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Thursday, 8 October 2020 to Saturday, 31 October 2020
Thursday, 8 October 2020 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Equity Gallery is pleased to present Farrago, a three person exhibition featuring the collages of Linnea Paskow, Marianne Gagnier, and Melissa Staiger. The visual language of collage uniquely thrives on incongruity and the unexpected. Objects, forms, and materials which seem completely dissonant are gathered together and urged to interact, contrast, and blend on the same plane. Rather than transforming and assimilating all the components within the artwork, collage creates new, complex conversations between heterogeneous parts, emphasizing the gossamer thin line between chaos and harmony. Each part of the assemblage is allowed to retain aspects of its former context and to function as its own character, unrestricted. Individual elements are embraced and given the spotlight, even within the context of its newly imposed surroundings. The viewer is made to behold the artworks simultaneously as both a mass of collected material and a whole, creating an rich, robust, and at times overwhelming aesthetic experience. 

To varying degrees and effect, each featured artist utilizes collage’s distinctive ability to amalgamate disparate parts while not completely homogenizing them. With the most figurative work of the three, Linnea Paskow’s collages employ fragments of glossy mass-produced magazines to construct architectural structures, portraits, and the human form. Miscellaneous jagged, uneven shards of color swirl, overlap, and collide to create the figures within Paskow’s work, giving them an voluminous yet unearthly fragmented aesthetic. The glue that binds the bits of paper further elevates the high-contrast sheen of the appropriated magazines, intensifying a sense of surreal hyperreality to the artworks while displaying the materiality of the paper. Paskow’s compiled figures, while fully realized, are unstable and irregular in nature. Some areas are densely packed and deftly rendered with specific detail while other parts are left relatively barren, blocked out with large swatches of geometric shapes or negative space. The characters and environment within Paskow’s collages seem to exist in a liminal space in which they are simultaneously forming and collapsing in on themselves, providing a glimpse into another dimension. 


Marianne Gagier’s artwork is more reminiscent of classic Post-War abstract expressionism. Her works are atmospheric explorations of gesture, line, and field. Raw, unpolished patches of paint-stained paper are laid together, intermeshing. Each work forms an abstracted landscape-like plane, with each smeared and congealed blotch of paint and tattered, exposed edge becoming landmarks. Within these surfaces, the ripped paper and smears of acrylic act as the very fabric of the piece but are still clearly foreign, unabashedly derived from other sources. This contradiction is further illustrated by exposed seams within the work itself. Tranquility is punctuated by moments of energetic unease, imparting a spontaneous autonomy to the internal environment of the collages. 


Melissa Staiger melds bright, bold, highly saturated colors with repeated undulating, organic forms. Appendage-like patterns and paper figures differing in thickness and opacity are transposed over brushy, washy bolts of paint. Undercoats of paint and paper peek out from one another, top layers cling tightly and mold onto the imperfections of the foundation below it, and translucent colors and materials intermingle. Tendrils of cut-outs can sometimes even splay from beyond the confines of Staiger’s collages. Combined, these elements evoke the biological and a cosmic ethereal aura. Vascular and interconnected, yet weightless and luminous, Staiger creates an aesthetic that manages to embody both the seemingly contradictory qualities of the corporeal and intangible. 

Paskow, Gagnier, and Staiger challenge the viewer to see artwork as both a compilation of disparate components and a unified entity all at once. Collage, at its best, defies easy categorization, intentionally refusing to completely divorce its pieces from their original context while still presenting a cohesive work.


*The opening reception for Farrago will take place outdoors, with limited viewing sessions. We require all attendees wear masks and adhere to the NY State Social Distancing guidelines.

Venue ( Address ): 

245 Broome Street (cross is Orchard; MTA is Delancey)
New York, New York 10002

Equity Gallery , New York, NY

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