Susan Richman

November 1, 2018

 

Re>Formations

Solo exhibition: November 1-25, 2018

Upstream Gallery, 8 Main Street, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY

Reception: Sunday, November 4, 2018, 2-5 pm

Gallery Hours: Thursday through Sunday, 12:30-5:30 pm

Contact: 914 674 8548 or Upstream Gallery

Interview: ©Nancy Egol Nikkal (October 2018)

 

Susan Richman was born in Washington, PA, earned a BFA in photography from George Washington University and a BFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. She successfully ran the Susan Richman Photography Studio in NYC, shooting both advertising and editorial projects. Her current studio practice is focused on photography projects and creating works for gallery exhibition. Susan Richman is an educator at the International Center of Photography. She lives and works in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY.

At her website, Richman says: “I am an interpreter of what surrounds me, and the camera is my instrument of choice…My latest works deal with capturing the ephemeral state of our surroundings by photographing objects created within ice.” Her objects are temporary sculptures. Her technique involves mixing chemicals into dyes, layering objects within the chemical solution, freezing and melting the solution, and photographing the temporary sculpture before it melts. She wants her photographs to reveal layers, altered shapes and a range of colors as light passes through the icy sculpture. Richman shoots film, scans and then prints archival digital prints. The frozen sculptures melt. The original materials within no longer exist. The films and digital photographs are preserved.

 

Re>Formations includes two new series that are the product of these creative experiments. Richman loves the process in the darkroom and says it’s fun.

 

Susan Richman, Susurus Stratum

 

The image above is titled “Susurus Stratum” (Whispering Layers) and dated 2018. This work is part of the first series included in the exhibition. It’s an archival pigment print and the framed size is 35”x35”. The circular image shows tiny green botanicals floating in a transparent icy blue solution. The botanicals include grasses, leaves, seedpods and hydrangea petals that Richman finds while walking her dog or gardening in her backyard.

 

Susan Richman, Lilacinus Vitro

 

The image above is titled Lilacinus Vitro (Lilac Glass) and dated 2018. This work is part of the second series included in the exhibition. The media is  Duratran Film in a LED Light Box. The size is 36”x36” and the image shows a glass sculpture that was made from shards of broken perfume bottles. Richman said a friend who is a perfume bottle designer gave her the bottles. Her glass is clear. The dyes in the icy solution give the image its color. She said the light passing through the broken glass produced wonderful abstract images and inspired her to further explore the relationships between glass shapes, light and color.

Richman’s process is a little like paper marbling. She adds chemicals into a water solution to make it thick, then adds dyes, inks, food coloring and spray silicone to separate colors. She describes the process as aqueous surface design. She may add more chemicals and dyes as she builds up layers to create a frozen sculpture with botanicals (the first series) or embedded objects (the second series).

Throughout the process, Richman freezes, melts and scrapes away what needs to be removed.  The frozen sculpture becomes a still life subject for her photo-shoot, and the final product is an archival pigment print and/or the Duratran Film in a LED light box.

 

Susan Richman, Sanguine Vitro

 

The image above is titled Sanguine Vitro (Blood Red Glass) and dated 2018. This work is part of the second series in the exhibition. The media is Duratran Film in a LED Light Box. The size is 36”x36” and the image is a sculpture with broken glass. Richman said the glass shards can’t be too large and must be carefully placed as she builds the sculpture so that nothing obstructs the passage  light through the glass. Richman sometimes adds inks and bubbles to the icy solution so the glass shards look like they are submerged in water and look 3 dimensional.

In both series, Richman uses a white background as she photographs the sculptures in her darkroom. She works with mirrors to reflect light through the sculptures, and adjusts lights as well as tilts the sculptures in the process. Richman says sometimes the solution around the sculpture melts and has to be refrozen.

After the photo-shoot, the original materials are discarded, the icy sculptures no longer exists – but the film and prints are preserved.

 

I asked Richman what sparked her interest in photographing objects in ice. She said she saw an exhibition with photos of ice cubes at the International Center for Photography (ICP) in New York 6-7 years ago. She noticed the ice cubes had cracks that looked like incised lines and she decided she wanted to photograph ice.

Richman is working with a lot of chemistry. Her darkroom practice is a combination of science and art. Her images look like slides that are viewed under a microscope. I asked how she works with the chemicals and if she wears gloves. She says she doesn’t wear gloves. I asked if her darkroom looks like a lab.  She says her kitchen looks like a laboratory when she’s working.

