Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Rhombus Space Presents: "A-Side/B-Side" w/Jolynn Krystosek, Sharon Louden, Rachel Ostrow, Don Porcella, Richard Saja and Nicole Tschampel

<><>RHOMBUS SPACE<><> 183 Lorraine St, 3FL #33 Brooklyn, NY 11231

"Untitled" sculpture by Jolynn Krystosek, Bloomingdales/Elle Decor Design Innovators work by Richard Saja

Rhombus Space is proud to present A-Side/B-Side, featuring artwork by Jolynn Krystosek, Sharon Louden, Rachel Ostrow, Don Porcella, Richard Saja and Nicole Tschampel.

Curated by MaDora Frey & Katerina Lanfranco

 December 13, 2013 – January 19, 2014
 Reception: Friday December 13, 6-8 PM

A-Side/B-Side is an exhibition that examines the trend of artists extending their creativity outside the realm of a traditional studio practice and into the everyday world. The notion of the artist as an isolated genius consumed with divine inspiration in their studio is an outdated model, especially given the current economy and the prevalence of a DIY culture. This crossover raises essential issues of highbrow versus lowbrow, craft versus fine art, and the class value judgment that is implied by this distinction. The artists featured in this exhibition make interesting and provocative artwork in their studio, while their side-projects serve a different purpose. The studio work is art for art's sake, and the side projects connect artistic creativity to everyday life; blurring the distinction between private and public engagement and artistic activities.

 Jolynn Krystosek’s artwork explores the physical vulnerability of the material as a visual metaphor for our own corporeal experience. Though abstract, these recent sculptures reference sensual/sexual floral forms. Sharon Louden creates characters that in their simplest form, to evoke imagination and promote conversation through abstract and formal language in a variety of media, using line and gesture. Rachel Ostrow’s paintings exist in a fantastic realm where each is a small world dense with the activity of painting, and where distorted spaces and warped forms merge into one another and question boundaries between inside and outside, body and environment. Don Porcella seeks to transform low-brow materials such a pipe cleaners, wax, pen and paper - and elevate them to a high art context, while simultaneously finding humor in the human condition and presenting a unique world that is shamelessly awkward and unabashedly comical. Richard Saja’s work involves embroidering quirky, brightly colored interventions on traditional French toile (a 18th century linen fabric scenes of bucolic country life), specifically the figures by embellishing them with face tattoos and clown outfits. And Nicole Tschampel’s work is a combination of diaristic reflection and the keen eye of an objective ethnographer/sociologist - where each artwork determines the material used, for example: “The Commerce of Economy” evolved out a combined anxiety over finances and the formal and conceptual deconstruction of an American dollar bill.

