Wednesday, December 8, 2010

BEFORE and AFTER: Harmonic Cycles of Creation and Destruction

JAMES LOPARO, a solo exhibition

X-ild, fresco panels, 47x69x3"

December 14th, 2010 – January 29th, 2011

December 16th @ 6:30p: Exploring the Process with LoParo & critic Larry Qualls

Franklin 54 Gallery + Projects is pleased to present a solo exhibition of extraordinary fresco and archaeo forms by James LoParo. The large-scale fresco pieces are impressive, powerful and majestic. LoParo’s interesting process includes building up layer upon layer of marks, letters, writings, scribbling and color intuitively and spontaneous which progressively become more deliberate. This journey goes on for 7-8 layers as he manipulates the piece to the top. When he reaches that final level he covers the entire surface with white plaster and boldly faces a blank canvas all over again. This step takes a great deal of confidence in covering over the previous multiple layers of work. Now he starts destroying while still creating and works back into his surfaces with saw blades, machetes and other tools to “uncover” what he remembers is underneath and selectively wants to leave for the final image. It is a mind game and a physical act. The self-exploration strips away layer after layer until he is satisfied and the piece feels right visually.

These textural giants are compositionally satisfying and wonderful, colors are calm and serene of umbers, sienna’s, grays and green contrasted against the rich surface that has been peeled away and now reveals so much from beneath – remembered or not, we can see the marks and writings that were made much earlier; LoParo has been on an excavation and exploration rebuilding while tearing away.

The archaeo forms are part of the larger image now destroyed even further and the journey continues. Now the broken fragments are attached to a foundation made by the artist with consideration of the fragmented shape and they becomes an extension of the form. Life moves forward – and the cycle continues. The entire process reflects an uncovering of the self – stripping away layer upon layer of the human experience and the work supports this completely. This confident artist presents much for us to think about.

After achieving success in NYC and across the US in the 1990’s, James left for Italy and the European audience that accepted his work enthusiastically - he is widely collected there including many on site installations. He has recently returned to New York City to reintroduce his work here.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Triple Play Exhibition extended by appt. through Nov. 30th

The Triple Play: flatiron/gramercy from 3 angles exhibition featuring works by Sharon Florin, Susan Pyzow and Emily Trueblood has been extended through November 30th by appointment only. Please call us @ 917.821.0753 if you would like to see the show.

Friday, November 5, 2010

View all 42 works from the Triple Play exhibition online

Through November you can see all 42 works in the exhibition on our online gallery @ American Art Collector magazine. Here is the direct link you will need to copy and paste into your browser:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Triple Play: Flatiron/Gramercy from 3 Angles


Emily Trueblood, "City Towers", Linocut

Susan Pyzow, "Sheffel Hall Night", acrylic on canvas

Sharon Florin, "Flatiron Bird's Eye View", oil on canvas



October 19th – November 24th, 2010
Reception: October 21st, 6-8p
Special Event: November 6th @ 2p: an in gallery walking tour of the exhibition by NYC tour guide Alfred Pommer

Franklin 54 Gallery is pleased to present a collaborative exhibition project by 3 New York City artists: Sharon Florin, Susan Pyzow and Emily Trueblood of paintings and prints that depict two New York City landmark areas- the Gramercy and Flatiron districts.

Sharon Florin has been painting and capturing NYC architecture for many years and they are expertly executed with a realist’s eye yet full of personality. They are detailed, rich and inviting – she captures the heart and feeling of each piece of architecture bringing the intimacy of it to life. Sharon’s respect and love for the architecture and NYC come alive in her paintings so we as the viewer can step in and enjoy so many aspects of the city.

Susan Pyzow’s paintings are strong and a bit eerie though quiet and still - components that make them intriguing along with her use of lush color and heightened contrasts. She draws us as viewers into the “light in the window” that is a beacon. The pieces are real but painterly and we are welcomed into her suspense hoping she will let us inside and reveal the secret. Susan will also have prints in the exhibition along side her paintings.

Emily Trueblood’s linoleum cut prints are clean, sharp and architectural. The imagery in these pieces whether shadow, shapes or angles are simple and striking. Her limited palette accentuates these handsome pieces and repeated use of the window variations keeps the eye moving in and out, up and down. Masterfully composed, they invite us to a fresh interpretation of these NYC buildings.

Each artist has her own technique and vision yet together they portray the richness of these neighborhoods. All three are award winning artists with works in numerous private, corporate and museum collections. Printmakers Susan Pyzow and Emily Trueblood also exhibit with The Old Print Shop in Manhattan. Sharon Florin has exhibited with Franklin 54 since it began in 2004.

Friday, October 8, 2010

"EXPLORING THE PROCESS" with artist Elisa Pritzker and Guest Moderator Dominique Nahas

Join us on Saturday October 16th from 4-6p for an interesting conversation between Elisa Pritzker and Dominique Nahas, Independent Curator and Critic

Interior I, digital art on plexiglass

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

"ZIPPED" new works by Elisa Pritzker


"Between the Urban and the City"

Digital Art on plexiglass

Reception: September 16th, 6-8p

Franklin 54 Gallery + Projects is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new works by Elisa Pritzker. In her 3rd solo show with the gallery, these digital art pieces on plexiglass are a break out of the box for the artist. Here Pritzker continues playing with photographic imagery as she has in the past but now presents a different visual. After capturing the moment in photographs she has altered and cleverly combined them with zippers – an interesting and somewhat mystifying everyday item. Her combinations are captivating and absorbing; her art has a reachable approach using ideas and objects that are part of everyday living - a master of minimalism she continues to say much with little. Although the new works have more imagery than her boxed pieces she keeps them clean, crisp and simple in context and execution. Working on a larger scale here Elisa has succeeded in transforming her minimalistic ideas into a unique vocabulary, increasing her range and giving us more to think about.

