S I X A R T I S T S
VALERIE HAMMOND; KIM KEEVER; RUTH MARTEN; JACQUELYN MCBAIN; JENNIFER WYNNE REEVES; AND, MELINDA STICKNEY-GIBSON.
APRIL 11 – MAY 11, 2013
RECEPTION FOR THE ARTISTS: THURSDAY, APRIL 11TH, 6-8PM
is pleased to announce the exhibition, SIX Artists
at Suite 207, 547 West 27th Street, New York, NY 10001.
The Gallery is located between 10th and 11th Avenues and is open Tuesday
thru Saturday 10-6. This show will run through May 11th.
features a small group of contemporary artists impelled by
Nature-based inspiration and imagery who work in a variety of mediums including
photography, mixed media print, painting and drawing. The artists include
, Kim Keever, Ruth Marten
, Jennifer Wynne Reeves
and Melinda Stickney-Gibson
Valerie Hammond, Traces 32, 2013
Encaustic and mixed media on Japanese paper, 38" x 25", 41¾" x 29¾" framed
’s encaustic-encased mixed media drawings have a poignant, haunting
presence. Looking at parts of the body and how they function in relation to
portraiture is a primary part of her work. Her oft-used images of hands refer
to aging and life cycles. The artist draws inspiration from religious effigies,
devotional objects, and the enchantment of nature. A sense of the spirit world
is palpable in her work. Hammond links her imagery to personal themes of memory,
youth and death. Bats hover, stems intertwine, and birds mesh with butterflies
and flowers. The natural world’s cyclical disintegration and regrowth suggests a
kind of universal story-telling, the seasons providing beginning and end.
Kim Keever, Abstract 9423b, 2012
C-Print, edition 1/10, 21" x 38", 28" x 45" framed
's photographs are created by meticulously constructing miniature
topographies in a 200-gallon tank which is then filled with water. His dioramas
of fictitious environments are brought to life with colored light filters and
the dispersal of pigment, producing ephemeral atmospheres that he must quickly
capture with his large-format camera. Keever's painterly photographic panoramas
represent a continuation of the landscape tradition, as well as an evolution of
the genre. Referencing a broad history of landscape painting, especially that of
Romanticism and the Hudson River School, they are imbued with a sense of the sublime.
However, they also show a subversive side that deliberately acknowledges their
contemporary contrivance and conceptual artifice.
Ruth Marten, Flora
Ink and watercolor on found engraving, 20¼" x 19¼" framed
's drawings occupy and enact upon the historical spaces of vintage
prints by detourning them with the precision of the tattoo artist. Delicate,
controlled and highly illusionistic, they utilize the trope of the visual
malaprop to create an imaginary third space in which surreal and subversive
narratives are entwined. Central to Marten's work is the idea that the visual
classificatory systems and conventions of natural history and encyclopedic
illustrations are inherently partial and unstable, and she exploits this knowledge
to create a surreal and subversive world in which hip-hop Phoenicians can
co-exist with hirsute Counts.
Jacquelyn McBain, St Venantius As a Pike And The Leap of Faith, 2013
Oil on panel, 11¼" x 11¼" framed
Saint Venantius - May 18 - Patron of Leaping, Invoked Against Danger of Falling.
Venantius, an early martyr, not only endured----and survived----the usual
tortures of scourging, burning, beating, and being fed to wild beasts...but
was also thrown from a cliff (or off the city walls; accounts vary), only to
bounce up, praising the Lord until his head was cut off.
--------Saints Preserve Us, Rosemary Rogers and Sean Kelly
’s small paintings on masonite reflect a return to the Old
Masters in giving us beautifully crafted paintings that become reliquaries
and greenhouses that portray a sense of the sacred and the sacredness of beauty.
McBain’s choice of the 17th century Dutch painters as mentors for her paintings
presents the viewer with a modernist devotional form. The artist paints a deeply
felt response to nature while adding images from dreams and scientific inquiry.
