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"Making Their Mark: 7 Women in Abstraction"




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Thursday, 21 September 2023 to Saturday, 4 November 2023
Thursday, 21 September 2023 - 7:00pm

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to present Making Their Mark: 7 Women in Abstraction, the gallery’s inaugural exhibition at its new location at 382 Greenwich Ave in Greenwich, CT. The show will run September 21st  – November 4th.  The public is invited to attend the grand opening and exhibition reception on September 21st, 7-9pm.

On view will be paintings, works on paper and sculpture by seven women artists, all of whom form part of the gallery’s roster. These artists share a dynamic approach to creating their works, with each paying unique attention to the materials and their properties. Their works carry distinct, non-figurative aesthetic perspectives that present current themes and preoccupations, such as our relationship with nature, its physical characteristics, cultural contexts, evocations of time and place, and references to interior states of being.


Artist ( Description ): 

About the Artists:

South Korean born and raised Hyun Jung Ahn will present her signature reduced abstract paintings which express quiet, hermetic reflections. Panes of flat colors on canvas are stitched together to form geometric compositions which she considers “shapes of mind.” Some parts of the canvas are deliberately left bare, and she is known to combine different fabrics with varying degrees of textures which add soft, neutral tonalities to the visual experience. For the multidisciplinary artist, stitching is as much a way to make a mark as drawing a line with pencil. While on a residency at MASS MoCA several years ago, Ahn was introduced to working with textiles, weaving, and sewing machines. Since then, she has incorporated the stitched line to demarcate areas and delineate gestures. The palette of her paintings is moderated to reflect the temperature of a sentiment which echoes the minimalist composition. Ahn’s works are not only formalist concerns with line, color, and flatness, their tranquility offers a visually timeless, harmonious balance. The artist earned her B.F.A. and M.F.A. at the Duk-Sung Women’s University in Seoul and her second M.F.A. at Pratt Institute. In addition to receiving several emerging artist awards in Korea and Italy, Ahn has participated in several artist residencies and has been the subject of many solo and group exhibitions in the United States and South Korea. 

Jessica Drenk’s two and three-dimensional works are created with every-day manufactured materials, such as pencils, PVC pipes, books, cotton swabs and even junk mail. Her labor-intensive process includes building up, carving, and sanding materials to articulate seemingly naturally made formations. These stunningly visual objects question our relationship with nature, consumerism, mass production and circulation. Book pages coiled in wax take on the appearance of tree trunk cross-sections; materials that would typically end up discarded, such as plastic bags or junk mail, resemble geological strata; accumulated cotton-swabs simulate calcified coral. The artist’s proposals to alternative notions on humankinds’ footprint on the world, space and time is ultimately an aesthetic gesture, the materials repurposed to visually poetic ends. Drenk has enjoyed a prolific career since earning her MFA in 2007.  Her work has been the subject of many solo and group exhibitions and can be found in notable corporate and private collections, including Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven; Fidelity Investments in Boston; and Bank of America in Houston.

Ann Gardner is renowned for her sculptural works and architectural installations created with glass, transforming the ancient man-made material to investigate notions of color, pattern, volume, reflection, transparency, among other characteristics. Her practice involves using the glass in two, separately distinctive ways. The first is executed with colored glass sheets which she hand-cuts into tiny mosaic pieces and assembles them onto steel armatures. These become wall-mounted or free-standing sculptures in varying tonalities, shape, size, and volume. The second, more recent series of works is less structured, consisting of globes or orbs made of blown glass which stand on their own or form clusters suspended from the ceiling. For Gardner, these orbs propose a new way to think about the material in that they “hold a breath,” where a thin barrier is created between what is inside and what is outside. These shapes are intentionally not centered and asymmetrical, the result of a freer, more improvised exercise. Gardner has a keen, almost intuitive understanding of interior and exterior spaces and can discern the best, most precise way to use glass to harmoniously transform an environment. The artist has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition to her large-scale public and corporate commissions, Gardner’s work is included in the collections of the National Museum of American Art, the Detroit Institute of the Arts, the Seattle Art Museum, the Corning Museum of Glass, and more recently a site-specific installation at the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters in Norfolk, Virginia.

