Murmuration Collective: Collaborative and autonomous works by Mia Brownell, Cristina de Gennaro, Patricia Miranda, Sasha Kopelowitz, and Tricia Wright
May 9 - June 27, 2015
Miranda Arts Project Space is thrilled to present the Murmuration Collective: Mia Brownell, Cristina de Gennaro, Patricia Miranda, Sasha Kopelowitz, and Tricia Wright, an exhibition of autonomous and collaborative work by the Murmuration Collective. Join us for an opening reception with the artists on Saturday, May 9, from 6-8pm. The reception is free and open to the public.
Artist collectives have long offered productive collaborative spaces for artists to gather, to exchange ideas, knowledge and inspiration. The Murmuration Collective is five women artists who have been meeting regularly for several years to discuss, critique, explore and innovate. Out of this comes connection, community, strong friendship, and now, collaborative art. For this exhibition the artists worked on several collaborative projects- the first created by rotating works to and from each artist; another generated from contributions of materials from each artist; and a final project deconstructing and reconstructing a large object together to create a new collaborative work. The first two projects were worked on separately in the individual studio and shared during meetings, the final was created together and apart over multiple meetings. Alongside the collaborations the artists will exhibit individual works, furthering a dialogue between the autonomous and collaborative connections and conversations the artists have shared over the years.
Murmuration Collective Artists: Mia Brownell, Cristina De Gennaro, Sasha Kopelowitz, Patricia Miranda, Tricia Wright
Murmuration Collective Artists:
Still Life with Two Pears, 2008, Oil on Canvas, 36x48 inches
Mia Brownell was born in Chicago, Illinois to a sculptor and biophysicist. She uses the conventions of the painted food still life as a means to comment on contemporary issues surrounding food. Her paintings simultaneously reference 17th century Dutch Realism and the coiling configurations of molecular imaging. Mia has had solo exhibitions in major American cities including New York, Boston and Washington, DC. Mia’s paintings are in several private, corporate, and public art collections including Wellington Management, Fidelity Investments and the National Academy of Sciences. Her work has been reviewed and published in numerous publications including The Boston Globe, The Village Voice, New York Times, HiFructose and Artnet Magazine. Mia’s paintings have been included in group exhibitions worldwide. She teaches painting and drawing in New Haven at Southern Connecticut State University. The J. Cacciola Gallery represents her artwork in NYC.
During the past decade, I completed several series of paintings, each of which has investigated different facets of how food is perceived. These series are titled Complexities of the Garden, Adventures of a Reluctant Omnivore, Stomach Acid Dreams, and most recently Delightful, Delicious, Disgusting. My paintings are frequently inspired by images retrieved from Protein Data Bank files (where the structures of proteins and nucleic acids are recorded) and the history of food as a subject in still life. The paintings suggest a crosscurrent of contemporary themes including the complexities of the industrialized food complex as well as current fundamental models of the natural universe.
ABOUT THE COLLECTIVE:
This ongoing collaboration has been similar to learning a foreign language, bringing appreciation and pleasure to unexpected interpretation.
Cristina de Gennaro
Sage Drawing, 2014, Acrylic ink on mylar, 9 panels, 12”X16” ea., 43”X42” overall
Cristina de Gennaro has exhibited her visual art work, videos, and performances in museums and galleries nationally including the Glyndor Gallery at Wave Hill (Bronx, NY), Nexus Contemporary Art Center (Atlanta, GA), the Portland Art Museum (Portland, OR), Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas, TX), San Antonio Museum of Art (San Antonio, TX), The Women's Building (Los Angeles, CA), and the Center on Contemporary Art (Seattle, WA). She has received national and regional awards including an NEA. She has been the recipient of artist residency fellowships at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation (Taos, NM), the Fundacion Valparaiso (Almeria, Spain), The Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts (Ithaca, NY), the Jentel Foundation (Banner, WY) and she was a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome (Rome, Italy) and the GlogauAIR Residency Program (Berlin, Germany).
While hiking the high desert in Taos, New Mexico, I became fascinated with the forms of eroding sage bushes as they decompose back into the earth. The serpentine forms embody the concept of entropy, the tendency of living things to change from a state of order and growth to one of disorder and dissolution. These are images of decay and yet I find that they are filled with movement, pattern, grace, and beauty. As such, the drawings explore the tensions between order and disorder, pattern and complexity, beauty and chaos.
The drawings are on translucent mylar and I layer them in installations to reinforce the depth of the tangled, twisted shapes while resisting the contained order of the grid-like structures. I’ve cropped the images so that the forms in the drawings are abstracted and ambiguous, simultaneously reminiscent of both root systems and microscopic bodily vessels.