Her works have a surreal narrative quality comprised of sumptuous compositions that
seem to glow from within. McBain’s reflections convey the value she places on
Nature and the insights gleaned from close examination of it. Her sense of
wonder at nature and regard for the sense of ritual constructed by man around
the core of life’s meaning reveal her innate sense of relationship and
affiliation with other living things. McBain takes the ecological doorway into
symbolic thought, sees the menagerie in the self and finds the alluring detail
with instructive generality. These are counselors that feelingly persuade and
now, small animals, birds and a rarely seen pika are the occupiers of her eye.
Jennifer Wynne Reeves, The Blue Square, 2012
Gouache, pencil, oil pastel, wire on hard molding paste on paper, 16" x 18½" framed
Jennifer Wynne Reeves
’ artwork offers a pictorial hybrid of color, pattern,
whimsy and intelligence. Her work combines abstract elements with figuration.
She presents viewers with a savvy, satirical world that combines abstraction
and representation in an open-ended narrative. Reeves emphasizes the sensual
and appealing nature of lushly rendered surfaces, colors and forms. Though an
abstract painter on many levels, she remains ostensibly loyal to art’s original
historic purpose to describe recognizable figures and tell their story. Reeves
reverses the traditional painterly course that evolves figuration into
abstraction. Instead, evolving abstraction into figuration, she creates a cast
of abstract characters infusing them with the power of representational
storytelling. They appear and re-appear like actors on a stage playing roles.
These ambiguous motifs may suggest good or evil aspects, they may be victim or
predator, as they obliquely reveal aspects of the artist’s life and experience.
Melinda Stickney-Gibson, I Disappear, 2013
Oil on canvas, 40" x 32"
For Melinda Stickney-Gibson
, painting is like
life - messy, full of accidents and underlain with semi-orderly structures
that bend and disintegrate under pressure of real life action. Her lyrical
paintings are not so much painted as allowed to evolve, growing by
accretion over periods of weeks or months (or at times, even years), as loose
brushstrokes are laid over looser grids, fields of color laid down to partially
obscure sketchy marks, and traces of covered layers revealed by a subtle cut
through the surface. These works are rife with hints of the nature-based
abstract expressionism of Joan Mitchell, the atmospheric fields of Whistler,
and the analytic reductiveness of Robert Ryman. As in the work of those artists,
the final compositions are full of evidence of the process that created them,
yielding a subtle complexity that could never have been envisioned at the beginning.
A N N E T T E D A V I D E K
P A I N T I N G S
JANUARY 31 – MARCH 2, 2013
oil on birch panel, 58" x 48"
’s paintings of floating forms are derived from diagrams
of plants, organic life forms— such as roots, branches, coral, chromosomes,
capillaries, atoms and algae—as well as old technological illustrations.
In her compositions, which are layered in thin applications of oil
onto rectilinear birch plywood panels, her sometimes quirky, repetitive
images randomly mutate. Some shapes flatten, darken and become almost silhouettes.
In many of the works florescent splays of color emerge from behind the
flattened darker images. At times, the images are almost translucent like
on a light-soaked field of a microscope. Distinctions blur. Opacity and
luminosity, repulsion and attraction are concerns of the artist as well as
tension and dissonance. Ghosted images vie with more clearly seen parts of
the paintings. The captured, submerged and frozen images create a sense of
depth and a record of her process.
The imagery’s ambiguous scale generates a micro- and a macroscopic interplay.
Despite countless organic references, they remain abstract shapes repeated
throughout the painted space as if suspended in solution. Her paintings evoke
the experience of looking from tiptoe edge into a pool. Davidek creates
surprising depth with extremely thin layers of paint, so thin that the wood
appears stained. Her compositions seem as though they have been suddenly
flooded with light to reveal the animated forms within.
