“Metaglyphic” Press Release


The Elena Ab Gallery, 185 Church Street, is pleased to present “Metaglyphic”, an exhibition curated by Michael Carter, featuring the art of Elena Ab, Holly Anderson, Scot Borofsky, Linus Coraggio, Ford Crull, Peggy Cyphers, Brian Gormley, Ken Hiratsuka, Anatoly Kaplan, Gloria McLean and Samo©, as well as the 39 etchings comprising “On Bolus Head”, a collaborative print project of Michael Carter’s and Brian Gormley’s, created at Cill Rialaig in County Kerry, Ireland (2010-2012). The exhibition will be open to the public from June 26-Aug 17, 2014, with an opening reception Thursday, June 26, 7-9 pm.

Metaglyphic: These artists employ visual tropes as elements of their pictorial language, idiosyncratic and personal, to create compelling works within the realms of painting (Ab, Borofsky, Crull, Cyphers, Gormley and Samo), sculpture (Coraggio, Hiratsuka), printmaking (Carter, Gormley, Kaplan), visual poetry (Anderson, Carter), and movement (McLean) that look back to the glyphic origins of language (megalithic monuments, cave painting, hieroglyphics, etc), at the same time exploring the persistence, transformation and relevance of such symbolic forms of art in the contemporary cyber era.

Megaglyphic: Hiratsuka’s carved oneline sculptures and stories in stone, though innovatively abstract and referencing recent and personal events, most directly echo megalithic rock art and hieroglyphic writing, while the “On Bolus Head” poems and print series also reference megalithic symbols and Celtic Ogham alphabet.

Metaglyphic: Tropic forms in Borofsky’s transcendental oils, composed of his own peculiar symbolic vocabulary itself derived from a variety of multiethnic ancient sources, coagulate and entangle to become subject matter emerging from colorful, deftly painted grounds. Likewise, in Crull’s elegant oil paintings, glyphic forms, symbols and vestiges of imagery emerge and recede from articulated negative space, recalling alchemical symbols as well as the more contemporary painterly scrawls of Twombly and Basquiat. Gormley’s evolution of Basquiat’s paint-out techniques and the creation of his own, multi-layered, semi-linguistic, vocabulary derived from silkscreened doodles and other abstract markings combine to form hyperglyphic, striking abstractions, combined with the painterly flourish of Franz Kline and DeKooning.

Samo©: in this work, attributed to the late (or rather early) Basquiat, fragments of poetic wordplay meet the artist’s handprint, a gesture to some of the earliest cave art, paramount in the origins of art and human-consciousness. Renowned choreographer and dancer McLeans’ contribution(s), on paper and video, are sketchy remnants of human movement, personal marks left by the artists’ own body in performance.

Metamorphic: Perhaps more metamorphic than metaglyphic, Cyphers’ paintings from her recent Geo-Icon series, evoke the supernatural aura of powerful natural forces, in this case underwater aquifers, wherein the thick, swirling brushstrokes themselves attain a glyphic dimension, conveying visualized energy through highly abstracted forms.

Metalglyphic: Scrap-art master Coraggio creates symbolic structures in steel and other debris, where welded elements (tools, utensils and other welded artifacts) also form a personal language and function as compelling visual tropes within the larger forms; sometimes these symbols are obvious, such as the hammer in the “Soviet chair” sculpture, and other times more obliquely evocative as in the welded screens with concentric loops that echo Hiratsuka’s spirals and megalithic rock art.

Mythoglyphic: Anderson’s visual poems and digital collage comprise mythopoetic explorations of word and/as art. Whether cleverly reimagining ancient Greek mythology or insidiously embedding poetic tropes in NSA-proof code, Anderson nixes the boundaries of visual and verbal art with humor and aplomb. Ab, in her expressionistic figure paintings explores female sensuality and allure, interpolated with collaged ancient Hebraic text, such as The Song of Solomon, while Kaplan’s prints, interspersed with old Cyrillic text, humorously and defiantly record the folkloric past of Yiddish Russia. The “On Bolus Head” print suite, based on Carter’s poems that inspired Gormley’s corresponding etched images, tap into and update the mythopoetic legacy of County Kerry, Ireland, while adding a few more recent glyphs to the tradition. The limited-edition printed book version of “On Bolus Head” will also be available for purchase.

For more information, contact Elena Ab, elena@elenaab.com, 917-691-5647