FIXING THE SKY
An exhibition featuring artwork by Nicole Pietrantoni, Amy Sacksteder, Helen Dennis, and Island Projects
Viewing Dates: February 10-12, 2011
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 10, 7-10pm, featuring music by HOOL
Brunch:Saturday, February 12, 11-1pm
Location: Brick & Mortar, 54 Knickerbocker Ave. #4B Brooklyn, New York
Contact: For more information contact Helen Dennis at (646) 319-7035 or Nicole Pietrantoni +354 588 7576 or firstname.lastname@example.org. High resolution images available upon request.
FIXING THE SKY
This exhibition brings together the work of Nicole Pietrantoni, Amy Sacksteder, and Helen Dennis, as well as the collaborative work of Island Projects (Nicole Pietrantoni and Amy Sacksteder). Fixing the Sky reflects the artistsʼ experiences traveling in Iceland. Iceland is often perceived as a remote location covered with lava fields, volcanoes, and glaciers. While this sublime landscape attracts thousands of adventurous tourists to the island every year, it also attracts a large group of international artists interested not only in the islandʼs natural beauty but also its unique geo-political and ecological situation. The work in Fixing the Sky uses Icelandʼs beauty as a jumping-off point to explore humansʼ interaction with nature. In each of the works, one finds a heightened awareness of our effect on the natural environment and the environmentʼs effect on us.
ABOUT THE WORK
Nicole Pietranoni’s Build Your Own Landscape series uses cast shadows created by screenprinting onto acrylic panels combined with found objects. This body of work examines the complex relationship between human beings and nature, particularly the layers of narratives and histories that shape the way in which one pictures and frames the natural world. Combining digital and traditional printmaking techniques, these investigations culminate in installations, works on paper, and site-specific art.
Amy Sacksteder’s paintings, drawings, and photographs are incorporated into installations that reconcile vitality and mortality. She distills momentous experiences found in nature (e.g., the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland) into and through the artwork, which in turn offers a place for mourning and celebration – a platform to explore and engage the tension between vitality and mortality.
Helen Dennis uses a combination of drawing and photography, creating images by holding back light through layers of drawings. Experiencing long summer days and an unfamiliar orientation of the sun in Iceland, Dennis’ awareness of natural light became acute. Using light on photo-sensitive paper, she reflects on the vastness of nature and the fast-growing natural changes in the landscape, which are echoed in rapid developments of the man- made world.
Island Projects is Nicole Pietrantoni and Amy Sacksteder. The two artists met in Iceland in 2010 while attending artist residencies in Reykjavik. Their collaborative work stems from common themes in their individual studio practices, which mutually examine human interaction with nature. With Pietrantoni’s background in printmaking and Sacksteder’s background in drawing and painting, the artists employ an array of media to create installations that incorporate everything from digital prints and inkjet transparencies to cyanotypes and drawings.
ABOUT THE BAND
HOOL is Brett Hool and John Kibler. HOOL has played in office parking garages, shipping containers, hospital rooms, industrial lofts, haylofts, storm drains, abandoned covents, in the quiet canyons of California, under the autumn leaves of western New York, and on sheep farms in the green heart of Holland.
Nicole Pietrantoni is an American artist working in Reykjavik, Iceland, where she is a Fulbright Scholar and recipient of a Leifur Eiriksson Foundation Fellowship. She is creating work at the Icelandic Printmakerʼs Association, a studio in Reykjavik, and will also be traveling to several artist residencies across the island including SÍM, Gamla Skólí Residency in Hrísey, and the Akureyri Artists Studio. She received her MA and MFA with Honors in Printmaking at the University of Iowa and received her undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt University. She is the recipient of a Margaret Stonewall Wooldridge Hamblet Fellowship, a residency from the Ora Lerman Charitable Trust, and a public art commission from the University of Iowa Hospital. Her works have been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad.
Amy Sacksteder’s recent paintings, drawings and installations examine ephemerality and transience. She often incorporates the landscape, individual histories, and current events to depict ambiguous icons and narratives. Her work has been cited on contemporary art websites, published in journals such as New American Paintings, and has been featured in solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally. She has attended artist residencies in Illinois, Newfoundland, Southern France, Philadelphia, Budapest and Reykjavík. Sacksteder is part of the collaborative team Island Projects with Nicole Pietrantoni, who she met and began working with in Iceland in 2010. Sacksteder received her MFA from Northern Illinois University in 2004. She lives and works in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where she is an Assistant Professor of Art at Eastern Michigan University.
Helen Dennis is originally from the UK and now resides in Brooklyn. She earned her BA (Honors) at the University of the Creative Arts in Canterbury, UK and received her MFA from Hunter College, NY. She has been awarded a fellowship from Aljira Center for Contemporary Art and a photographic fellowship from The International House, NYC. Helen has traveled to art residencies in Beijing, Cyprus, and most recently Iceland. She has participated in various exhibitions worldwide and in the US with the support of Queens Council on the Arts, Kent County Council, New Jersey State Council on the Arts and South East Arts UK. Helen’s public art installations have been commissioned by the Downtown Alliance of New York, and NoLongerEmpty.