Annette Davidek’s paintings personify processes of movement and growth in action
as well as shape. Her syrupy lines often bleed, or dissolve, into the wood, and
this fuzziness becomes a pictorial equivalent to energy. She employs repetition
for a fundamental and formal purpose: mimicking the replication of development
and the dynamic of movement while also being decorative. Her pattern paintings
may recall Philip Taaffe and Terry Winters, but Davidek’s synthesis of pleasure
and meaning stays entirely her own.
oil on birch panel, 48" x 42"
Christopher Adams, Untitled-lg.red
2009. Ceramic, 19 x 23 in.
bes-ti-ar-y: A descriptive or anecdotal treatise on various real or mythical kinds of animals
NEW YORK, NY.- January 9, 2013
Garvey|Simon Art Access
and Littlejohn Contemporary
the joint exhibition, Bestiary, at Suite 207, 547 West 27th Street, New York,
NY 10001. The Gallery is located between 10th and 11th Avenues and is open Tues. –
Sat. 10-6. This show will run through January 26. A reception for the artists will
be held Thursday, January 17, from 6-8 pm.
explores the use of animals and fantasy creatures as muse through
the eyes of 13 contemporary artists, and features work by Christopher Adams,
Randy Bolton, Phyllis Bramson, Laurie Hogin, John Kindness, David Kroll,
Sandy Litchfield, Jacquelyn McBain, Julia Randall, Jennifer Wynne Reeves,
Anne Siems, Kiki Smith and Melanie Christine Warner.
clay to construct hybrid animal and plant forms. Each of the 18-tendrilled works
in this show range in appearance from creepy squid-like creatures to alien sea
anemone and octopus. His innovative use of various glazes creates interesting
skin-like surfaces on his delicate wall-mounted ceramic marvels. Randy Bolton’s
work borrows nostalgic illustrations from vintage children’s books. The artist
alters these images and offers new meanings with an undercurrent of uncertainty or
apprehension. The animal-based works in this show are burned into the handmade paper
using a wood-burning tool, adding to the disquietude of the scenes.
whimsy and humor are revealed through her use of dog imagery in a theatrical and
burlesque triptych. Her sense of spectacle is accentuated by her use of pattern,
filigree, and ornate decorative elements, which all end a rococo twist to these
imaginative and open-ended portrayals of love, loss and folly. Laurie Hogin’s brightly
colored guinea pigs and rabbits portray anguish, anger and arrogance. These humorous
yet mischievous and often disturbing animals mimic and mirror the often-dark nature
of human emotion. In this show, several of her creatures are challenging us not to get
too close. John Kindness
is represented by a mosaic
chicken sculpture that lurks in a
corner of the exhibition. Well-known for his humorous and quirky visual commentaries
and use of unconventional materials, John Kindness is one of Northern Ireland’s best-known
artists, particularly in relation to the work he has produced for public spaces.
uses birds and other small creatures as
his muse in his finely crafted
oil paintings. His works display a quiet and private moment trapped within an almost
surreal and glowing solitude. A curtain of vision has been pushed aside to unveil a
dramatic pictorial elegance that elevates his creatures to a higher plane of Being.
His paintings celebrate the fragility of life and the passing of time. Meandering walks
in the woods of Massachusetts often inspire Sandy
’s landscape-based work.
Here, several of her landscapes have transformed the earth into mythological giants or
spirits –earth creatures who have come alive from the ground. Says Litchfield: “I like
to envision place as something fluid rather than solid, flexible as opposed to rigid…It
moves around us as much as we move around it. I’m most interested in the way memory decays,
providing fertile ground for the imagination to grow.“ Jacquelyn
’s works go hand
in hand with the natural world and cultural evolution. She paints a deeply felt response
to nature, while also adding images from scientific inquiry and dreams. Her works have a
surreal narrative quality, and offer a nod to the Old Masters in technique. These
sumptuous compositions are small in scale and seem to glow from within. Her prints
in this show offer a microcosm to explore. Julia Randall
“Love Birds” in this show
take the fetishization of animals to the extreme. Various exotic birds are depicted
with heads and beaks that have morphed into mouths and tongues. Reminiscent of wind-up
toys redesigned for human pleasure, these wacky and disturbing hybrids leave the world
of Audubon, and tweak our desire to capture and consume exoticism. Her "Decoy" drawing
in the show offers a surreal riff on genetically modified plants, and hint at the perils
of human intervention and biotechnical "advances" in the natural world. Jennifer Wynne
Reeves’artwork offers a pictorial hybrid of color, pattern, whimsy and intelligence.
