November 22- December 14, 2014
Opening Reception Saturday, November 22, 2014 6-10pm.
Pseudo Empire is proud to present The Knotted guest curated by Bull & Ram curatorial collective , Yevgenia Baras and Eve Lateiner . The Knotted unites the work of two artists from vastly different backgrounds into an intimate dialogue of material, color, and forms. Zahar Vaks, a Brooklyn-based painter, and Nancy Azara, a sculptor who has worked in New York since the 1970s,. The artists share a process of addition and reduction, affinity for materiality and natural processes itself while maintaining a bold will to break with conventions and challenge expectations around their own process.
Azara, known for her hand-carved wall sculptures broke with modern conventions of sculpture in her emphasis on natural matter and for the importance of color, namely paint in her work. Carved from found tree branches, bark sections and discarded construction projects, Azara transforms the material while celebrating its natural essence. Her carvings, simple patterns, form and shapes in bas relief, transform the wooden with an anthropomorphic character. As an active feminist (Azara has published writings on her experience as female artist in addition to a book about her practice), Azara draws upon the strength from spiritual archetypes existing in nature and across cultures.
Where Azara’s work starts with finding an unusual or precise section of wood or bark, Vaks’ paintings are the products of his attempt to loosen his process from the origin point of the smooth stretched canvas. His series of “loose paintings” begin on the floor, where Vaks begins to construct his composition of “material narrative.” Painted on linoleum, fabric, cardboard and paper, the work is then affixed to a canvas, which often forms a de-facto frame. Within the work, object appear and fall away, Valks toys with the elements of straight -edged architecture, but never fully commits to their existence–their forms contrast with the diffusion of the works‘s edges as the mounts do note extend to all side of the canvas. He seeks to create an environment of ambiguity, where potential for multiple meanings and ideas can co-exist, slowly revealing themselves through careful looking.
For the installation at Pseudo Empire, curators Baras and Lateiner allow the visitor in engage with both of these artists’ works within the intimate gallery space. The balance of geometry and natural abstraction shared in both Azara and Vaks’ practices creates a visual conversation of opposites, of similarities, of texture and a temporal evolution of material and narrative.
Mary Coyne , Founder of Pseudo Empire
Nancy Azara is an artist who has exhibited her sculpture and collages in New York City throughout the U.S. and abroad. Azara has recently exhibited work at Gallery Sensei, NYC; at Scripps College in Claremont, CA in conjunction with Women and Print: A Contemporary View and at the Asya Geisberg Gallery in Chelsea, NY. She had a solo show at the SACI Gallery in Florence, Italy and a residency at La Macina di San Cresci, Greve, Chianti, Italy. Azara has shown in numerous one woman exhibitions at Donahue/Sosinski Art, the Andre Zarre Gallery and A.I.R. Gallery in New York City, at the Froelick Gallery, Portland, Oregon, the SACI Gallery, Florence, Italy, the Tweed Museum in Duluth, Minnesota, Rudolph E. Lee Gallery in Clemson, N.C., the Gwinnett Fine Arts Center in Duluth, Georgia and many group shows such as the traveling Rutgers University exhibition How American Women Artists Invented Post-Modernism, 2006.
Zahar Vaks was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He moved to the United States after the dissolution of the U.S.S.R. He received his BFA from Tyler School of Art and his MFA from The Ohio State University. He has shown in Philadelphia, New York, Columbus Vienna Austria, Galveston Texas, and Hammond Indiana. He was invited to do the Galveston Artist Residency for the year of 2012-2013. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn NY, where he has a studio with the Chashama Studio Residency and an active of Ortega Y Gasset Projects.
Bull and Ram is a migrating curatorial project founded in New York City by artists Eve Lateiner and Yevgeniya Baras. The first series of exhibitions took place in Eve Lateiner’s art studio on Lafayette street in the Soho neighborhood of Manhattan in 2011. The second series of exhibitions took place at 1717 Troutman Street in Ridgewood Queens the following year. Bull and Ram continues to curate exhibitions and is always excited to work in new spaces.
Bull and Ram has exhibited the following artists: Meghan Petras, Maria Walker, James Hyde, Susan Bricker, Michael Berryhill, Paul DeMuro, Jackie Gendel, Susan Smith, Keith Allyn Spencer Joanne Greenbaum, Mike Metz, Jeff DeGolier, Gabert Farrar, Christian Sampson, Mira Dancy, Sascha Braunig, Stacie Johnson, Sarah Mattes Gwenn Thomas, Katherine Bernhardt, Katherine Bradford, Angela Dufresne, Peter Gallo, Jordan Graw, Danny Licul, Jason Stopa, Ashley Wick Lise Soskolne, Katherine Hubbard, Tatiana Kronberg, Alina Tenser, Devon Costello, Tova Carlin, Lee Maida, Alisa Baremboym, Holly Coulis Elisa Soliven, and Mitchell Wright.