The Woodward Gallery on the Lower East Side is currently presenting a fascinating collection of work for a group exhibition titled New Work New York. The 18 artists featured in the show come from all corners of the globe and are all making their debut at the gallery, each artist has his or her own unique message to convey. The works in the show include mostly sculpture, painting, and photography where abstraction, surrealism, and figurative styles are used.
One of the most enigmatic pieces in the show is the painting Zissou by the artist Vedran Misic. It features a middle-aged man presented from the shoulders up and shown as though he’s living underwater or in another world as he’s covered in neon colors and designs and dreamy patterns. The color in the background is blue which likely represents water and fish, seaweed, and algae shown in the man’s chest. The warmer reds and oranges surrounding the blue water in the man’s body likely represent sand at the bottom and opposing elements of water and fire. The shape of a seahorse can be seen in the man’s ear and his facial expression suggest that he’s dreaming of the future as is further emphasized with the letter “Z” in the center of his forehead.
Shaun O’Rourke illustrates the pressures of being in the public eye with Celebrity, a black and white oil painting. The subject appears to be a young woman whose face is shown in the background covered with makeup with her eyes closed as she appears distant and oblivious to what’s happening around her. Several microphones are thrust in her face as well as the hand of an eager fan wanting to get close, and the face of another woman in the background watching her.
Another intriguing work in the show titled Metallic Landscape by Javier Infantes Lopez is a painting made from resin with red, white, and blue colors. Often when these colors are presented together, white in the middle as in the French flag. However, the color in the center here is a slim sliver of light blue compressed by the red on the bottom and the white on top. Other notable works in the show include images of water such as with And Again, a series of acrylic panels by Jessica Hurley Scott where she brilliantly creates the illusion of a wave crashing , and Mary Armstrong’s painting Green Wave which has a calming effect with the water emitting a green hue as part of it smoothly rises up toward the horizon line.
At The Woodward Gallery, 133 Eldridge St., through Feb. 27th. The gallery is open Tue.-Sat. from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sundays from noon until 5 p.m.