Untitled(FRONT),2013,felt and acrylic,18x10.5x7 (1)Jolynn Krystosek received her BFA from San Francisco State University in San Francisco, California and her MFA from Hunter College in New York, NY. She has exhibited throughout the United States including solo exhibitions at Lux Art Institute, Philadelphia Art Alliance, Lucas Schoormans Gallery, and The Horticultural Society of New York. Her work has recently been exhibited at Casey Kaplan Gallery, Racine Art Museum, and the Islip Art Museum. Jolynn’s work has received press in publications including Surface Magazine, NY Arts Magazine, San Diego Union Tribune, North County Times, Shepard Express, and KPBS.         Untitled, 2013, 18x10.5x7”, felt and acrylic by Jolynn Krystosek
(Sterling silver Fern Head Pin)
The jewelry company Conroy & Wilcox invited Jolynn Krystosek to collaborate with them on a jewelry line (Fern Collection). She writes: “I was interested in the project, because I thought it would be an opportunity to see how the visual language I was using would translate to a different medium and how the context would alter it. Of course the biggest shift being making something that is worn, and has a relationship to the body.”
chair pair 1
Community, 2013 by Sharon Louden
Sharon Louden is a practicing, professional artist living and working in Brooklyn. Her work has been exhibited at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Birmingham Museum of Art, Neuberger Museum, and the Weisman Art Museum, among other venues, and it is held in the public collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Weatherspoon Art Museum, and National Gallery of Art. Louden works in a variety of media that collectively including, painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, and animation, to form individual bodies of work.
Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists
Sharon Louden is the editor of "Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists”, and writes: "Living and Sustaining a Creative Life" is an extension of my work in that I reach for all different media, conversation, things, inspiration in a community to thrive and grow. Community is essential to me for exchange, fulfillment and growth as an artist.”
Recent interview on
Silver Dollar_0
Silver dollar, 2013, oil on panel, 15-3/8x24" by Rachel Ostrow
Rachel Ostrow is a Brooklyn based painter and printmaker raised in Buffalo, NY. She earned her BA in Fine Arts from Wesleyan University, a Post-Baccalaureate Degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art, and an MFA in painting from Hunter College. She was awarded the Tom Woods award from Hunter College, a printmaking residency at the Gowanus Studio Space, Brooklyn, NY, and residency at the Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency, Joshua Tree, CA. She has exhibited in Barcelona, Spain, Aix-en-Provence, France, Buffalo, NY, Joshua Tree, CA, Great Barrington, MA and New York City, NY.
Rachel Ostrow co-founded E for Effort with artist Beka Goedde Rachel writes: “E for Effort was started by accident. A friend had a pop-up shop and asked Beka and I to contribute. The idea of the Looseleaf Shirt came from my Halloween costume of a paper airplane, and then Beka and I printed “paper” shirts for the pop-up shop. Then Rebecca Kong and Jon Tomlinson sold them at Artware Editions. And since, they have been for sale in many venues including the MoMA design store and the museum store at Collection Lambert in Avignon, France. Beka and I enjoy coming up with ideas and making them so we decided to make a new design every year.”
05 Porcella_Making_Room_For_New_Ideas (1)
Making Room for New Ideas; Destruction of the Readymades, 2011-13, 8x8x8’, woven pipe cleaners. by Don Porcella
Don Porcella was born in Modesto, California. He earned a BA in Psychology from UC San Diego, a BFA from California College of Arts and Crafts, and an MFA from Hunter College in New York. His artwork is exhibited across the US and Europe, and has been reviewed by the New York Times, NY ARTS, Fiber Arts Magazine, Chelsea Now, San Francisco Magazine and the Village Voice. He is the recipient of the Council on the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island Grant, Brooklyn Arts Council Grant, Socrates Sculpture Park Emerging Artist Fellowship, West Collects Prize, and Swatch Art Residency in Shanghai.
Porcella Coffee Roasters was founded in 2012 and is a business that roasts and sells coffee beans in small batches. The premium beans are sourced directly from small farms around the world to ensure the best possible relationship to the farm, farmers and coffee beans. The artisanal, small batch coffee is lovingly roasted by Don Porcella who grew up on an almond ranch in California and comes from a distinguished lineage of apple farmers and fruit packers in Watsonville, California.
Brooklyn Magazine article
THE GREAT WHITE MILKY WAY, 2009, 10 feet x 8 inches, glow-in-the-dark embroidery floss on linen. by Richard Saja
Richard Saja is an artist and designer based in New York City. He studied surface design at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and great books of Western civilization at St Johns College in Santa Fe, NM where he received his BA. Working first as an art director, he then merged his artistic and design interests into "Historically Inaccurate Decorative Arts". Saja has exhibited nationally and internationally with shows in Paris, Berlin and the National Museum of Embroidery in South Korea. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Elle Decor, and ID magazine. His work is in the collections of the Shelburne Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and was recently exhibited at Robert Miller Gallery and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Bloomingdales/Elle Decor Design Innovators work by Richard Saja.
Richard Sajas work involves embroidering quirky, brightly coloured interventions on traditional French toile - (a linen fabric with a repeated pattern of bucolic scenes of country life, used in bourgeois society decorating in the 18th century). His original, one-off creations, have led to partnerships in creating designs for the fashion world: Opening Ceremony, Hello Kitty/Sanrio, Bloomingdales, and Elle Decor. And a recent commissioned by Anya Hindmarch for her boutique on Madison Avenue.
”The Economy of Commerce: Lower Right” is one panel from a four panel series. Each glass panel is approximately 24’ x 29’, glass and wood shelf
Nicole Tschampel is a visual artist living and working in New York City. She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and received her Masters degree in Combined Media from Hunter College. She currently teaches Photography and Digital Film at Westchester Community College. Her sculptural works and videos have been included in multiple national and international exhibitions including Feel Good, Feel Bad Boys and Girls, at Lange Gasse 28, in Augsburg, Germany, The End is the Beginning, at MMX in Berlin, Germany, Bitches Brew at Gallery Poulsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Greener on the Other Side at Organhaus in Chongqing, China.
Kirby & Kraut customizable fermentation set.
Nicole Tschampel on Kirby and Kraut: “I consider myself a “maker” so the impulse to start a small business feels like an extension of that personality trait. My partner Eric Iversen and I began Kirby & Kraut as a way create kitchen tools that we wanted to use in our own kitchen. Along the way we began to see our website as a place to share the recipes and experiences of our own home fermentation and pickling adventure.”
MaDora Frey and Katerina Lanfranco are co-curators of “A-Side/B-Side”.
MaDora Frey is a multi-media artist and curator working in New York City. Her current work takes the form of kinetic sculptures, photographic images, and drawings. More can be found at
Katerina Lanfranco is an artist, curator and educator. She works in mixed media, drawing, painting, sculpture and installation. More can be found
Da Vinci’s Rhombicuboctahedron
Leonardo Da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. He invented machines and scientific theories. Throughout history, artists have had B-Sides - making use of their creative impulses and minds.
 While maintaining their professional studio practices as their core activity, the 6 NYC-based artists in this exhibition negotiate different demands expectations, economies, degrees of autonomous and artistic control, and types of collaboration in order to develop their side projects. In line with the Bauhaus vision of a union between art and design, the public is offered a chance to experience art in everyday consumable objects. Whether it is our shifting economic conditions or the virtual storefronts made possible by the Internet, the trend of artists focusing their creativity on tandem endeavors is undeniable. A-Side/B-Side present both side of these artists' creative outputs and invites the viewer to weave their own connections between fine art and side projects.

