January 10 – February 6, 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, January 10, 6-8PM

Artist Talk: Saturday, January 25, 2-3PM
Artists Lisa Pressman and Krista Svalbonas will discuss their collaborate process of creating Shifting Space in response to the site-specific Front Space gallery.

ISE Cultural Foundation is pleased to present Shifting Space, a site-specific installation by Lisa Pressman and Krista Svalbonas, curated by Lisbeth Murray.

Lisa Pressman and Krista Svalbonas. Details of works in Shifting Space mixed media site-specific installation. Pressman and Svalbonas use mixed media on industrial substrates, insulation and felt, respectively.

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.

Upcoming Exhibition: Shifting Space

In January 2014, ISE Cultural Foundation will be presenting a collaborative site-specific installation by artists Lisa Pressman and Krista Svalbonas, curated by Lisbeth Murray, in its Front Space Gallery. This exhibition project, Shifting Space, consists of two-dimensional mixed media works and integrated wall drawings, through which the artists experiment and explore their shared objective in engaging with the gallery space and creating a visual dialogue about urban architecture, interconnectedness and temporality.

ISE Cultural Foundation's Front Space Gallery is located at 555 Broadway. Situated in Soho, which was once an artist haven with affordable rent space, and has experienced an identity shift and become a cosmopolitan center for commercial business, the artists’ work directly reflects the temporality of space and time within this contextual framework.  


Building Blocks: Leslie Baum, Stacy Fisher, Matt Miller

  I am pleased to announce my recently-published Chelsea exhibition review titled Building Blocks: Leslie Baum, Stacy Fisher, Matt Miller, which appears in the online version of NY Arts Magazine.

Courtesy of BravinLee programs, New York

Courtesy of BravinLee programs, New York

There were whispers around Chelsea that the gallery model as a means to sell and look at art was dead (see Jerry Saltz' article about the "Death of the Gallery Show"). As smaller venues began closing their doors from dwindling audiences and buyers, there was speculation as to how the galleries would bounce back, if ever. However, investors looking for ways to acquire long-term value started looking towards objects. I am not claiming that the gallery is returning to its former glory, nor am I saying that its upcoming trends can be easily navigated through a miracle chart or formula. But there is excitement surrounding the Chelsea area as large galleries usher in audiences to view their monolithic exhibitions, as well as smaller galleries that are finding their own place in the spotlight. 

The article I wrote highlights a perfect example of a smaller gallery model that has succeeded in making waves. BravinLee programs, founded by John Lee and Karin Bravin in 2006, put together a conceptually-strong show. Mindful of their space limitations and logistical challenges, every fragment or "building block" was installed with a precise curatorial eye. If you live in the NYC Metro Area, I sincerely recommend that you check out the show.

You can access the article directly at this address: here


Upcoming Exhibition: Cell Mates

The Walsh Gallery will be presenting Cell Mates June 3 - July 18, with an opening reception on the evening of June 6 at 5 to 9 pm.

The Walsh Gallery Director and Curator, Jeanne Brasile, and independent curator, Lisbeth Murray, will be featuring artists working in an interdisciplinary manner, integrating scientific methodologies or concepts into their artistic practice. Specifically addressing the topic of cellular biology through the lens of art, these two distinct group exhibitions will address various topics related to cellular forms in adjacent gallery spaces. Brasile's and Murray's shared curatorial objective is to elucidate how curators and artists alike can arrive at very different thematic and aesthetic conclusions while practicing in similar narrative framework.

Lisbeth Murray, currently with Robert Miller Gallery, is particularly interested in how artists obscure or pronounce the delineation between artistic and scientific practices, and aims to emphasize the notable shared curiosity that is common to both professions.

Lisbeth Murray's exhibition includes artists Suzanne Anker, Jordan Eagles, Lorrie Fredette, Phil Hastings, Jeanne Heifetz, Taehee Kim, Hyungsub Shin, Amanda Thackray, Linda Tien and Joyce Yamada.  

Jeanne Brasile's exhibition features Gabe Benzur, Matt Drissell, Jordan Eagles, Sarah Fattori, Lorrie Fredette, Laura Gravenstine, Marianne Hamel & Nikki Johnson, Phil Hastings, Jeanne Heifetz, Caitlin McCormack, Vikki Michalios and Shuli Sadé.  

The included artists work in a variety of media including sculpture, painting, digital photography, installation and other mixed-media formats. A full color exhibition catalogue is available at the Walsh Gallery.