Her work combines abstract elements with figuration. She presents viewers with a savvy,
satirical world that combines abstraction and representation in an open-ended narrative.
draws inspiration from American folk motifs,
European Masters, and fairy
tales. Her magic realist paintings emit a haunting awkwardness and off-kilter grace
with figures inhabiting a dreamy landscape that seems frozen in time. Animals are
often in the foreground, adorned with delicate patterning of traditional embroidery
and lace. Distinct identities emerge in each portrait with fable-like stories becoming
the narrative. Rabbits, deer, owls and mythological animals are prominent subjects in
Siems’ menagerie. Kiki Smith
emerged in the early
1980s as one of a generation of
artists who returned to figurative imagery after a period in which American art had
leaned to the abstract and conceptual. Smith’s works on paper, printed works and
other editioned art, including books and multiples, are arguably as important as her
sculpture. She is fascinated by the anatomy of the human body, and equally concerned
with the natural world, and animals in particular. Smith’s etchings reveal her unique
sense of line and form. The fragility of the crosshatched lines that compose her series
of Owls in this exhibition is belied by the power of their presence.
Melanie Christine Warner’s
lithographs illustrate the
threshold of personal change, or the liminal state.
A recent MFA graduate in Printmaking from Herron School of Art and Design, she uses
animals as her main visual symbol. Her work provides glimpses of ambiguity and
intangibility that come along with change during life-altering events.
Copyright © artdaily.org
Littlejohn Contemporary Art and Garvey Simon Art Access present
B E S T I A R Y
Bestiary will whimsically showcase an array of artists’ interpretations
of the world through literal and abstract animal imagery.
GSAA and LCA are pleased to include works by:
Christopher Addams, Randy Bolton, Phyllis Bramson, Laurie Hogin,
John Kindness, David Kroll, Sandy Litchfield, Jacquelyn McBain, Julia Randall,
Jennifer Wynne Reeves, Anne Siems, Kiki Smith, and Melanie Christine Warner.
Exhibition dates: January 3 - January 26, 2013
A reception will be held on Thursday, January 17th from 6 - 8pm.
ABOVE LEFT TO RIGHT: SANDY LITCHFIELD, MELANIE CHRISTINE WARNER,
JENNIFER WYNNE REEVES, JULIA RANDALL
ABOVE LEFT TO RIGHT: PHYLLIS BRAMSON, CHRISTOPHER ADDAMS,
JULIA RANDALL, JOHN KINDESS, KIKI SMITH
ABOVE LEFT TO RIGHT: KIKI SMITH, CHRISTOPHER ADDAMS,
LAURIE HOGIN, RANDY BOLTON
ABOVE LEFT TO RIGHT: DAVID KROLL, JULIA RANDALL,
MELANIE CHRISTINE WARNER
ABOVE LEFT TO RIGHT: LAURIE HOGIN, ANNE SIEMS, MELANIE CHRISTINE WARNER
ABOVE LEFT TO RIGHT: JACQUELYN McBAIN,
ABOVE: CHRISTOPHER ADDAMS
ABOVE: LAURIE HOGIN
T I M O T H Y H A W K E S W O R T H
WORKS ON PAPER
OCTOBER 11 – NOVEMBER 10, 2012
Standard Bearer, 2010
Oil, pencil, wax on paper, 31" x 29"
Stretched Out, 2012
Oil, pencil, wax on paper, 43" x 50"
Littlejohn Contemporary is pleased to present WORK THAT WILL NOT
WAIT FOR YOU
, an exhibition of works on paper by Irish-born,
U.S.-based Timothy Hawkesworth. The exhibition will be Hawkesworth’s
8th solo show at Littlejohn and will be on view from October 11th
through November 10th, 2012.
