The Constructicons

 

Invoking the transformative properties of Transformers’ main antagonists, the Constructicons showcases work that that strongly engages with the physical, concrete world. The four artists in The Constructicons all take a close look at the appearance of the real world and spaces and speak to our engagement with everyday physical spaces and objects through different modes of physical and conceptual reconfiguration.

 

The Constructicons will be exhibited at It’s All About Things and will run from April 8 to May 6, 2017 with an opening reception on April 8, 2017 from 12 to 5pm. Regular gallery hours are Fridays 10-2pm, Saturday 12-5pm, and by appointment

 

Jack Henry’s totemic sculptures are reanimations of objects discarded and disregarded- things once of great use and prominent stature now relegated to a state of disrepair and invisibility- remaining in plain sight, as Henry points out, objects taken from the side of highways, parking lots, abandoned buildings- these objects slide into invisibility not for a lack of representation but rather because of it- their meaning and function are emptied because of their pervasiveness in the world. Henry’s sculptural interventions give a new meaning to forgotten objects by refocusing the viewer’s attention on a newly constructed, revived state.

 

Brooklyn artist, Jack Henry gathers commonplace found objects and transforms them into multi-media sculptural works he calls, “monuments to post-industrial America”. Characterized by colorful abstractions, the process behind his signature “Core Sample” sculptures begins with building a vertical mold out of plywood and plastic, which he then uses to cast a variety of collected objects in layers of resin, cement and urban debris. The results are colorful, chaotic, and intricately-textured, resembling geographic core samples from an urban landfill. Jack Henry received a BFA from Florida atlantic University and an MFA in Sculpture from the University of Maryland.

 

Michael Cloud Hirschfield’s steel sculptures play on the metaphysical relationship between the abstraction of language and the world that interprets. Hirschfield’s structures are comprised of letters or shapes whose forms are bent, twisted, folded, and layered upon one another. This literal representation of language transforms the internal state of syntax into external, physical objects, shaped by tools and the human hand- a constructive inversion where the artist shapes language. In his series Unblinking Eyes Under the Ashes, Hirschfeld pushes his forms further into abstraction, leaving behind the clear reference to letter forms, the originally even edged steel becomes elongated pointed and jagged, hinting at the limits of language.

 

Michael Cloud Hirschfeld is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, New York. Language, especially poetry has been the focus of much of his two and three-dimensional work. In his practice the processes of verbal communication are explored as an encompassing metaphor for the individual experience. Through this specific existential concern additional themes of mortality and the sacred are explored. Michael Cloud Hirschfeld received a B.A. in English from Goddard College and an M.F.A. from the Massachusetts College of Art. He has exhibited at the Jewish Museum in New York in the group show Reinventing Ritual and in the show Talk to Me at the Museum of Modern Art.

 

Elizabeth Riley’s sculptures relocate the virtual within the tactile and physical world through mixed media assemblages. By showing video and video stills in various forms- both moving images on screens and printed stills exist simultaneously and convey layered experience of the everyday in which the individual engages and relates to the virtual. By constructing her vibrant and media-rich sculptures, Riley creates a harmonious relationship between the physical and the virtual where both optimistically exist through a mediation of the human hand. 

 

Elizabeth Riley’s work addresses questions concerning the complex and changing world we inhabit and our “mixed reality,” living between physical and digital/virtual contexts. This project takes the form of experimental videos, and sculptures, installations and wall works containing embedded video elements, inkjet-printed video stills, and found materials.

 

A long time New Yorker, Elizabeth Riley graduated from Barnard College and received an MFA from Hunter College. In April 2017, a site-specific installation will appearing in the exhibition Reconstruct at LIU, in Brooklyn. In 2016 a multipart tabletop cItyscape, Video City, appeared in the exhibition, Land, Air, Place at Project ARTspace in Manhattan. The artist has participated in numerous artist residencies at home and abroad, including the I-Park Residency in 2013 and 2015, and was awarded a BRIC Media Arts Fellowship in 2014.

 

Natalie Collette Wood dissolves the dichotomy between nature and architecture by summoning the natural and organic through collaged and cut up imagery in her paintings. The presence of plant life in Wood’s paintings occurs not through the typical natural reclamation of abandoned architectural spaces but through a synthesis of the seemingly opposing elements- existing together in a dynamic relationship of absorption  and growth: man made objects become assimilated into plant structures while naturalistic patterns become enmeshed in the planes of architecture.

 

Natalie Collette Wood is a current artist-in-residence at the Andrew Freedman Home. She has exhibited her work in a number of solo and group shows, most recently, Nothing Lasts forever at the Andrew Freedman Home. She received her MFA from Herbert H. Lehman University, and her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Solo exhibitions include Futuristic Fossil: Natalie Collette Wood at the Chashama Window Gallery, NY, NY (2015) and Seductive Disaster, Berlin (2009). Wood has been included in exhibitions such as The AIM Biannual: Bronx Calling at the Bronx Museum of Art and Ornamenting Crime at Zurcher Gallery, NY, NY. 

 

Charlie Newton is an artist and writer living in the Chicago area. He holds a BA in Philosophy from Wheaton College, Massachusetts and a forthcoming MFA from Northern Illinois University.  Newton has contributed work to The Sakura Review and Beautiful Decay. He is currently showing paintings in the group exhibition Cream of The Crop at ARC Gallery in Chicago.