Terra Incognita


Lisa Corinne Davis, Shane McAdams,

Kristine Moran, and Aaron Williams

December 13, 2013 – January 18, 2014

Terra Incognita brings together the work of four artists who reinterpret notions of landscape. Each is influenced by the transformation of our world by digital technology as well as by the centuries-old tradition of painting.

Lisa Corinne Davis’s paintings codify the structure of information and explore complex relationships of race, culture and history. Central to the idea of the work is that meaning can be read into abstract painting and whatever one reads into the forms can shift in a moment. Form and content merge and meaning is embedded in formal decisions that provide a metaphorical reservoir. Working with the logic of the poet rather than that of a demographer, Davis sets up categories, collects data, codes information and creates graphs and charts to play with place as a geographical, metaphorical and metaphysical concept. Intrinsic to the work is a desire to hone the language of abstract painting to describe the complex state of our contemporary culture.

Central to Kristine Moran’s paintings are moments of biotic, supernatural and aesthetic metamorphosis in the elaboration of two salient figures: the mystic and the cycad. The cycad are among the earliest colonizers of terrestrial habitats, predating palms and flowering plants by millions of years. They have come to symbolize eternal life, a counterpoint to the role of flowers in vanitas symbolism. In Moran’s most recent works, painting operates as a complex narrative format.  The artist references the takeover of the cycad by the arcane figure of the mystic–a profoundly ambiguous, shape-shifting character whose hallucinatory rites, transmutations and spirit-channelling stem from an unrelenting impulsion toward immortality. Moran’s painting wends an allegorical trajectory through the critical conflicts that characterize today’s eco-political and bio-ethics fault lines.

Shane McAdams’ work reflects the dueling relationships between natural and synthetic forms–those that look like nature versus those that are nature. In McAdams’ work, such forms are often analogs or traces of the methods of their creation. They take root in the physical properties inherent within specific, mundane materials such as Elmer’s glue, correction fluid, ballpoint pen ink and resin whose limits are stretched by subjecting them to non-traditional applications. The processes reflect the physical forces that are constantly working to fashion and sculpt the natural landscape. By bracketing them with hand-rendered, “traditional” images of landscape, the artist evokes the duality between the actual and the artificial, forcing the viewer to question what is considered “artificial” in a world where artifice is increasingly the norm and reality is the exception.

Aaron Williams’ work combines mass-market imagery and raw construction materials with traditional ideas and strategies of fine art-making.  In doing so, he questions commonly held notions of art making as well as the relationship between personal and broadly disseminated imagery.  For the pieces in Terra Incognita, Williams borrows from popular geometric patterns, the paintings of Frank Stella and the carpet design from the Overlook Hotel in the film The Shining. He sets within these patterns stock landscape images, depicting such scenes as an idyllic palm tree in the Bahamas and a majestic European peak.  Blended together through intricate patterning, these idealized scenes merge into a single environment, calling into question the validity of each individual component and positing the notion that a new, morphed reality is as relevant as its constituent parts.  Inherent in this work is a questioning of Williams’ own creative history and ideas surrounding painting and abstraction.  His work asks if the high-minded ideals contained within abstraction remain relevant when combined with simple, poster print images and building materials.  Ultimately, Williams’ interest lies in the compounding and collapsing of these arguments, finding the places between concepts to forge new pathways for expression and fresh reasons to introduce marks onto a surface.

About the artists 

Over the course of nearly two decades, Lisa Corinne Davis has created a wide range of work–from collage to drawings to paintings and sometimes a mélange of all three–that examines her place in the world, and, by extension, the place of an individual in modern society. Born in Baltimore, Davis received her MFA from Hunter College and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She has exhibited her work across the United States and is currently represented by Gavin Spanierman in New York. Her work is included in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, The Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.  Lisa’s work has been reviewed by The New York TimesArt in America and ArtNews and she is the recipient of numerous awards, including The Louis Comfort Tiffany, a National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artist Fellowship and two New York Foundation for the Arts Visual Arts Fellowships. In addition, Lisa has written several essays on art and culture for the Brooklyn Rail and is an Associate Professor of Art at Hunter College.


Kristine Moran was born in Montreal and now lives and works in Brooklyn. She received her MFA from Hunter College in 2008. She has shown internationally with exhibitions at Monica De Cardenas Gallery, Milan; Daniel Faria Gallery, Toronto; Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto; and Western Exhibitions, Chicago. Her work has been the subject of extensive coverage in numerous contemporary arts periodicals, including Artforum‘s Critics’ Picks and is featured in the recent Phaidon publication Vitamin P2. Kristine recently had her third solo exhibition at the Nicelle Beauchene Gallery in New York City.


Shane McAdams is an artist and writer splitting time between Brooklyn, NY, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He received his MFA from the Pratt Institute and has shown his work at Caren Golden Fine Art, Allegra LaViola Gallery, Marlborough Chelsea, Elizabeth Leach Gallery and Janet Kurnatowski. His work has been reviewed in The New York TimesThe New York Observer, and The Village Voice. He has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design and Marian University and continues to contribute cultural criticism and art reviews to theBrooklyn Rail and to the blog Bad at Sports.


