Parallel Art Space : Off the Wall

Off the Wall

February 22 – March 23, 2014

Hours: Sat/Sun 1-6pm and by appointment

Location: 17-17 Troutman Street #220, Ridgewood, NY 11385 [map]

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

The viewing of all painting from the Old Masters to the “Super Flat” is, among other things, an experience with space.  Different than the storied development of pictorial illusion in art, the space that is considered in “Off the Wall” is the actual, real-time environment of the art object; areas surrounding it, in front of it, and most especially behind it, in this case, the supporting wall itself.

The interest in and involvement with the wall behind the art perhaps has its roots in the rich tradition of the construction of the painted image, built up as it is, through the accretion of layers of pigmented medium, thin and close to the gessoed substrate in some areas, thick and impastoed in others. The Grisaille method of underpainting is an excellent example of this historic push and pull movement of paint through space as in this technique, the white highlights of a painting are built up in layers to a kind of shallow, bas-relief topography across the picture plane. The art makers long standing occupation with movement, both away from and out toward the viewer in space has modern examples in Frank Stella’s “Exotic Bird” series, wherein arabesque, curly-q drafting tool shapes leap brightly off the canvas, and in the monochrome, “Spatial” paintings of Lucio Fontana, wherein slashes through the stretched canvas pull the space just behind the artwork directly into viewer consideration.

The works in “Off the Wall” in some ways respond to these patterns of painterly innovation, contributing substantively to the discourse from their own points of intention and concern. Paired with a Post-modern era’s consideration of context, these artists, through the formal engagement of the art objects environs, pull context into co-operation. Existing both within the disciplines of painting, sculpture and design as well as in the liminal spaces in-between, the works in “Off the Wall” stay rooted to the wall, but not confined to it, vibrating out across the divisions  of two-dimensions to three and back again.

The paintings of Gilbert Hsiao seem to shimmer and are reminiscent of the way that light glints off reflective surfaces. Says the artist, “From my earliest forays into abstraction in the early 80’s, I was thinking in terms of making a static canvas appear to move …”  Also said to be profoundly influenced by myriad genres of music, Hsiao remounts, for the 1st time since it’s inaugural staging at The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, an immersive black-light style installation for “Off the Wall” entitled “Hit Parade”, wherein discs of glowing color become stand-ins for disc-jockey vinyl selections, displayed with turntable in tow.

Gilbert Hsiao (b. 1956, PA; raised Terre Haute, IN) has exhibited his work in solo and group exhibitions internationally, including in Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Thailand, and the United States. He has mounted solo exhibitions at MINUS SPACE, Dr. Julius | AP (Berlin, Germany), Gallery Sonja Roesch (Houston, TX), and White Columns (New York, NY), among others. Recent museum exhibitions include the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (Houston, TX), the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art (Ithaca, NY), Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (North Adams, MA), Gesellschaft für Kunst und Gestaltung (Bonn, Germany), and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center/Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY). In April 2012, Hsiao received the prestigious Space Award from the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation and was also awarded a Painting Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts in 2008. Hsiao is member of American Abstract Artists and he studied Art History at Columbia University (New York, NY) before receiving a BFA from Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, NY).

Stacie Johnson’s vibrant paintings straddle the arbitrary divisions between 2D & 3D space, employing angular and arcing linear elements compositionally throughout.  The artist says of her practice, “Moving from (almost) traditional still-life paintings to abstractions of various sorts, the practice is constantly exploring a mish/mash of

flatness and illusion, abstraction and representation.”  In addition to actual breaks in the physical forms of her work, Johnson employs painted chromatic hues to accentuate or subjugate the dimensional divisions within, lending some of the works a sense of heightened shadow and dreamy, noir-like space.

Stacie Johnson was born 1977 in Northwest Iowa. She received her MFA in 2004 from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has exhibited in New York, Chicago, London, San Francisco, Austin, Houston, Miami and St. Louis. Spending 2002-2009 in Chicago, she had six solo shows and developed an extensive exhibition record of group shows at alternative spaces such as Threewalls, Roots & Culture, Old Gold and Mini Dutch. Moving to Brooklyn in 2009, she set up a studio in the Bushwick neighborhood, where she also co-founded the curatorial collective and art gallery Regina Rex. In 2012, she created a street-level window painting at 111 Front Street for the Dumbo Arts Festival, attended the CAC-Woodside artist residency in Troy, NY, and exhibited at Eli Ping Gallery in NYC’s Lower East Side. In 2013, a solo show of her work was exhibited at Bull and Ram Gallery in Queens, NY and her work was included in the group exhibitions "Surface" at Judith Racht Gallery in Harbert, Michigan. #throwbackthursday / #flashbackfriday at Calico in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and "Head" at the Institute Library in New Haven, CT. She has upcoming group shows at Radiator Gallery in LIC, NY, Lamar Dodd School of Art Gallery in Athens, GA, and Hap Gallery in Portland, OR.

