Kurt Steger: Scribing the Void
Dates: July 7- Aug 21,2016
Opening Reception: Thursday, July 7, 2016 6-8PM With special guests: Original sound composition by RSM
Artists Talk: Sunday July 24 at 4:00 pm
Hot Summer Nights, Friday July 15, 6-9 pm
The Poem As A Place Through Which To Roam, a reading with artist/poet Janet Passehl Saturday July 30, 3:00 PM
The Tempest, Bushwick Shakespeare, Sunday August 7, 3:00 pm
Musical composition accompanying this project by RSM
Our final exhibition for this season is very special. Kurt Steger: Scribing the Void, is a solo exhibition comprised of a single suspended wooden sculpture that was built on-site, filling the gallery space.
Created by tracing the contour of a boulder found in Central Park, Kurt then transferred this line, in the same orientation into the gallery, thus presenting the void. In a time of instantaneous reproduction and exchanges of information, Kurt slows it down. Delegating each inch to a rigorous attention to detail in the copying and transferring onto to wood panels, then cutting, sanding, joining, and ultimately, applying this line to musical transcription.
Although its rock foundation is absent within the gallery, viewers are invited to walk in, around, and under the hanging sculpture to observe the organic, wave-like pattern recorded in the base of its otherwise rigid, multi-faceted surface.
Adding to the uniqueness of the exhibition, Kurt Steger has invited the composer RSM to create a sound element that would essentially “fill the void” of the missing boulder. RSM and audio engineer Theodore Klein will use the scribed line of the rock as the musical score, filling the physical void of the stone with sound.
Scribing the Void fills the gallery space, measuring 27 feet long. As one travels the length, and circles the piece, they begin to make the visual and aural connection to the surface of this boulder through this organic line, the beauty of the wood paneled back, and the music. Through RSM's original composition, Void, it's almost as if the rock's voice is being expressed. We ponder our emotional connection to this missing rock, thinking and envisioning Central Park's geological history.
Watch this video on YouTube
Video/Timelapse credit: Gregory Randolph
Scribing the Void Flat File Artists
will feature works by Jesse Hickman, Lisa Kellner, Karen Schiff and Kurt Steger
In the Flat Files: ODETTA’s Flat Files are curated and change with every exhibit. For Scribing the Void, featured artist Jesse Hickman will create an installation of sculptural works on the back wall in the studio area of ODETTA. Kurt Steger will exhibit artifacts from the transcribing process, Lisa Kellner and Karen Schiff will be showing new works selected specifically for this exhibition.
A graceful metal sculpture created from altered/ transformed materials, “Urban Transformation,” poses found, industrial steel against a craggy, textured, bark-like bronze elements. The twisted and bent structural steel, inscribed with the scars of its material history, wraps around the sand-cast bronze. The bronze is cast from former military scrap and shaped through the physical processes of the pour, transforming found metal from a former violent function into unpredictable sensual beauty. The bronze appears, reddish /brown/ gold in the sun against the rugged, rusted steel remnants, emblems of the transitory impermanence of industrial structures. “Urban Transformation” reaches up plant-like with an apparent optimism of new life. The tree-like form echoes the natural environment.
Linda Cunningham is a New York City based artist who exhibits extensively both in New York and Germany, and most recently with Odetta Gallery, Bushwick, Brooklyn. A recent significant installation, created for “No Longer Empty” at the Bronx, Andrew Freedman House was exhibited in the Bronx Museum, 2014, sponsored by Bronx Alliance of Arts Organizations. Recent one person exhibitions include Abington Art Center, Philadelphia, the Fundacion Euroidiomas, Lima, Peru, StattMuseum, Cologne Germany, and the 2 x 13 Gallery, Chelsea, NYC. The Bronx Museum displayed her installation ”Urban Regeneration” for the years 2009/10 on its terrace, and her sculptural installation, “”Urban Regeneration II” was exhibited in two locations at Westchester Square in the Bronx in 2015. Her monumental public sculptural installations & alternative memorials are permanently sited in Cologne, Kassel, Bad Hersfeld & Cornberg, Germany, & Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, N.J. Temporary installations were formerly at the CUNY Graduate Center on 42nd St across from Bryant Park, and in Tribecca. “Divisions” her sculpture installation formerly at sited at UN Plaza, New York 1997-1998 is on extended loan to Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio and is to be acquired this summer by City of Sculpture, Hamilton, Ohio. She is the recipient of grants from the Bronx Council on the Arts, Pa Council on the Arts, Fulbright Senior Research fellowship, Berlin, Arts International Kade Collaborative Works, and the John Anson Kittredge Foundation.
