Sunday, December 28, 2008

"Our Neighborhoods" - January 3-29, 2009

"On the Bowery", Paula Goldfader

Franklin 54 Gallery presents:

“Our Neighborhoods”
January 3-29th, 2009
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 3rd, 3-7P

A group exhibition of photographs by the Creative Center’s photo club. Images are from the neighborhood of each artist – the project started with photographing the Lower East Side of Manhattan where the Creative Center is now located but branched out to other neighborhoods. All of the artists in the exhibition are connected to the Creative Center and are cancer/serious illness survivors. Please visit the Creative Center’s web site for more information on their organization and view their online gallery.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

SIRI BERG: "It's All About Color" - November 20-December 28th

"It's All About Color #6", Japanese woodblock prints on archival board, 60x30"

For Immediate Release: November 1, 2008
“It’s All About Color”
Collage and Assemblages
November 20th – December 28th, 2008
Opening Reception: November 22nd, 4-7P

Franklin 54 Gallery is pleased to present collage works and assemblages by Siri Berg. Rich in color and design, the “It’s All About Color” series is comprised of 6 large panels of 20 individual rectangular Japanese wood block prints within each panel. The series starts with little color in the copper, grey and green range and transforms through each panel into the brilliance of fiery reds and oranges, blues and purples. Each individual print within is unique with interesting textures and designs, although still within Berg’s minimalism they complete a larger cohesive vision. The 4 panels in this exhibition are attractive and elegant with rich and subtle colors.

The remainder of the exhibition is a combination of collage works and assemblages that make for a striking contrast of the artist’s work in color and lack of it. Her assemblage works from found objects are again minimal in design and color. Industrial looking because of the materials and choice of grays, silver and gold, the pieces are simple and serene. The direct and clean works of the Coloratura group continue to reinforce Siri’s excellent use of design and color. Part texture (collage, oil on canvas, pastel on paper) and part flat surface, her use of line with geometric shapes in the horizontally moving base juxtaposed against the lines evaporating upwards makes for an effective image, although again subtle.

Opposites and progression have been an inspiration and an interest of this artist’s for many years.
Extra treats included in the show are Berg’s smaller colorful collages – “Red Hot” is a spatial textural beauty with its warmth of colors suggesting a floating landscape joined by a waterfall of sunbursts. Even smaller gems exist in the precious collage pieces under plexi – these modest works are small pieces of diverse papers combined from silver rectangles and squares with bright flashes of color - there are slight changes here but huge impacts from the different surfaces, some being dull and others shiny and slick.

Born in Sweden, Siri has lived and worked in New York City for many years; she is on the faculty at the Parsons School of Design. Berg has an extensive resume of solo and group exhibitions in the United States and internationally in renowned galleries and museums. Her works are widely collected privately and in major museums including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Jewish Museum, NYC. Cynthia Maris Dantzic recently profiled her in the book “100 New York Painters”.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Edward Evans Paintings, Sept. 12th-Oct. 31st

"White Spaces", acrylic on linen

"Come Together" acrylic on linen

Opening Reception: September 20th , 4-7P

Franklin 54 Gallery is privileged to present the new paintings of Edward Evans. These works continue with the Contemporary Chinese theme this artist has been using for a number of years. The simple Chinese characters that Evans incorporates into his paintings heighten the sensibility of the pieces, as he concentrates on the shapes of the characters. These new works are even stronger and sharper in contrast, the finished paintings are vivid beauties. The fine scriptural writings make them unique and draw you closer for examination, daring us to connect and become immersed in them and enveloped by them; one can hardly restrain oneself from touching the work to feel the embossing that is not there. On first glance, thinking they are photographs or 3 dimensional layers we are pleasantly surprised that these are flat acrylic paintings on linen - subtle illusions come about because of this artist’s silky airbrush technique that has been perfected. Ed’s work is clean and crisp, exact yet not stiff - smooth and inviting. Every part of the painting is given equal consideration and importance, again showing us the influence of traditional Chinese painting. For sure these are handsome pieces, full of character and intrigue.

Impressed with the way the old masters painted their illusions, Evans was attentive to how drapery was used to create various moods and feelings by abstracting from the draping cloth and from paper and metal. Lettering, handwriting and signs also fascinated the artist - symbolic forms expressing a desire to communicate and a hope that people can remain individual while working together. Contrasts and tensions have always been evident in his work – hard edges define shapes while some areas are made soft to serve as a foil and allow flow and human sensitive feeling. “My labor intensive process starts with layering and sanding white paint that is applied to fine linen canvas. Then I spray colors with an airbrush because it lends itself to shading so subtle that images can be highly illusionistic from even close up. Because paintings are meant to be looked at, these legible designs must fit into an aesthetic entity. It is not important to read the paintings, but there must be a mood or spirit of the writing.”