Ode to Jyoti, 2015, red clay, graphite on antique indian ledger, 72" x 6.75" unfolded
Patricia Miranda is an artist, educator and curator, using interdisciplinary projects to make connections between art, science, history and culture. She is founder and director of miranda arts project space, an artist-centered space for curatorial exploration, exhibition, collaboration, and the gathering of ideas across disciplines and art forms. Miranda received the Arts Alive Individual Artist Grant from ArtsWestchester/NYSCA in 2014, and has been awarded artist residency fellowships at Weir Farm Artist Residency, Julio Valdez Printmaking Residency, and Vermont Studio Center, where she was also a Visiting Artist fall 2014. She has exhibited at Wave Hill, Bronx, NY; the Belvedere Museum, Vienna, Austria; Kenise Barnes Fine Art, Larchmont, NY; and Metaphor Contemporary Art, to name a few. Miranda has developed and led art and education programs at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The American Museum of Natural History, Wave Hill, and the Smithsonian Institution.
My work is multidisciplinary, from painting, sculpture, and installation, to curatorial and educational as well as social practice, encompassing a diverse mix of making and collaborating. Materiality, its presence and substance, informs my content, from the reflective black of graphite to the luminosity of plaster, to a physical space opened up for collaboration. I explore how meaning appears through articulation in material form, and how context and history further deepen content.
ABOUT THE COLLECTIVE:
I asked these four artists, whose work I had long respected, if they would join me in creating an artists’ group, to share work, critiques, and artistic ideas. Having consistent feedback and support in what is often a solitary life of art-making quickly became invaluable. The nature of the group grew over time into deeper friendships and commitments to each other as artists and as friends. Our interest naturally grew from the sharing of individual ideas into the idea of creating artwork together over three years of regular meetings. Climbing inside another person’s artistic ideas offers a challenge and opportunity, to respond in your own voice, to see beyond your usual trajectory, is like learning to dance- discovering when to lead and when to yield, to intervene and to let the other person’s choices stand. Making art is an intimate exploration, these incredible artists have been generous and critical collaborators, and have made this experiment a rewarding new way to create art.
Crystal Canyon, Gouache on board, 18 x 24
Sasha Kopelowitz lives and works in New York. She earned her MFA in Painting from Purchase College and has additional degrees in Art Education, Women’s Studies, and an interdisciplinary major in Art/Film/Psychology. She has shown at many exhibitions locally and nationally including Hatch Gallery (New York, NY), Walter Maciel Gallery (Los Angeles, CA), and Artspace (New Haven, CT). She has received residencies from RAID Projects (Los Angeles, CA), Anderson Ranch (Snowmass Village, CO), Ox-Bow (Saugatuck, MI), Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT), School of Visual Arts (New York, NY), Art Space (New Haven, CT)
Domestic Animal; Crow, 2012, antique linen, feathers, metal hardware, glass crystal, nylon, 10 x 10 x 10 inches (presentation box dimensions)
Tricia Wright was born and raised in England and attended art school in London, where she lived before relocating to New York in 1999. She divides her time between NYC and her studio in upstate New York. Her works are in museum, corporate, and private collections in the UK and the US; she is represented in New York by Kenise Barnes Fine Art, and Exhibit A Contemporary Art.
Much of my practice centers on the private sphere of the domestic interior, which serves as a platform from which to explore broader ideas of time, identity, labor, and class. The materials I use are commonplace, associated with the domestic environment; these materials have little or no cultural value, are considered trivial, and generally associated with women. I employ these decorative materials in formalist ways, colliding domestic space with formalist space, and sometimes parodying formalist concerns. Pattern and ornament play an important role in my work, they have personal resonance for me that connects to my experience growing up in an Irish/English culture with a long decorative tradition. My work moves between painting, painting-based assemblage, three-dimensional, and photographic work.
ABOUT THE COLLECTIVE
Being part of a collaborative group is both nurturing and challenging in equal measure. Our meetings began initially as a place to share new ideas and discuss work in progress; this has evolved into active collaboration, which at times takes all of us out of our comfort zone. For me, the direct interaction with another artist’s ideas and/or materials has been rewarding and more enjoyable than I might have imagined. Prior to this I had no collaborative experience—I am a studio artist of the most solitary kind—but this process has impacted my own practice in ways that have surprised me and opened up new and unexpected possibilities. We are a group of artists with very different life experience, background, and practice; where we come together is over core values and a respect for one another’s work and areas of interest. It is also enormously gratifying to have a friendship with such interesting and thoughtful women.