Recent Drawings by Jackie Skrzynski
Opening Reception – Sunday, March 4, 2-5 pm
On View Sunday, March 4 – Thursday, April 26, 2018
Throughout her career, Jackie Skrzynski’s work has challenged physical and psychological boundaries between humans and nature. In this most recent work, she collapses the perception of interior and exterior space. Her large charcoal drawings of swirling forms and tangles suggest similarities between anatomical and botanical forms. Skrzynski writes that her imagery is inspired by her time in the woods near her home. Observing growth, decay and rebirth, she intends to convey her perception of nature as equally beautiful and unsettling. Perhaps the somewhat grotesque imagery is mitigated by the lushness and velvety quality of her drawing.
In her statement, Skrzynski describes her references as pulling from facial features, nerve cells, tree roots and vines. She writes that her daily walks through the woods near her home provide inspiration and a sense of connection with a larger natural system. In the safety of the studio and through the act of drawing, she depicts what she finds visually compelling, allowing her subconscious to manifest through imagery and mark making.
My drawings reference everyday observations I make of facial features, botanical forms, and anatomical elements. I combine them in a way that allows my subconscious to suggest imagery that visually and conceptually ties them together. By collaborating with my subconscious, and, importantly, overriding more rational, conventional depictions of portraiture and nature, I pay homage to the surrealists’ method of creating art.
The first time I visited the Seligmann Center was in 2010. I specifically went to see Kurt Seligmann’s print Exotic Garden because I was drawn to the painting’s haunting beauty. Over time, I learned Kurt Seligmann was deeply inspired by his time in nature, particularly the landscape around his home in Sugar Loaf. I also find my inspiration in my daily walks through the woods. I feel a connection to work like Envelopment (Mountain Spirit) A Mythological Trilogy (1959 oil on canvas.) and Moonscape (1959 oil on canvas). I see a similarity in inspiration, process and imagery between our works.
Recently, I became interested in the concept of “half-life” which describes a state when half of a substance has dissipated and half remains. While often used in measuring radioactivity, the term resonates for me when applied to a fallen tree. As it ages, a tree gets invaded by insects, drilled by woodpeckers, and covered by vines until it falls over dead. This marks its half-life. While it no longer “produces,” the tree continues to nourish the ecosystem as it decays. To me, this suggests a way to approach aging. Like the tree, I feel myself dissipating into my surroundings. I describe aging through the lens of nature because it makes visual and philosophical sense. These are my thoughts as I draw, using charcoal and pencil because I love the physical contact with the materials and the immediacy of making marks.
About Jackie Skrzynski
Jackie Skrzynski lives and works in Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY and has exhibited all over the country. She has a Masters in Fine Arts in Drawing and a Masters of Arts in Drawing and Painting both from The University of Albany, NY.
Her most recent exhibitions include: Order and Chaos, in the Giles Gallery Eastern Kentucky University Richmond, KY; The Nude, in Chris Davison Gallery Newburgh, NY; Nasty Women, in OKC Current Studio Oklahoma City, OK; The Garden State, in (Now) Bergen Gallery Paramus, NJ Curator: Amy Lipton; Three Person Exhibition (with Kirsten Kucer and Elana Goren), in Theo Ganz Studio Beacon, NY.
Jackie has been a guest lecturer at Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary, Ramapo College of New Jersey, and Eastern Connecticut State University. She has also currated and juried exhibtions including: 2017 PUG Projects: Orange Alert Espiritu Newburgh, NY created pop-up gallery on 3 floors of brick building;2015 The Big Draw Beacon, NY -participated in jury panel for exhibition at Catalyst Gallery; 2013 PUG Projects: Orange Alert 3D Newburgh, NY-created pop-up gallery featuring sculpture; 2010 The Pop-Up Gallery: Orange Alert Newburgh, NY-created temporary gallery space in downtown warehouse; 2007 Domestic Mythology The Arts Alliance of the Hudson Valley Juror for online exhibition; 2006 Rage against the Machine Spire Studios Beacon, NY -co-curated with Robert Modafferi; 2005 The Pop-Up Gallery: Art Rave #1 Newburgh, NY -transformed unrented office space into a temporary gallery.
Sculptures on Long-Term View
Book Tree, 2012
Jed Bark joined Holly Solomon Gallery when it opened in 1975 and exhibited there regularly until the mid-1980’s, when he shifted his full-time focus to Bark Frameworks. His works are in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Centre Pompidou, among others. Bark’s work was recently shown in the exhibition “Rituals of Rented Island” at the Whitney Museum of American Art (2014) and at Paris Photo (2016). An individual exhibition of his work, “Jared Bark: Photobooth Works, 1969-1976,” took place at Southfirst Gallery in 2015.
Crazy Column, 1976
526 x 53 x 53 cm
Bernard Kirschenbaum, born in 1924 in New York City, is an artist known for both his architecture and sculptures. Shortly after graduating from Chicago’s Institute of Design in 1952, Kirschenbaum moved to Massachusetts and opened an architecture firm along with several of his colleagues. The firm became well known for the development of the D.E.W. Line Dome System, which were a string of domes to cover radar equipment. After moving back to New York City in 1957, Kirschenbaum built a dome studio for artist Susan Weil, whom he later married. His focus shifted from architectural design to sculptural art in the 1960’s when he made a sculpture for a group show at a New York gallery. He had his first of many solo exhibits in 1969. Over the next few decades, Kirschenbaum exhibited art in a variety of locations including NYC, Washington D.C., Sweden, Wisconsin, and Finland. www.bernardkirschenbaum.com.