Sara Crisp, Rachel Friedberg, Rachel Kohn, Joyce Krotkins, Karen Nielson-Fried, Tome sine & Deborah Winiarski: Waxing

May 15 - June 14, 2014


Denise Bibro Fine Art in Chelsea is pleased to have an exhibition of seven encaustic artists. The materiality of encaustic provides each of these artists a multi-faceted medium, to develop their own visual language.

Sara Crisp’s : work is about “inspiring the sacred, the contemplation of the sacred in the mundane, and exalted in the universal.” Her mixed media encaustic works incorporate delicate, meticulous patterns paired with botanical elements, such as flower petals, stems, and seed pods. Where she previously integrated bones and skeletons in her work, this series is notable for their absence, rendering it more life affirming.

Rachel Friedberg has been exclusively using the encaustic medium as her mode of expression since 1980. She suspends, “ciphers of thought and feeling by negating the familiarity of other mediums.” The quality of luminosity and dullness, optically shallow yet emotionally deep, give her the physical entity in her search for thoughts that can be momentarily suspended in an undifferentiating space. The vulnerability of the human condition has always been part of Friedberg’s creative oeuvre.

Rachel Kohn’s meditative landscapes provoke the viewer to explore cycles of growth and decay. By romanticizing the grotesque and the inevitable course of nature, the viewer can experience both the beautiful and harrowing simultaneously. Kohn’s works deal with energy, light to and from darkness, control of chaos, and the balanced and unbalanced. Her process fuses techniques of sculpture and printmaking on a 2-dimensional surface, combining encaustic with watercolor and aqua resin. This results into complex landscapes of carved layers, revealing and connecting what lies beneath.

Joyce Korotkin’s evocative landscapes, “…hover on the cusp of observation and imagination…” Fueled by the moments of experience, she internalizes and distills memory and sensations to capture intangible moments in wax. The luminosity, translucence, and visceral texture of wax help in creating her beautiful atmospheric compositions.

Karen Nielsen-Fried’s work depicts the interconnected web of all things that is largely obscured by the constrictions of the mundane. She examines, synthesizes, and creates her non-verbal response to the complex experience of being in encaustic. Geometry is a constantly recurring visual element in her work. Her “intuitive geometries” suggest the vast possibilities of form, and a celebration of color. Her visual lexicon often includes fragments of imagery, diagrams, painted paper ephemera, and blackboards with ghostly remnants of written and drawn things. Hinting a narrative, but remaining intentionally ambiguous. She wants her work, “…to lead to a consideration of the profound effects of beauty and mystery in the context of impermanence and the passage of time…”

Tom Sime : The two series represented in this exhibition employ encaustic materials and his interest in nature’s structure and systems. From skeletons and cell division to atoms and microbes, encaustic renders his sense of the blurry border between the organic and the inert, and between different scales, epics, and species. Sime’s works are sculptural encaustics, brushed with pigmented beeswax onto surface. Paint squeezed through various tools, or straight from the tube, makes the basic design. Pinched, moved, squashed, sculptured, shaved, and otherwise manipulated, they are fixed on the framework prior to painting and pouring encaustic layers that enhance texture and content.

Deborah Winiarski’s mixed-media encaustic compositions are infused with color, form, and line by adding layers of translucent wax with torn papers and fabrics. The surfaces are deep and textured. Pigmented papers and fabrics are twisted, crumbled, cut, and torn, and then imbued with layers of wax, providing various depths of field. Winiarski’s imagery is grounded, yet fragile, and silently captures motion. She seeks to challenge the stability of structure itself.