Meet Susan Richman at the Upstream Gallery reception, Sunday, November 4th (2-5 pm). See the exhibition during regular gallery hours, Thursday to Sunday, 12:30-5:30 pm. For information and gallery directions, call 914.674.8548 or visit the Upstream Gallery website. See more work by the artist at her website.

 

Advertisements

 

Solo exhibition: October 4-28, 2018

the Upstream Gallery, 8 Main Street, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY

 

I am pleased to write this interview about the artist Phyllis Famiglietti. She has a wonderful approach to the art of collage and will show 35 works in various media (October 4-28, 2018) at her first solo exhibition at the Upstream Gallery, 8 Main Street, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. Meet Phyllis Famiglietti at the gallery reception, Sunday, October 7th, 2-5 pm. Visit the Upstream Gallery during regular Gallery hours, Thursday to Sunday, 12:30-5:30 pm. For information and gallery directions, call 914.674.8548 or visit the Upstream Gallery website.

Collage, Collage, Collage

Phyllis Famiglietti started creating paper collage about 7 or 8 years ago. Prior to that, she worked a lot in photography and in digital collage. She is a video editor who moves images around in her day job. As a break from sitting and looking at a computer screen all day, she took up the art of paper collage and found it very appealing.  She says she loves the feeling of different papers in her hands and the stickiness of glue on her fingers.

 

Phyllis Famiglietti, Brandy Wine Creek

Famiglietti’s collages are typically small and there are various groups that will hang together in the exhibition. The largest collages are 24” x 20” and the smallest are 7” x 9”. The older works were based very much on the Polaroid photograph. The more recent works have broken free. The artist says she’s been exploring frames, grids and quadrants in new and exciting ways.

The image above is titled Brandy Wine Creek. It’s a collage with various papers, including reproductions of old maps, an old brown envelope, some random pieces of magazine cut-outs and colored paper. It’s 24×20 inches, and one of 35 works on view at the Upstream Gallery.

Famiglietti said Brandy Wine Creek is actually her most recent piece, and it’s interesting as a departure for her, because she did it while away in Maine this summer on a vacation. She said the vacation location was…”totally off the grid…no flush toilet, no running water, no electricity…and the papers in the collage are just a hodgepodge of what was on hand and available. She added: “It was a great challenge for me. I’m sticking with my quadrants, but I’m a lot more relaxed here…. letting shapes flow in and out of each other in an organic, free-flowing way“. She let the colors dominate in a way she’d never done before and thinks, “The environment in which I worked is so apparent in this piece.”

Hunt and Gather – Cut and Paste

Famiglietti cuts and pastes papers that she finds interesting in terms of image, color or texture. She says she loves going to flea markets and especially library sales where she can pick up cast-off books. She adds: “I also frequent construction sites where advertising posters are mounted on surrounding green painted plywood. I’ll judicially collect pieces of these posters and layer them into my work.”

 

Phyllis Famiglietti, Sociology

The image above is titled Sociology. It’s collage and the size is 16 x16 inches. Famiglietti says: “This work was done right after my Polaroid phase, and I think the grid and frames are informed by that previous work. There is a lot of layering (which is also an off-shoot of my video work) while what’s inside the frames is kept more to a minimum. “ She says she is fascinated with what time does to elements, and loves the feeling of peeled away layers of papers. Most of the pieces are from old sources, and sometimes include sanded paperback book covers. Some elements are from discarded hardcover books where the cloth is stripped off the cardboard.  The artist said she called this piece Sociology because the word “sociology” showed up on one of the elements (from a paperback book cover) and she thought it really fit the piece.

 

Phyllis Famiglietti, Rubbery Man Scent

The image above is a collage done on a book cover. It’s title “Rubbery Man-Scent” refers to text that is in the piece. Famiglietti says: “Pretty much all my pieces have names that appear somewhere in the text in that particular piece. I’m mostly using text as a visual element, though sometimes I do stray from that. Some papers in this work are vintage; some are from recent magazines; others are from book covers or the interiors of books. I try to use elements in ways that are unrecognizable from the original work itself. “

Famiglietti works in series in order to look at a particular set of materials in depth. She explored the Polaroid photograph for a period of time, experimenting with the relationship of what’s both inside and outside that iconic frame. The artist included works from the series “Massachusetts White Gentlemen” in the current exhibition. She recycled portraits from a book of historical political figures (all white men) and obliterated their faces with pieces of photos of engines taken at her car mechanic’s shop. The exhibition also includes small works (7” x 9”) from a series where she layered pieces of advertising posters with images from 1950’s Popular Mechanics magazines. The artist has another series that uses the inside of book covers as her canvas.

