Since March, the staff at Inman Gallery have sorely missed the normal gallery foot traffic and the conversations that enrich not only our work lives but our lives in general. With the gallery re-opening by appointment, we have happily been reunited with the art we love, but we are doubly missing our conversations with visitors.
Each Saturday for the next three weeks, a new group of artworks selected by each member of the Inman Gallery staff will be posted to this online viewing room, along with a short write up. If it's a pleasure to live with art, it is at least an equal pleasure to work with it, and it’s hard not to have favorites we want to share. This isn't a perfect substitute for an in-person visit, but we hope it's a start. As always, we look forward to the day we can welcome a larger group to the gallery, and until that time, we hope you feel free to make an appointment and come by.
Annalisa Palmieri Briscoe chooses:
Toni LaSelle, I didn’t know until 1971 that subtracting was adding, 1971
At the age of 70, Dorothy Antoinette "Toni" LaSelle embarked on a new series of works on paper titled Subtracting is Adding. LaSelle, known for her geometric drawings in Cray-Pas—fussy, waxy oil sticks, not particularly well-suited for delicate line work—took her usual sketchbook renderings one step further by erasing around the edges of the shapes to a halo-like effect. In some cases, this process created entirely new and unexpected forms. The redaction also added dimension. Another classy lady, Coco Chanel, famously said, "before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off." Here, we celebrate less is more.
I didn’t know until 1971 that subtracting was adding, 1971
Cray-Pas (oil pastel) on paper
12 x 9 inches
Michael O'Brien chooses:
Michael Jones McKean, the shade, 2015
I often read Michael Jones McKean’s practice through the lens of land art, a movement that produced many works that read as ruins from the future. McKean’s the shade, a floor-based sculpture from 2015, works similarly, while managing to advance that movement. Particularly striking is the sculpture's rounded, monochrome surface, which causes it to read like a computer’s 3D rendering. There’s something of Plato’s Forms in that, but cast in the digital age. It is timeless, maybe even matter-less, but always right in front of us.
Michael Jones McKean
the shade, 2015
diesel generator, stainless steel, marine resin, urethane, meta-anthracite, Matthews photo stand and light cutter, dyed felt
52 1/4 x 37 x 21 in (132.7 x 94 x 53.3 cm)
Frank Spicer chooses:
David Aylsworth, Always or Never And, 2018
This painting was my favorite work in Aylsworth’s exhibition last fall. I have admired David’s art over the years but was really moved by the new direction as seen in his recent body of work. The appearance of recognizable imagery, like this seascape and bird figure in the lower right, marks a pointed move away from his engagement with almost total non-objective painting. The expressive waves, pointed shapes, and colorful palette make this a truly remarkable evolution of Aylsworth’s style from his earlier days where white prevailed throughout most of his paintings. The dynamism is what truly drew me to this work in his most recent exhibition at Inman Gallery.
Always or Never And, 2018
oil on canvas
48 x 68 in (121.9 x 172.7 cm)
Maria Merrill chooses:
Beth Secor, Magnolia, The Drought 2011, 2011
I love the sense of space in this work on paper. The exuberance of the canopy of the Magnolia tree, the slope of the grass and the curve of the fence. It could be any tree, but we know that it isn't, it's this tree. The limited palette reminds me of a sepia toned old photograph which plays with my idea of time - are we in the present or the past? And then Beth's line work and the layering of the watercolor, ink, white out and pencil keep me interested and looking. After spending time with this piece, I pay more attention to trees, texture, grass and other small things when I go out on my walk. Beth reminds me to pay attention to the ordinary and the beauty here.
Magnolia, The Drought 2011, 2011
ink, watercolor, whiteout, and pencil on paper
20 1/4 x 16 in (51.4 x 40.6 cm)
OLGA SOBAKINA CHOOSES:
TOMMY FITZPATRICK, DOUBLE DECKER, 2020
'The way this work jumps off the canvas is so delicious to me. The perspective makes me imagine living inside of this structure with all of its vibrant colors and use of white. I could stare at this for hours and get lost in all of the three-dimensional spaces. The juicy paint makes me want to touch it or eat it!