The juxtaposition of two unlikely images increases the mystery for the viewer. The zipper between opens or closes the dialogue – divides or invites us. In “Zipped City” we wonder what is going on in those zipped up windows and buildings as people have been zipped up for the night – her use of black in this piece adds to the suspense as its richness looms as a dark wall or disappearing darkness. “Between the Urban and the Country” is a fun piece of contrast – on one side is the cow face forward staring while in a serene country setting – in the other is the madness of rush hour city traffic – in between is the zipper - the cow seems to say it all. These are sharp handsome pieces, a new direction for Pritzker and a first rate one at that.

October 16th, 4-6p: “Exploring the Process” a conversation between Elisa Pritzker and Dominique Nahas, Independent Curator and Critic

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Industry Partner to the American Society of Interior Designers

We are pleased to announce the gallery has recently been accepted as an Industry Partner to the American Society of Interior Designers

Saturday, June 26, 2010


From June 20th to September 13th, the gallery will be open by appointment only
Visit our website during the summer for updates and news
Our fall season will open on September 14th with "Zipped", a solo exhibition of new works by Elisa Pritzker

Our next Easels project will be on September 30th featuring works by Siri Berg with our Guest Moderator TBA

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Elaine Defibaugh: "Nite Lite, City Brite" - The Black Light Paintings

"Layered Cake", mixed media on canvas under black light

“Nite Lite, City Brite”
The Black Light Paintings
May 5th to June 19th, 2010
Reception: May 6th, 6-8P

Franklin 54 Gallery + projects is pleased to present the second solo exhibition of new large works by Elaine Defibaugh. This artist continues her adventurous exploration of materials (fabric, sewing, collage) in these free-floating paintings by presenting them for viewing under the black light. For those of us old enough to remember the fun and connotations the black light stirs up in our memories, it is a trip down memory lane and for those not familiar with what the black light can do it is an introduction to a revealing light source and energy on the painted surface.
Defibaugh is not shy as she jumps in using scale and fluorescent paints to heighten the experience. In her statement she describes: “These paintings combine elements from a traditional landscape genre with a pattern & decoration composition to formally investigate painting as a site for the juxtaposition of the Urban and the Natural in an abstracted collage of continuity and rhythm… My use of fluorescent paint and black light is to suggest a contrast of light between both the cityscape and landscape.” Not only does she suggest a contrast of light but what one experiences within the landscape whether city or otherwise. The pieces are vast and moving like those open spaces Defibaugh has traveled yet they are also so alive with color and energy you can feel the pulse of the city.
Black light is a conversion of energy, it is the near ultraviolet radiant energy that falls just outside the visible spectrum – when the light hits fluorescent materials it makes them “fluoresce” or emit visible light. When the light hits Defibaugh’s paintings they jump into a dance of vibrations with dramatic effects. “Nite Lite, City Brite” when viewed under natural light is a sea of bright colors, mountains, patterns – a beautiful landscape moving in and out, up and down like a roller coaster ride. This same painting under the black light becomes imaginary, glowing with dripping icicles of color – it is totally energized with hotter pinks, bluer blues and eerie blacks. It has become a different landscape now and transfers its energy onto us.
Elaine lives and works in New York City although she travels widely. Her works are included in numerous collections, public, private and museums across the country.
“The creation of this artwork has been made possible in part through a Chashama visual arts studio award. Chashama supports thriving cultural communities by transforming temporarily vacant properties into spaces where art can flourish."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

JAVA: Mosaics & Paintings - March 3-31, 2010

"Still Life", acrylic on canvas

Mosaics & Paintings
March 3rd - 31st, 2010
Reception: March 11th, 6-8P

Franklin 54 Gallery + projects is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings and mosaics by JAVA. A lover of “breaking china”, JAVA has mastered the use of these broken pieces in creating colorful and fun imagery. Mosaics go back more than 4,000 years and the process is a physical one; the actuality of breaking up pieces and juxtaposing them together for a composition is intriguing and self-involving. Irregular chipped surfaces and edges dominate as the materials are carefully adhered to the surface. As the artist notes he appreciates the mosaics as he is able to fix what has been broken.

Staying within this realm, JAVA’s paintings have a primitive, Cubist quality but again are quite involved and color continues to be important. Each one tells a story and here there is much symbolism to build on. “Still Life” is a colorful piece titled appropriately. The asymmetrical faces are sadly confrontational and the 2 tilting sideways become part of the still life. The lying figure’s head becomes enmeshed in the fruit and the chest almost becomes the outside of the watermelon on top. Color is lush and the simple thick handling of the paint heightens the texture and works well for this artist. In contrast to the mosaics, his paintings have a deeper more serious side.

JAVA is a self taught artist, born and raised in Cuba, now living and working in Brooklyn. Using recycled materials in his mosaics and sculptures leads him to endless possibilities as he continues the exploration with these new works. His attitude of “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is a wonderful one that he takes seriously in his dedication to the work. He has completed many commissions both private and public including portraits, patios and a recent commission in 2009 for National Payroll Week. Works have been included in exhibitions in Cuba, Italy, Miami and New York City.