Elizabeth Harris Gallery

Ron Milewicz- New Work/ Mary Carlson- Flags, Plates & Demons

Ron Milewicz- New Work/ Mary Carlson- Flags, Plates & Demons

plate with grey repair by mary carlson

Mary Carlson

Plate with Grey Repair, 2010

plate with crack by mary carlson

Mary Carlson

Plate with Crack, 2008

hydrus by mary carlson

Mary Carlson

Hydrus, 2009

dog demon by mary carlson

Mary Carlson

Dog Demon, 2010

faded flag by mary carlson

Mary Carlson

Faded Flag, 2010

faded flag 2 by mary carlson

Mary Carlson

Faded Flag 2, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010Saturday, November 13, 2010

New York, NY USA

Ron Milewicz
New Work

October 14 – November 13, 2010
Reception: Thursday October 14, 6-8pm

Elizabeth Harris Gallery is pleased to present a show of recent work by Ron Milewicz. The exhibition, his second at Elizabeth Harris Gallery, features cityscapes painted from a single vantage point in Long Island City, Queens, over the course of a year.

This new work represents both a logical progression and a marked departure from Milewicz's previous urban landscapes. In this series of oil paintings, Milewicz once more takes on the outlying industrial spaces of Queens - hectic with warehouses, bridges, construction sites, and water towers. The high-keyed color of earlier works is more restrained here, but nonetheless exciting. The paintings possess an exquisite delicacy of color and subtly nuanced shifts in tone.

Viewers acquainted with Milewicz's work are familiar with his practice of returning to one location many times, often seeking odd studio spaces for the extraordinary views they offer. Once he has staked out his terrain, Milewicz tracks the daily and seasonal shifts of light and atmosphere as they dramatically change the view, month by month, minute by minute. He is a witness to the vulnerability of these seemingly permanent buildings and spaces, constantly threatened by bulldozers, zoning laws, real estate development, and other vagaries of human intent. From the richness of this visual experience, with all its potential for chaos, Milewicz constructs a charged yet ordered world. Stripping away the daily noise and commotion of the industrial landscape, he uncovers an underlying quietude, challenging assumptions about human activity and about the experience of time itself.

Through a long meditation on transient forms - both architectural and those of an implied human presence - Milewicz creates images with a profound stillness; time seems embedded into the surfaces. The painted images themselves are artifacts that enfold the time of their own making, just as the built city embodies its own historical time. In Milewicz's work, time is concealed within the thinnest veils of paint. Look closely, and you will see spring foliage beneath the autumn russets, summer skies behind the winter fog. Ultimately, the images exist outside of time, engendering silence, solitude and calm conditions that are too often under siege today.

Ron Milewicz was born in 1963 in Brooklyn, New York. He studied art history at Cornell University (1979-83), received a masters degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture (1983-86), and attended the New York Studio School (1990-1994) where he currently teaches. He lives and works in Queens, New York.

The gallery is located at 529 West 20th Street, 6th floor, and is open Tuesday through Saturday 11-6. There will be a reception for the artist on Thursday, October 14, from 6-8 pm.

For further information contact Miles Manning at 212 463-9666.

Mary Carlson
Flags, Plates & Demons

The Elizabeth Harris Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Mary Carlson. This will be her first solo exhibition with the gallery. This body of work consists of a handmade American flag installation juxtaposed with her porcelain plates and ceramic demons.

Mary Carlson writes about her flags: “After 9-11 in New York City, many of the flags put on display were cheap, plastic and made in China. But by the spring of 2002, many had already started to fade.

After the Supreme Court decision on campaign finance in January 2010, I decided to return to the flag subject matter. There was talk at the time that this court decision would radically change our country in that entities with the financial resources would have an even greater influence on who would be elected to office. Also it seems that we will not be country #1 in the future. Our glory is fading. Looking to the faded flags of 9-11, I dyed cotton fabric to match these faded colors. I sewed the parts together, using a combination of hand sewing and machine sewing. These flags are based on the government's standard proportions for an American flag."

In speaking about her porcelain plates and ceramic demons, Carlson states: “I've been making broken porcelain plates since 1997 and this will be the first time that I've shown them. I cast the plates and bowls out of porcelain. The casting is very thin and damage happens easily because of the thinness. I try to repair the broken parts before firing and glazing the piece. Sometimes the repair holds up through the firing and sometimes cracks or missing pieces result. Some of the plates are made out of a slip that I tinted to look like wedgwood blue. (Josiah Wedgwood was active in the mid and late 18th century.) And these also are cast very thin so that damage happens.

The demon is made out of ceramic. I wanted to make it feel that it's about to pounce. The image is based on a medieval drawing. I've been working with demonic imagery for many years now. I am interested in the idea of something below the surface (the squid and octopuses); claws and teeth; and the metaphor of voices taking on an animal, demon-like appearance. Last summer I did a series of clay sculptures based on paintings of Margaret of Antioch. Her story is that she was swallowed whole by a demon, but emerged intact after tickling its insides. Zubaran, Titian and the Master of Trebon were among the painters who depicted her. I used these paintings as a reference for my sculptures.”

There is the thread of the unseen that links the three series of works; the unseen quality of a familiar object in Carlson’s flags, the behind the scenes aspect of domestic objects (plates) and the below the surface idea of a demon.

Mary Carlson was born in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. She has received grants from the NEA, the NY Foundation for the Arts and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. Carlson lives and works in both New York City and upstate New York.

The gallery is located at 529 West 20th Street, 6th floor, and is open Tuesday through Saturday 11-6. There will be a reception for the artist on Thursday, October 14, from 6-8 pm.

For further information contact Miles Manning at 212 463-9666.