In Pursuit of A Meaningful Mark
Mindy Solomon Gallery is pleased to present “In Pursuit of A Meaningful Mark”. This group show includes the work of Andrew Casto, Jose Alvarez (D.O.P.A), Roberto Gomez, Alex Mcleod, Mathew McConnell, Osamu Kobayashi, Jason Stopa, Linda Lopez, Russell Tyler, Kadar Brock and Cody Hoyt. Each of these artists employs maximalist or post-minimalist approaches to abstraction. The past decade has witnessed a number of alternative perspectives to abstraction that fall within the spectrum of these polarities. This group often finds a formal language between the two.
Maximalism was originally used to describe visual trends taking place in New York. Art historian, Robert Pincus-Witten, applied the term to the plate paintings of Julian Schnabel and the image-saturated paintings of David Salle. History then grouped these two artists, among many others, under the trendy moniker of Neo-Expressionism. That term also applied, in that there was a major reaction to the heavy-handed seriousness of reductive Minimalism. Maximalism has since been used to describe the paintings of Kim Dorland and Dana Schutz. It positions itself with regard to an abundance of materiality – paint, found objects, imagery. Jose Alvarez’ (D.O.P.A.) paintings bear a hallucinogenic, exuberant quality. The artist is interested in ecstatic visual and physical pleasure. His work is about sensate engagement that can transport the viewer beyond physical reality.
Andrew Casto’s unrefined, handmade, humorous ceramics are coated in pop color. Goopy, yet intentional, they revel in crudeness. His opposite counterpart is Matthew McConnell, who infuses his black, semi-legible ceramics with a certain uncanniness. He makes soft sculpture, reminiscent of everyday, banal objects, yet repurposed in a world of unfamiliarity.
Some of these artists vacillate between both a maximalist and minimalist approach. Russell Tyler, Osamu Kobayashi, Jason Stopa, and Kadar Brock have processes that are incredibly considered. Their paintings are labor intensive, yet the resulting images appear effortless and simplistic.
The term Minimalism has been thrown around a lot. It has been used to sell furniture, clothes and even branded as an entire lifestyle. As an art historical term, it has been thoroughly divorced from its original usage. As Jorg Heiser notes, “[it] is not merely an ideal of reductive form, but also a methodology of allowing things to stand or speak for themselves in an unpretentious, matter-of-fact way, that is, without the claim of a grand genius mind purveying them; without the display of handicraft; replacing lyrical or dramatic movement with serial movement; and maybe most importantly: providing a structure in which production and reception can interact.”
The contingent that indicates an interest in reduction is interested in surface qualities, not a machine aesthetic but an aesthetic of tools/images that make paintings, sculptures. Cody Hoyt and Linda Lopez reveal a near obsessive fascination with geometry, yet their sculptures are playful, contradictory and mathematical. Hoyt is a trained as a printmaker, so it is unsurprising that his ceramics are pattern-based, with hard structural surfaces that look like woodcuts. Lopez makes ceramics that reference plush toys, nearly the opposite of what we associate with ceramics material properties. Alex Mcleod’s sculptures are hyperreal simulations of everyday objects, they border on functional design.
The important takeaway here is that these artists highlight spatial relationships between viewers and objects while drawing particular attention to the image being made. The works in this show reflect the varied potentialities at work in abstraction today. Utilizing the gallery space to full effect, the works on exhibit will reinforce and support the notion of diverse perspectives in contemporary art.
About the Artists
Andrew Casto was born in Delaware, Ohio in 1977. He received his B.A. from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, and his M.A. and M.F.A. degrees from The University of Iowa. After serving as an Assistant Professor at Mount Mercy and Kansas State Universities, Casto returned to The University of Iowa, where he is currently an Assistant Professor of Art teaching Ceramics and a member of the Public Digital Arts Faculty Initiative. He was a 2011-2012 long-term artist in residence, and the 2011 MJD fellow at The Archie Bray Foundation for Ceramic Art in Helena, Montana, and has exhibited work internationally in Spain, Croatia, Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Belgium, China, and Japan. Casto was awarded the second place award in the 2013 VII Bienalle International de Ceramic, in El Vendrell Spain, and the 2010 FuLe Prize by the International Ceramic Magazine Editors Association in Fuping, China. He was recently selected as a recipient of a 2015 Emerging Artist award by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), and has completed solo exhibitions at Galleria Salvatore Lanteri in Milan, Italy in 2016, and Mindy Solomon Gallery in Miami in 2017.
Jose Alvarez (D.O.P.A) was born in Venezuela and currently lives and works in South Florida. He graduated from the School of the Visual Arts in 1995. He began his career by making a name for himself through charismatic performances where he “channeled” the 2,000-year-old spirit of a shaman named Carlos. In front of live audiences around the world, Carlos’ performances and media broadcasts have been viewed by millions of people in the United States, China, Australia, Europe, and South America. These performances were the subject of a video work presented in the 2004 Whitney Biennial curated by Lawrence Rinder, and more recently at his solo exhibition at The Kitchen in New York curated by Debra Singer. He has performed at the NASA Johnson Space Flight Center, as well at the Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia.
Roberto Gomez (b. 1983) was born in San José, Costa Rica, and lives and works in Miami. He graduated with a BFA in Painting and Art History from New World School of the Arts/University of Florida in 2007. Gómez had a solo exhibition at Locust Projects, Miami in 2015 and is in the Permanent collection of the United States embassy in Costa Rica.
