Franklin Street Works presents a (rescheduled) artist walk through of “About Like So: The Influence of Painting,” on the exhibition’s closing weekend. Exhibiting artists Sophy Naess, Paul Theriault, and Siebren Versteeg will walk us through the exhibition and discuss their work, touching on painting’s influence on their studio practices. The event is free and open to the public and takes place from 4:00 – 6:00 pm.
“About Like So: The Influence of Painting” features works that use paint in unorthodox ways or bypass the medium all together to reveal how the “language of painting” can invade, obstruct and enhance other media. In her work, Sophy Naess uses glycerine as a performative medium to connect with the history of abstract expressionism. In Naess’ case the materials employed are ephemeral, a distinct move away from oil paints stable properties. Included in “About Like So” are works composed of body friendly glycerine, scents, and pigments. Critic Samara Davis of Artforum online reflects, “Embedded in Naess’s soaps are tiny things: Pieces of weeds and flowers float next to funny trash items and found treasures. The contents are carefully arranged, whether suspended in color blocks or scattered just beneath the soap’s surface, and each tablet depicts a different landscape of secret meanings and spells.”
Through digital investigations, Paul Theriault paints direcly onto scanner beds and then scans the composition, allowing for the occasional burst of light to peek through the paint. For the piece “Tabula Rasa,” currently on display at Franklin Street Works, Theriault plays with traditional notions of painting by displaying his digital scan on an LED Monitor which rests on an easel, complete with dried oil stains around its edges. By juxtaposing this layering of digital effect with the easel’s reference to traditional painting Theriault expands on both the process of production and the form of presentation within the medium.
Siebren Versteeg’s “algorithm paintings” share formal traits with abstract painting, but are actually prints on canvas. Each work is composed by an algorithm the artist programmed using code. For the works in “About Like So,” Versteeg enters his algorithm paintings into the computer and prompts a Google image search to find a matching, “concrete” image, which is hung just to the right. In the end, Versteeg’s two computer processes turn the usual dynamic between the representational and the abstract inside out. In 2008, critic James Yood describes Versteegs interests, writing, “The Internet’s ceaseless flow of information, the parallel universes that it births and destroys, the cacophony of perpetual interactivity it encourages, all create torrents of new, largely unregulated visual data. Siebren Versteeg designs programs and display strategies to tap into these streams, siphoning off bits here and there, rearticulating their systems of presentation, and ultimately jamming their promise of stability and ubiquity.” (ArtForum Magazine)
“About Like So: The Influence of Painting” is on view at Franklin Street Works through February 22, 2015. Exhibiting artists: Polly Apfelbaum, Paul Branca, Taylor Davis, Tim Davis, Marley Freeman, Ragnheiour Gestsdottir, Michael Graeve, Dave Hardy, Alex Hubbard, John Knuth, Sophy Naess, Tameka Norris, Peter Nowogrodzki/Max Kotelchuck, Seth Price, Paul Theriault, Brad Tucker, Siebren Versteeg, Augustus Thompson, Leslie Wayne, “in actu: music and painting” (K.R.H. Sonderborg, Wolfgang Hannen, Günter Christmann and Paul Lovens).
About the Artists: Sophy Naess is an artist based in New York. Her work has been shown in New York at Chapter, Essex Flowers, Lori Bookstein Gallery, Soloway, the Goethe Institut Library, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Recess, The Bruce High Quality Foundation, Sue Scott Gallery, Printed Matter, and numerous project spaces. Naess received her MFA at Mason Gross School and her BFA from Cooper Union. Paul Theriault lives and works in New Haven Connecticut, close to his birthplace of Milford Connecticut in 1972. His practice lies primarily within the idiom of abstraction but produced through the medium of computers and digital technology. Theriault has been exploring the possibilities of new media within the context of artistic production for the past two decades. From 1992-2002, he lived in Chicago, Illinois, where he studied orchestral technique of the contra bass and worked primarily in digital video and sound based art. Theriault has exhibited work regularly in the United States as well as had his video work screened overseas. Siebren Versteeg holds a Masters of Fine Arts from University of Illinois at Chicago and a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He was a participant of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and has exhibited most recently at Dorsch Gallery (Miami), The Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), Offen Aug AEG (Nürnberg, Germany), Locust Projects (Miami), and Outpost (Ridgewood, NY). Solo exhibitions include: Rhona Hoffman (Chicago) and the Art Institute of Boston (Boston). His work is held in collections that include the Ulrich Museum of Art, the Marguilies Collection, the RISD Museum, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Hirshhorn Museum, the Yale Art Gallery, and the Guggenheim Museum.