Newly Selected Artists: June 2023
Walter Rindone, Elaine Marie Erne, and Andrew Hladky
June 3–July 2, 2023
Opening Reception, Friday, June 2, 6 P.M.
Member Opening Reception, June 2, 5 P.M
Tales from the Deep Dark Web
The Death of Abel, 2020, anastatic printing, 140 x 100 cm
The paradoxical implications of human activities and their impact on the planet. Actions to organize cultural and religious systems and society. Consumerism as the new ritual dimension of man. These are just some of the topics that form the background of the project entitled Tales from the Deep Dark Web, the last chapter of an ongoing series of artworks that began to take place in 2016.
The project consists of the alteration of biblical illustrations by the French artist Paul Gustave Doré, which are implemented with found imagery coming from any sort of informational medium, ranging from printed sources—such as books and magazines—to the internet. The artworks are produced by using an experimental printmaking technique called anastatic printing.
Today’s society is iconocentric. Images have a central role in information distribution, and with the spread of imaging technologies, they have replaced—in many instances—the word.
Since they were the product of an expansive and time-consuming activity that required skills developed through learning and life experience, the number of images that an average medieval man would have seen throughout his entire life was around a few dozen. Information revolutions—spanning from Gutenberg’s printing press to computer networking—led to the exponential growth of information and the dramatic increase of its diffusion rate. Up until the point where today’s people are overwhelmed by thousands of images every day. Where images in previous times were just artifacts—a counterfeit of the real—nowadays the distinction between reality and its representation no longer exists.
Diffused aestheticization comes along with paradoxical implications that give rise to the need for reflection about the very nature of the image. Reflections on which the work of Walter Rindone is based.
About the Artist
Walter Rindone (born in Caltagirone, Italy) is a visual artist with a background in experimental printmaking techniques. He creates his artworks by the use of solely recycled images, involving image manipulation and image reproduction processes such as collage and anastatic printing. He mastered these techniques as a trainee at the Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź, and in his doctoral studies at the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wrocław.
The basis of his work is a reflection on images as carriers of sensory information and their symbolic nature. As well as the role of images on the diffused aestheticization brought by the ever-accelerating systems of society and the implications that follow. Such reflection culminated in an ongoing project entitled The Black Series, consisting of reinterpretations of images from an 1843 edition of the Bible illustrated by the French artist Paul Gustave Doré.
Elaine M. Erne
They See All
Lil’ Bunny Leaves A Note, 2021, graphite pencil on paper, 72″ x 54″ in
The Lives and Traumas of Stuffed Animals is a continuing series of prints and large graphite drawings of Lanie Doll and her friends that represent individuals and their emotional relationships with themselves and others. In recurring stressful situations, people often become like dolls, putting forward a cheerful persona, no matter what is happening. The dolls encapsulate the personality of an individual and allow the artist to explore the inner workings of painful relationships without being immersed in the reality of difficult interactions. Although there is a playful side, the underlying theme is fear, cruelty, isolation, and survival. Though the situations represented are far from real, no stuffed animals were harmed in the making of the work; they capture the aura that surrounds people who on the outside appear happy, while actually experiencing deep sorrow, loneliness, and tension in their daily lives.
The layers of graphite pencil in the large drawings and dense ink in the prints create deep blacks in the space that surrounds the stuffed animals, confirming the feeling of isolation one feels when totally overwhelmed and powerless. The drawings are larger than life (the largest being 94″ x 144″) so that they surround the viewer and encapsulate them into a disturbing—but at the same time strangely whimsical—moment, causing a mixed reaction to the work.
Art has been part of my life from early childhood. It was and is a way for me to cope with the events present and past that are overwhelming. As a kid and teenager, I took classes and private lessons in art, then went for my BFA in painting and glassblowing, and then an MFA in glass casting. I continued to work in glass for several years after graduate school, and still teach classes using the material; but one day, while working in my sketchbook, I did a little drawing of stuffed animals hanging on a clothesline, and everything changed. I tried to work the idea into glass, but the imagery said drawing and print. I switched to the material the idea wanted, and I have been focusing on drawing and various print processes to explore the subject of the dynamics of individuals in uncontrollable situations, and use the work to explore my past relationships with my family. The stuffed animal series allows me to look at these personal interactions at a distance. I find using humor, however dark, a safe way to wade through difficult memories. Plus, it is cheaper than therapy.
