This is a world turned inside-out,
a republic of the flesh
both strange and strangely familiar.
- Hinterland by Anna Crowe
Asunder is an exhibition of work by artists who previously formed a strong bond over months of in-person, intensive studio critiques in late 2019. Asunder because of the pandemic, these artists reunited online to share musings and relate aspects of their creative processes ruptured by periods of isolation and the unfolding of global trauma.
We are conscious of the paramount role of our mind and its interpretations as we are disembodied from the physical. There is sadness, helplessness and longing for intimacy. There is voyeurism through screens, windows or our own eyes when we cannot connect in the flesh. There is mischief and the creation of alternative worlds barely mimicking our own yet firmly anchored to it. There is peaceful and deep questioning of what really can be now.
- Maureen O’Leary 2020
Judyta Grudzien’s chemigrams are visually molecular, their structure resembling the atoms of the body and the cosmos reminding us we are part of a bigger structure, somewhere there are beginnings and answers. Judyta Grudzien is a New York City artist born and raised in Poland. Initially, her interest was in Polish literature, but she discovered a more universal language in photography. Her photographic practice consists mainly of using 35mm and 4x5 film analog photography which for her is experiential, hands on and authentic. She also explores alternative photographic processes like cyanotypes, salt prints, image transfers, mordançage, and other printing techniques. Judyta has shown her work in New York, Arizona, Philadelphia, Berlin and Barcelona. She received an Honorable Mention in 2018 Contemporary Photography Competition from Philadelphia Photo Art Center and another two from 12th Julia Margret Cameron Award Non Professional Section in Cityscape and Alternative Processes categories.
Kristen Heritage’s work explores the mythologization of mundane experiences, spaces, and objects, utilizing a mixture of traditional and digitally-aided techniques and drawing references from recent internet culture as well as medieval art and mysticism. Heritage received a B.F.A. in Fibers with a minor in Art History from the Savannah College of Art and Design. She has participated in group exhibitions in Savannah, Georgia and New York City.
Ellen Hersey interrelates painting, drawing, photography and printmaking as a way to play with dissolving images. Using collage and films of color, she soaks photographic imagery until it is absorbed while the paint spreads, amasses or dissipates. Considering images as tactile things to be touched, manipulated and interacted with, she looks for ways to take them apart and put it back together almost as a scientific approach of looking into their mechanics. Born in northwest London, she received her MSc degree in Gender, Media and Culture from the London School of Economics and Political Science before going on to study Illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York.
Tumbling about, lost in his own alternate, metaphysical universe, Julien Miller obsessively converges elements from his life, science fiction, and unsourceable information into narratives and stories, taking the form of experimental handmade animations that explore in detail the things that frighten or intrigue him, including social collapse in the wake of global warming, advanced technology morphing into immersive digital environments, massive ring-shaped space habitats, or alien botanists experimenting on unheard of plants. Julien Miller is a painter/animator from Fly Creek, NY. In 2017, he received his BFA in Painting and Drawing from SUNY Purchase. He currently maintains a studio practice in Brooklyn.
Sam Weber works with painting’s ability to connect with memory, both lived and inherited. In this work, through the use of material, personal codes and dream logic, he looks back on the images, sensations, and secrets that have shaped his experience, with a specific interest towards the type of belated understanding Sigmund Freud referred to as Nachträglichkeit(Afterwadsness). This feeling is often encapsulated for him at the point where attraction and alienation meet, the uneasy nexus between truth and imagination. Weber was born in Alaska, and grew up in Deep River Ontario, Canada. After attending the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary, he moved to New York to attend graduate school at The School of Visual Arts. His studio is in Brooklyn.
In a painting series, Maryanne Murray portrays broadcast weathermen, the people tasked with explaining the day-to-day changes in our immediate environment, devoid of the usual background map. Mansplaining caricatures, the figures appear as a wry depiction of patriarchy manifested as ‘expertise’ in everyday life. Maryanne Murray is a painter based in New York City and Eastern Long Island.
Through fiber, beads, rocks, metal, plastic and hair worked together in textile making practices, Defne Tutus makes clothing for witches. The power of ornament transforms an internal, personal vision into a protective construction to guard the body from the danger and violence of the world. The title “Rough Elegant Beast!” was culled from a
poem, The Second Coming, by William Butler Yeats. He is referring to the destructive nature of human beings on earth and while Defne agrees with him, she is, by nature, enamored by the beauty humans create when dressing and decorating their bodies. Defne Tutus is an artist based in Brooklyn. She received her B.A. in Art History from Tufts University.
I take the bird on the woodpile, separate it from its function, feather by feather. I blow up its scale. I make a whole life out of it: everywhere I am, its sense of loitering lights on my shoulder.
- Keeping It Simple by Mary Ruefle
Maureen O’Leary is a painter and photographer whose work is in the public collections of the Fondation des Etats-Unis, Paris and the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University. Her works reflect her observations as would a diary and she is interested in the contemporary romantic. O’Leary has exhibited in the United States, Europe and Asia, including recent shows at Public Swim, New York, New York, Wayfarers, Brooklyn, New York, the Palazzina Liberty, Bologna, Italy, and Art Lab, Tokyo, Japan. A former recipient of the Harriet Hale Woolley Fellowship in painting, she has a B.S. from Yale College. She is a first generation Irish American and is based in New York City and on Long Island.
A piece that explores the fragility of his white ego, Brian Zimbler is a social worker, artist, and writer living in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn with his family.