2009: Aspiration / Inspiration

Guest Curated by Nicholas Cohn

Location: New Hotel 2 in the Maxon Mills
August 13th – 23rd, 2009

Aspiration/Inspiration features five talented artists from throughout New York State. Working in a variety of mediums, these artists explore emotions we as humans encounter on our quest for fulfillment: fear, frustration, insecurity and the satisfaction that comes from perseverance.

Though they work in very different mediums, Oscar Strodl and Jen P. Harris have chosen portraiture to capture feelings of courage, concern and celebration, “Four Horsemen” offers a sense of manifest destiny, that the world is ours for the taking, while “Waiting Room” and “Lida 227” offer more of a tempered mood, the joy of raising a family but the concern that accompanies that responsibility. While with “Patricio” and the diptych of “Two Boys” and “Two Girls” we see fear trumped by companionship.

In Sarah Kohn’s sculpture work we see opposing traits, with “Means to an End” we feel strength and longevity while “Static/Stasis” evinces a sense of fragility.

Boyce Cumming and Danny Miller return to painting as an art form that describes both a world of possibility, as well as impending disaster. Cummings has produced two images lending themselves to dualistic interpretation: In “Ring of Stars” one may see a beautiful country farm, quant white house and patriotic stars symbolizing American freedom. However as you dive deeper, the scene turns eerie, as though you have entered a ghost town; the trees have died and the only animal is a small bird eyeing you pensively. With “Lets Slip Away” Miller ushers the viewer into a world of fantasy: a cowboy excitedly lassoing a horse while abstract shapes and cartoon characters hypnotically fill the canvas. In “Finish Last” Miller asks us, in a more subtle way, to suspend reality, with three wolves devouring a birthday cake, as if to say: “Life is tough; enjoy the moment.”

Artists:

Boyce Cummings, Jen P. Harris, Sarah McD Kohn, Danny Miller, Oscar Strodl

Jen Harris, "Four Horsemen"

Curator:

Nicholas Cohn is founder of Nicholas Cohn Art Projects an independent curating and art advising firm dedicated to working with socially engaged artists. He co-founded Tyler Rollins Fine Art in 2008, a contemporary art gallery specializing in Asian art, and served as Director of from 2008 to 2012. Prior to opening the gallery he spent five years in the non-profit arts sector working for the Brooklyn Museum and Americans for the Arts. He is a frequent guest lecturer on contemporary art, and gallery and non-profit management, and is active with many non-profit arts organizations including Studio in a School, Artadia and Chashama.

Sarah McD Kohn, Static-Stasis

Sarah McD Kohn, Static-Stasis

Boyce Cummings, Ring of stars

Boyce Cummings, Ring of stars

Boyce Cummings, Forest Fire

Boyce Cummings, Forest Fire

Oscar Strodl, Lida

Oscar Strodl, Lida

Danny Miller, Lets Slip Away

Danny Miller, Lets Slip Away

Danny Miller, Finish Last

Danny Miller, Finish Last

Danny Miller

Danny Miller

Oscar Strodle

Oscar Strodle

In the Maxon Mills

In the Maxon Mills

Sarah McD Kohn, Static-StasisBoyce Cummings, Ring of starsBoyce Cummings, Forest FireOscar Strodl, LidaDanny Miller, Lets Slip AwayDanny Miller, Finish LastDanny MillerOscar StrodleIn the Maxon Mills