Famiglietti says: “I might start a work with an image or part of an image. Collage is a journey…. a rollercoaster with dips and spins, discovery, frustration, a puzzle, a fitting, a juxtaposition.” She asks: What am I saying…where am I going with this?  It’s a constant uncovering, like ripping off layers of myself…. reframing and re- contextualizing, an ongoing process of coming to terms with me…what was/is expected, taken and turned inside out and transformed into what is totally unexpected.“

Visit the exhibition (October 4-28, 2018). Read more about the artist here.

See more works by the artist online at the Upstream Gallery.

 

Solo Exhibition: Fairy Tales & Other Stories

October 4-28, 2018

the Upstream Gallery, 8 Main Street, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY

I am pleased to write this interview of the artist Louise Cadoux. She will exhibit mixed media wall hangings and three-dimensional sculpture in a solo exhibition (October 4-28, 2018) at the Upstream Gallery, 8 Main Street, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. The exhibition is titled Fairy Tales & Other Stories and includes amazing mixed media wall hangings and clay sculpture that interpret the fairy tale theme. Meet the artist at the exhibition reception, Sunday, October 7th, 2-5 pm. Regular Upstream Gallery hours are Thursday to Sunday, 12:30-5:30 pm. For information and gallery directions, call 914.674.8548 or visit the Upstream Gallery website.

 

Louise Cadoux, Hansel & Gretel

The image above is the wall hanging titled Hansel & Gretel, made with clay, driftwood, branches and wire mesh. It’s 25 inches wide and 40 inches high. The artist says she wanted this work to look a little ominous as a warning to Hansel and Gretel: “Don’t go this way! Can’t you see this is Wicked Witch territory?” Cadoux created flowers for the hanging, made out of mesh and clay that are meant to look like mutated octopuses, and then she created another layer in the work that includes pieces of mesh that looks like cobwebs.

Cadoux says the wall hangings are light enough to move as people walk by, and can create shadows on the walls. She hopes the shadows and movement also conjure a sense of the mystery of the fairy tale story.

 When I asked about the theme, Cadoux said, “The theme and the works emerged in the process of exploring new works with wire in my studio following my last gallery exhibition.” She said the wire became a drawing as it developed into a wall hanging. She thought one wire drawing looked like vegetation, because it made her think of plants growing up around the castle in the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty. She created a second wire drawing that reminded her of the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel because it communicated the nightmare sense of being lost in the woods. A third wire drawing reminded her of the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood. Cadoux created sculptures to accompany the wall hangings to complete the fairy tale stories.

 

Louise Cadoux, the Tortoise and the Hare

The image above is a sculpture titled The Tortoise and the Hare.  It is one of 20 new works in the exhibition and is made with clay and wire, paint and varnish. The Tortoise is 26” x 17” x 11” The Hare is 24” x 15” x 5”. The sculpture bases are cast in concrete and also painted.

Cadoux created the sculptures from clay, wire and paper clay, and they vary in size from 12 inches to 36 inches tall. The exhibition also includes wall hangings with 3D elements that are about 25 inches wide and 36-60 inches high and made with diverse elements, including wire mesh, wire, wood, hardwood and clay. Some elements are painted.

Louise Cadoux says we create the stories of our lives.

Cadoux thinks fairy tales colored her childhood and helped shape the person she is today. She said: “We are, after all, the stories we’ve created about ourselves.”

 

Louise Cadoux, The Curious Otter

The image above is a sculpture titled The Curious Otter. It’s made with clay, wire, paint and varnish. The Curious Otter is 12” x 17” x 4”.  Cadoux thinks otters are playful and said she wondered why she’d never read a story about a curious otter, so decided one of the works in this exhibition should be an otter – because they’re so playful.

Visit the exhibition (October 4-28, 2018) and see for yourself.

Visit the artist’s website. See more works by Louise Cadoux at the Upstream Gallery website.

 

 

Infinite Space

Infinite Space is the title for Paul Greco’s solo show at Upstream Gallery in Hastings on Hudson New York (through Sunday, April 15th). Paul is a gallery artist at Upstream and this is his 8thsolo exhibition. Also showing is Cecily A. Spitzer, with abstract paintings on paper and canvas. Visit Upstream Gallery (Thursday – Sunday, 12:30-5:30) at 8 Main Street, Hastings on Hudson, NY. Paul’s exhibit includes painted metal fragments combined as diptychs and triptychs on white backgrounds. The exhibit also includes a wall installation with multiple individual fragments, a very large 3-panel abstract painting on canvas with fabric, paint, and collaged newspaper clippings about UFO sightings, a ceiling–hung mobile and a stabile (sculpture) on a pedestal made with wood, string and found metal.

