Nurture Nature

Kim McLean, Jeff Briggs, Jerry Freedner & Lanie Cecula

Opening Reception: Saturday, June 7th, 6 - 8pm

June 3, 2014 through July 13, 2014

Carrie Haddad Gallery is pleased to present "Nurture Nature", an exhibit featuring new paintings by Jeff Briggs, photographs by Jerry Freedner, and works by Kim McLean. The shared theme dances around the subject of nature, its many forms, and the effects of human influence. A section of the exhibit will be in memoriam to Lanie Cecula, a multi-media artist and close friend of Mrs. Haddad. The show will be on view June 5th through July 13th with a reception for the artists on Saturday, June 7th from 6-8 PM. All are welcome to attend.

Jeff Brigg’s composition references the Post-Impressionist movement Pointillism; hailing the innovation of pioneering masters such as Seurat and Signac. Briggs’ own expression, however, extends beyond the idea of grouping together thousands of tiny dots to form a representational construction, such as a landscape or portrait. Instead, Briggs uses this technique to examine Chromesthesia, a neurological phenomenon that associates color with sound. Briggs visualizes sound with varying, almost vibrating bursts of pixilated color, transforming our perception of nature into a visual hum recorded onto canvas. This color field pixilation casts a soft focus, leaving the viewer to conceptualize its repeating, asymmetrical patterns. In this way, the artist closely identifies with 20th century composer Morton Feldman of the New York School. A contemporary of John Cage, Feldman created graphic scores that illustrated the intended tone of a piece, yet left the performer to decide the pitch and rhythm structure. Briggs’ work provides the viewer with a synesthetic experience where the interaction of color, hue, and composition can doubly be perceived as resonant sound. As a musician himself, Briggs’ work offers a highly individual experience of turning sound into tangible form, bridging the visual and auditory senses. Jeff Briggs received his MFA from the Massachusetts School of Art in Boston in 2005 and has been showing with the gallery for more than a decade.

Artist Jerry Freedner supports the work of the Columbia Land Conservancy by nurturing the continuing conversation about the state of our changing global environment. His new work shifts from depicting the beauty and complexity of nature to communicating his concern for its fragility. In 2013, Freedner began 'Tribute to the Farmers', a project which formed out of his appreciation for nature and respect for the people who farm the land. He says the farmer " as much the artist as the sculptor: the plow being the chisel and the earth the stone", further explaining, "…the land dictates the art and the farmer exercises it."

Freedner's 'Tribute to the Farmers' resulted in a stunning, thirty-five photograph series, many of which were taken within ten miles of his home. His new work reflects the Hudson Valley's natural beauty and serves as a reminder of the delicate balance we share with our environment. A book of photographs, available for purchase, was also produced from this endeavor. One-third of profits from the farm field photos and 100% of the book sale profits will be donated to The Columbia Land Conservancy and Scenic Hudson. Freedner has expressed that his art “…is apolitical, yet I hope it might serve as a vehicle to stir a sense of stewardship." Freedner began his study of photography at the New School in New York City during the 1960's and has recently joined the faculty of the Art School of Columbia County as a photography instructor.

Also exhibited is the new, mesmerizing work by Kim McLean. McLean’s work crosses boundaries between drawing, sculpture, and photography and is at once both machine and handmade. The compositions that begin as objects drawn in three-dimensions are placed in virtual space and lit with an array of software lamps. What evolves are staged sculptural sets referencing architecture (Calatrava’s Campo Volantin Bridge in Zubizuri) and a broad range of iconic images (water, an Me109, a fedora, a sub). In his new body of work, McLean has moved away from complex dystopian compositions to explore reductive, spatial relationships between a few objects. This creates tension at different levels. Do the objects in the works exist? Were they ever really made out of cardboard? Is Ahab really going to fly in the rocket? Simplified sculptural statements allow mysteries to emerge as a surety; the familiar inside the spaces dissolves into small, fairly insubstantial, puzzling dramas. As spaces open and close, Illusion and allusion extend beyond the containers into a three dimensional realm defying confinement and perpetuating a calm, albeit unresolved if not impossible, reality. McLean lives and works in the Hudson Valley.

Carrie Haddad Gallery is very proud to dedicate part of this exhibit to the memory of Lanie Cecula. Lanie was a dear friend of Carrie Haddad's while living in Soho in her 20's, and she remembers, first hand, Lanie's championship and innovation in the field of ceramic arts. Lanie was married to the esteemed Polish born ceramic artist, Marek Cecula. The couple launched their pioneer venue, Contemporary Porcelain Gallery in SoHo in 1976. ''Our forte is clay. Our work has always been on the cutting edge and never fit into the typical American craft galleries,'' Ms. Cecula said. ''That was how we ended up creating our own environment for our work.'' Producing a range of espresso and teacups, saucers, platters and dinnerware, the Cecula’s work never strived for practicality. Lanie’s own porcelain work included children’s fantasy world objects, vases, bowls and funeral urns and vessels. The gallery quickly became a landmark of their Soho neighborhood. As one of her initiatives to foster a global community, Lanie created an Artist-in-Residence program bringing international visual artists to the gallery and arts community. Contemporary Porcelain closed in the early 90s, but Lanie continued to make ceramics and watercolors in her own studio. Lanie Cecula passed away in 2013 after being diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer the year before. Her contributions to the art world and history of American ceramics in particular, will be remembered for a long time to come. For this exhibit, we are pleased to present a never before seen selection of her personal drawings. All proceeds from the sale of Lanie Cecula's work help women with cancer.

Kim McLean

Jeff Briggs

Jerry Freedner

Lanie Cecula