Timothy Hawkesworth has long made disintegration and death the
themes of his vigorous, battered, chaotic, yet deeply touching
and humanistic works of art. A gifted writer as well as painter,
Hawkesworth has written about
how he creates his work, often through a difficult and frustrating
process of “making and unmaking” an image. His process includes
applying thin layers of wax and pigment, as well as burning. In the
“unmaking” phase, he makes no attempt to erase a mistake or strive
for perfection; rather, he digs deeper, with an ever-increasing
urgency, to the very core of memory.
Hawkesworth doesn’t dwell on the tragic aspects of what it means
to be human. Instead, he layers his paintings and drawings with
his own and communal histories. In so doing, in the words of Aiden
Dunne, art critic for Irish Times, “he infuses his historical
terrain with tremendous generative potential.” (2006)
Hawkesworth is fearless, willing to expose his own vulnerability,
frailty, and awkwardness; he demands the same of the viewer. There
is little in the way of obvious symbolism or reference points to
aid in the viewing of his art.
The critic Ty Clever described the experience of being with
Hawkesworth’s art in this way: “The dynamic, torn intimacy that
occurs in the work finds embodiment in our relationship with it.
These paintings won’t hold still. They change over the time spent
with them, and they change in the memory. This is work that will
not wait for you.” (2006)
Educated in Trinity College Dublin, Hawkesworth has been
exhibiting regularly in the United States and Ireland. His work
has received considerable critical attention and is in many public
and private collections, including the Irish Museum of Modern Art,
Dublin, Dublin City Gallery Hugh Lane, Dublin, and the Brooklyn
Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He has
exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, San Diego Museum
of Contemporary Art, and the List Visual Arts Center at MIT in
P E T E R B Y N U M
ILLUMINATED PAINTINGS ON GLASS
SEPTEMBER 6 – OCTOBER 6, 2012
Littlejohn Contemporary is pleased to announce the upcoming
exhibition of recent sculptural, ‘Illuminated paintings’ on
glass by Peter Bynum. With 360 degrees of light surrounding
organic forms that float on multiple layers of glass, these
mesmerizing contemporary paintings draw the viewer into a secret
world teeming with life. The viewer feels able to dive into the
paintings, swimming through 6 to 10 layers of light-saturated glass.
The work dramatically expands the visual territory available
for painting:“At its most provocative, contemporary art turns
a corner and moves away from the past. This direction is put
into motion either by the use of new materials, by introducing
previously taboo content, or by breaking with traditional formats
so that the way we think about art— what it is and why it looks
the way it does—is challenged. Peter Bynum brings to this discourse
a body of work focused on the subject of light that both explores
and pushes the boundaries of contemporary painting. He’s making a
new dynamic experience of painting with light, and he’s making a
sculptural object – there are transparent layers through which I
can dive into this incredible natural space, almost as if I’m
going underwater. The light itself, glowing, is a breathing
element that I find very dynamic, and something different from
other artists whose work is about nature or about light. There’s
some sort of secret world in the paintings that is brought out
with this light that comes from behind and presses beyond the
edges of the glass. This goes so far beyond what traditional
painting on canvas has ever been able to achieve. Peter Bynum
has made one breakthrough after another, and pushed the
language of painting into a new place. It changes the conversation.”
“Bynum has upended the history of painting in four ways: He brings
light from behind the paint; explodes layers to create
three-dimensional, sculptural paintings; turns passive viewers
into participants by giving them control over the light level;
and reveals paint’s “secret life,” showing how paint’s natural
DNA replicates natural ecosystems with their branching
architecture and dendrite forms.“
- Dede Young, Art Historian and Curator
Bynum’s work was recently selected by the Whitney Museum’s and
SF MoMA’s former Director, David Ross, for a show at the
Woodstock Art Museum. Two other works are currently at the
Edward Hopper House & Museum in Nyack, NY. This is Bynum’s
second solo show in New York.
