Now entering its fifth year, Culturehall has published quarterly New Artists Features presenting the work of four artists. Selected from our seasonal open call for applications, new Culturehall members are highlighted with each issue. The artists presented for this spring explore universal and perceived truths through sculpture, appropriated images, still lifes and installations. From our latest session I am honored to present the work of Culturehall's newest members: Kirsten Kay Thoen, Jesse Chun, Jerry Birchfield and Phoebe Streblow.
Existing at an intersection of image making and the physical world, Kirsten Kay Thoen alchemically combines photography with sculpture. Her recent work Crystalline Pendulum & Crystalline Pyramid present images of glacial ice crystals she captured from an exploration of Iceland. The black sand of the Jökulsárlón beach dots the enlarged images of frozen water that become facets of both structures. While seemingly stable, the ice on view is in a process of changing states from an ancient solid to its previous fluid form as an ocean. Both forms oscillate between engaging our space and acting as a lens for viewing what is often overlooked.
Generic, iconic and seemingly ubiquitous, the representations of landscapes and nature from Jesse Chun's series On Paper ask to be queried regarding their origins. Each image is carved from the watermarks and safety lines that compose official documents. And each presents idealized portrayals of places that if ever existed, could only be found in a time long before the governments that created such visions. Stripped of the language and symbols of their nations, the images become common. Their contemporary boundaries and claims dissolved into the interstitial space that is controlled by the passports and visas from where each can be found.
Jerry Birchfield's recent work Finally It Has Happened to Me Right In Front of My Face introduces a dark composition seemingly pulled from the passages of time. Dimensionally large, but visually narrow in depth, the collection of elements on first examination are seemingly available as a result of excavation. The sense of discovery attached to individual objects gives way to questions of representation. While utilizing photographic tools as a medium, each of the works in the series feels more akin to Man Ray's lensless rayographs. The identity of each object has been normalized through a seamless physical and digital patina that offers no beginning or end.
Phoebe Streblow bridges an interest in astrology with the creation of personal glyphs through her work Trine of Air. Harmonious and stable, a trine is formed at birth and often falls between planets that share the same element. Her minimalist depiction of this formation appears as an icon. Existing at equilibrium, the work is neither pure object nor image. An equilateral triangle painted directly onto the wall serves as a base for three circularly framed images of air and water. Each point advancing itself beyond flat representation by incorporating a curved dome of glass. What was once a circular form subtly emerges as a planetary sphere.
David Andrew Frey is a New York-based artist, curator, and technologist. He founded Culturehall to connect artists with curators and their peers. Recently David launched ArtMgt, a platform for providing artists with opportunities to create income through the enjoyment of their work. David earned an MFA in Studio Art from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has also studied at the Camberwell College of Art in London, the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin, The University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and the Savannah College of Art and Design. He has curated exhibitions in New York of work by Culturehall artists for Ligne Roset, Cindy Rucker Gallery and the Big Screen Plaza.