About the Artist
Elaine M. Erne, co-founder and co-director of Star Wheel Printers, received her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, and her MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. Erne’s drawings and prints have been featured in numerous invitational and juried national exhibitions. She has had multiple solo exhibitions: Small Drawings and Prints, The Study, Philadelphia, PA; Lives and Traumas of Stuffed Animals, Artworks Center for Contemporary Art, Loveland, CO; Lanie Doll and Friends, House Gallery, Philadelphia, PA; Mr. Bunny Misses His Friends, Nexus, Foundation for Today’s Arts, Philadelphia PA; Elaine M. Erne: Drawings and Prints, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ; Mr. Bunny and Friends, Nexus, Foundation for Today’s Arts, Philadelphia PA; The Lives and Traumas of Stuffed Animals, Bahdeebahdu Gallery, Philadelphia, PA; a Wind Challenge Exhibition, Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA; and a Community Gallery Solo Exhibition, Abington Art Center, Abington, PA.
Erne is a recipient of a Dene M. Louchheim Faculty Fellowship, Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA; and a Career Development Fellowship with The Center for Emerging Visual Artists, Philadelphia, PA. She was one of twenty-five artists selected by the Center of Emerging Visual Artists to represent them in their 25th Year Anniversary Exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Erne won the Jane Friend Purchase Award in the Brand Associates' 43rd Annual Works On Paper National Juried Exhibition in Glendale, CA. She is currently on the faculties of Drexel University, Moore College of Art and Design, the University of the Arts, and the Fleisher Art Memorial, all in Philadelphia, PA.
Memories fade, soil deepens
A fable of the changeless and the fleeting, 2022, oil and bamboo sticks on panel, 8 x 10.5 x 4.5 in
Memories fade, soil deepens presents paintings made of oil paint and bamboo sticks that are built into high sculptural relief, growing out towards the viewer like living organisms. They play between flat image and sculptural form, exploring the point at which images break down and the materials and processes that make them become impossible to ignore.
At times of joyful abandon, or during bouts of illness or depression, we can lose track of our conscious selves—the images we carry of who we are dissolving into the mysterious physical workings of the unconscious body. The paintings in Memories fade, soil deepens aim to echo this sense of dislocation. Surface imagery shows the nostalgic, fragmentary landscapes of memory. Underneath, the sculptural build-up churns, worms of paint overflowing the illusion and causing it to give way to the tumult and exuberance of its material form.
My work explores the idea of images as organisms—living creatures that grow out into the world, take up space, occupy attention and influence our thoughts and emotions. My sculptural paintings are hybrid beings, fluctuating between the sentimental appeal of illusion and the visceral insistence of physical bodies.
The paintings are made in high relief by squeezing worms of oil paint straight from the tube and building shards of bamboo sticks in delicate latticework structures. Thin blooms of pointillist imagery grow among these sculptural forms, inhabiting the crags and crevices like a moss or lichen.
I hope my work will be a reminder that images always want something from us. After giving them so much room in our lives, the motives and intentions of these strange creatures need to be carefully discerned.
About the Artist
Andrew Hladky is a British/American artist currently living in the DC area. Since moving to the US in 2015, he has held solo exhibitions around the country, at Rockville, Maryland; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Arlington, Virginia; and Raleigh, North Carolina. Hladky is the winner of the Bethesda Painting Award (2022), and the London Art Award at the London Festival Fringe (2010). He is the recipient of an AHCMC Artists and Scholars Project Grant, and he has been awarded many fellowships and residencies in support of his work, including a Pollock-Krasner Fellowship at Vermont Studio Center, a Charm City Fellowship at Millay Arts, a fellowship at Yaddo, and the Salzburg Künstlerhaus/VCCA Exchange Residency in Salzburg, Austria.