Korean born Jae Ko was educated in Tokyo where she received her formal art training at Wako University.  She learned to work with traditional materials, such as Sumi inks and paper before moving to the United States where she earned her MFA.  Ko’s multicultural background has enabled her to develop the highly personal sculptural technique for which she is widely known. The artist embraces two formal issues -- organic abstraction and the transformed object, by submerging reams of adding machine or ticker tape paper into large vats filled with Sumi inks, graphite, and glue. She twists and coils them to become elongated three-dimensional calligraphic gestures that spiral vertically or horizontally on a wall, flat surface or even the floor. Other bodies of works consist of adding machine paper spools cut into cross sections that are then misted with fine layers of ink. These take on the appearance of spliced logs of wood, or tightly packed swimming organisms.  As Ko’s practice became more sculptural, she has embraced working on monumental site-specific installations using oversized rolls of untreated paper. These evoke natural formations such as geological strata, glaciers, and enormous waves that can occupy an entire room or gallery.  Ko has had a prolific career with numerous exhibitions in the United States, Europe, and Asia.  Her works are in many notable public and private collections including the Corcoran Museum of Art, the Phillips Collections and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., among others. 

Kathleen Kucka approaches her paintings and works on paper with unconventional techniques that to some could be construed as counterintuitive. The artist’s multi-step process involves preparing her canvases or paper with paint, graphite, or colored pencils, which she then marks with different burning techniques. Employing coal fire starters, torches, irons, hot plates, and other tools, Kucka burns through and opens the pictorial space to evoke what lies beyond. Some of her compositions are more structured with spatially arranged and controlled linear or circular burn patterns, while others take on a more fluid character. Her more recent body of work draws inspiration from the cosmos, planet gazing, fractals, and expanded geometries. The burn marks in these works do not attempt to pierce the surfaces -- instead they scorch the canvas to make intersecting lines and gridded networks which may be hidden beneath the painted areas. These scores almost simulate an encrypted language of signs, orchestrated through repeated patterns and rhythms. Kucka has been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions including a 20-year survey at Indiana University. Her work is in several collections including MoMA; The Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach; The Birmingham Museum of Art; the Weatherspoon Art Museum in North Carolina; and the Borusan Contemporary in Istanbul.  

Kathleen Jacobs’s deep engagement with the medium of painting is collaborative in nature, quite literally. The artist wraps thinly painted and gessoed canvases or linens around tree trunks and repeatedly rubs them with oil stick and pigments. She returns to them periodically, recording the grooved surface of the barks over a period of several months or even years.  As the registers of the natural grains and patterns build up over time, the canvases also absorb the surrounding environment, with sunlight, humidity and changing temperatures causing shifts in the patina in unexpected ways. This collaboration with nature ends when the weathered paintings make their way back to the studio, where Jacobs continues to apply thin layers oil and acrylic directly on the front or the reverse, pushing the colors through the weave of the canvas. Once stretched, the painting orientation is turned so that the vertical trunk impressions run horizontally across the canvas, the repetitive linear motifs evoking cloud formations, water ripples, foamy waves and other patterns seen in nature. The results are beautifully atmospheric, finely nuanced physical records of time, space, light, place, and environments. Since earning her M.A. at the Scuola Politecnica di Design in Milan, Italy, Jacobs has enjoyed an extensive artistic career with exhibitions in the United States, Europe, and Asia.  

Japanese artist Maya Makino is making her debut in the United States. The artist sources inspiration stem from the deep recesses of memory and fleeting experiences that fade away. The scent of flowers, the sound of raindrops, the quiet atmospheric night sky and-the-like are universal ephemeral narratives.  Makino looks to traditional methods and materials to express these moments and memoirs.  Her monochromatic paintings in indigo and other hues in blue are tranquil reliefs of texture and pattern. Makino works on wooden panels primed with a traditional gesso using gofun, a white pigment made from oyster shells ground into a fine powder and mixed with glue. Characteristically, gofun is warmer and softer than metal pigments. Once the desired texture or pattern is achieved on the panels, Makino soaks them in indigo dye until they become fully saturated. For Makino, the process of transforming the material is as evocative as drawing from one’s own memory. The results are alluringly immersive compositions with a pared down visual grammar. Makino earned her MFA in painting at the Tokyo University of the Arts in 2009.  She has exhibited widely in renowned institutions in Japan and her works are in many public and international private collections.

Venue ( Address ): 

382 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich, CT 06830

Heather Gaudio Fine Art , Greenwich, CT

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