For the current issue, I selected images from four artists who whose work employ unique surfaces and conceptual methods drawing from their interest and experience in various media.
Karen Azoulay combines sculpture, painting, photography and performance to create hybrid conceptual works. Her theatrical installations, which often involve an interaction between the artist and objects she has made in a studio, reference mythology and classical painting and conjure a heightened sensory atmosphere. Fire, water, light, rock and other elements create rich color fields and a mysterious sense of a symbolic significance.
For the her recent series of ink-and-wash drawings which were exhibited at Nature Morte Gallery in Berlin earlier this fall, June Glasson staged photo shoots based on images from a 1860s publication, Sins of New York, depicting women engaged in scenes of violence and revelry. The influence of fashion, illustration and decorative art can be seen in these charged images that question the limits and acceptability of female behavior in urban society.
Moscow-born artist, Leeza Meksin, uses a variety of paints and textiles in her paintings and installations to create complex and metallic surfaces. Spandex predominates in her list of materials and can be found both stretched over the surface of her paintings and also within her large-scale sculptural pieces. Selections of her work were exhibited this fall in a group show at Thomas Erben Gallery in New York and in a solo exhibition at the Abington Art Center in Philadelphia.
Craig Prehn, an artist with roots in Detroit and Chicago, has ventured west and now resides in San Francisco. His most recent series of drawings, An American Western, examines the mythology and stark beauty of the western journey. Prehn, whose background is in photography, collects and views found snapshots of the American vernacular as inspiration for these simple and evocative pen-and-ink sketches.
Tema Stauffer is a photographer based in Brooklyn and a curator for Culturehall. She graduated from Oberlin College in 1995 and received a MFA in Photography from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1998. Her work has been exhibited at Jen Bekman Gallery and Daniel Cooney Fine Art Gallery in New York, as well as galleries and institutions nationally and internationally. She teaches photography courses at William Paterson University and the School of the International Center of Photography, and co-taught a workshop at Toxico Cultura in Mexico City. She also writes a blog about photography, PalmAire. In 2011, she was awarded an AOL 25 for 25 Grant for innovation in the arts.