Willie Green: Press Play
June 21st - July 21st, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, June 21st 6:00-8:00pm

Giulia Dall’Olio, who lives and works in Bologna, Italy, creates mystical utopian landscapes rich with abstraction.  Her charcoal and pastel drawings are dense with layered visual material: murky trees engulf the composition, meandering highlights of color subtly pulse through the landscape as if charged with an electric current. Beautiful washes of white and grey seem to veil the natural forms that the artist's depicts, in reality this is a mark making technique of removing the drawing material.  The works are polished yet purposefully obscured, with careful consideration given to the voids within the composition.

An influential observer of popular culture and entertainment, Michael Holman is an artist, writer, filmmaker, and musician, based in New York City. A pioneer in the Downtown New York Art Scene and Uptown Hip Hop Scene, Holman founded the band Gray - an industrial atmospheric, noise group - with painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, as well as created and produced the first Hip Hop television show, Graffiti Rock in 1984.  Holman paints from the point of view of a historical absurdist, a "Deconstructivist." In his paintings, Holman strives to exploit man's need to express ideas and emotions in documental formats, which have a propensity to convey meaning, in and of themselves, for example: flags, papal bulls, and scrolls. In 2016, Holman's music archives and artifacts were acquired by the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts' Jerome Robbins Dance Division in Lincoln Center and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Stephane Joannes’ large oil on canvas paintings depict solitary cargo ships surrounded by vast sky and water. His collection, Tankers, features large horizontal paintings of cargo ships that border on abstraction. Joannes divides his paintings into three distinct sections: the sea, the sky, and the sea vessel on the horizon. The air and water seem vast and are often blocked off with a single, bold color. His ships, on the other hand, are incredibly detailed with each drip of rust and weathering carefully articulated. These orange and brown drops reveal not only the ship’s past but also the painting’s history: they are visible evidence of the painter’s brushstrokes and artistic process.

Martine Johanna is an artist known for her vivid paintings with both figurative and abstract elements. Her autobiographical works, seemingly lighthearted, explore the duality between youthful naivety and anxiety-riddled adulthood. The figures, fierce but fragile, crowd the compositions and occupy the majority of the space gazing distractedly into the beyond. Each of Johanna’s delicately rendered figures convey a sense of immersion within their own “internal psychic landscape.” The work is imbued with a mysterious narrative and sensation of knowing that each character in the work has a full and complex history that the viewer can never completely comprehend. The paintings have a signature prismatic palette, visually stimulating and playful while expressing an underlying sense of uncertainty and unrest. 

Garrett Klein works primarily with acrylic paint, panel, and plexiglass to create his mixed-media paintings. Klein's physical layering of materials lends an approachable yet mysterious quality to his paintings.  The interaction of each layer creates energetic movement: stacked and floating bands of color ground the airy plexiglass. 

Matthew Larson received his BFA in painting in 2006 from the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design and has since exhibited extensively across the country including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver.  In Larson’s fiber works, the artist uses yarn to create meticulous “weavings”. Unlike traditional warp-weft weaving, individual threads of yarn are layered, by hand, into Velcro creating precise patterns and striations of color and texture.  While highly minimalist in design, Larson’s tapestries provide a fresh approach to the trajectory of traditional tapestry in art history.  His systematic layering conceals the artist’s hand while revealing the impactful, yet subtle, nature of the works. 

Dutch artist, Wouter Nijland, creates three-dimensional geometric oil paintings based on a set of chance rules and coincidence.  Using a playful yet rigid system based off an x and y axis planes, the artist uses dice, coins, and coded marbles to codify and scale his compositions.  The rules established for each painting also determine the gradient of the brushstroke and the border between shapes as well as the polygonal shapes themselves.  The monochromatic pigment in this series of paintings are in fact a mixture of approximately 12 different shades of the primary colors: red, yellow, and blue.  The heavily-mixed oil layers are thick, so one can follow the brushstrokes as they catch the light.

Laura Sallade lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Sallade’s glass works explore the presence and absence of light. Through the use of controlled chemical reaction and manipulation of multiple materials, the artist creates multi-dimensional glass “paintings”. The use of negative space and her distinct style of “drawing” with light create a multi-layered surface. Despite using only two panels of glass, each work achieves intense depth and allows the viewer to meditate and reflect.  The artist has completed commissions for Ritz Carlton, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Anthropologie Clothing Stores, and for the Dualtone Music Group in Nashville, TN. Sallade completed her Certificate in Sculpture from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 2014.