440 Gallery is pleased to present “Breathing Space,” a solo exhibition by Shanee Epstein. This is the artist’s sixth show at the gallery and caps a year of displacement for Epstein as her working space was unavailable for over a year while her new studio was under construction. Epstein celebrates the return to a creative place through her collage work in this show. The art is layered in patchwork narratives stitched together with free form edges that are unconfined by a rectangular grid. Photographic elements are far more prevalent in these new works and the imagery of a farmhouse in a rural setting is a recurring motif.
These photographic images are the result of a pivotal retreat at a friend’s farm in rural upstate New York during a time when Epstein, without access to her worktable and supplies, sought alternative spaces to make art. “I was fascinated by the spaces inside the farmhouse and how doorways and windows framed the scenes. There is simplicity in the natural landscape and the juxtaposition of smaller, puzzle-like pieces fit together to make a more complex whole.”
The work reflects the literal “breathing space” that Epstein found she needed in order to continue working during the disruptive construction of her studio. Happily, the artist has finally realized the creative workspace of her dreams—an open, breathing environment to create in.
Epstein received her BA in art education and psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and MFA at Pratt Institute. An artist, an educator and a parent of two for the past twenty five years, Epstein weaves these identities into her creative life. Anchored in the fundamentals of formal training and enriched by a life steeped in emotional intelligence and understanding, Epstein's art has evolved into abstract lyrical expressionism, a layered richness and nuanced harmonies. The work is both complex, yet playful with a bold simplicity.
The artist’s reception is Sunday, June 4, from 1 – 4pm. Several related events are scheduled during the run of the show, see 440gallery.com/events and a closing party will be held on Sunday, June 25 from 4 – 7pm
In the Project Space: "Present Tense"
Janet Pedersen’s latest series “Figure in the Landscape” is based on iPhoto images taken on the streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan. Through design and body gesture, working in acrylic gouache, Pedersen captures a moment in time. She has always been drawn to an urban setting with people involved, an invitation to work with the figure in a complex landscape.
Joy Makon celebrates the warmth and renewal of Spring through three watercolors of well-known public gardens: The Japanese Hill and Pond Garden at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris, France, and Parc du Thabor in Rennes, France.
Tricia Townes loves to research patterns and designs from various world cultures. She is interested in representing American identities through the lenses of these cultures that have populations in the U.S., and she repaints some of the designs in the colors of the American flag.