Parallel Art Space : Doppler


An exhibition featuring works that visually question or crush the illusion of difference between 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional space.

July 13 – August 18, 2013

Opening Reception: Saturday July 13th, 6 – 9 pm

Open: Saturdays and Sundays 1-6 pm

Parallel Art Space: 17-17 Troutman Street #220, Ridgewood, NY 11385 (map)

Direction: L Train to Jefferson St. / B57 (Flushing Ave) to Cypress Ave

The exhibition title refers to the Doppler Effect, or the relativity of sound wave frequency in relation to an observer.  Many of these works trigger a relational reaction, a synesthetic response or a wobbly eye.  The chosen artists have created works that straddle an unmapped space where static objects move and shift, triggering simultaneous sensory readings. Originally developed to accompany STOP & GO 3_D, a stop-motion animation festival curated by Sarah Klein, Doppler Stop (the original iteration of the show) included 19 artists and traveled through Europe and Croatia in spring and summer 2012.  DOPPLER features 22 artists living in the US and Europe.

Steven Baris, Philadelphia, US

Richard Bottwin, New York City, US

Edgar Diehl, Wiesbaden, DE

Kevin Finklea, Philadelphia, US

Brent Hallard, San Francisco, US

José Heerkens, Zeeland, NL

Gilbert Hsiao, New York City, US

Gracia Khouw, Amsterdam, NL

Sarah Klein, San Francisco, US

Stephen Maine, New York City, US

Gay Outlaw, San Francisco, US

Mel Prest, San Francisco, US

Debra Ramsay, New York City, US

Albert Roskam, Leiden, NL and Paris, FR

Karen Schifano, New York City, US

Iemke van Dijk, Leiden, NL

Henriëtte van 't Hoog, Amsterdam, NL

Ruth van Veenen, Haarlem, NL

Don Voisine, New York City, US

Nancy White, Redwood City, US

Guido Winkler, Leiden, NL

Patricia Zarate, New York City, US

Organized by Mel Prest

In advance of the exhibition Parallel Art Space asked Mel a couple of questions.

PAS - What inspired the original idea for the Doppler show?


MP - In 2006 I was introduced to Brent Hallard who at that time was living in Tokyo. Richard Schur, an artist from Munich, was visiting San Francisco and he and Brent curated show in Brent's project space, Bus dori, in Tokyo. That was a suitcase show with all artwork literally fitting into suitcase, carried to Munich and to Tokyo, and installed in venues there. The idea of working outside of a traditional gallery was exciting -creating these larger type of installations or constellations. Brent has become a close friend and through our discussions and discussions with other artists I got to meet a number of people outside of San Francisco.

The original show, Doppler Stop, was created as a way to collaborate with Sarah Klein, my best friend from school. Sarah had curated a stop-motion animation program called Stop and Go that travelled annually to Europe and Croatia. Since most of those animators were visual artists I selected still works from some participants for a show. When we returned to San Francisco we found a venue, Z Space, that was excited about the animations and the gallery show component. I installed a one month show with the work from the traveling suitcase and in situ works from the local artists as well. In 2012 Sarah curated Stop and Go 3D and much of the work was perceptually challenging, abstract and some were pieces by artists we had met in the previous years in the Netherlands and Germany.

PAS - How did you get involved in working with such a geographically spread group of artists?


The idea that a curation or an artistic movement would cross geographic boundaries was exciting to me. In meeting the artists in person (I have hung out with nearly everyone in the show) I felt like I was finding huge visual, practical (as in practice) and aesthetic connections, shared experiences and larger goals. In a few cases I have a feeling of brother/ sisterhood. And leaving behind the feeling of a two-dimensional regionalism or a style associated with a geography has been a good reminder to concentrate on doing one's own work and knowing it belongs somewhere. I think seeing the work together it's not possible to determine the artists from Germany, the Netherlands and the US because we are all speaking to different parts of the same thing.


PAS - Would you describe this iteration of Doppler different from the previous versions, and have the different iterations changed or adapted?


MP - I changed the name to DOPPLER as it is not linked this time to the animation show, that the show exists for the still works. Each time the work is installed there are new focal points, different ways the work pushes against each other in the space. The venue of the very first installation of Doppler Stop had one wall that was concrete, requiring a drill and the other wall was so pristine I could only use tape to hold the work!!! But, in the end, no one knew the conditions or restrictions for the install. 

DOPPLER has expanded to include three more artists whose work I wanted to include in past but couldn't include for some reason or because I was just introduced to their work and fell head over heels for it and couldn't resist. Honestly I can think of several other artists who I would add if I could.

PAS - Do you see curating/organizing a show like Doppler as an extension of you own art practice, and if so, how would you describe then the influence?


MP - I like to be alone in the studio a lot and to think my own thoughts. But I want to feel like it's not separate practices, or I'm doing it for someone or something else; I think it provides a way to collaborate with other painters and still do my own work. The best part is the way the artworks begin to work together when hanging the show- usually in collaboration with an artist who isn't in the show.

PAS - Would you say there would be a particular stylistic preference you are after when curating, and how do you relate to that in comparison with your own work?


MP - In the case of DOPPLER I feel a resonance between me/ my work and the artists/ works of the artists. I feel at home with the works, relaxed and stimulated by how they react and relate to one another, especially as they are re-installed in new venues and different conglomerations. Several years ago I co-curated a show, TRANS, with Richard Schur and Brent Hallard that evolved from an ongoing dialogue about abstract painting in our various countries (Germany, Japan and United States). In TRANS we included our works together with the works of several other abstract painters- that show I also felt close to. But I have also curated shows that have different subjects, that don't include or resemble my work, but I empathize with the artworks somehow.

PAS - Do you plan on doing additional iterations of Doppler in the future?


MP - As much as I believe in the work in DOPPLER and like the artists I'm working with, I don't know if I will continue to travel the show. I am one of those "part-timers" who teaches at five institutions, mentors private students, I sit on the board of a non-profit and also like to be in studio 5 days a week. I love doing all these things but I don't feel I can maintain everything at the level I'd like to. and So... definitely maybe. 

I'm also very grateful to the people who have trusted me to put something together in their spaces. These connections that take risks- allowing a show that is a group of people from all over whose work may not sell, etc...  these are difficult to find and I have been very lucky. I did approach a space in the Netherlands that had very strict ideas, wanted me to exclude some of the artists, to add some of their own artists, etc etc is not for me. It's a lot of work. I feel grateful that Parallel Art Space invited us to be here and when this happens it feels like the best fit. Thank you.