Martin Bromirski, Rachel LaBine,
and Elizabeth Riley
February 10 – March 11, 2012
Storefront Bushwick is pleased to present the work of Martin Bromirski, Rachel LaBine, and Elizabeth Riley. This show marks the first time that the artists have exhibited at the gallery.
All contemporary art-making is a response to what it means to live in the world today. The premise of the show is the multi-faceted nature of our experience of contemporary reality, which the artists draw upon to make their work. The three artists on exhibit share a free-wheeling, fractured sense of space, time, and reality, which they investigate in their work by stretching the boundaries of their practice.
Bromirski and LaBine are both abstract painters who extend the definition of paint on canvas by subjecting their works to a variety of “assaults,” including hole-cutting, pasting, sprinkling material such as sand (Bromirski) and layering non art-materials such as pillow cases (LaBine). The results are playful, surprising, and disorienting.
Rachel LaBine’s approach to abstraction is a process of excavation. Her painted constructions call attention to absence rather than presence, creating content by covering or erasing the figure or structures that have been created. The new spaces that arise are claustrophobic, fragmented, eerily quiet. They exist in competition with each other, a tension that is emphasized by marks that fluctuate between a clean, diagrammatic approach and an agitated loss of control.
Like the work of Rachel LaBine, Martin Bromirski shares an interest in process, surface, and an engagement with the support of the painting. The following qualities have been used to describe his work: distressed, brazen, garish, gloriously awful, grotesque, alien, and sci-fi. His works deliberately assault “good taste” and decorum in favor of otherworldly “objectness.” Perplexing and perverse, the work refuses to fit into a familiar canon.
Elizabeth Riley, who works in the interstices between video, installation, and sculpture, investigates the urban experience in multi-dimensional pieces that incorporate video, video stills, and other materials. Riley’s work combines stand-alone videos with sculpture/installation, often using as a formative visual element video stills that have been ganged consecutively and printed out using an inkjet printer. Her process creates a bridge between the familiar two-dimensional display of material images and the dematerialized moving image–a juxtaposition that mirrors the body/mind divide fundamental to human experience.
Riley’s “Tabletop Cityscape” is made of inkjet- printed video stills and found wood. The tabletop city includes a video of urban vignettes embedded in a 6″ hole and a small scale projection of the artist’s “Green Chair 2” video. The combination of humble, found materials with technology implies an allegiance to the past and a belief in the resources of the future. The work conveys both private and public modes of experiencing a city through the subjective experience of intimate spaces and the connectivity of public spaces. Along with the “Tabletop Cityscape,” Elizabeth Riley will show new digital collages made from video stills and ipad photos.
Martin Bromirski was born in Bennington, VT in 1968. He received his BFA from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. He subsequently lived in Albuquerque NM, Korea, many years in Japan, Richmond VA, and since 2007 has worked on a farm in upstate NY’s Washington County. Martin’s solo exhibitions include shows at The Philadelphia Art Alliance (PA), Marlboro College (VT), The University of the Arts (PA), ADA Gallery (VA), John Davis Gallery (NY), Wildlife (NY), and most recently Joshua Abelow’s Art Blog Art Blog (NY).
Rachel LaBine is a Brooklyn-based painter, originally from Grand Forks, North Dakota. She received her BFA from RISD in 2010. In New York she has shown at StandPipe Gallery, Curbs & Stoops, and with the G-Train Salon.
Elizabeth Riley: A long time New Yorker, Elizabeth Riley graduated from Barnard College and received an MFA from Hunter College. Her videos have appeared in screenings at home and abroad, including a two person screening at Creon Gallery in New York City in 2011, as well as venues in England, Madrid, Copenhagen and Berlin. Her three-dimensional work, most recently sculptures/installations including embedded video elements, has appeared in galleries and alterative spaces, renegade and pop up shows. She had a solo show at Rupert Ravens Contemporary, Newark, in 2010, and has been a guest host for the Studio Salon series, curated by David Gibson, in 2011. Her art has appeared at Sugar in Bushwick, NY Studio Gallery, Sideshow Gallery, PS 122, Nurtureart, and the Pool Art Fair in New York and Miami, the Art Now Fair, NY and Artropolis, Chicago. She has been honored with eight artist residencies, most recently the SIM Residency, Reykjavik, Iceland, in 2011, and the Fall Residency at Ox-Bow, in Michigan, in 2009. She was chosen for the Aljira Emerge Program, 2001.