Foxy Production

Abstract Abstract

10 Sep - 10 Oct 2009

© Xylor Jane
Oil on panel
33 x 39 in. / 83.8 x 99.1 cm.

September 10 - October 10, 2009
Opens September 10 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM


Foxy Production presents ABSTRACT ABSTRACT, an exhibition of paintings and prints that interpret and deploy abstraction in surprising and provocative ways. The artists – Michael Bell-Smith, Heather Cook, Hilary Harnischfeger, Gabriel Hartley, Xylor Jane, Ilia Ovechkin, and Max Pitegoff and Travess Smalley - reset the art-historical boundaries of abstraction, infusing it with unexpected elements and influences. Avoiding a sense of purity, they play abstraction off against representation. They use a range technologies – from the old to the very new - to push its possibilities to the limits, or to reconstitute subtly its different styles into new amalgams.

MICHAEL BELL-SMITH’s digital prints are Pop-infused, conceptual takes on contemporary culture. For Abstract Abstract he directly appropriates a series of composition notebook covers, with their traditional marbled design and black sewn binding. The books’ patterning is associated with order, restraint and propriety; yet, its swirling forms also present a vision of the infinite, as if inner or outer space could be found within.

HEATHER COOK paints with bleach, oil or acrylic upon cut or sewn printed fabrics. Folds are key to her works; appearing as marks or creases, they provide them with a textured quality and a dramatic, scultpural bearing. With their combination of flatness and depth, they appear to be in the throes of material transformation, flowing out into the space.

HILARY HARNISCHFEGER’s paintings combine paper, plaster, ink, glass, and quartz and other minerals in intricate and expressive abstractions. Appearing at once historical and contemporary, they charter a potently visceral course in their reworkings of Modernist strategies. Their paradoxically bold yet subtle treatments of material, line, depth and space crystallize within corporeal fields of color.

GABRIEL HARTLEY’s oil paintings, sculptures, and over-painted postcards transition the techniques of historical abstraction into an expressionistic system of appropriation and reference. His work sustains a sense of action, emotion, and rawness, where his subjects seem caught dynamically in the process of unravelling.

XYLOR JANE’s paintings are complex, inter-relational tableaux of colors, numbers, grids and histories. Their intense patterns invite engagement as they point to narratives that are, at first, only partially revealed; on contemplation, their poetry, physicality and emotions become palpable.

Layering images one on top of the other, ILIA OVECHKIN uses digital technology to examine the relationship between digital representations and traditional painting. He uses commercial large-format inkjet printing to produce uncanny combinations of techniques, patterns, and shapes.

MAX PITEGOFF and TRAVESS SMALLEY’s prints go against the grain of conventional digital image-making, contradicting its Realist values of transparency, depth of field, and perspective. Their works are simultaneously flat and multi-dimensional fields of colors, abstract forms and representational images. With their broad mix of inputs and approaches, they inventively play with the structure of online design, and the way it circulates.

MICHAEL BELL-SMITH (East Corinth, ME, 1978) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He holds a BA in Semiotics from Brown University, Providence, RI. Selected exhibitions include: Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL; Cell Project Space, London (both 2009); International 08, Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool, UK; The 5th Seoul International Media Biennale; New Museum, New York; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC (all 2008); Musee d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris; MoMA, New York (screening); Dallas Center for Contemporary Art (all 2007); and Tate Liverpool (2005).

HEATHER COOK (Dallas, TX) lives and works in Los Angeles. She holds a BFA from the University of Texas at Austin and an MFA from the Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles. Selected exhibitions include: LACE, Los Angeles; China Art Objects at Cottage Home, Los Angeles; 380, Los Angeles (all 2009); Galerie Art: Concept, Paris; Pauline Gallery, Los Angeles; Little Tree Gallery, San Francisco, CA (all 2008); Trudi Gallery at Rental, New York; and Creative Research Laboratory, Austin, TX (both 2007).

HILARY HARNISCHFEGER (Melbourne, Australia, 1972) lives and works in New York. She holds a BFA from the University of Houston, TX and an MFA from Columbia University, New York. Selected exhibitions include: Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York (solo); Dumbo Arts Center, Brooklyn, NY; Grimm Fine Art, Amsterdam (all 2009); Southfirst Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Elizabeth Dee Gallery, NY (both 2008); Harris Lieberman, New York; and Wallspace Gallery, New York (both 2007); Ballroom, Marfa, TX; and Artists Space, New York (both 2005).

GABRIEL HARTLEY (London, UK, 1981) lives and works in London. He holds a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design, University of the Arts, London and a Post Graduate Diploma in Fine Art from the Royal Academy Schools, London. Selected exhibitions include: Swallow Street, London; Jerwood Contemporary Painting Prize, Jerwood Space, London (both 2009); John Moores Painting Prize, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; Parade Space, London (both 2008); Bloomberg New Contemporaries, Liverpool, Manchester, Wallsall, London (2007 - 2008).

XYLOR JANE lives and works in Holyoke, MA. She holds a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Selected exhibitions include: Small A Projects, New York; Deitch Projects, New York; Gallery 16, San Francisco (all 2008); Jack Hanley, Los Angeles (solo); Monya Rowe Gallery, New York; Pierogi, Leipzig, Germany; Perugi Artecontemporanea, Padova, Italy (all 2007); CANADA, New York; Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH; Dakis Jannou Collection at Deste Foundation, Athens, Greece (all 2006); and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA (2005).

ILIA OVECHKIN (Perm, Russia, 1986) lives and works in Baltimore, MD. He holds a BFA in Interactive Media from Maryland Institute College of Art. Selected exhibitions include: Envoy Enterprises, New York; Light Industry, Brooklyn, NY (both 2009); DOCVA, Milan, Italy; Bond Street Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; MTAA, Brooklyn, NY (2008); Art In General, New York; Eyebeam, New York; Rosenberg Gallery, MICA, Baltimore, MD (all 2007); and Semi-Permanent, Sydney, Australia (2005).

MAX PITEGOFF (Boston, MA, 1987) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He is completing a BFA at Cooper Union School of Art, New York and has studied at the Universitat der Kunste, Berlin and Central Saint Martins, London. Selected exhibitions include: Art Since The Summer of '69, New York (upcoming); Envoy Enterprises, New York; Atelierhof Kreuzberg, Berlin; Universitat der Kunste, Berlin, Germany (all 2009); and Lubalin Center at Cooper Union, New York (2008).

TRAVESS SMALLEY (Huntington, WV, 1986) lives and works in New York. He is completing a BFA at Cooper Union School of Art, New York. Selected exhibitions include: Art Since The Summer Of '69, New York (upcoming); Reference Gallery Richmond, VA (upcoming); Nightingale, Chicago, IL; Envoy Enterprises, New York, NY; Light Industry, Brooklyn, NY (all 2009); DOCVA, Milan; MTAA, Brooklyn, NY (both 2008); and Eyebeam, New York (2007).

Tags: Michael Bell-Smith, Heather Cook, Hilary Harnischfeger, Gabriel Hartley, Xylor Jane, Travess Smalley