Lori Ellison + Elsie Kagan opens Sat. nite, Dec. 15, 6–8PM

Here’s the info.

‘Full and by,’ oil on canvas, 2012. 60″ x 60″. Elsie Kagan.

This is the first exhibition under the auspices of GO:Curate, a curatorial program created by critic and curator Sarah Schmerler in response to the Brooklyn Museum’s recent GO!: Brooklyn open-studio event.

GO:CURATE and Soapbox Gallery Present:
Lori Ellison + Elsie Kagan

Location: Soapbox Gallery
636 Dean Street (between Vanderbilt and Carlton Aves, near the Barclays Center)
Subway: 2,3 to Bergen St; B, Q, D, R, 4, 5 to Atlantic Ave.
Soapbox, a window-front gallery, is visible from the sidewalk 24-7, and is lit at night.

Opening Reception: Saturday, Dec. 15, 6–8PM
Dates: Dec. 15 2012–Jan. 5, 2013

“I asked myself: Whom would I recommend the Brooklyn Museum exhibit — and collect — if I had access to its space, power, audience?” -Sarah Schmerler

More about the artists

Lori Ellison makes labor-intensive paintings and drawings that deliver far more optical impact and psychological resonance than you’d expect from small-scale work. But power comes in small packages. Her drawings are executed in ballpoint pen on paper; her paintings in gouache, their palette restricted to color-wheel-perfect monochromes of repeating geometric shapes (royal blue triangles, cadmium red squares, thalo green dots, orange triangles, etc.) wrought on lighter, tonally consistent fields. No matter what her medium, however, Ellison’s works always pulsate with a life of their own from edge to edge, like webs or nets of living, organic data.

I first learned of Ellison in 1996 from Greg Stone, who, like Ellison, is an artist who has lived and worked in Williamsburg for more than 20 years. “You can always find Lori at Kasia’s [a local Polish diner] drawing in her notebook with a ballpoint pen,” he told me “sitting with her back to the door.” At the time, I took that to mean that Ellison was the sort of artist who would work consistently and devotedly, no matter the vicissitudes of fad or the market. She has — and her work has grown in mastery over these years.
Ellison is represented by McKenzie Fine Art.

Elsie Kagan, who hails from Berkeley, CA, moved to New York in 2005. She studied painting at Tyler School of Art (MFA) and Wesleyan (BFA), and has pretty much painted ambitious works on large surfaces from the time she was a self-taught muralist at the age of 15. Highly influenced by the Baroque ceiling paintings she observed while spending her grad school year abroad in Rome, Kagan reaches, in her own work, for a similar sense of drama and sensuous physicality — albeit updated to a contemporary painting language that embraces surface drip and gesture. Part Ab-Ex bravura, part old-school atelier, Kagan’s paintings ‘foreshorten’ formalistic concerns from art history’s past and contemporary painting’s present.

Kagan’s most recent works are square-format landscapes in which she manages to subsume both her love for the light of Northern European painting (Jacob van Ruisdael, Rubens) and the passing of the seasons outside her studio window. Kagan works in Gowanus, Brooklyn.

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