Aaron Williams was born and raised in Rhode Island and holds a BFA from the Maine College of Art and an MFA from Rutgers University.  His work has been exhibited in several venues in New York, including Max Protetch Gallery, Lu Magnus and Mulherin & Pollard.  He recently had a solo show at Lamontagne Gallery in Boston and is currently included inPiece Work at the Portland Museum, Portland ME and Work in Progress at Garis & Hahn Gallery, NYC.  Williams lives and works in Queens, NY.



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In the project space:


Portraits by Contemporary Artists

w/ Nathan Anspaugh, Jerstin Crosby,

Barbara Friedman, Daniel Heidkamp,

Michael Peglau, Eric Trosko and Mie Yim

About the artists 

Nathan Anspaugh was born in Dayton, Ohio, in 1981.  He attended the University of Central Florida, earning his BFA in painting and graphic design in 2004.  He has been an artist in residence at Stiftung Starke in Berlin and in Venezuela through the Venezuelan American Endowment for the Arts.  His work has been exhibited at Pocket Utopia on the LES, English Kills Gallery, Centotto Gallery, Fountain Art Fair,  as well as at numerous other venues in New York City.  His work is currently included in a traveling exhibition sponsored by the Venezuelan American Endowment for the Arts, 5 x 5 Real / Unreal, on view at the Museo de Art Acarigua Araure in Venezuela from November 2012-May 2013 and opening November 7th, 2013 at One Art Space, in Tribeca. Nathan Anspaugh lives and works in Ridgewood, NY.

Jerstin Crosby was born in 1979 and lives and works in New York.  His broad approach to art encompasses projects such as a rave cave bumping techno from a slice of pizza, a goth fan-art episode of Seinfeld, 3-D printed folk art pottery, paintings inspired by computer modeling, an international joke archive and a musical score composed of blood alcohol levels.  His work has been exhibited internationally at Cell Projects in London, the 9th Shanghai Biennial in China, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Exit Art, Lump Gallery, the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh, La Galería de Comercio in Mexico City and Kallio Kunsthalle Taidehalli in Helsinki.  He received an MFA from the University of North Carolina and is the Founder of Acid Rain, a project that distributes art works through mass media such as television broadcasts and electronic publications.

Barbara Friedman has lived and shown her work in New York City since 1983 after receiving her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and her MFA from UC Berkeley.  She has been a professor of art at Pace University since 1983.  She has had over a dozen solo exhibitions in New York City, most recently at the Painting Center (2012) and Michael Steinberg Fine Art (2007, 2009).  Other solo exhibitions include BCB Art in Hudson, NY (2013), Van Brunt Gallery in Beacon (2008), and Ober Gallery of Kent, CT (2008).  Local exhibitions of the last twelve months include Four Who Paint at Valentine Gallery, 20/20/2013 at Studio 10 in Bushwick and The Ghost in You at Gallery 304 in Chelsea.  Reviews of Friedman’s work have appeared in the The New York Times, the New York SunThe Irish TimesNewsdayArt in AmericaARTS Magazine and Artweek.  A group of her paintings were selected for the 2007 and 2010 issues of New American Paintings.

Daniel Heidkamp was born in Wakefield, Massachusetts, in 1980 and earned his BFA at the School of the Museum of the Fine Arts in Boston in 2003. His recent solo exhibitions includeSneeze Buds at Half Gallery in New York and Glow Drops at the Chill Spot at Champion Contemporary in Austin. He is currently preparing for a 2014 solo show at White Columns in New York. Heidkamp lives and works in Brooklyn.


Michael Peglau is originally from the Cottonwood area of the Salt Lake Valley, Utah. He has a B.A. from Stanford University where he studied Art and Art History. He has both a M.A. and a Ph.D. in Art History from Bryn Mawr College and the University of Pittsburgh, respectively, and he has a M.F.A. in Painting from Rutgers University.  He has been showing his paintings and drawings since 1977 and has exhibited since 1982 in a variety of galleries in New York.  He has had shows in New Orleans and Cologne as well as in several other cities in the U.S.  He has written a number of articles focused on some uses of critical theory, psychoanalysis and deconstruction and its background in phenomenology in contemporary art theory. Since 1982 he has taught painting and drawing at Drew University in Madison, NJ.


Eric Trosko was born in 1974 in Wilkes-Barre, PA. He was raised in the surf and sand dunes of Cape Cod MA, and received his BFA in painting from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and his MFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute. Forever on the periphery, he has exhibited his paintings in various galleries in New York and nationally. In addition to painting, he is the founding member of the experimental sound art performance group, Paradise Club. He lives and works in Bushwick, Brooklyn.


Mie Yim was born in South Korea in 1963. She grew up in Hawaii, then moved to Philadelphia, earning a B.F.A. from the Philadelphia College of Art and spending a year at the Tyler School of Art program in Rome.  Her work has been displayed in numerous international exhibitions including solo shows in 2004 at the Lehmann Maupin Gallery in New York and the Galleria in Arco in Turin, Italy.  She was a featured artist in Selections at the Drawing Center.  She has been in group exhibitions at ATM Gallery, Michael Steinberg Fine Art, Feature, Inc., all in New York; the Ise Cultural Foundation, New York; the Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kansas; and The Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, North Carolina. She was awarded the AIM program at The Bronx Museum of the Arts in 1991 as well as Jurors Award at NYU Gallery in 1993.  Her work is in collections around the world including Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, and the Chambers Hotel in New York City.  Currently she lives and works in New York City.


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