 For more information about the exhibition please contact:

Monday, November 11, 2013

PRESS: <> Arts in Bushwick <>

Artist-Gallerist-Curator Katerina Lanfranco: 
Fine Lines at Rhombus Space, a Change of Perspective

From left to right: Jason Peters, Nils Folke Anderson, Katerina Lanfranco, Helen Dennis, and Ann Stewart; all photos courtesy of Rhombus Space, unless credited otherwise
Katerina Lanfranco, the artist-gallerist-curator who runs Rhombus Space, has wanted to curate shows and run a space for a long time, but the right conditions never presented themselves as clearly as they did this year.  When her grad school friend left their shared Red Hook studio space, Lanfranco needed to decide what to do next. Knowing that she would be in an ebb period of her studio practice after a successful show at Nancy Hoffman Gallery a few months earlier, she chose to use some of her art sales to start Rhombus Space. Since September 2013 her gallery is run as a self-contained exhibition space, which is also an extension of Lanfranco’s studio practice as a visual artist. “I have always liked the idea of blurring public and private distinctions,” she adds with a friendly smile, while slightly opening a light curtain which marks the border between her private studio at the back and the public space at the front.  Blurring the lines between art and life is not only evident in Lanfranco’s space, but also in the artwork that she likes to show there.

Below a Sea of Stars by Katerina Lanfranco, Installation View, Nancy Hoffman Gallery, NYC, 2008; courtesy of Katerina Lanfranco and Nancy Hoffman Gallery
Natural Selection by Katerina Lanfranco, Installation View, Sesnon Gallery,  Santa Cruz, CA, 2012; courtesy of Katerina Lanfranco and Nancy Hoffman Gallery

