Last month I had the pleasure of chatting with Andrea Wenglowskyj and Sara Jones, the dynamic duo behind Kind Aesthetic, about how to forge connections with people in the art world when parties are not your thing. Full interview here.
Ground Floor Gallery's pop-up show benefiting the Committee to Protect Journalists got some terrific press over the weekend! The piece I made for the show, "Editorialized," is featured in the coverage.
From the Observer:
While the call stated that artists could submit existing works and works in-progress, some, like New York-based artist Spencer Merolla, took the opportunity to make something entirely new and different. Merolla’s cut and sewn copy of the New York Times features a big black swatch of fabric in place of the paper’s main image, adorned with antique lace and hanging thread. The artist describes the piece as “my editorializing—the emotional experience of reading the day’s news grafted back on to the paper itself.” Add to this the fact that the Times has frequently been the subject of President Trump’s negative commentary about the media.
Looking forward to my solo show opening March 4th at the Invisible Dog's Glass House! 51 Bergen Street, just off the Bergen Street F/G stop. Opening reception is from 6-10 pm, and the show will run through April 15th. [Edit: extended to run through April 22nd, with closing reception from 5-7pm and artist talk at 6]
Curated by Michele Bosak, Sentimental Ornamentation brings together historical artifacts of Victorian mourning and contemporary art and design that draws in some way from those objects and customs. I'm honored to have several funeral clothes and hair pieces included alongside works by Elizabeth Heyert, Nene Humphrey, Anya Kivarkis, Yuni Kim Lang, Tim Powers, Jonathan Wahl, Marcel Wanders, and Renée Zettle-Sterling.
Through April 8th, more information here
Rise and Resist and Gays Against Guns NYC put together a protest this past weekend in the style of a New Orleans funeral, complete with jazz band and coffin symbolizing the death of the American presidency as we know it (and calling for its resurrection). Rousing speeches and hymns led by GAG Reflex kicked off our march to Union Square. It was a joy to participate alongside so many seasoned activists with such a compelling creative vision for resistance. Plus I got to take a selfie with Abe Lincoln! More photos and reporting here.
This show is such a fabulous and varied group of artists I'm over the moon to have my work included! It's up through December 30th at the Invisible Dog, 51 Bergen Street. There are amazing pieces at all price points.
Here are some images from the opening, shot by Maria Baranova
With work by: Douglas Adesko, Matilde Alessandra, Vanessa Belli, Connie Bree, Guillaume Bresson, Tegan Brozyna, Jon Burgerman, Halsey Chait, Timothy Corbett, Andrea DeFelice, Digby and Iona, Lars van Dooren, Shannon Finnegan, Ryan Frank, Camille de Galbert, Crystal Gregory, Michael Hili, Oliver Jeffers, Caitlin Masley, Spencer Merolla, Anne Mourier, Dara Oshin, Mac Premo, Patrick Reynolds, Rachel Selekman, William Suran, Ian Trask, Peter Treiber, Nikita Vishnevskiy, Kevin Waldron and Alexa Williams
With the glass ceiling unbroken and the bottom fallen out in the days after the election, studio mates Traci Talasco, Megan Piontkowski, and I put together a little show of election-themed artwork as a benefit for the ACLU. I was so heartened by the generous outpouring of support, both to pull off the event at such short notice and also to make it a successful benefit. Overall we sold just over $4,000 worth of artwork, which was matched dollar for dollar. Thanks to all who donated work, bid, baked cookies, watched the door, painted, patched and otherwise contributed to the effort!
Participating artists included Natty Bumpercar, Hollie Chastain, Annie Coggan, Jackie Duval Smith, Cecile Dyer, Carl Ferrero, Sonya Gropman, Iviva Olenick, Sara Jones, Matt Keegan, Katherine Keltner, Branden Koch, Stephanie Land, Kakyoung Lee, Christina Martinelli, Spencer Merolla, Ellen Moses, Kirsten Nelson, Laura Nova, Tinuade Oyelowo, Sarah Nicole Phillips, Megan Piontkowski, Sreshta Rit Premnath, Audrey Ryan, Toni Serratelli, Devika Sen, Elissa Swanger, Traci Talasco, Libby Vanderploeg, Nathan Vincent and Ward Yoshimoto
On October 23rd I was thrilled to join hundreds of other women-identified artists at the Brooklyn Museum for the second of Kim Schoenstadt's photograph series, "Now Be Here." It was organized by Shinique Smith.
Here is the portrait. It was a great morning!
Gowanus Open Studios is upon us THIS WEEKEND from noon-6pm Saturday and Sunday. There are over 300 artists participating, and 60 of them are in my building alone! Come visit, have a snack, and see what we've been working on.
My studio is in the red, white and blue storage building (you can't miss it, it takes up the whole block!) located at 183 Lorraine Street. Enter on Lorraine between Clinton and Court. You don't need tickets, open to the public and free.
On the border of Red Hook and Gowanus, more than a hundred art studios and the Sweet Lorraine Gallery hide out on the third floor of a self-storage building. As part of Gowanus Open Studios, Katherine Keltner has curated an exhibition in that gallery focused on archiving as art and making work from the stuff that surrounds us all.
I'm happy to have a piece (pictured below) in the show, alongside Gerard Barbot, Annie Coggan, Sean Gallagher, Crystal Gregory, Sally Lesser, Elizabeth Meggs, Megan Piontkowski, Barry Rust, A.V. Ryan, Syma, Alexa Williams and Ward Yoshimoto. Open during Open Studios (October 15th-16th from noon-6pm) and by appointment.
