Sifter (gold) and Sifter (mixed) are inspired by MIT’s robotic fish SoFi, created to explore the world’s most fragile coral reefs, and holographic lure tapes used for designer fishing tackle. The series began after several visits to Venice FL, the self-proclaimed "shark tooth capital of the world." The 2D hybrid collections of holographic shark’s teeth were created after observing the obsessive, as well as the casual, collector of shark’s teeth along these beaches.

Megan Foster earned her BFA at RISD (2000) and MFA at Columbia University (2002). Before joining the faculty at RISD in the fall of 2016, Foster taught at The City College of New York where she was the head of Printmaking and director of the MFA program. She was also master printer at the LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies and is the co-founder of Moonlight Editions. Her work has been included in exhibitions at Black and White Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Mixed Greens Gallery, NYC; PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY; Inside-Out Art Museum, Beijing, China; and the San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA, among other venues.

Jack Henry (b. 1984, based in Brooklyn, NY)

Jack Henry’s practice explores the compromised state of the environment by focusing on the spaces of untamed growth remaining in the urban landscape - where mankind’s conquest of wilderness is most evident. He portrays environmental degradation by combining found objects with plants emblematic of the city. In his Brooklyn neighborhood, wild growth is confined to empty lots and gutter spaces where he collects material from to make sculpture, installations and works on paper reflecting the compromised state of the modern landscape.

For the wall reliefs, Henry embeds sticks, chains, rocks and cigarette packets within cement to become their compositional elements. Leaves, rebar, cans and cables are cast out of resin and bronze to be assembled into sculptures. Found paper and cardboard is collaged together to create the ground for landscape drawings. Cubes of recycled steel are stacked and sprayed with Hydroseed public work.

In the current series of sculptures Henry casts frail plants and objects out of resin. The likeness of each impermanent leaf is forever preserved by the toxic material complicit in the destruction of the natural world. The resin objects are combined into assemblages and relief sculptures referencing the collections of flora and detritus that amass in empty lots. He is interested in depicting the contradictions we face as an ecologically aware society functioning within a consumerist system. The mediums he selects are chosen for their ability to highlight the contradictions we face today.

Jack Henry earned his BFA in Sculpture at the Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL (2007) and MFA in Sculpture at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD (2010). He is the recipient of several fellowships and residencies, most notably at Mass Moca Residency (2020), Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada, Earthed - Ecology Themed Artists Residency Fellowship (2019), Arte_Fits.foundation, Dorado, Puerto Rico. Art in Nature Fellowship (2019), and Vermont Studio Center, Stowe, VT. August Fellowship (2017).

Michael Krondl (b.1960, based in Brooklyn, NY)

Michael Krondl’s work seeks to rethink the tropes of photography by replacing the more common process of peering through a lens with a more immediate, physical experience. In his installations, he is interested in a personal, physical--even visceral--reaction from the viewer that bypasses higher intellectual functions and goes directly for the midbrain. The subject of the work is often our troubled relationship to the natural world, as a society and as individuals. The work seeks to create an intersection of the somatic and the conceptual where human frailty isn’t merely theory but a potential and immediate danger.

Beach Grass Drawing is part of series that explores the intersection of photography and drawing. Here the wind generates an infinite series of ever-changing vertical strokes, a selection of which is captured here. Although this body work is only possible with digital technology, it is indebted to early twentieth century surrealist and Dadaist ideas of automatic drawing where the artist’s agency was limited by happenstance. Each image was shot approximately 1/4 second apart.

Michael Krondl earned his BFA at Cooper Union (1984). He has been the recipient of several prestigious awards and residencies such as the Canada Council Travel Grant (1991-98), Artslink (2003), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, NY (2010), and Baer Arts Center, Iceland (2018)). His work has been shown in galleries and museums in Canada, Czech Republic, Germany and the USA.

Shimon Okshteyn (1951-2020)

Born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, Shimon Okshteyn was a graduate of the Mitrofan Grekov Art College in Odessa, Ukraine. He lived and worked in the USA since 1980.

Since the early days in his new country, Okshteyn was a keen and sensitive observer of the external environment voraciously absorbing it. He did not hold on to the past, but took the best from it making use of art historical references, playfully reinvigorating elements from the Renaissance, Baroque and social realism, as well as German expressionism, linking these to the present in a highly astute and distinctive idiom. He expressed his new reality in his work balancing between the high and the low, public and private with a characteristic style that shifted between abstraction and figurative. He was the barometer of time who defined where the artistic interest of the epoch was moving.

The use of materials in his work was calculated. There may not always be similarities between the different bodies of work. Each one often consisted of works in diverse mediums grouped around specific themes offering a colorful first impression, but on closer inspection revealing multiple layers of meaning and intricate narratives. His practice came from the concept of difference and appropriation. It explored the varying relationships between popular culture and fine art. In the current climate where many believe history has no relevance, he found himself continually returning to those aspects that still strongly resonate with us today by meticulously preserving disappearing objects for posterity or reproducing excerpts of iconic works of art and inserting them into contemporary context.

His last body of work was greatly influenced by his life in the Hamptons surrounded by nature.

It marked the artist’s return from the world of manmade to the realm of the organic, the perishable and the swiftly passing.

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