Alex Paik’s painted and small-scale paper constructions, literally take two-dimensional form, and bend and curl this form into 3 dimensions, compositionally engaging the wall through line and shadow.  Whimsical, charged and syncopated, these forms are said to be inspired by the artist’s experience as a classically trained violinist. Says Paik, “My small-scale paper assemblages hug the line between being tightly composed and loosely improvised and reflect my love of contrapuntal music, imitating the way that the theme of a fugue is repeated, turned upside-down, and folded into itself. “

Alex Paik was born in 1981 in Oxnard California and currently lives and works in Brooklyn.  His work has been exhibited recently at Millsaps College, Space 4 Art: San Diego, Nancy Margolis Gallery, Parallel Art Space, Crane Arts. Recent solo shows include Recapitulation Bop at Gallery Joe, Start to Move at Tiger Strikes Asteroid Philadelphia, and Polyphonic Improvisation at U Turn Art Space.  Paik’s work has been in several art fairs, including Pulse:New York and Miami, artMRKT San Francisco, and Texas Contemporary.  This spring, his work will be included in Drawing Now: Paris, an art fair of contemporary drawing.  He is currently represented by Gallery Joe in Philadelphia and is the director of Tiger Strikes Asteroid New York, an artist-run exhibition space in Bushwick.

Like an irregular gesture drawing come to colorful life, the works of Kim Tran inhabit the worlds of 2-dimensional and three-dimensional concern equally.  A self-described sculptor, Tran’s work nevertheless references the painterly concerns of juxtaposition, balance and relational placement.  Stemming from an interest in re-purposing materials that the artist traces to his native Vietnam, Tran employs discarded wood furniture, within his sculptures , from around the streets near his home in Long Island City, NY. With these disparate, detritus materials the artist constructs rectilinear riffs on form that assert both the painterly and sculptural imperative.

Kim Tran received his BA, MA, and MFA degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. He has had numerous exhibitions, both locally and internationally including such venues as Clocktower Gallery, NYC, The New Museum, NYC, the Laguna Art Museum, Laguna, CA, Ryllega Gallery, Hanoi Vietnam, and The Bronx Museum of Art, NYC. He is the recipient of the Asian Cultural Council Grant and the I.A.P. Grant. The artist lives and works in Long Island City, NY.

In the way that painters weave layers of shape, line,  and color across the canvas, so to does Ken Weathersby inter-lace his wood-based constructions with paint, collaged images and found objects.  On whether the material focus in his work pushes his concerns toward the sculptural, the artist has offered, “Because of the emphasis on physical aspects of painting, and the sometimes elaborate wood structures that develop, people have asked me if they are becoming sculpture. The answer is no, even if the thing becomes free-standing, it’s still painting. Responding to the conditions of painting gives me something to work against. “  By working against the concerns of painting, the artist mines the oft times under-appreciated areas at the margins of consideration, the edges, the borders of form and the spaces in between.

Ken Weathersby’s works were seen in the 2013 solo shows Silent Opera at One River Gallery in Englewood, NJ and Cache at NIAD Art Center Gallery in Richmond, CA.  2012 exhibitions include the solo Strange Fit at Pierogi Gallery in Brooklyn and Post-Op at Mixed Greens Gallery in New York. In 2011 his paintings were seen at the art galleries of the University of Maryland, Kent State University, University of Delaware, University of Dayton and the College of St. Elizabeth.  His paintings also appeared in the National Academy of Art Museums 183rd Annual: An Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary American Art in New York and in the exhibitions Working It Out, and Continuing Color Abstraction at the Painting Center in New York.  Weathersby received an MFA in Painting from Cranbrook Academy of Art and has lived in or near New York City since 1990.

Gallery Info:

Parallel Art Space is an artist run exhibition space committed solely to exhibiting exceptional visual art. Positioned on the border of two of New York City’s most densely artist-inhabited and culturally rich neighborhoods (Bushwick, Brooklyn and Ridgewood, Queens) we endeavor to provide an exhibition platform based upon excellence, contribution and connectivity; serving the parallel interests of artists, community and culture alike.

17-17 Troutman Street - # 220 - Ridgewood NY 11385  • Open on Weekends 1 - 6pm, and by appointment • parallelartspace[at]