 

I am fascinated with Paul’s passion for finding discarded metal fragments on the highway and turning the fragments into art. Almost every work on exhibit is made with found metal fragments. Paul calls them SCFs (space craft fragments). The work seen below is titled Quetzalcoatl (SCF Diptych #2). It’s 15×30 inches (framed) and made with 2 found metal pieces on a white background. Paul painted the metal fragments with black and white acrylic in multiple paint layers. He didn’t alter either of the two metal pieces, but, notice how the image looks as if both pieces were cut to match. None of the metal was cut.

 

Paul Greco, Quetzalcoatl SCF Diptych #2, painted metal, 15×30 inches

 

I asked Paul if he is interested in mythology. Paul says he’s interested in the unknown and the unseen reality all around us. He is fascinated with UFOs and crop circles. He visited fourteen Crop Circles in 2008 in Wiltshire England and said it was an amazing experience. Quetzalcoatl (pron. Quet-zal-co-at) was one of the most important gods in ancient Mesoamerica. Known as the plumed Serpent, he is a mix of bird and rattle snake. Quetzalcoatl was regarded as the god of winds and rain and as the creator of the world and mankind. Read more here.

 

Paul Greco, ET Buddha, found metal

 

The image seen nearby is titled ET Buddha, and is constructed with painted metal, organized on a framed white background. The body is holey.  The image below is titled 96 Tears (SCF #96). It’s 21×27 inches. Notice the yellow line in the middle of the metal. Paul says a road crew painted the line – paying no attention to the metal lying in the middle of the road. Paul painted his signature abstract designs in black and white acrylic over the metal and the yellow line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Greco, 96 Tears, found metal, acrylic paint

 

I asked Paul how he finds his metal fragments. He said he stops whenever and wherever he sees flattened metal on the highway anywhere in the Metro New York area. Between 1993 and 1998, Paul found 51 pieces that became his first series of signature found metal shapes. Between 2015 and 2018, he collected a second series with 115 pieces.

 

I asked if he’s ever left a fragment on the road. He said he’s left fragments if they are not “right.” If he likes the fragment he usually gets an idea for how to work with it – for example – which side of the metal to embellish with paint, but it takes a while to decide which pieces should go together. Paul paints symbols onto the found metal pieces. The SCFs range in size from very small to large.

 

 

Paul Greco with his mobile and stabile sculpture

 

The image here shows Paul standing near his mobile (Space Debris Mobile #3), and a new stabile (Space Debris Stabile #1). The mobile is made with string and acrylic on found metal, 26×36 inches. The stabile sculpture is made with string, acrylic on found metal, redwood cactus and bamboo, 8x16x25 inches.

A mobile is a type of kinetic (moving) sculpture made with rods and weighted objects that hang from the rods and balance each other.  A stabile is an abstract sculpture that is stationary.

On the back wall, behind the mobile,  is a painted metal wall piece titled SCF Grouping – Yellow Tail. Paul is leaning on the wall, near the work titled Down the Rabbit Hole: SCF Triptych #3.

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Greco and his wall grouping with painted metal fragments.

 

The image here shows Paul standing near his wall installation with painted metal fragments. Each piece is unique (sold separately) and can be assembled in variable arrangements. I asked Paul if he plans to create a large wall installation because he’s collected and painted so many fragments. He said he’d like to do one with 80 pieces and fill an entire wall in the gallery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Greco, Confirmation, mixed media triptych painting, 48×108 inches

 

The image here is a triptych painting on 3 canvas panels (each 48×36 inches), total size is 48×108 inches.  Titled Confirmation, it’s mixed media with printed fabric, over-painted, transfer prints, and collaged newspaper clippings. The painting is an abstract design in white, black, blue and pink. Shapes are circles and ovals and the painting is space themed. The newspaper text (NY Times) is about UFOs.

 

 

 

 

I asked Paul about comments from people who visited the exhibit. He says people respond most to his new large triptych titled Confirmation – but also to the funny, funky portrait of his cat Tina. You’ll have to visit Upstream Gallery to see Portrait of Tina. There’s a lot to see. Read more about Upstream Gallery and, if you want to read more about Tina the cat, be sure to visit Paul’s Facebook Page.