Susan Stair, a local resident of the Marcus Garvey neighborhood, has an ongoing diary of trees pressed in clay from Marcus Garvey Park. Both trees and parks are symbolic of urban life. Her daily life includes walks in the park. During these walks she finds trees with unusual bark patterns that she then transfers to clay. Tree bark has some of the same properties as human skin revealing a story of race, age, damage and survival. It’s possible to identify tree bark as one would identify a human face.
For FLUXFair_2016, Stair will symbolically present the parallel life of 2 species that exist together in the urban environment. Acknowledging the people who tend and cull the trees which ultimately provides healthier air quality for all of us.
“Tree Reflections” celebrates the tensile power of an Osage Orange tree in Marcus Garvey Park. Its interwoven fibers secured this tree’s prominence in our nation’s westward expansion. “Tree Reflections” is a mirror, a clay picture of the adjacent and adjoining tree. Mosaics in glass tile mirror the branches of the Osage Orange that hang over the fence.
Susan Stair has worked for over thirty years, both nationally and internationally, exploring natural landscapes. Working in media spanning textile and collage to works on canvas, her work evokes a sense of space and place.These “Clay Drawings” are life castings from trees with which she seeks to capture the spirit of individual trees and forests.
Her paintings and installations have been featured in exhibitions in the Philippines at Galleria Duemila and the U.S. Embassy, the Fringe Gallery in Hong Kong, the Tokyo Design Center, and the Hong Kong Cultural Center.
Nationally, Stair has exhibited in NYC, Philadelphia, and Rochester, NY, The Affordable Art Fair, ODETTA, the Julio Valdez Project Space and Art in Flux, New York.
After completing a 9’ x 18’ mosaic mixed media mural for the Rosa Parks School in the Bronx, NY in 2009, Stair was invited to create a public project for the Emerge International Art Fair in Washington, D.C. and installed a Tree Mosaic at the Stone Quarry Art Park with a subsequent Tree Mosaic installed in Rochester in 2015. Stair currently exhibits with ODETTA Gallery in Brooklyn.
“Urban Structure” honors nature by shaping itself around the existing environment: rather than removing or destroying the boulder, it meticulously forms itself to the unique shape of the rock metaphorically modeling how harmony between man and nature can be achieved. With a controversial 30-story residential building as its backdrop, the sculpture is designed to co-exist with nature and architecture, fusing the two with thoughtful design and skill. “Urban Structure” underlines the idea that we can choose to build upon our environment in harmony with nature, and in so doing, create uplifting and inspiring public spaces within an urban milieu.
It was Picasso who said, "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." While her work in Child's Play is not meant specifically to capture the exact meaning of this quotation, she believe in its efficacy at getting at the root of what makes art compelling, of what makes making art compelling. Time spent in the studio is as close a return to childhood as she can imagine. There is nothing else like it; time falls away. The playfulness that emerges in her imagery is in part an expression of joy. Meg Atkinson is an artist and art educator. She has exhibited in the New York and tri-state area, including shows at Morgan Lehman Gallery and Storefront Ten Eyck. Meg has also contributed to the blog, Painters on Paintings, and has had fiction published in BookCourt’s literary magazine, Cousin Corinne’s Reminder. Meg lives and works in Brooklyn.
