On View: September 29 – November 14, 2015

Diphthong

Featuring process-based art

Artist creating a Firework Drawing at her studio in the Bronx. Image courtesy of Rosemarie Fiore Studio

Shirley Fiterman Art Center and BMCC are pleased to present Diphthong, an exhibition of process-based abstraction curated by artists Stephen Maine and Gelah Penn. The exhibition will run from September 29 through November 14, 2015. A reception for the artists will be held on the evening of September 29 from 6:00 to 9:00.

Many contemporary artists talk about their “process,” but certain approaches to studio activity put the means or circumstances of the work’s making at front and center. As a movement, Process Art is identified with post-Minimalist approaches to production that emerged in the late 1960s. Since that time, there has developed a broad acceptance of practices in which the materials and procedures that motivate the artwork are to a significant extent evident in the form the work ultimately takes. In other types of processbased art-making strategies, knowledge of the way an artwork is made illuminates the viewer’s experience of it.

Diphthong is a group exhibition of process-based work that includes painting, drawing, sculpture, photography and installation. In different ways and to varying degrees, the artists in the exhibition expose the particulars of fabrication—of form-making—that give rise to the work the viewer finally encounters. There tends to be an emphasis on how the physical properties of the materials used influence the outcome. Accordingly, much of the work displays a hands-on look and feel. The exhibition’s unifying principle thus comprises a performative aspect, of which the material evidence is on display in Diphthong.

This evidence ranges across a broad spectrum of approaches to process. Rosemarie Fiore and Stephen Maine employ unconventional mark-making devices, while Michael Brennan wields the familiar painting knife with singular precision. A protracted, laborintensive process characterizes the works of Anoka Faruqee and Rebecca Ward. Kara Rooney, Gelah Penn and Leslie Wayne proceed in a recursive manner, reimagining and reformulating their three-dimensional works into an essentially pictorial language.

An art-historical consciousness informs the conceptual underpinnings of John Zinsser’s and Michael A. Robinson’s contributions to Diphthong, while Jaq Chartier and Carrie Yamaoka examine the unpredictability of their materials’ behavior. Pouring, more or less controlled, yields dramatically different results in the works of Thomas Pihl and Elizabeth Cooper. A spirit of open-ended improvisation, present in many of the works on view, is particularly apparent in the works of Susan Still Scott, Denise Treizman and Julia Klein.

Participating artists: Michael Brennan, Jaq Chartier, Elizabeth Cooper, Anoka Faruqee, Rosemarie Fiore, Julia Klein, Stephen Maine, Gelah Penn, Thomas Pihl, Michael A. Robinson, Kara Rooney, Susan Still Scott, Denise Treizman, Rebecca Ward, Leslie Wayne, Carrie Yamaoka and John Zinsser.