Traversing boundaries, cultures gained and cultures lost, and sensations across time and space are continual themes in my work. I left India at age eight and, ever since, have worked to reconcile what has been lost and found. My work is a continual meditation on memory and the body using line, color and form. Each work begins with raw materials: wood panels cut from prefabricated doors, beeswax from local farms, damar crystals and basic color pigments. In natural light, these paintings carry a translucency created by pigments suspended in beeswax, evoking sensuousness, depth, and personal reflection. In 2018, I began a series of brown encaustic color studies to explore the limits of a single color’s expression. The series is a response to mass disenfranchisement under Trump and growing xenophobia against brown skin. To some, brown is beautiful. To others, it is dirty; the outsider, the enemy. These color studies mirror the skin of the NYC public school students I teach. By layering and blending loving and hateful associations to “Brown,” I have developed a personal meditation on Otherness. These meditations on “Brown” have naturally incorporated expressions of isolation, anxiety, and calm emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic.
For me, artmaking is the documentation of what I see and seek to understand. Watching, synthesizing, recording, I lay it all down with paint, no words, just light, color, shape and space.
I am interested in the word, the image, the symbol. I am in love with bone. I am fascinated with the body and the end. The body is an impermanent landscape which we cannot truly know until we have also contemplated its disappearance. Part of this encounter rests on inhabiting my body as a woman. The blood flows mysteriously and then departs, marking seasonality. I meditate on corporeality and femaleness. Always the questions: What does the body retain? What is encrypted? What is memorialized? I am drawn to elements of bone, dye, chiffon, paper, wood, and found objects. I like some materials for their precision, others because of their elusiveness. Once in hand, alchemy takes over, and what happens is unexpected. So it goes, as the unconscious emerges. I tear apart, unravel, and desecrate in an effort to get to the center. I collage to bring cohesion to what feels fragmented. I assemble what is fragmented within myself and those I have lost. I devour. I cannibalize. I resurrect. By altering and reassembling the image, I encounter the space between longing and loss, memory and erasure, permanence and dissipation. I inscribe experience, even as it recedes. The body is inscribed; the word is written. We linger in some ways, yet we are destined to vanish. I bear witness while I am here.
Grace Bakst Wapner’s work with urethane or satin, clay or bronze, chiffon or pipe cleaners in an interactive dialogue between material and object has been determinative in her process. In the early 1970s she erected walls and barriers constructed from satin and velvet, alluding to the dual nature of our social interactions, and now, in the 2000s, after working for years with clay and bronze, on paper and on canvas, she has returned to working with fabric, sometimes conjoining the fabric with clay. Throughout, there has been a continuing belief that the implementation of color, line, texture, and form can evoke abstract truth. She studied painting and sculpture at Bennington College and at Bard, where she participated in the MFA summer program. But it has been her intensive day-to-day studio practice and the looking at the work of other artists that have most significantly informed her work. She has had twenty-nine one-person shows, participated in over one hundred group shows, lectured and taught, and been the recipient of honors, grants, and awards. She believes that the singular and complex practice of making art both asserts and affirms our humanity.
Deborah Dancy is a multimedia abstract artist whose paintings, drawings, digital photography, and small sculptures play with the shifting intersection between abstraction and representation. Her many awards include a Guggenheim Fellow, a Yaddo Fellow, the American Antiquarian Society William Randolph Hearst Artist and Writers Creative Arts Fellowship, and the National Endowment of the Arts NEFA award. Her work is in numerous collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO; 21c Museum; the Baltimore Museum; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Birmingham Museum of Art; the Hunter Museum; the Detroit Institute of Art; the Montgomery Museum of Art; the Spencer Museum of Art; the Hunter Museum of Art; Vanderbilt University; Grinnell College; Oberlin College Museum of Art; Davidson Art Center; Wesleyan University; and the United States Embassy, Harare, Zimbabwe. She is represented by Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, NYC; Robischon Gallery, Denver; and Marcia Wood Gallery, Atlanta.
Lia Dostlieva (Лія Достлєва) is an artist, cultural anthropologist, and essayist, born in 1984, in Donetsk, Ukraine. She is the recipient of several scholarships, including the Gaude Polonia Scholarship Programme for a Foreign Cultural Professional and a Visiting Fellowship for work on Ukraine in European Dialogue from the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, Austria. Her exhibitions include Emplotment, featured in the Ludwig Museum in Budapest, Hungary, and Difficult Pasts. Connected Worlds in the National Gallery of Art in Vilnius, Lithuania. Her forthcoming exhibition, Black on Prussian Blue (with Andrii Dostliev), will be displayed at the Malta Festival in Poznań, Poland. She is the coauthor of Licking War Wounds, published by 89books in 2022.
Kelin Perry is an artist and architect born in Charlotte, North Carolina. She graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from SCI-Arc in 1979 and has since practiced architecture in Atlanta, Georgia, where she currently lives. Perry’s art centers on found materials, which she uses to evoke a sense of the fragility of beauty and the passage of time. She has cultivated a reverence for the unseen, discarded, and forgotten. Perry uses paint, paper, and other media as well, but the use of reclaimed materials is central to her work. Perry has been in group shows at Lowe Gallery as well as group shows and a solo show at Hathaway Contemporary in Atlanta. She has also been included in several shows and residencies at M. David & Co. in Brooklyn, where she is currently represented.