Hopefully you had a chance to catch "The Keeper" at the New Museum before it came down last month. Inspired by the show, I shared my "Garbagekammer" (a "wunderkammer" of discarded objects found in my backyard) with the New Museum on Instagram, and it was featured in their series. Artnet included it in a write-up about the campaign.
It was my great pleasure to talk about some of my favorite topics–grief, working with hair, and the color black–with Nazish Chunara for Venison Magazine's fall 2016 issue. You can read the whole interview here.
I just finished installing my piece for Medium: Black at Rush (526 West 26th Street), curated by Charlotte Mouquin. The show brings together diverse works made using only the color (or non-color, if you prefer) black. It will be the first showing of a piece from the Funeral Clothes Project.
I'm honored to be showing alongside Charlotte Becket, Dominique Duroseau, Parris Jaru, Gabriel J. Shuldiner, Stan Squirewell, Victoria-Idongesit Udondian, LeRone Wilson.
Opening reception is Thursday April 14th 6-8pm.
This exhibition will include an artist discussion (in which I'll be participating) April 30th at 4pm. There will also be a discussion of ancient art techniques and pigments with Parris Jaru and LeRone Wilson and a film screening of “A Trail of Pigments” a documentary film by Kiritin Beyer on a search for natural pigments in India, on Saturday May 7th at 2pm. The show will run through May 20th.
Here is the press release.
My hairwork is headed off to Pennsylvania for the show More Beyond at Brick + Mortar Gallery in Easton, PA. Curated by artist Rebecca Reeves, the show opens April 2nd and will run through May 7th.
Please join me and the other exhibiting artists for the opening reception, Saturday, April 2nd, from 6-9 pm. The gallery address is 8 Centre Square in Easton.
From Sharon Butler's review of Introductions 2016 in Two Coats of Paint:
When viewing big group shows of unfamiliar artists, I always find something to like. But at “Introductions 2016,” an exhibition of fifty artists at Trestle Projects, I liked nearly everything. Apparently guest curator Jim Osman, a gifted artist a well as director of the Foundations Program at The New School, and I have a similar aesthetic. For both of us, materials carry meaning. In addition to appreciating their quirky uses, Osman likes a little humor, odd sculptural objects, and enigmatic, thoughtfully-crafted paintings and photographs...
I strongly recommend a trip to Gowanus. I predict we'll be seeing a lot more from the artists in this agreeable group in the next few years.
I'm delighted to have a piece included in this show with such a strong cadre of artists. Introductions 2016 is on view through February 12th at Trestle Gallery, 168 7th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215.
I'm very excited to have my piece B.R. included in the Introductions 2016 show at one of my favorite art spots in town, Trestle Gallery. The show was curated by Jim Osman and will be up from January 15th to February 19th. Here is a shot from the opening, via Trestle's chief curator Katerina Lanfranco.
It's that time of year again for Gowanus Open Studios! I will be participating alongside dozens of artists in my building (183 Lorraine Street) and over three hundred artists/art sites in the neighborhood at large.
The open studios run from 12-6 on Saturday the 17th and Sunday the 18th of October. Complete information and directions can be found here.
Come say hi!
UPDATE: Additionally I am delighted to announce that my studio will be included on two curator-led tours, The Brilliance of Abstraction (Saturday) and Material Matters (Sunday). Tickets available here.
This summer I had the great pleasure of showing my work at the Society for Domestic Museology. I was very taken with this gem of an "institution" from my first encounter at the opening of Joshua Kristal's show, where I found Heather and Joel to have created a uniquely rich environment for discussion and engagement with the work-- which continues beyond the night of the opening as they reflect upon what it's like to live with each installation. Here is an excerpt from Heather's write-up. The full text is here.
The meditative process of working with hair in this manner evokes the melancholy of its origins and the intimacy of working with the hair of a loved one. The finished product is an outward demonstration of that feeling. Spencer’s work, however, removes the personal connection: the work uses anonymously donated hair fashioned into a portrait of an anonymous woman. Mourning and sentimentality become abstract, as if in rebuke to our contemporary insistence on keeping death at a safe and sanitary remove.
Indeed, a lot of our conversation that evening was about rituals of mourning in contemporary American culture, how incoherent and discomfiting they can be. The Victorians may have had too heavy a hand in prescribing appropriate demonstrations of grief and mourning, current customs seem to lack any guidance at all. Outside of particular religious frameworks, there really isn't a normative understanding of what it means to grieve.
It has taken me a long time to write about this exhibition of Spencer's beautiful and compelling work. Although the opening was a celebratory occasion and an opportunity to talk openly about a subject fraught with fear and sadness, maybe I was avoiding the discomfort of confronting such unpleasant ideas. But death is simply unavoidable. Weeks after the opening, as I finally sat down to collect my thoughts, I learned that a friend who had been there that night had died unexpectedly, giving my perspective on this work a new and personal dimension.
I have found that living with these pieces has been a comforting meditation on the fleeting nature of time, and also on the importance of memory. To my own sensibility, the Victorian aesthetic of overwrought sentimentality, particularly in their hairwork, appears almost insincere, but its emphasis on memorializing a loved one is something universally relatable. Spencer's modern hairwork, minimal in its ornamentation and anonymous in both the materials and subjects, strips away this layer of the sentimental and asks us to really consider the universality of grief that lies underneath.