Alex McLeod is a Toronto-based visual artist who creates work about interconnection, life’s cycles, and empathy through the computer as medium. Prints, animations, and sculptures function as gateways into alternative dimensions, oscillating between the real and the imagined. McLeod holds a BFA from the Ontario College of Art and Design, and a Masters in Digital Media from the Yeates School of Graduate Studies at Ryerson University, Toronto. He has exhibited extensively at the provincial, national and international levels. His work is held in private and public collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Mathew McConnell(b. 1979, Johnstown, PA) holds an MFA from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a BFA from Valdosta State University in Georgia. He has held numerous solo exhibitions and his works have been included in group exhibitions in China, Australia, New Zealand, and in many venues across the United States. His most recent solo exhibition, February February was held at Mindy Solomon Gallery in Miami. He has been subject of feature-length articles in Ceramics Art and Perception, Ceramics Monthly, and New Ceramics. In 2012, Mathew was granted an Emerging Artist award from the National Council on Education in Ceramic Art. He has been a resident artist at the Archie Bray Foundation, Anderson Ranch, and Greenwich House Pottery, and served as the Artist in Residence and Guest Lecturer of Contemporary Craft at Unitec in Auckland, New Zealand in 2010. He is currently serving as an Associate Professor at the University of Arkansas, where he oversees the ceramics area.
Osamu Kobayashi (b. 1984, Columbia, SC) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He has exhibited widely in the US and abroad including solo exhibitions at Underdonk Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, A+B Gallery in Italy, Mindy Solomon Gallery in Miami, FL, and the 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, SC. He has participated in group exhibitions at the Lissone Contemporary Art Museum, Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery at Stony Brook University, and the Columbia Museum of Art. In 2013, Kobayashi was awarded the Hassam, Speicher, Betts, and Symons Purchase Fund from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work has been reviewed in Hyperallergic, The Observer, and Artsy. He is currently doing a residency in Italy, preparing for a two-person booth at Art Brussels and a solo exhibition, both with A+B Gallery.
Jason Stopa, b. 1983. is painter and writer living in Brooklyn, NY. He received his BFA from Indiana University and his MFA from Pratt Institute. He is a contributing writer to Art in America, Hyperallergic, and The Brooklyn Rail. He teaches at Purchase College and Pratt Institute and edits for a philosophy journal at Columbia University.
Linda Nguyen Lopez (b. 1981, California) received a MFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Lopez has exhibited her work in New Zealand, England and throughout the United States including Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville; Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles; Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach; The Hole, New York; Fisher Parrish, Brooklyn; and the Jane Hartsook Gallery at Greenwich House Pottery, New York. She has been an artist in residence at The Clay Studio, Archie Bray Foundation and Greenwich House Pottery. In 2016, Lopez received the Lighton International Artist Exchange Program Grant to be an artist-in-residence at C.R.E.T.A. Rome Residency Program. She is represented by Mindy Solomon Gallery in Miami, FL.
Russell Tyler (b. 1981 Summertown, Tennessee) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Tyler received his M.F.A. from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and his B.F.A. from Concordia University in Montreal. He has had solo exhibitions at Richard Heller Gallery in Los Angeles, Denny Gallery in New York City, Galerie Bernard Ceysson in France, Ribordy Contemporary in Switzerland, DCKT Contemporary in New York City, Freight + Volume in New York City, Alon Segev Gallery in Tel Aviv, Gordon Gallery 2 in Tel Aviv, and EbersMoore Gallery in Chicago. He has been included in group exhibitions at the Savannah College of Art and Design, the Torrance Art Museum, New Britain Museum of American Art, Anonymous Gallery, Retrospective Gallery, The Fireplace Project, Ana Cristea Gallery, Thierry Goldberg Gallery,ACME (Los Angeles), among others. His work has been reviewed or featured in Artforum, Hyperallergic, Modern Painters, T The New York Times Style Magazine, NY Arts Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail and Le Monde.
Kadar Brock (b. 1980, New York, NY) is a New York based artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Brock received his BFA from the Cooper Union School of Arts, NY in 2002. Recent solo exhibitions include bury enchantment (2019), PATRON Projects | New York, New York, NY; 9999 (2018), The Fireplace Project, East Hampton, NY; summon artifact (2017) at PATRON , Chicago IL; gifts ungiven (2016) at Vigo Gallery, London, UK; Cast With Flashback Cast With Flashback (2015) at Almine Rech, Brussels; Unburial Rites, (2015) at Vigo Gallery, London, UK; scry 2 (2014) at Gallery Diet, Miami, FL; and dredge (2013) at The Hole, New York, NY. Selected group exhibitions include: Wall Space (2018), NY(G), Brooklyn, NY; 12 x 12, 2016 (2017) Black Ball Projects, Brooklyn, NY; Cause The Grass Don’t Grow and The Sky Ain’t Blue (2016), Praz Delavallade, Paris, France; Theory of Forms (2015), PATRON, Chicago, IL; Space and Matter (2015) at Sperone Westwater, New York, NY; Surface Tension (2015) at Flag Foundation, New York, NY; Summertime (2015) at Galerist, Istanbul, TR; Brand New Second Hand (2014), Vigo Gallery, London, UK; and The Example (2013) at Bleecker Street Arts Club, New York, NY. Recently, Brock was an artist in residence at Palazzo Monti in Brescia, Italy and The Macedonia Institute in Chatham NY.
Cody Hoyt received his B.F.A. from the Massachusetts College of Art in 2007. He has exhibited in the US and abroad, including galleries such as Patrick Parrish, R and Company, David Gill, UNTITLED Art fair and Design Miami. He has created public artwork for the city of Columbus, Indiana and is a recipient of the Peter S Reed Foundation grant. Featured publications include Juxtapoz, Elle Decor, Architectural Digest, the Wall Street Journal and American Craft Magazine. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.