Edward Evans spent his early years in Minnesota and now lives and has his studio in Stroudsburg, PA in the Pocono Mountains. He is the curator at the Southwest Minnesota State University Art Museum as well as other venues and with his wife Connie, is the owner of Gallery 705 in Stroudsburg, PA. Edward’s works have been exhibited widely in museums and galleries in the United States and internationally including Italy and Switzerland and are included in numerous museums, private and corporate collections.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Big WIndow, oil on canvas by Laura Duggan

During July and August the gallery will be open by appointment only - please give us a call if you would like to see any works by gallery artists and we will be happy to arrange a visit with you. September 12th we will resume our regular hours with a solo exhibition of new paintings by Edward Evans.

Light Chambers, acrylic on linen, Edward Evans

Saturday, May 17, 2008

May 22-June 29th, 2008: "The Undeniable Line", mixed media works by ELAINE DEFIBAUGH

Nite Glow, acrylic, mixed media, hand sewing, collage on canvas, 72x103"

Opening Reception: June 7th from 4-7P

“The Undeniable Line”
Elaine Defibaugh
Mixed Media works
May 22-June 29, 2008
Opening Reception: June 7th, 4-7P

Franklin 54 Gallery is pleased to present a solo show of mixed media paintings by Elaine Defibaugh. Line has always been an important aspect in the works of Defibaugh – she is respectful of it and considers every placement, admirably being able to keep these works spontaneous, fresh and alive. Her use of line is varied whether by drawing, sewing or incorporated materials; the lines continue throughout the composition to bring it all together. Defibaugh’s larger pieces in this exhibition are wonderfully free floating, immediately invoking wonderful sensations of other times and places. These sensations transport the viewer to a place with other sounds and feelings - something all important works of art should do – awaken in us the emotional connection, draw us in and keep us there. Her smaller layered mixed media works continue to bring us surprise packages also made up of many materials and still using the line successfully.

Through her use of line, threads, fabrics, sewing and collage, Elaine has created imagery full of movement, whimsy and sophistication all at the same time. The shapes are organic and she has a command of her use of color. The pieces are full of life and fun, reflective of the titles and the artist herself but they continue to be serious works as she moves forward using different materials and size elements to experiment and further her process.

Elaine received her BFA from East Texas State University and an MFA from Rochester Institute of Technology, also studying at the Yale University Summer School of Art & Music. Her work has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions across the country including the Butler Institute of American Art, Albright Knox Members Gallery and the Everson Museum of Art. She has received many awards; her work is included in the collection of the Butler Institute of American Art, SUNY Brockport College and many other corporate and private collections. She divides her time between Rochester, NY and New York City.

Franklin 54 Gallery
181 Christopher Street
New York, NY 10014

Monday, March 17, 2008

"Transformed Through Time", works by Dorothy Cochran and AJ Nadel- March 20-April 20th

"Portrait of Marla", Polaroid emulsion transfer, enamel paint on panel by AJ Nadel

"Epiphany", etching with hand embellishment by Dorothy Cochran

“Transformed Through Time”
Dorothy Cochran
AJ Nadel
March 20- April 20, 2008
Opening Reception March 29th, 4-7P

For Immediate Release March 3rd, 2008:

Franklin 54 Gallery is pleased to present the works of Dorothy Cochran and AJ Nadel reflecting the concept of time. Although each works in a completely different process, these 2 artists are incorporating a great deal of time and sequenced events into their works. A number of steps and stages are necessary to complete the works: Dorothy’s “meditation on time pieces” are a combination of obvious time keepers and method ending in exquisite etchings of brilliant color; AJ’s collages stop time when he uses the Polaroid image that has been captured in a moment but then makes it come alive again in the way he uses his materials.

Time continues to be a fascinating and intriguing subject, it goes too fast; it goes too slow. It is interesting to note the time it takes the artist to complete each stage of the process and what happens when the process is cut short, takes longer or is interrupted – how is the end result altered?

