Past Exhibits at El Taller: 2008
ANGELO ROMANO: Angels Over Broadway
December 4 to December 27
"Upper Broadway joins in the tradition of Macy's and 5th Avenue presenting a mystical display for the Holidays, with an Angel-talisman give-away."
The exhibition features a selection of Romano's characteristic mixed-media works on canvas, paper and found objects. In addition, Mr. Romano, known for his spiritual works, brings the image of hope, health and prosperity with 10-foot Angels that will grace El Taller's Broadway façade for the duration of his exhibition as upper Broadway joins in the tradition of Macy's and 5th Avenue with a mystical display for the Holidays.
There is art that decorates and art that protects: Angelo's art transforms. Romano is best known for his angels, one-inch-square protective talismans that he distributes freely to all; he has sent over 70,000 of these hand-painted angels to troubled parts of the world. People feel a personal connection with Angelo's art. All of them see something familiar in it: "This sculpture looks so much like a Russian icon!" Another person sees Aztec designs, and still another defines Angelo as an "ultramodernist". Angelo, however, paints without worrying about which category he belongs to.
Angelo's work emphasizes the importance of recycling and the frugal use of available materials. He paints bottles, old shoes, frying pans. He rescues from the trash what others throw away and lovingly returns it transformed into art. His largest projects have been accomplished with mostly recycled materials.
International art historian and critic, Juan Ramírez de Lucas, notes that "the naïf painter paints with such love that it is difficult to find the same strength of emotion in other types of art." Angelo Romano is not just an artist, he is a creative force. "Angelo Romano believes in miracles: His paintings have provoked many of them. Angelo Romano believes in angels: He paints them and puts them up all over the city of New York. This is his way of humanizing the metropolis, of creating positive energy." Bernardo Palombo, El Puente Latino.
Romano, artist-in-residence at El Taller since 1995, has produced a vast body of work: theater sets in auditoriums and clubs, frescos in cathedrals, designs for totems and clothes, masks, furniture and free standing sculptures. His work about AIDS is exhibited in hospitals, cultural centers and universities. His exhibition record includes over 300 shows and is represented in scores of museums and private collections in Europe, Latin and North America, including Museo del Barrio - New York; Hostos Community College; Museo de Arte Popular - Albacete, Spain; Museo de Arte De Ponce, Ponce - Puerto Rico; Museo de Arte Moderna - Rio de Janeiro. Private collections include the Prince of Bourbon, the Duchess of Alba, and the Rockefeller family.
During the exhibition, Angelo will continue his custom of good-will by offering his popular hand-painted and signed "Angel" talismans free to all visitors of the Grady Alexis Gallery. Additionally, a special selection of small-scale affordable works will be available for purchase during the opening reception.
Exhibition curated by Jennifer Pliego and Bernardo Palombo.
LAURA GILBERT: Money, Men, and Mischief
October 24 - November 22
Read about Gilbert's print The Zero Dollar in the New York Times
The Grady Alexis Gallery presents Laura Gilbert's recent oil paintings and works on paper in "Money, Men, and Mischief."
The exhibition features the free "Zero Dollar" print, which has received attention worldwide - by The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and the Associated Press, among many others - as a powerful artwork confronting the current breakdown of the American economy.
As part of the artwork and in the perfect artistic analogy, Gilbert deflates - to zero - the monetary value of the print by making a huge edition of 10,000. Gilbert's first give-away took place on October 7 across from the New York Stock Exchange, and she is continuing to make the print available as part of the exhibition. "The Zero Dollar" will be free to all comers beginning at the artist's reception on October 24 until all the prints have been distributed. Each print is hand signed and numbered by the artist.
Gilbert has also created a series of works that feature the zero-dollar bill on various commodities -- including aluminum, copper, palladium, and gold - playing with the concepts of value and worth.
The exhibit marks the first showing of Gilbert's ongoing series "Who Says You Can't Choose Your Family." On display are more than a dozen of her panel paintings of imaginary portraits of people of all ages who are forced to interact with one another. The dynamics of the relationships are controlled by changing the order in which the paintings are hung.
Gilbert has long been fascinated by how men confront the world, and she has explored this theme in her art since she started painting six years ago. The half-dozen canvases included here show her both sympathetic and critical. With her light-palette hand, Gilbert creates feelings of the ethereal and otherworldly in this unique body of work. Gilbert asks the viewer to spend time with each piece so as to experience not only how she controls the viewer's perceptions of the work but also how she conveys a sense of depth not easily discernible in the passing glance.
Gilbert's works have been exhibited in Europe and the U.S., including in the 7th Biennial of women artists curated by MoMA's Connie Butler at the A.I.R. Gallery in Chelsea. She studied art at the University of California, Berkeley, the Art Students League, and the School of Visual Arts. She has a master's degree in art history from Columbia University and is currently artist-in-residence at El Taller.
