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Kathryn Markel Fine Arts

529 W 20th Street, Suite 6W, New York
212 366-5368
Tues - Fri 10am - 6pm Sat 11am - 6pm


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Turtles All the Way Down, Fran Shalom
Feb 16-Mar 25
FRAN SHALOM Turtles All the Way Down February 16th March 25th, 2017 NEW YORK, NYJanuary 3rd, 2017Kathryn Markel Fine Arts is pleased to present Turtles All the Way Down, Fran Shaloms first solo show with the gallery. Fran Shaloms abstract paintings exist on the brink of recognition. Her playful forms flirt with nameable objects, shifting out of reality just as the viewer thinks they have begun to sense hints of representation. Yet her pieces defy being reduced to a metaphor. Shaloms palette also toes the line between the familiar and the ambiguous. Her pop sensibility is represented in bold, electric color choices, but the relationships she presents are fraught, rarely succumbing to easy combinations. There is a push-pull between foreground and background, so that youre never quite sure if the figures are breaking through or receding within the space. Shalom pokes fun at this complex engagement with her work, giving her paintings cheeky titles that make it difficult to resist searching for associations and explanations in what you see before you. Is it possible to see her paintings solely for what they are? Can we overcome our attempts to classify them? This essence of Shaloms work is rooted in her early introduction to Zen Buddhism. She approaches each new painting with a beginners mind, freeing her process of pretense and literal connections, embracing infinite possibility. Working in thin layers, shell build up and selectively scrape down again, intuitively forming shapes, textures, and color. The creation of the piece itself is a meditation, and once its completed it then becomes a tool for others to meditate upon. Fight the urge to make sense of her forms, no matter how tempting, and the piece reveals itself in the calm. Perhaps surprisingly, it then provides a satisfying clarity. Fran Shalom has exhibited widely throughout the United States, including at the Painting Center, Fogg Art Museum, and Newark Museum. Her work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Rose Art Museum. She has been the recipient of a MacDowell Colony Residency and an Art Omi Residency. She has an MFA in Painting from Montclair State University, and an MFA in Photography from the San Francisco Art Institute. Shalom lives and works in New Jersey.


This Side Up, Sydney Licht
Feb 16-Mar 25
SYDNEY LICHT This Side Up February 16th March 25th, 2017 NEW YORK, NYJanuary 3rd, 2017Kathryn Markel Fine Arts is pleased to present This Side Up, Sydney Lichts fourth solo show with the gallery. Sydney Licht updates the conventions of still life by shifting the subject matter to signifiers of contemporary consumer culture. Traditionally, still life paintings have portrayed items from the domestic realm, but the food, vessels, and tools of these arrangements have now taken on a different appearance. Today, our food often arrives at the table packaged up, sealed, and sanitized. The interior spaces that were once the serene foundation of these scenes are now cluttered resting places for detritus waiting to be sorted or discarded. However, when studied with a painters eye, with skewed perception and abstracted forms, even these overlooked corners of everyday life can be elevated to subjects of utmost intrigue. The abandoned boxes, artful packaging, and mundane objects that are remnants of our fast-paced world are arranged as sensitively as the vases and fruits of still lives from long ago. Their shapes, patterns, and colors are heightened through a painterly rather than representational - approach, and the shifted perspective that we view them through makes us see these ever-present objects as if for the first time. The intimate scale of the painting and close-cropped composition lend a tenderness to that which we might consider undesirable. When presented with such sophistication, Licht draws attention to what we as a culture value in the twenty-first century, inviting us to question what we prioritize. When we live in a time of such visual abundance, the chance to focus on these humble objects and details is a welcome respite. Sydney Licht has exhibited widely throughout the United States. Her work has been featured in Elle Dcor and the New Yorker, among other respected publications. She has been a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome twice, and the recipient of the Yaddo Residency. Licht has an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and lives and works in New York City.