Fluid Structure: Elise Ferguson, Aleph Geddis, Sami Havia, Serban Ionescu
Massey Klein Gallery is pleased to present Fluid Structure, a group exhibition featuring the work of Elise Ferguson, Aleph Geddis, Sami Havia, and Serban Ionescu. Paired on their use of organic and geometric aesthetics, each artist demonstrates a unique balance of raw energy and order within the work. The conversation between the artwork traverses two dimensional and three dimensional space, holding a playful tension and reverberation between these forms. Fluid Structure will be on view from March 20th until May 2nd. This is the first New York exhibition for Aleph Geddis and Sami Havia.
Elise Ferguson's (b.1964, Richmond, VA) work is about the flexible nature of perception. Using pattern and color, along with a range of process-driven approaches, the artist creates works based on mathematical puzzles and geometric variation. In the past couple of years, Ferguson's work has transitioned into paintings although there is no paint involved. The artist uses what would typically be described as sculptors' materials: plaster on mdf panels. The plaster is pigmented and troweled on, layer upon layer, to nearly sculptural levels. Inspired by Brutalism’s uncamouflaged use of cement – with seams showing and the irregularities embraced – these works embody their inherent materiality and have a distinct object-like quality.
With this work, Ferguson strives towards something that is cerebral yet physical, one that reflects endless fascination with materials and their physical limits and capabilities. At the same time, she gives equal importance to the pleasures of creating something resolutely optical: concentric circles, radiating grids, and undulating patterns. Although the artist makes abstract images, things often begin to resemble “something”. This tendency is reflected in the titles, a means of embracing the associative nature of looking, thinking, and naming. Ferguson has been an artist-in-residence at the Barton College in Wilson, NY, the University of Nevada, and the MacDowell Colony, among others. In 2014, she was the recipient of the Northern Trust Purchase Prize at EXPO CHICAGO. The artist has exhibited extensively in the U.S. and Europe. The artist is based in Brooklyn, NY.
The sculptural works of Aleph Geddis (b. 1973, Orcas Island, WA) live at the intersection of traditional methods and modernist forms, informed by a lifetime fascination with the foundational structures of the world. Growing up on Orcas Island in the Pacific Northwest, Geddis spent many hours with his stepfather, a sculptor, carver, and builder of wooden boats. Steeped in this rich environment, his early works drew inspiration from the stylized naturalism of Northwest Coast Native carvings, and later, from all he saw on a family trip to Japan.
As his work evolves, there remains a consistent engagement with the simple elegance of natural forms. His recent works travel directly into the integral shapes of the Platonic solids, which Geddis experiences as holding a truth beyond human subjectivity, and a magical existence that precedes us and will outlast us. A dedicated traveler and artisan, Geddis brings his work with him wherever he goes, continuing to use these forms as a place to explore the paradoxes that surround him, and to make an offering of beauty and integrity back into the world. Geddis’ work has been included in numerous exhibitions including the Bellevue Arts Museum. He currently has a large-scale sculpture on permanent view at the Filson Flagship store in Seattle, WA. The artist is based in Bali, Indonesia and Seattle, WA.
When Sami Havia (b.1982, Säkylä, Finland) begins a new painting or drawing, he sets the basis for a color palette and then improvises. Without further planning or design, the artist takes his colors and starts drawing forms and playing with shapes. Whether on paper or canvas, he draws, even when he paints. Havia’s aesthetic is lush, frisky, and chaotic, but also organically organized. His works are dynamic, with each supporting element on a mission to harmonize. He does not work with themes, but with shapes, forms, movement, and growth. He’s drawn to soft and gentle things: to beauty, but also to the grotesque. As each work evolves, there remains both a conscious control, and a compelling need to lose control.
Havia received his MFA from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2011. His work has been subject to five solo exhibitions in Helsinki and several group shows in museums and galleries around Europe. Havia’s works are placed in prestigious public and private collections, including the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, the Finnish State Art Collection, the Saastamoinen Foundation, Hameenlinna Art Museum, and the Vantaa Art Museum, among others. The artist is based in Helsinki, Finland.
Serban Ionescu (b.1984, Romania, raised in Queens, NY) blurs the boundary between sculpture and design into a line one can inhabit. Irrupting primarily from the automatic act of drawing, his loose instinctual line and his vibrant pops of color expand into sculptural collages of constantly shifting scale. Whether in works of design, functional art, sculpture or architecture, his distinctive style and cartoonish gestures permeate the works with a unique language of anthropomorphic form. These pet-like objects and structures become entities that playfully collapse gesture into being, impulse into experience. For the viewer to hold and for the visitor to explore. Currently, Ionescu has presented his first collaboration with R & Company in NYC and just completed his largest project, “Chapel for an Apple”, an outdoor architectural folly erected in Hudson, NY. The artist is based in Brooklyn, NY.
Massey Klein Gallery is located at 124 Forsyth St. New York, NY 10002.
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