Cochran has presented here a group of works based on antique sundials suggesting the measurement or passage of time. Her images are created through drawings, collages and digital manipulations copied onto mylar and exposed to the plate’s surface; a water washout is used to create the etched indentations and as a final part of the process the plate is exposed to ultraviolet light to harden the entire surface. The plate is then inked using intaglio or relief methods and printed; a meticulous yet familiar process for this master printmaker (Dorothy received her MFA in painting and printmaking from Columbia University).

Nadel had transformed his pieces using Polaroid transfers, collage and paint to create interesting and off centered imagery. Through layering, his surfaces are broken into pieces and put back together to make images that are bold and intriguing. Many works are focused on the portrait or human body - appearing like skin, another surface that is affected and transformed through time.

The ancient Egyptian official Ptahhotep included in his wise sayings: “Do not lessen the time of following desire, for the wasting of time is an abomination to the spirit.” These 2 artists have not wasted any time in following their desires enriching their spirits by what they are creating. It has also been said that time separates cause and effect and so it has here with these 2 artists using a different process resulting in different imagery yet they are connected by a sensibility of fragility and boldness intermixed with an intricacy in pattern. Their imagery is sophisticated and complex to be viewed over and over to discover the rich detail that lies within.

Franklin 54 Gallery
181 Christopher Street
New York, NY 10014

Saturday, March 1, 2008


Please join us for a preview of works by 6 Franklin 54 Gallery artists that will be participating in the AAF this June @ the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC. View the invitation below and please RSVP by March 7th. Click on the invitation to view the details in a larger format.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

"A Take on Tradition" curated by Jennifer Groves, January 17-March 1, 2008

"Yellow Squash", oil on canvas, Randall Mooers

"Aung San Suu Kyi, Green and Yellow", acrylic on canvas, DNA (Delgado/Almendral)

"Feet", charcoal on paper, Jeff Tocci

"A Take on Tradition", curated by Jennifer Groves, features 9 selected artists and their interpretations of enduring genres in representational art. The still life, the nude, and the portrait are among the themes consistently considered by contemporary artists today. Using a variety of techniques and mediums on these traditional themes, this survey includes the following artists: Renee Fineberg, DNA, Elisa Decker, Jeff Tocci, Gil Podorson, Jacques Zuccaire, Elinor Woolf, Randall Mooers, and David Schwartz.

During the period of the early nineteenth century, the still life had become a common subject among those who studied painting. Because of the sheer manipulability and utter compliance of the still-life model itself, the artist could completely control the setting. Absolutely nothing changed in the composition unless action was` taken by the artist. The likeness of the object(s) dominated, and captured a moment in space where time had seemed to stop. This is especially true in Randall Mooer’s still life paintings, whose seemingly unrelated strings, fruits, and plastic bags are so precisely displayed in the composition, there is no question that they belong with one another.

The nude in painting, sculpture, and later photography, was first presented in the iconic form of gods and goddesses. This was a depiction of figures for which the lack of clothing was the natural state. With the artist’s model, his/her nakedness is theatrically staged to imply an air of innocence. The objective is to convey the nude as being an anatomical study, rather than an erotic body. The nude studies of Renee Feinberg, through her detailed use of highlighting, concentrate on the positioning of the model’s body, the musculature in the pose, and a touch of the surrounding environment.

The painted portrait had been a favorite genre of artists of the Renaissance. Oils became the predominant painting medium, given their "workability" regarding detail, depth, brushstroke, etc. The idea of the portrait then expanded in size and subject to include group portraits and full length views. Then photography became another portrait medium that could create the illusion of reality. And 20th century Warhol “portraits” opened the door to a startling new set of criteria: arbitrary colors, flatness, abstraction, and repetition of the subject matter. DNA has successfully followed in Warhol’s footsteps with their signature portrait “characteristics”- the flatness of color(s), the black silhouette, and overall style of “design” rather than depiction. While Elisa Decker has taken the “portrait” and pushed the envelope, including photographic depictions of fruit as erotically charged subject matter!

There has always been an artist and an audience for the rendering of the nude figure, for the depiction of the portrait, for the particular arrangement of objects in still life composition. This attraction is based on the sheer beauty of such carefully created illusions!

And centuries later when these genres would become somewhat obscured, by circumstance and artists’ very natures, historical credibility would ground their appeal and continue to engage the audience.

“A Take on Tradition”
January 17th- March 1st, 2008
Franklin 54 Gallery
181 Christopher Street
New York, NY 10014
Thursday- Sunday 11-6pm & by appointment