Double Decker, 2020
acrylic on canvas over panel
16 x 16 x 1 1/2 in (40.6 x 40.6 x 3.8 cm)
MARIA MERRILL CHOOSES:
KRISTIN MUSGNUG, ASTER, BUSH CLOVER, ENGLISH PLANTAIN FROM SIDEWALK EDGE, 2017
I love the abstraction mixed with realism in Kristin’s work, the simple brushstrokes here that create the tray for her sidewalk find. The fact that Kristin pays attention to things that other people ignore ‘on their way to someplace beautiful.’ I love that what appears to be very precise from afar becomes so abstract when one is up close to the painting. The green moss, the light reflected on the leaf stem and how the shadows are precise and imprecise. I love how the chunk of earth is so honest, ‘here I am this is me and take a look.’ I am wowed by Kristin’s ability with paint and how she makes me take an extra look and pay attention.
The title is fabulous too, so straightforward, perceptions shifts, weeds become specific and things of beauty.
Aster, Bush Clover, English Plantain from Sidewalk Edge, 2017
oil and acrylic on panel
12 x 16 x 1 1/2 in (30.5 x 40.6 x 3.8 cm)
Annalisa Palmieri Briscoe chooses:
Dario Robleto, Survival Does Not Lie In The Heavens, 2012
This Dario Robleto triptych brings to mind Hubble Space Telescope photographs of colorful stars in our solar system. But in fact, the composite image features a collection of stage lights taken from the album covers of live performances of now-deceased Gospel, Blues, and Jazz musicians. Robleto has digitally removed the musicians and all referential information, save the lights that once illuminated the stage performer. Survival Does Not Lie In The Heavens is a poignant reminder that although stars (musical and otherwise) will fade with time, their music plays on.
Survival Does Not Lie In The Heavens, 2012
Triptych, Edition 5 of 5
digital inkjet print mounted on Sintra featuring a collection of stage lights taken from the album covers of live performances of now-deceased Gospel, Blues, and Jazz musicians
left and right, 31 x 31 in (78.7 x 78.7 cm) each; center, 46 x 46 in (116.8 x 116.8 cm)
Olga Sobakina chooses:
Dana Frankfort, TODAY, 2017
I love this work because of the collage effect and all the colors. There is so much to take in at first glance, yet everything is cohesive and somehow every corner tells its own story. The word “Today” energizes me and reminds me to make the most out of my day. I really enjoy the red “barely there” red strips of paint that are subtle but go throughout the entire work. It reminds me of a very sophisticated finger painting.
mixed media on paper
11 1/8 x 15 1/4 in (28.3 x 38.7 cm)
FRANK SPICER CHOOSES:
FRANCESCA FUCHS, KOALA BEAR, 2018
Francesca Fuchs’ Koala Bear (2018) is from her Children’s Objects series. As a parent, this work speaks to me in its delicacy and sweetness. The koala could be a toy that has personal meaning for the artist or perhaps it exists solely as a found object that may have been lost or abandoned. The power of images like this lies in the way they can elicit feelings of joy, longing or sentimentality for a childhood from long ago.
MICHAEL O'BRIEN CHOOSES:
DEMETRIUS OLIVER, EMBER - IX, 2008
Demetrius Oliver is elusive about the references in his work, but, for me, a clear possibility for his Ember series, of which there are nine, all dating from 2008, is Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. Ellison's narrator fills his living space with 1,369 light bulbs and siphons electricity off the electric company. He describes it: “My hole is warm and full of light. Yes, full of light. I doubt if there is a brighter spot in all New York than this hole of mine, and I do not exclude Broadway. Or the Empire State Building on a photographer’s dream night.” The image, even in our mind’s eye, is blinding, and the necessity of all this light for the narrator, who uses the condition of being invisible as a metaphor for being black in America, is thusly made poignant to an extreme. "Light confirms my reality, gives birth to my form,” he says later. Compare this scene with a statement provided by Oliver: “The Ember photographs are created by projecting slide images onto lightbulbs. Both the images and the bulbs used in the making of the photographs are taken from hotel rooms and apartments I have occupied.” His action here—a formal move applied to Ellison’s text—is stunning in its simplicity: he has taken Ellison’s depiction and turned it inside out. The resulting Ember images, austere, beguiling, downright difficult to decipher, reverberate with potential readings and meanings that align with one another, contradict one another, and lead down unexpected paths that resonate long after I have looked at them.