M E L I N D A S T I C K N E Y - G I B S O N
MAY 8 – JUNE 16, 2012
Talk and The In-Between, 2010, oil on canvas, 44x38 inches
Littlejohn Contemporary is pleased to announce the upcoming
exhibition of paintings and works on paper by Melinda
Stickney-Gibson, an artist whose abstracted, often violent,
always painterly production is the distillation of an
intuitive exploration of the often conflicting dualities of
self and nature.
Follow this link to watch the video “Solitude and Paint:
a short film profile of the painter
produced by photographers Camille Vickers and Greg Beechler
Art like Life
By Eleanor Heartney
For Melinda Stickney Gibson, painting is like life – messy, full
of accidents and underlain with semi-orderly structures that bend
and disintegrate under pressure of real life action. Her lyrical
paintings are not so much painted as allowed to evolve, growing
by accretion over periods of weeks or months (or at times, even
years), as loose brushstrokes are laid over looser grids, fields
of color laid down to partially obscure sketchy marks, and traces
of covered layers revealed by a subtle cut through the surface.
These works are rife with hints of the nature-based abstract
expressionism of Joan Mitchell, the atmospheric fields of Whistler,
and the analytic reductiveness of Robert Ryman. As in the work of
those artists, the final compositions are full of evidence of the
process that created them, yielding a subtle complexity that could
never have been envisioned at the beginning.
Stickney Gibson tends to work on many paintings at once – lining
them up along the walls of her studio, moving back and forth from
one painting to another and allowing them to communicate with each
other as they slowly develop over time. Surprisingly, given this
treatment of art works almost as a collective entity, each painting
has a strongly individualistic identity. Stickney Gibson notes that
one of the things she learned from her study of the works of painter
Phillip Guston is that shapes have personalities – in her paintings
roughly edged rectangular shapes may cluster together as if for
protection within white grounds, or they may expand outward, as if
seeping into the entire surrounding world. In other works, marks
never really coalesce into discernable forms, instead evoking
shadowy forms glimpsed through heavy fog, or shimmers of color
evident in the fractured reflections on the surface of a troubled
After spending time between New York City and upstate New York
for many years, in 2003 she moved to the Catskill Mountains full
time. One feels the influence of nature in these otherwise
completely abstract works – they seem at times saturated with
the magical, glowing light of early dawn, for instance, or the
gloom of deepening night, or the saturated reds and oranges of
the forest in autumn. But at the same time, one is also aware of
these works as records of an internal landscape. They reflect
emotional states as well as natural ones. For Stickney Gibson
shadings of light and dark and juxtapositions of vivid against
near monochromatic fields of black or white serve as staging
grounds for the dramas of the heart and mind. The shadows that
sometimes seem to be passing over her paintings might equally
be manifestations of the ever changing interplay of light and
color in nature that so fascinated the Impressionists, and the
expression of passing feelings of exaltation, doubt, sorrow and
peace that form the backdrop to daily existence.
These works make clear that for Stickney Gibson painting is not
just akin to life, but in a certain sense is the thing itself.
We as viewers respond to these works because we recognize in
them the ever shifting, often chaotic, and richly layered nature
of the reality we all share.
Secrets, 2009, oil on paper, 26" x 22"
J E N N I F E R K N A U S
PAINTINGS and DRAWINGS
FEBRUARY 14th through MARCH 24th, 2012
Swirl, 2011, oil on panel, 25" x 20"
Compost Head, 2010, graphite on paper, 38" x 31"
The imagery I create comes from an interest in combining
female iconography with still life painting. Each image
is an amalgamation of various attractions such as Art History,
my back yard, the salad bar at Stop and Shop, retro kitsch,
and the like. The image usually starts with myself, or with
a friend, and then gets taken apart and reassembled with
other elements. Although the results may seem surreal, I am
more inspired by the Surrealists’ techniques of tapping into
the subconscious rather than by actual Surrealist painting. I
have a desire to personalize idealized notions of beauty and
importance. To embellish icons with humor and a little
absurdity but also within those details to suggest a narrative
that is mysterious and atmospheric.