Exhibition curated by Jon Coffelt.
FELIPE GALINDO/FEGGO: Manhatitlan Codex, Works on paper and Animation
September 12 - October 18
The Grady Alexis Gallery presents Felipe Galindo/Feggo's exhibition "Manhatitlan Codex," which features works inspired by the ongoing phenomenon of the Mexican immigration to the US.
Part of an ongoing project that has occupied Galindo for more than a decade, the "Manhatitlan Codex" continues to explore -in the artist's characteristic humorous style-- the concepts of homeland,
migration and globalization. The drawings are Galindo's twisted take on the legends and images of Mexico within the New York City landscape. "Manhatitlan" is a name Galindo coined that merges
Manhattan-the Algonquin name for "island"-with the Aztec name for Mexico City, Tenochtitlan.
Galindo, a cartoonist, illustrator and animator, has lived in Manhattan since the 1980s. His work has appeared in many American and international publications and has received numerous awards.
Galindo has had 18 individual exhibitions in the United States, Greece, and Mexico.
Exhibition curated by Andrea Arroyo.
BEATRICE CORON: City Slices
July 31- August 30
Image: EgoCentriCity, 24x24", painted Tyvek cutting
With the use of paper and exacto knife, artist Beatrice Coron creates intricate images that explore human interactions within the urban environment. Ranging
from playful to philosophical, her silhouettes are technically reminiscent of traditional paper cutting, yet contemporary in style.
Ms Coron is a French-born, New York based artist. Her work has been exhibited extensively and is in many public and private collections.
Exhibition curated by Andrea Arroyo.
THE KIDS PROJECT
June 26 - July 10
The Kids Project is proud to showcase photographs taken by some of New York City's inner city kids, particularly kids from East Harlem. The exhibit will display 48 images, including self-portraits and other still shots. All photographs were taken with disposable cameras by young kids ages 8-10.
This special exhibit is the culmination of a 5-week long program that started in the fall/winter of 2007 and sought to expose inner city kids with enriching arts opportunities that they otherwise
would not have access to. 16 children participated in the program, which consisted of five two-hour skill-building workshops including composition, content and style. Each child was lent a disposable
camera loaded with 36 exposures that allowed them to creatively capture their daily interactions with their communities, families and friends. The images are honest depictions of the kids' daily
lives as seen through their nascent, artistic eyes. The exhibit will feature 3 pieces of work from each child that were chosen as their favorites.
The Kids Project was created by a group of young New York City artists and is made possible by 100% volunteer work of the following people - Christina Baute, Israel de la Cruz, Amy Lee, Leticia
Perelstein, and E-Anna Soong - to support, encourage and guide the kids of this generation towards a new, positive direction through art.
The Kids Project will hold an opening reception at El Taller Latino Americano on June 26, 2008 at 6PM. The reception and exhibition, which will run until July 10 is open and free to the public. Come
and enjoy the impressive body of work taken by our budding young artists!
ELISA MERINO: Concierto Desafinado - Cartografias del Silencio
May 23 - June 23
Out-of-Tune Concert - Cartographies of Silence
Elisa Merino's work embodies a reflexive approach to and critical treatment of the dramatic human domain. We are thus confronted with a strongly anthropomorphising fact, since an existentially experienced domain is involved, transformed into shelter and ground of experience, sanity and madness, in contrast to the objective, geometrical, or Euclidean domain.
Román de la Calle
NIKOL DROUIN: Images of I and I; Selected paintings
April 9 - May 16
El Taller Latino Americano's Grady Alexis Gallery presents an exhibition of paintings by French Canadian artist Nikol Drouin.
With a style influenced by the cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean, her work is colorful, thoughtful, and emotional. The colors and images range from nature and natural forms to the urban and
the man-made, with a focus on how the man-made mirrors the natural. "We are natural beings, though we mistakenly conceive of ourselves as separate from nature." This idea of oneness is echoed in the
show's title with the Rastafarian expression "I and I," which is used in place of "we" and implies that all persons are united under the love of Jah (God).
Drouin's figurative, metaphorical images are viewable on multiple levels. She incorporates mythological or spiritual themes into some of her paintings, as in "Into Dark Waters", with its
Narcissus-like figure falling into dark water littered with the word 'me'. She also comments on social issues, as in "Birth by Default," which depicts the unceremonious birth of a child into a modern
world. "This woman is on the run," explains Drouin, "and the child is dropping into the dust, his head red with pain or anger." On art as social commentary, she muses, "Am I trying to make a
difference? I don't know if you can make a difference, but you can certainly express concerns and people walking into a gallery will be made more sensitive and aware."
