Marion Balac’s Apparitional Void Drawings

Marion Balac lives and works in France. She creates large graphite works that are jam packed with detail. Her drawings often feature extremely dense foliage juxtaposed with large white voids. The visual combination of painstaking detail coupled with empty space helps to accentuate her lush compositions. Are the mysterious ghostly forms ominous forces? Or respite from an ever swelling forest? The viewer is pulled into a stark landscape where anxiety reigns.

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Noam Rappaport at Ratio 3

Noam Rappaport lives and works in Los Angeles. He has just opened his first West Coast solo exhibition at Ratio 3 in San Francisco. Rappaport’s minimal structures are at once slight and commanding, often relying on negative space to complete visual metaphors. The walls behind his pieces are simultaneously backround to and an integral part of the work. The show runs through March 23rd.  From the press release: “This exhibition will feature a series of new works which simultaneously reside between painting, sculpture, assemblage, and drawing. One predominant motif within Rappaport’s work is the representation of image through minimal compositions, color, and mark making. With Rappaport’s discerning use of simplified geometric shapes and refined color palates, the compositions reflect elements of the human form, landscape, and architecture. This suggestion of imagery is balanced with concepts of objecthood as expressed through constructions of commonplace materials and shaped canvases. The peripheries of these objects become the focus as color fields divide the shallow relief canvases, aluminum sheets drape over the edge of plywood panels and graphic lines appear to float in front of the surface.

These hybrid painting supports create a physical and perceptual relationship to the viewer. Negative spaces and blocks of color begin to suggest doorways, windows, and various characteristics that mirror the human figure. The attention to the space between the viewer and the work reinforces the idea that not only does a viewer look but he or she is also looked upon to play an active role in the object’s function.”

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Ben Bunch’s Colorful Contraptions

Ben Bunch lives and works in New York. Using EVA foam, foamcore, chipboard, glue, paper collage, paint marker and spray paint Ben Bunch constructs intricate small-scale sculptures that resemble organized electronic components. The contraptions show a reverence for the color and geometry of 80’s consumer devices and sometimes cross over into the video game world. Because of the heavy use of foam in the work Bunch’s sculptures are soft to the touch even though they represent hard objects. “Bunch is interested in the intersection of craft and industrial fabrication. Consumer and fashion trends saturate our life in an endless echo chamber of branding and nostalgia. Bunch enjoys peering into this chasm through a solitary hands-on sculptural practice. Nowadays, many artists employ the same methods of manufacturing that are found in the consumer landscape. Outsourcing, fabrication, and mass production are well-established tools in the contemporary artist toolbox. However, Bunch rejects these processes of artistic industrial fabrication to address the issues of pop imagery and consumerism in a different way. Using materials of humble scale, weight and substance (mostly foam) his objects are hand-made employing basic tools in the most time consuming manner. The end result is an object that mimics the look of industrial fabrication and relishes the geometry and beauty of consumerism.”

Nick Albertson’s Photographic Patterns Made From Mundane Objects

Nick Albertson lives and works in Chicago, IL. He meticulously organizes mundane household items such as straws, napkins, rubber bands, and coat hangers until they form a textural tapestry. He then photographs these geometric abstractions and presents them as elaborate patterns. His work reminds the viewer that everything is part of a bigger whole and that beauty can be found in all things.

Donna Ruff’s Hand-Cut Newspapers

Donna Ruff lives and works in New York. With her local paper as a starting point, she makes intricate repetitive cuts until an elaborate pattern emerges. The result resembles ornamental doilies and other textiles. Because she is doing this to current newspapers one could read into the work as a comment on censorship and alteration of truth within national news. From her bio: “Using unconventional techniques to make densely patterned drawings that refer to calligraphy and natural forms, she finds beauty and inspiration in sacred texts such as the Torah and the Qur’an, but also in the New York Times and the Manhattan phone book; in cathedrals, mosques and synagogues, but also in the warehouses of Chicago and Brooklyn.” (via)

Jane Masters’ Intricate Abstractions Made Using Scratchboard

Jane Masters lives and works in Providence, RI. Using the scratchboard technique that originated in the 19th century she creates highly detailed abstractions. Using nothing but knives and sharp tools the art of scratchboard is creation through removal. In Masters’ case what remains are dizzying op art spirals and ribbons of intersecting waves. The stark black and white adds to the timelessness of designs that often resemble microscopic magnifications of viruses, cells, and other things found in biology. (via)

Serrah Russell’s Muted Body As Landscape Photographs

Serrah Russell lives and works in Seattle, WA. Using instant film her work often presents the body as an ominous muted landscape. Her close-up snap shots take on the form of hazy abstractions. Her work has been described as a way to “illuminate the permanent effect that actions trace upon their environment. Her works are a tangible remnant of an abstracted and often autobiographical narrative of immutable occurrences that move forward in a flux of nature, culture and time.”

Bianca Chang’s Minimal Sculptures Made From Hand Cut Sheets Of Paper

Bianca Chang lives and works in Sydney, Australia. Using only a surgical knife and stacked paper she creates minimal geometric forms. Hundreds of sheets are stacked, hand-plotted, and cut until a sculptural object remains. Works change dramatically depending on what is removed and what is left behind. Some of the blocks achieve depth by the digging out of shapes while others rely on protrusion. The stark white of the paper allows subtleties and gradients to appear in the form of shadows.