Sikkema Jenkins & Co. is pleased to present The Whole Picture, a group exhibition featuring work by Zipora Fried, Arturo Herrera, Thomas Pihl, and Erin Shirreff. The Whole Picture explores how these artists approach and utilize the language of abstraction in the relationship between image and frame. Each work uniquely contends with the idea of an abstract body inhabiting a pre-fixed space, determined by the artist or the viewer.
Zipora Fried’s color pencil drawings consider how individual gestures can be deconstructed and rearranged, emphasizing the “eloquence of the mark” within each stroke of color. No particular area is valued over another—“all areas are treated equally,” Fried says of her drawings. The visual frame is constructed via a rhythmic weaving of color and line, drawing attention to subtle variations in light, tone, and shadow. The large-scale drawing All I thought and Forgot (Delft blue), is presented as a hanging installation with sculptural folds, prompting the viewer to confront the physical nature of a work on paper outside the familiar two-dimensional frame.
Both Arturo Herrera’s monumental wall painting, Jiffy and his small-scale painted books explore how gestural abstraction adapts to and complicates the surface it is applied to. The intersecting neon green and white forms of the wall painting are adapted to fit within and react to a specific architectural space, allowing the artist to translate the original two-dimensional drawing into a spatial intervention. Herrera’s appropriation of used books considers the history and contents of the object (here used as the canvas) as an additional layer of public and private meaning. The painted books present a complete hybrid image, combining layers of abstraction and color with the book’s existing graphic design and quotidian nature.
Similar to Fried, the transmutability of pigment plays a central role in the paintings of Thomas Pihl. Pihl’s shimmering color fields are constructed from layers of paint, mixed and blended until a dominant color overwhelms the canvas. Pihl allows the darker, less translucent shades of older pigments to show through on the canvas edges, framing the painting in a soft shadow and gently focusing the viewer’s gaze towards an indeterminate center. Pihl’s paintings are self-contained by their sensitivity to color, materializing itself as a meditative field of pigment.
Erin Shirreff’s diverse body of work focuses on the gap between objects and their representations, and the materials (and materiality) of their image-making. For her Catalogue series of sculptures, Shirreff produced plaster casts based on her own freehand drawings—the original gestural line is extended into space, capturing light and shadow while sharing physical space with the viewer. Bronze is part of a recent body of work utilizing dye-sublimation. This technique allows the artist to print enlarged scans of halftone book reproductions onto sheets of aluminum, which are then cut into shapes that share the unique geometry of Shirreff’s sculptures. The cut-outs, at once flat and three-dimensional, are arranged in informal compositions that reference the accidental juxtapositions that can take place as part of a studio practice.
Zipora Fried (b. Haifa, Israel) studied at the Academy of Applied Arts, Vienna. Recent exhibitions include Late October at On Stellar Rays, New York (2016); Zipora Fried at Marfa Contemporary, Marfa, TX (2015); and Good Night, Mister Procustes at Galerie Steinek, Vienna (2014). Her work is included in public collections of The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York; The Albertina Museum, Vienna; and the Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA. She currently lives and works in New York.
Arturo Herrera (b. 1959, Caracas, Venezuela) received his BA from the University of Tulsa, and his MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has exhibited widely in galleries and museums internationally, including recent solo exhibitions at Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY (2015) and Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY (2014). His work is included in many prominent collections including the Art Institute of Chicago; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Hop, a site-specific installation at Kunst-Station im Hauptbahnhof Wolfsburg is on view through March 10. Herrera currently lives and works in Berlin.
Thomas Pihl (b. 1964, Norway) received his MFA from the Hunter College City University of New York in 1999. His work has been the subject of recent solo exhibitions at Kunst RAI, Amsterdam; Galleri SE, Bergen, Norway; Gallerie Anna Wegner, Zurich; and Dagali Museum, Hallingdal, Norway. Pihl’s work was recently on view at Scandinavia House in New York in the group exhibition Light Lines (2019).
Erin Shirreff (b. 1975, British Columbia) received her BFA at the University of Victoria, British Columbia (1998) and her MFA in Sculpture from Yale University. Recent solo exhibitions include shows at Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago (2019); Lora Reynolds Gallery, Austin (2018); Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (2016); and a survey of photography, sculpture, and video at ICA Boston and Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY (2015-16). Her work is included in the public collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Art Gallery of Ontario. She currently lives and works in New York.