Overflow: Martha Lewis, Eva Mantell, Melissa Marks, Laura Watt


Martha Lewis, Eva Mantell, Melissa Marks, Laura Watt

Mount Airy Contemporary
May 10 – June 14th 2014
Opening Reception May 10, 6 to 9 PM
Gallery open by appointment

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Bounded by a nutshell I could count myself king of infinite space, were it not for these bad dreams.” Hamlet

“Overflow” is a four-way conversation, on paper, about too much. Is it possible to measure abundance and generosity, to represent big thinking and a sincere committment to transformation? Can one really go somewhere, far away or way too close, with a piece of paper? What is the appeal of “infinite space”? Is it a fantasy about freedom, the wide-open joy of boundless movement and unrestricted time, or, does the attraction live in the contradiction between space and attachment? Can it be that the most vivid definition of Abstraction is grounded in the ordinary, visceral experience of an object? “Overflow” expands and refracts a visual discussion about the violence, humor and perseverence that accompany resistance, the inevitability of boundaries and a handmade, idiosyncratic attack on meaninglessness.

The exhibition at Mt. Airy Contemporary represents the first physical iteration of the dialogue between Lewis, Mantell, Marks and Watt, through objects, across surfaces, engaging the tantalizing risk of overflow.

Martha Lewis is interested in the dimensional possibilities of paper. Her “ ‘Branes” present themselves not as sculpture, but as “thought models made solid, objects at once tactile and philosophical.” Lewis describes “the crumple” as the “visual residue of a climactic event.” Exhibitions include The Decordova Museum, MA, Modern Art Oxford, UK, and The Tricycle Gallery, London.

Eva Mantell’s series of rule-based projects track variations and test a tolerance for change in the context of the environment and evolution. The everyday materials she works with, such as paper coffee cups, are lavished with attention and become emblems of possibility. Exhibitions include Abington Art Center, PA, The Peekskill Project, NY, The Arts Council of Princeton, NJ, Cortijada Los Gazquez, Spain.

Melissa Marks describes “the drawn mark” as a “mutable abstraction, linear catalyst and fantasy instigator.” “Every drawing I make is a spastic diagram of a core-shaking internal disruption, an interior landscape made visible, a picture of a self in a constant state of remaking.” Solo exhibitions include Bloomberg Space, London, Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, NY, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, CT and Cortijada Los Gazquez, Spain. Her work has been included in exhibitions at PS1/Moma, NY, Artspace, CT and The Drawing Center, NY

Laura Watt’s drawings explore the topography of a surface. To be more specific, a piece of paper. “Points, vectors and radiating grid structures explore the possibly infinite space of a working surface/structure. Rather than reiterating the flatness of the paper surface, drawn webs create an undulating landscape. Multiple perspectives are explored, creating a sense of movement and rhythm.” Recent exhibitions include McKenzie Fine Art, NY, Leslie Heller Workshop, NY, St. Josephs University, PA, MACA, PA and Locks Gallery, PA.