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Breathing Room

May 22, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

| Free

Breathing Room

Elizabeth Gilfilen, Jason Karolak, and Rachael Wren

Opening Reception: Friday May 22nd, 2015, 7 – 9pm

On View: May 15th – June 19th, 2015

The paintings of Elizabeth Gilfilen, Jason Karolak, and Rachael Wren inhabit common conceptual ground and employ kindred creative strategies. Through their intricate and multi-layered works, all three painters attempt to make the ephemeral tangible. Gilfilen constructs pictures of passing time with overlapping skeins of paint, Karolak charts physical movement through line and shape, and Wren captures sensations of light and space in accumulations of small, colored marks. The work of these three artists demonstrates a concern with how elemental entities, such as a thin line, simple shape, or stroke of color, can create deep and dimensional structures. Moreover, in all three bodies of work, a balance between control and improvisation is essential to translating fleeting moments into the physical medium of paint.

Elizabeth Gilfilen begins each of her paintings with a loose, “uid line, instigating a conversation between the material and a seismic mapping of thought. She uses the basic reading of line as a compass, or guide, to determine which move comes next. As she works, the line deviates, sprouting off to create appendages and more fragmented forms. Formal simplicity and spatial complexity jostle for dominance, and a unique, temporal structure emerges. Through this process, each painting becomes a visual echo tying together layers of time.

Jason Karolak builds loosely geometric paintings out of line, mark, and color. Through a process of addition and erasure, a distinct structural form emerges in each work. These forms range from the architectonic to the organic, and fluctuate between dimensional illusion and a graphic pop. The palette is bright and saturated, evoking the everyday color seen on the streets of the urban environment, as well as an elevated state achieved through the process of painting. As a work evolves, Karolak uses drawing to re!ne the color palette and distill the structure down against a context of blacks and other dark hues. While remaining abstract, the paintings veer from the non-objective, evoking a sense of sound, real light, and a relationship
to human scale and touch.

Rachael Wren uses geometry to structure ephemeral atmospheric and natural phenomena. The dense spaces in her paintings are inspired by moments in nature when air has a tangible presence, almost becoming visible — fog playing between tree branches, light peeking through clouds, the darkening sky before a thunderstorm. At these times, form and space seem to mingle; edges disappear and atmosphere becomes all-encompassing. To reproduce this sensation of thick, particulate space, she works with an accumulation of small, repeated brush marks of subtly shifting color. These individual marks echo the fundamental particles that compose all matter. They hover, shimmer, and vibrate between the crisp lines of an anchoring grid, an interplay that suggests the universal duality between structure and randomness, order and chaos, the known and the unknown.

Gilfilen, Karolak, and Wren are all invested in an intensity of making and have a respect for the process of painting as it unfolds. They believe that this physical engagement can generate an antidote to our increasingly distanced culture. With a unique balance between corresponding concerns and contrasting attributes, their paintings speak to each other, creating a dialogue where each enhances an understanding and appreciation of the other. And they speak to viewers — about beauty and mystery, about layered time, somatic sensations, and dense space, about ideas that typically have no image.

Trestle Gallery
168 7th Street, 3rd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Mon – Fri, 1 – 6pm
Buzz 35 to enter building
718 858 9069

Contact: Mary Negro
Managing Director


May 22, 2015
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Trestle Gallery
168 7th St. 3rd Flr
Brooklyn, 11215 United States


Trestle Gallery