The Garrison Art Center announces the first of its 2011 exhibitions featuring ink paintings by June Glasson and screen mono prints by Carlos Uribe. The shows will open on January 14, and run through February 6, 2011.
The Balter Gallery will feature a series of provocative ink paintings by June Glasson. Born in Oyster Bay, New York, Glasson has lived and worked in the American Midwest, South Africa, England, Brooklyn, and Bangkok. She studied art at Cornell and at The Slade in London. In recent years she has worked in New York City as an artist and designer.
Glasson’s series entitled “The Foulest of Shapes” was inspired by The Sins of New York, an anthology of mid-nineteenth-century articles and images from “The Police Gazette”-a sensationalist weekly that claimed to report on the vices, crimes, and “sins” of urban living. The Sins of New York was published in the 1920s, but the articles and images date from 1840 to 1880, a time when New York City was struggling with incredible poverty and political corruption.
“What I find especially interesting is the Gazette’s portrayal of women engaging in ‘sinful’ or ‘unladylike’ behavior,” says Glasson. ”Throughout we find women with disheveled skirts and exposed ankles, many of them running, dancing, fighting, drinking, smoking, gambling, shopping, cross-dressing, stealing, prostituting themselves, counterfeiting money, working, and-god forbid-voting. While these images and stories explicitly express anxieties about the moral health of women in the city, they also provided titillating fodder for the male reader as well, but what struck me the most is that the women were not portrayed as victims of the city’s vices (as is usually the case) but active contributors to the city’s criminality instead.”
Glasson has created a series of ink-on-paper paintings that celebrate such “unladylike” behavior. The Foulest of Shapes was recently on view at Berlin Nature Morte and reviewed in Guernica, a magazine of art and politics. Writer Rachel Somerstein says of Glasson’s “intensely evocative” series, “All told, the vibe of these works isn’t grrrl power, but something more delicate than that. They seem more to do with testing power and boundaries than acting out.”
In the adjacent Gillette Gallery, Carlos Uribe will debut an installation of 50 unique screen prints that loosely comment on the American flag. A master printmaker, Uribe has taught at Harlem Textile Works, SUNY New Paltz and was the Director of Education at Garrison Art Center for 8 years and currently teaches silkscreen to teens and adults at the Art Center.
Uribe’s “freestyle” printing makes use of unregistered and unplanned placement of screens as he develops a composition, at times breaking entirely from printmaking and adding brushed accents with India ink. Many of the 50 mono prints in “Flags” are very abstracted and when standing alone may not be seen as an offspring of the American flag. But seen together, there is no doubt of their parentage. Uribe’s first print of this series sprung to life when he printed a rectangle in the corner of a larger rectangle already covered with a field of texture and color, the visual result an obvious relationship to the American flag.
Initially, Uribe rejected the idea of working on this national icon, in part because of his “long-standing disaffection with the flag’s identity over the last 40 years of political and social polarization of ideologies.” Also, Uribe was concerned about the visual concept as possibly being redundant, opportunistic and/or controversial. After considered thought, he began to ponder the extremes to which he could push such a strong composition and even stronger societal symbol. Aware that his treatment of the flag could be seen as a desecration, Uribe used the most stripped down elements of the flag in a playful manner, while keeping his intent respectful.
According to the artist his flag series “has become a celebration of sorts, anticipating the strength of diversity, commonality and tolerance. It is a moment where we have the chance to look through one veil of identity to all the complexity and wonder that lies beyond…. The unraveling of ‘Old Glory’ in this manner –to reveal new glory– opens up a door for people of all backgrounds and beliefs to imagine that our national symbol is a part of their identity and a fluid icon that embraces a world of diverse cultural expression.”
The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday 10am to 5pm beginning January 14, 2011. For more information on other exhibitions and programs at Garrison Art Center, call 845.424.3960 or visit garrisonartcenter.org.
submitted by The Garrison Art Center