- Jennifer Knaus
January 31, 2012
WE HAVE MOVED!
We found a wonderful new space in Chelsea!
We are very pleased to announced that Garvey | Simon Art Access
has joined Littlejohn Contemporary in the shared use of Suite 207
in the gallery building located at 547 West 27 Street.
Liz Garvey and I will maintain and run our respective businesses
separately yet work collectively within the same space.
We have joined forces on a collaborative basis and will
independently mount solo exhibitions from our respective artist
stables each season.
In addition, we will co-mingle our programs in group shows and
art fairs throughout the year.
If you find yourself in the area before we officially open on
February 14th we are most likely to be in the gallery on Tuesdays
and Thursdays 12 - 5 and on Saturdays 10 - 6 so please stop by.
Beginning Feb 14th, Valentine's Day, we will have regular gallery hours:
Tuesday through Saturday 10 - 6.
At present (and while we unpack!) Littlejohn Contemporary has
work hanging by VALERIE HAMMOND
in the front gallery.
For those of you who missed the fabulous show by this artist that
we presented at a previous location last fall, now is the time to visit.
There are 7 pieces hanging including several encaustics and some
of the prints.
Seance, relief printed litho on handmade Kozo paper, 72" x 48"
edition variable of 10
Then, beginning February 14th, Littlejohn Contemporary will present
an exhibition of new work by an artist new to the gallery. JENNIFER KNAUS
has completed an extraordinary body of work that
really must be seen in person to fully appreciate. In the meantime, if you would like further information or jpegs
please let me know.
I look forward to seeing you soon. With warm regards,
Portrait of Joan, oil on panel, 23" x 15"
~ ~ please note new address ~ ~
547 West 27 Street, Suite 207
New York, NY 10001
V A L E R I E H A M M O N D
OCTOBER 6 – NOVEMBER 5, 2011
Rose, 2011, detail, wax, silk, wire, 9" x 8" x 4½"
Who Killed Cock Robin, 2011, watercolor and graphite on
each drawing in this series measures 22" x 30"
Anemone, relief print photo litho on handmade kozo paper, 72" x 48"
Littlejohn Contemporary is pleased to announce an exhibition of
sculpture, works on paper and prints by Valerie Hammond. In this
body of work, the artist draws inspiration from religious effigies,
devotional objects, and the enchantment of nature. A sense of the
spirit world is palpable in her work. Surprisingly unsentimental,
her creative approach filters through a deep understanding of art
history and its political and cultural determinants. Hammond is a
dedicated printmaker and teaches etching at Columbia University
and New York University. The inherently repetitive and reflective
elements of printmaking are fundamental aspects of her work in
other mediums as well.
Hammond’s delicate drawings (Who Killed Cock Robin) stem from
childhood memories of a beloved fairy- painting, an illustration
of an old English nursery rhyme, “Who Killed Cock Robin.” While
the poem, in which various birds prepare for the burial of a
murdered friend, may have had larger political implications,
Hammond links her drawings to personal themes of memory, youth
and death, referencing, in particular, the loss of her mother.
In the drawings, bats hover, stems intertwine, and birds mesh
with butterflies and flowers. The natural world’s cyclical
disintegration and re-growth suggests a kind of universal
story-telling, the seasons providing beginning and end.
Hammond’s glowing, red-orange ink is reminiscent of blood;
capillary-like leaves reference the human body. Ethereal pencil
lines counterbalance the red’s viscosity, evoking a place where
the material and immaterial collide. ~~ above are portions of
an essay by Maggie Wright that accompanies a concurrent
exhibition entitled “Papertails” curated by Valerie Hammond
and Kiki Smith at NYU’s 80 Washington Square East Galleries