Washington Post Review Museum Review

Washington Post Review Museum Review

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IN THE GALLERIES: University of Maryland spotlights six former students

Something of an artistic class reunion, the University of Maryland Art Gallery’s “Laid, Placed and Arranged” showcases recent work by six people who studied at the school between 1990 and 2010. The work is mostly mixed media, which suits the show’s aesthetic: stark and reductive, yet abundant in its range of materials.

The only participant who is chiefly a painter is Laurel Farrin, who contributes a sort of trompe-l’oeil abstraction with lengths of black and yellow that resemble pieces of tape. Most of the others use pigment in assemblages or primarily sculptural pieces. Among these are Francie Hester’s compositions on acrylic discs and aluminum bars — soft patterns on hard surfaces — and Hiroyuki Hamada’s mysterious, coffinlike forms, made of painted resin.

Ellington Robinson and Wilfredo Valladares like to play with fire. Jumbled scraps of burned paper provide the backdrop for a Robinson combine that includes several punching bags. Both of Valladares’s aggregations include carefully charred rolling pins, alongside other intentionally damaged relics of domestic tasks.

The cleanest lines are courtesy of Meg Mitchell, whose “Fern Stations” place small plants between sets of large wooden speakers that broadcast drones, ringing tones and birdlike tweets. The natural world might be the inspiration, but it sounds far away. That’s characteristic of these artists, whose methods usually involve not observation, but manipulation and even destruction.

Laid, Placed and Arranged
Through Dec. 8 at the University of Maryland Art Gallery,
1202 Art-Sociology Building, College Park.
301-405-1474. artgallery.umd.edu.

Fonseca, Fox,Yurcisin & Williams

There’s an intriguing echo of Wilfredo Valladares’s fire-shaped rolling pins in “Over, Under, Through,” a BlackRock Center for the Arts show whose three artists work with everyday stuff. Suzi Fox carves the wooden handles of hammers and clasps so they resemble human fingers. The artist responds to the innate sculptural qualities of practical items, while blurring the distinction between tools and their makers.

Fabiola Alvarez Yurcisin also works with found objects, notably a technology that’s nearly outmoded: videotape, which the artist weaves into walls and boxes. “Tile Play” is nine panels of interlaced ebony ribbon, recalling minimalist painter Ad Reinhardt’s arrangements of squares in slightly different shades of black.

Elisa Berry Fonseca’s materials include steel, but it’s often used to support constructions of fabric and paper. The artist’s wall pieces emphasize outlined forms, while free-standing sculptures suggest buttes and stalagmites, sometimes with mineral-like striations. What might be a sweater in another dimension here becomes a miniature landscape. That’s exemplary of all three artists, who find the distinctive in the ordinary.

In the upstairs gallery, Cedric Williams goes beyond merely documenting the ruin he finds at obsolete industrial sites. The evocative photo collages of “Dereliction” begin with images of a defunct Maryland cement factory or an abandoned North Wales quarry. They’re framed by bits of fabric and cardboard and caked-on sand and gravel — symbolic and actual traces of rock and earth. The Wales-bred Marylander’s pictures are in black-and-white; the 3-D elements add just brown and rare touches of green to the gritty palette. If nature is healing these man-made wounds, the process must have barely begun.

Read More: Washington Post Review — In The Galleries

CONTEXT Art Miami

CONTEXT Art Miami

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Booth #C318 Represented by Susan Eley Fine Art, New York City

CONTEXT Art Miami is the sister fair to Art Miami dedicated to the development and reinforcement of emerging and mid-career artists.  Over 100 international galleries, vetted by the CONTEXT Art Miami Selection Committee, exhibit highlights from their gallery programs, solo artist exhibitions and curated projects. The combined efforts of CONTEXT Art Miami and Art Miami provide a unique and alternative opportunity for leading primary dealers and their artists to be marketed contemporary art in America.

Wordfall and Art and Healing

Wordfall and Art and Healing

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With growing evidence that they can help patients and their families heal, art installations and exhibits are becoming more prevalent in cancer centers.

MARILYN FENICHEL

When Alice Momm, art advisor for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) in New York City, was asked to find a compelling piece of art for the Josie Robertson Surgery Center, MSK’s new outpatient facility that opened in January 2016, her first idea was a sculpture for the outdoor terrace. But when she found out that the art would be competing with a large sign announcing the name of the facility, she realized she would have to rethink that concept.

When looking for art for MSK, Momm often turns to gallery owner Susan Eley. This time, Eley suggested exploring the work of an artist she represents, Francie Hester, who is based in Silver Spring, Maryland. Checking out Hester’s website, Momm gravitated toward an installation consisting of strands of 40,000 paperclips falling from a curved rod, exhibited at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus in Chantilly, Virginia. Hester had produced the work with her artistic partner, Lisa Hill, with whom she often collaborates.

Read the full review here

Maryland State Arts Council 2016 Individual Artist Award in Painting

Maryland State Arts Council 2016 Individual Artist Award in Painting

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Our Town — NYC Paper Review

Our Town — NYC Paper Review

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Taking Care of the Spirit

Art installation at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center inspired by late young man’s poetry. “Wordfall,” is a site-specific art installation inspired by Brendan Ogg’s poetry, conceived of by Francie Hester and Lisa Hill. It hangs in the lobby of the Josie Robertson Surgery Center at Sloan Memorial Kettering Cancer Center on York Avenue. Photo: Greg StaleyPhoto: Greg Staley

Read the full review here

Washington Post Review Museum Review

Washington Post Review Museum Review

News Reviews

IN THE GALLERIES: Artist Francie Hester’s Pieces Show Allure Of The Old

For more than a few contemporary artist, the sensation that art critic Robert Hughes once described as “the shock of the new” has given way to the allure of the old. Among the inspirations for Francie Hester’s “Symbolic Spaces,” at the Athenaeum, are bi discs, unearthed from Chinese graves bug as many as 5,400 years ago. Where the originals are mostly jade or glass. Hester’s freshly manufactured “Relics” are aluminum, covered in acrylic and wax. The same shapes and ingredients recur in most of the other work.

Read More: Washington Post Review — In The Galleries

Virginia Living Magazine Review

Virginia Living Magazine Review

News Reviews

ELEGANTLY RENDERED

Francie Hester’s work explores the concepts of time and memory

Rooted in science and math, Maryland-based artist Francie Hester’s works are cerebral ruminations on memory and time and the phenomenon of patterns that emerge from within seemingly random events. “With each series I begin, I find science offers invaluable perspective when digging into life’s most challenging questions — the study of the brain for example, of the perception of time first as linear and then fluid. Once I have done a body of research and reading, my own artistic interpretation and perceptions take over.” Hester’s newest show will run June 26 – August 3 at the Athenaeum in Old Town Alexandria.

Read the review here.