So far, Lanfranco has met the artists whose work has shown at Rhombus Space in a number of different ways, such as grad school, artist residencies, open studios, exhibitions, and through other artist recommendations. In fact, the exhibition themes develop with specific artists in mind; “it’s almost like arranging a dinner party and imagining which artists’ works would complement each other, and what dominant theme might emerge from the dialogue between them,” she explains. It is evident from this show that in her curatorial practice Lanfranco aims to enhance the exhibition dynamics by the overall design, grouping and relationship between the pieces. She emphasizes that she is hoping that viewers will be excited not only by the strength of individual artworks but also by the collective power.
Fine Lines at Rhombus Space, partial overview
For Fine Lines, the second group show at Rhombus Space, Lanfranco chose artists with strong formal sensibility, shared interest in architectural design or linear details, and focus on bringing the viewer’s attention to familiar forms that people tend to overlook in daily life. Utilizing scale, lines, volume, and color expressed in a variety of media, Lanfranco manages to activate the rhombus room itself as a cohesive architectural entity, while blurring the lines between photography, sculpture, painting, drawing and printmaking. For instance, placing Nils Folke Anderson’s small-scale wood structure of blazing orange horizontal and vertical frames laying on top of a grey-lined wooden table in front of Ann Stewart’s black and white linear drawing on the wall, creates a vibrant dialog between these two juxtaposing pieces. Likewise, as the viewer’s eye wonders to the opposite corner, Anderson’s tall and narrow wooden rectangular structure with its vibrant blue linear patterns, vividly converses with Helen Dennis’ luminous black and white light photographic drawings on the wall.  

Reciprocal Link by Nils Folke Anderson, painted wood, dimensions variable, 2012, and Impromptu Superlabyrinth by Ann Stewart, graphite on paper, 2013

From left to right: Nils Folke Anderson, Untitled by Nils Folke Anderson, painted wood, 2012; Highline by Helen Dennis, sketch, photographic drawing, 2011; Telegraph Mess by by Helen Dennis, photographic drawing, 2011; and Grand Central, NYC by by Helen Dennis, photographic drawing, 2011
In her three photographic drawings Helen Dennis, a Bushwick-based artist, depicts urban architectural scenes by using an intriguing alternative photographic process where layers of drawings act as the source negatives for her photographic images. In these nocturnal feeling images she manages to blur the borders between photography and drawing by using light itself to draw the fine lines.
Grand Central, NYC by by Helen Dennis, photographic drawing, 2011

Jason Peters, another Bushwick artist, also defies clear categorization in his playful yet elegant paper sculptures. Ranging from flat to three dimensional, hanging on a wall or laying on a pedestal, these forms are all made of black paper which is covered with meticulous repetitive patterns of silver ink. They reflect the artist’s interest in shifting common objects from having a utilitarian function to a conceptual one.

Untitled by Jason Peters, silver ink on black paper, 2013
From left to right: Untitled by Jason Peters, silver ink on black paper, 2013; It Is Always More Than You Realize by Jason Peters, silver ink, black paper, zinc, wood, 2013 (in front); Epicenter by Ann Stewart, etching and aquatint on paper, 2013; and Do You See The Light by Jason Peters, silver ink on black paper, 2013 

Hovering between painting and sculpture, Nils Folke Anderson’s painted wood Reciprocal Link sculptures explore architectural forms, where elements can be alternated so that each one has the exact same position as the next.
Bench by Nils Folke Anderson, painted wood, 2012
Untitled by Nils Folke Anderson, painted wood, 2012
Surprisingly a relatively novice printmaker, Ann Stewart’s energetic drawings translate into skilled etching and aquatint prints which scramble the border between living systems, natural elements, and architectural structures. In a labor-intensive process of repetition, proliferation, and reconstruction, her continual drawing and erasing of an image results in a wonderfully complex linear vocabulary that alternates depending on the viewer’s perspective: From close-up, the images resonate a deconstructed hand-drawn map, whereas from a distance they resemble an abstracted landscape.

Epicenter by Ann Stewart, etching and aquatint on paper, 2013
Tethering Corollaries II, etching and aquatint on paper, 2013, and Constellation (Ghost), etching and aquatint on paper, 2013, both by Ann Stewart

This successful group show embodies why Lanfranco sees Rhombus Space as liberating in that she could emerge from her hermetic studio practice which dominated the last couple of years, into a relationship with art that is more open, and engaging with others. ”It’s already been a nice change of perspective,” she concludes.

Group exhibition featuring work by Helen Dennis, Nils Folke Anderson, Jason Peters, and Ann Stewart

Fines Lines will be on display at Rhombus Space from October 18 to November 17, 2013