Monday, February 3, 2014

Krista Svalbonas and Lisa Pressman, Shifting Space until Feb 6th

ISE - Krista Svalbonas and Lisa Pressman- artist talk-2 from krista svalbonas on Vimeo.

Here is a tour of the collaborative site-specific installation, Shifting Space, at the Ise Cultural Foundation in NYC created by Krista Svalbonas and myself.

Working with curator, Lisbeth Murray, our proposal for a site specific installation was accepted by Ise Cultural Foundation. We began the project by visiting the site and taking photos of the interior and exterior neighborhood of Soho. We were both inspired by the art deco lamps, the floor patterns and the vintage elevators of the lobby. Before entering our respective studios we set a few "rules", including: the color palette, the size of the work, the use of building materials and using our photographs as source material. After contemplating many materials I chose to paint on insulation foam with oil paint, cold wax and pan pastels. Krista's work is oil and cold wax on industrial felt. After we completed our work Krista made the initial study for the wall drawings including both of our panel pieces. The first day of install the initial wall drawing was measured and begun. The second day of install the initial wall drawing was completed and the work was hung. The next day and a half, Krista and I worked collaboratively on the wall drawing, integrating aspects of each others work.
Collaboration is both wonderful and challenging. Although the final exhibition looks effortless there were quite a few bumps in the road for both of us artistically and personally. Different ways of working and seeing led to some conflict and and many discussions.  I realized the struggles that we were having with each other were very similar to the kind of struggles I experience with myself and my work in my studio. These struggles are what lead to new and exciting work. 

Image of right wall as you enter from street

As you enter the gallery to the right, 
Krista's painting and the beginnings of the wall drawing.

As we continue into the gallery, to the right, a collaborative wall drawing

Moving right, my paintings installed on collaborative wall drawing 



Looking back

Collaborative wall drawing

Looking down the wall

Painting by Krista along with wall drawing which was collaboratively finished.

Looking back install photo with art deco lights and floor patterns

Back wall:  My painting with collaborative wall drawing.


Elevator Bay

Left Wall: My paintings with wall collaborative wall drawing.


Collaborative wall drawing, detail

Press Release

Shifting Space is a collaborative site-specific installation located in the Front Space at ISE Cultural Foundation consisting of two-dimensional mixed media works and integrated wall drawings by artists Lisa Pressman and Krista Svalbonas. This exhibition is an experimental exploration of the artists’ different approaches to urban architecture and temporality.

The artists’ collaborative process began with a response to the gallery space, a muted nostalgic foyer with Art Deco light fixtures, inlaid geometric floor designs and vintage elevators. Visiting the site at various times of day, the artists documented via photography the inner and outer framework of the gallery and SoHo neighborhood to serve as the basis for their visual expression. As a result, their work refers to a wide range of imagery, such as cast iron, stone and brick facades, sleek columns, angled window frames and Art Deco patterns. Collectively their work directly reflects the continuous excavation and renovation of the urban landscape in New York.

Although the artists referred to the same contextual imagery and collaboratively decided the parameters for color palette, scale and the choice of industrial insulation materials as their substrates, this exhibition showcases the artists’ distinctly different styles and processes. Starting with an immediate visceral response, working intuitively, and exploring the dialogue between the incidental and intentional, Pressman plays with translucent and opaque layers of oils, collage, wax and other mixed media. Her works evolve over time, resulting in expressive abstract paintings that allude to a personalized time and space. Svalbonas’ practice is research- and conceptually driven. She extracts elements of the built environment to become the forms of abstract geometric structural paintings and wall drawings. She builds and overlaps layers of mixed media, allowing the straight-edged geometric forms to distort the viewer’s perception of depth and width, as well as echoing the organization of a city grid.
The collaborative site-specific wall drawing pulls colors from the exterior facades of SoHo and forms from the Art Deco elements of the ISE front space. These elements are integrated with Pressman's and Svalbonas' paintings, creating a further dialogue about interior and exterior. 

Lisa Pressman received her MFA in painting at Bard College and was recently featured in Swept Away: Translucence, Transparence, Transcendence in Contemporary Encaustic at the Cape Cod Museum of Art, Dennis, MA. Krista Svalbonas received her MFA in photography, design and sculpture at the State University of New York at New Paltz and has been awarded residencies at Cooper Union and the Vermont Studio Center. Both artists have solo exhibited in the New York tri-state area and have been selected for numerous group exhibitions and publications.


Diane McGregor said...

What a wonderful, compelling, and very fresh installation. Great job! And thanks so much for including those videos along with the photos of the work. Really wish I could see this in person. Congratulations Lisa and Krista!

Gaye Oxford said...

Terrific Lisa!!

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