Nikol Drouin grew up in Ottawa, Canada and currently resides in Montreal. She is a graduate of York University's School of Fine Arts, where she studied with master printmakers Eugenio Tellez and
Veronica Aberham organized the exhibition and curates "Images of I and I".
GRADY ALEXIS: Retrospective
March 28 & 31
El Taller Latino Americano's Grady Alexis Gallery presents an exhibition of paintings and sculpture by the artist Grady Alexis.
Grady died in 1991 in a controversial traffic incident on 8th street in the East Village at the age of 26. The retrospective will take place on Friday and Saturday March 28 and 29. El Taller plans to
mount a month-long show in the fall of 2008 and hopes to locate more of his work for the expanded retrospective.
Grady came the United States from Haiti and lived in Miami before finally arriving on the lower
east side. In 1986 he became "artist-in-residence" at El Taller when it moved to East 2nd Street. Although he used El Taller as a base for his work and life, Grady knew many people and collaborated
with a number of artists, including Thom Corn and the art installation group known as "The Maroons".
In the spirit of the Grady's collaborative work, Bernardo Palombo, artistic director of El Taller, has organized the recreation of the mural "The Birth of the Sun'. It was originally painted by Grady
and hung at the Taller for a number of years before being stolen, lost or destroyed. Many artists and friends of Grady have participated in its recreation, and friends of Grady are invited to come to
the Taller to help complete it before the exhibition.
The retrospective will feature art by Grady that is owned by Thom Corn and by EJ, who were both close friends of his. It will also include art that was left at the Taller when Grady passed away.
Tom Campbell, a local filmmaker, is completing a short movie about Grady and the times in which he lived. If anyone who knew Grady would like to share stories about him, or add their own touch to the
completion of the mural, please contact El Taller or Tom Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 27 - March 26
El Taller Latino Americano's Grady Alexis Gallery presents a series of drawings by Leandro Maciel. Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Maciel moved
to New York City in 1997. Although music and sound design are his specialty, he is a self-taught artist for whom art is an old love he's been"in and out of since childhood". Using color pencils,
sticks and markers, paper and fixatives, Maciel has created this amazing series of drawings.
Maciel explains,"We know our creative ideas for artwork often come from images and events we have experienced. These memories are influential to our conscious creation."
But what about the imagery and events we haven't experienced, those which aren't necessarily ours but rather part of a collective consciousness? How do these influence the creation of art?
"In this work I explore this question. In most cases the pieces are not planned, I make no sketches, but basically try to empty my mind in front of the blank page and do my best to summon the dreams
and sensations from the time I was a child, the time of the military dictatorship in Argentina."
See more about Leandro Maciel at: www.leandromaciel.com.
CARLOS ORTIZ: Dancin
January 11 - February 23
El Taller Latino Americano’s Grady Alexis Gallery presents "Dancin", a series of paintings showcasing the work of Latin artist Carlos Ortiz. In the series, Ortiz explores the themes of family heritage, and community.
Ortiz says the title of his exhibition is derived from the style he uses to paint. "I selected ‘Dancin’ as the general title for the work I do because it involves a lot of physicality and
movement and spontaneity of movement," he explains. Ortiz cites an early introduction to expressionistic artists as well as involvement in the Salsa music scene of the late 60’s and early
70’s as influencing factors regarding his fluid, rapid painting style. Concerning Salsa music, Ortiz explicates that the whole idea of synchronicity of cultures, of rhythms, of colors, of
movement all taking the form for a dance was influential."
Exemplifying this idea is a large mural that will be present at the "Dancin" exhibition consisting of overlapping images of faces, hands, and people dancing. Ortiz says the mural, like most of his
work, represents the importance of community, and is meant to radiate a positive energy and sense of rhythm. This sense of community is not limited to the people on the canvas though, says Ortiz. I
like to play music when I show my work as well and I like it to be a community-building experience, not just something where you go to a museum and see a piece on the wall."
Other works by Ortiz depict tropical scenes. These, he says, are in honor of his parents and their Caribbean roots. "The Caribbean is such that there is so much movement, rhythm and it’s all
one big carnival," Ortiz explains. "That whole thing is a part of my artwork that I always pay homage to and it´s my essence."
Carlos Ortiz currently presides as Assistant Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Montclair State University, yet another influence that has helped to shape his work. But while
Ortiz draws inspiration for his art from many places, his motivation to paint is simple. "I think the painting process in itself inspires me," he says. “I love to be in the studio working."
Read more about Carlos Ortiz at Studio International.
Veronica Aberham, Gallery Director, organized the exhibition and curates "Dancin".