Kenny Colors is a mixed media painter currently residing in Queens, NY. Born in 1983 in Central New Jersey, he attended Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI from 2001-2005, earning a BFA in Painting.
At an early age, he showed an affinity for artistic expression using the colorful toys and games of his childhood. Sports and games held something of a sacred status with him, exemplified through his dedicated following of local professional sports teams. To him, a pro sports game was more than a game; it was the sanctification of the lighthearted.
After moving to Brooklyn, NY in 2006, began to study improvisational comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, which develops his sense of play in the dynamic stage environment, an experience that affected him both on a personal and artistic level. Kenny wrote, acted, directed and produced multiple stage and video shows in the period from 2006-2010. The shows were loose riffs around a central, absurd story, usually rich in 80s & 90s pop culture nostalgia.
It wasn’t until 2011 that Kenny recommitted to a studio practice. Working closely with digital drawing tools, he meticulously painted Photoshop reproductions of old video game scenes. To counter this digital heavy approach, Kenny also pursued a series of expressionist, mixed media collages using print outs of Internet-based images. These works were shown in various Brooklyn group shows in 2012-2013.
Soon after, Kenny became heavily influenced by craft store materials such as pipe cleaners, craft poms and googly eyes, as well as other dollar store toys. The cheap and goofy nature of these materials were perfectly conducive to an even more lighthearted approach to his art making. In 2014, he transformed his basement home studio into an “Art Funhouse”, painting bold, busy patterns on the walls as a backdrop for a series of fabric covered paintings. This style was also carried out in his 2015 installation “The War Of War” at Christopher Stout Gallery in Brooklyn, NY.
In the body of work for “Child’s Play” Roleke has created diminutive worlds in which toys tell the story of consumption, consumerism, war, and the misuse of power and religion. The monochromatic tableaus are a vehicle for contemplative meditation but jarring elements keep the viewer unsettled.
Margaret Roleke is a sculptor and also makes works on paper. She has lived and worked in New York and Connecticut for most of her life. Her work has been exhibited often. Highlights include a solo exhibit in 2016 at Arcilesi and Homberg Fine Art on the lower eastside of NYC and a 2-person show at ODETTA in 2015. She has been reviewed in The New York Times, Hyperallergic, and other publications. Her sticker pieces are in the flatfiles of Pierogi.
Eileen Weitzman’s new work is influenced by my extensive travelling and uses materials and designs found in the Middle East and Africa. These lively colored and patterned sculptures explore contemporary issues of global concern with a smattering of psychological insight and wit. Her stitched drawings, reflecting the schizophrenic tensions of daily life, attempt to jump out of their foundation and create a life of their own. All of the pieces were started with a smidgen of an idea and evolved organically while searching for the meaning of life.
Eileen Weitzman was born in Chicago, Illinois. She received an MSW and JD, but in recent years she has concentrated on her self taught art making. Her work has been exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally at Windows Gallery (Birobidjan,Russia ), Newark University Gallery,(Newark, NJ), Pierogi Gallery, Monumental Propoganda (NY,NY, Canada and Russia) and Centotto Gallery, Valentine Gallery, and Life on Mars Gallery (Bushwick, NY). She has received a fellowship from Vermont Studio Center, artist grants from Artists Space and Puffin foundation and an NEH grant.
Recently she travelled to Egypt and Ethiopia on an artist residency where she lectured at Zoma Contemporary Art Center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She is currently working with the artist program at Creedmoor Living Art Museum where she has worked for many years.
Her work is in private collections in New York, Berlin, Germany, Paris, France, Chicago,Houston, Phoenix and San Diego.
Kurt Steger’s sculptures and architectural constructions address the interdependent relationship between man and his environment. His interest in psychology, shamanism, and the healing properties of art and nature are present throughout his work. Steger’s public large scale works includes an environmental indoor sculpture for the City Hall in Sacramento, California (2005), a public commission to create the traffic circle in Grass Valley, California (2009), and in 2011 he led a healing ceremony at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., honoring the 10 year anniversary of the 9/11 bombings. Steger lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.