WESTWOOD GALLERY NYC presents 8 - Diary of Time, a group exhibition surveying recent work by eight artists who look to time, past, present, and future in the creation of their artwork. Participating artists are Miriam Bloom, Inger Johanne Grytting, Charles Hinman, Ron Morosan, Nobuho Nagasawa, Don Porcaro, Danny Simmons, and Alan Steele. There will also be an artist talk with a selection of participating artists February 2024, date TBA.
Westwood Gallery NYC was founded in 1995 in SoHo, and from inception has focused on international contemporary and historic artists, veteran New York artists, and rediscoveries of under-recognized estates. In 2016, the gallery moved into its current space at 262 Bowery, where the program expanded to incorporate exhibitions focusing on both internationally known and historically overlooked artists that have called New York City’s Bowery neighborhood their home. This exhibition is separated into two branches: Time Present and Time Past, the artists who create a diary of our present and the artists that look to the history of the past in influencing our future.
The title of the show, 8 - Diary of Time, has a dual meaning in referencing the gallery’s eight years on Bowery reflected as a diary of eight artists added to our gallery program in the last eight years.
Miriam Bloom is an American artist who creates asymmetric, biomorphic sculptures situated at the boundary between representation and abstraction. Supplementary to her lifelong career as a sculptor, Bloom has recently turned to photography, capturing illusory spaces in both urban and rural environments. In her new 16-photograph series Observation of Illusions (2023), cinematic reflections fracture and distort steel, concrete, forests, and houses. Captured and printed without digital manipulation, the photographs open us to the visual inconsistencies in our world and the fleeting moments that leave room for us to question perception.
Inger Johanne Grytting is a Norwegian-born, New York-based artist whose post-minimal drawings and paintings focus on the primal impulse of mark-making. Her practice is devoted to the now, meditating on what can and cannot be controlled in her materials, hand, and mind. Her recent paintings expand upon her gestural practice, where parallel lines are layered in loose sequence. Taking over two months to complete, M3 (2023), a new 48 x 48-inch painting, starts from the grid before diverging in lyrical waves that reveal the intense Burnt Sienna underpainting.
A pioneer of minimalism and the shaped canvas movement, Charles Hinman broke boundaries at a time when artists were moving away from the illusory rectangular picture plane and went on to innovate the complex creation of shaped canvases for six decades. Now in his early 90s, Hinman has stopped producing shaped canvas works, but continues to create a body of watercolors that focus on various juxtapositions of geometry such as rectangles vs arcs, two curves in space, four fluid shapes, and other compositions. When viewed with consideration of the paintings across his oeuvre, the watercolors are diaristic, echoing every period of his work from the 1960s-2010s. The watercolors aren’t bound by the precise mathematics of his canvases and have a freedom of form, color, and brightness that is rarely seen in any period of his life.
As a painter of semiotic constructs, New York-based Ron Morosan’s practice revolves around combining unintended narrative threads through blocks of color, ambiguous organic shapes, and purposefully crude figurative elements. Pursuing this idea of multi-narrative painting over the past twenty years, Morosan’s new work creates a conceptual landscape that reflects the current anthropocentric environment of electronic media, dislocated presence, and environment as persona. His new paintings, Transition Horizon (2023) and Cyber Netscape (2023), represent the simultaneous experience of processing digital information.
Nobuho Nagasawa is a Japanese born, New York transdisciplinary artist creating site-specific and community-responsive works that explore the politics, ecology, and psychological dimensions of space and people. Her recent video work was created in 2023 for the Mori Museum’s 20th Anniversary exhibition “Our Ecology: Toward a Planetary Living,” and looks back at Nagasawa’s early earthwork created in Tokoname, Japan. Noyaki (1984/2023) was constructed by stacking earth and straw soaked in seawater for over one month, and then firing the sculpture for seven days. The sculpture takes its influence from the traditional farming practice of field firing (noyaki), used since ancient times to aid in the regeneration of farmland, as well as from the principal purificatory agents in Shinto, salt, water, and fire.
New York-based sculptor Don Porcaro creates totemic forms, intricately carved from stone as accumulations of geological time and cultural history. For his recent Collective works, Porcaro has been looking at fragments of stone from previous sculptures, investigating his studio like an archeologist collecting the parts of the past. By reusing and repurposing these materials, his new sculptures are brought together by all his other pieces, reflective of both their strata and combined histories. Aligning with his continued interest in ancient and classical civilizations, these new columnar archetypes intertwine with the artist’s personal artistic history.
Neo-African Abstract expressionist Danny Simmons assemblages fuse painting with traditional African motifs and tribal markings along with collaged textiles from historic cultures and contemporaneity. Simmons creates like an indigenous artisan, imbuing his works with spiritual power, one of the guiding techniques of his artistic practice. In his recent works, Simmons experiments with new forms of tension. In Aunties (2023) and We See You (2023), he introduces figurative elements, faces of African American men and women hidden amongst black lace. In Infinitely Connected (2023), two canvases with Simmons signature dot patterning are joined by a fabric bridge that holds the panels in visual and physical equilibrium.
Alan Steele is a Venezuelan-born, New York-based conceptual artist who combines fragmentary visual language through found objects and complex mathematical formulae. Steele spent his childhood in the West Indies, South America, and South-East Asia, and as an adult he traveled the world in search of rare tribal artifacts and mythical cultures. His new series, Intention Disappears with Use (2023), follows a similar investigative process by repurposing a 12’ gas station gauge stick recovered from the closing of a BP station on 2nd Avenue and 1st Street. Steele segments the ruler into unique measurements and places the fragments with aged flooring. In two works from the series, he places curved Skylark patterned Formica panels, an iconographic design by industrial designer Brooks Stevens, questioning two elements of man-made measurement as artifacts and reminders of our past.
262 Bowery, New York, NY 10012