ON VIEW
DUMBO 25 Jay St. Brooklyn, NY 11201


Drawings

Matthew Chambers
Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli
Ami Tallman
Jacques Louis Vidal

May 23 - June 22, 2024
Closing Reception: June 22, 2024 from 8pm-12am, featuring Cloudy’s at Buzzys
Gallery Hours: Friday - Sunday, 12-6pm




Brackett Creek Exhibitions is pleased to share excerpts from interviews with the four artists in this exhibition:

What does it mean for a work to be a drawing versus a painting? Can a painting be a drawing or vice versa?


Matthew Chambers: There’s a Jean-Luc Godard quote that goes, “When you go to the cinema you look up and when you watch television you look down.” For me, it’s a distinction between paper or canvas and a distinction between working upright or working flat on a horizontal surface. Because I drew doesn’t make it a drawing and because I painted doesn’t make it a painting.

I’m interested in both painting and drawing but not particularly in challenging the boundaries or definitions of the mediums, and for the most part I find works that need to argue about what they are a bit boring. I’m interested in how I can bring together ideas to make Trojan horses, how do I create a lasting value. And those are art questions as opposed to drawing or painting concerns.

Do the works always start as drawings?

Ami Tallman: While not all of the works begin as drawings, mine is generally a drawing-based practice. Drawing is a kind of thinking for me, in the way that taking written notes during a lecture is a means of interpreting and committing to memory what one is hearing.

Can artists act as historians in their own right?

Ami Tallman: While I do not presume to speak on the capacities of artists in general, I have too much respect for the work of actual historians doing original research to suggest that what I am doing is equivalent. I am almost always responding to the academic or journalistic work of others, and drawing and painting is generally a means of attempting to make a more intimate connection with things I am learning from text and/or photographs. I often find it very difficult to anticipate what other people are going to do or think in general, and spend a lot of time mulling over questions of motives for things I find perplexing in the actions of others (and sometimes even myself) part of making a portrait of a historical figure is just giving myself some time to really mull over a person, to study their details, understanding of course that the study of a person’s face or posture is necessarily shallow in obvious ways, I am always seeking access to a kind of intuitive insight into their character that I imagine might accidentally be revealed by a fleeting expression, the way they’ve postured themselves in a room, the way they’ve addressed the camera. over the years I have taken many abortive trips down pseudo-scientific trails in search of insight into the minds of others: micro-expressions, body language analysis, etc. I don’t believe in phrenology or anything, but it is hard to escape an impression that some aspect of character imprints itself on a face over the course of a life—and people are so often liars it seems just as likely to be reliable as listening to what they have to say. I also do listen to what people say, and that does also have an effect on how I depict them.

However, while I make no claim to doing original historical work, when I am depicting my immediate surroundings, that is a kind of documentation of the present in service of historical work of the future. it is a sort of testimonial contribution to historical interpretations of the present, often responsive to the documentation I wish were available to me about events of the past which preoccupy me.

There are a lot of tactile & aesthetic details of events of the past to which I lack access which make me feel unable to properly know about things which took place in times I cannot see. the colors of things matter a lot to me—colors which I am largely compelled to imagine for events which preceded color photography. I often feel that I could understand deep and unspeakable aspects of moments from which I am fundamentally alienated if I knew the colors in the scene: the pallor of skin, the shade of a garment, the particular green of the landscape in which a scene was taking place.

Do you find drawing more than painting more conducive to depicting light and shadow?

Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli: I don’t see them as being different when considering light and shadow, the difference for me is how color is moved around on the surface. One is liquid and the other is solid, so I do use them differently, but I don’t see them differently.

What interests you subject-wise?

Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli: For painting, my subjects are more considered. They are generally a commentary or reaction to something, often political or social that is going on. For drawing, my subjects are more immediate, things in my scope of vision, usually interesting light hitting an object.

Is drawing like talking?

Jacques Louis-Vidal: I would say drawing is more like a potato than like talking. If creative thinking/art making is like cooking as a process, where innovation and tradition play an equal part as you presently do it, then drawing is like the potato. It has its own inherent properties, uses, flavors but it is infinitely mutable, and highly reactive to influence.

What is your relationship to the machine? To your hand?

Jacques Louis-Vidal: I hate my hand and am very insecure about its abilities. I have spent my whole life trying to draw exactly how I think I should without any clear vision of what that is, so that insecurity has become a quality of the drawing itself, maybe the defining quality. I’m interested in how immediately I accept the way a machine draws, how understanding I am about its flaws (which are many), and how willing I am to help it along, also how unspecific an expectation I have about how it should draw. So, in short, I have a kind of domineering critical view of my own hand, and a kindly nurturing view of my plotter, you could say I treat my hand like it should know better and a machine like it is innocent.



Jacques Louis Vidal


Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli


Ami Tallman

Matthew Chambers

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Matthew Chambers was born in Boise, ID in 1982. Solo exhibitions include shows at UNTITLED, New York; Zabludowicz Collection, London; Rental, New York; Angstrom Gallery, Los Angeles; Praz-Delavallade, Los Angeles; Zach Feuer Gallery, New York and Feuer/Mesler, New York. He has been included in group exhibitions including the Saatchi Gallery, London; Hezi Cohen Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel; Marlborough, Madrid, Spain; Brand New Gallery, Milan, Italy; and The Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL. Chambers lives and works in Bozeman, MT.

Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli (b. 1956, grew up in Westport, CT) lives and works in Missoula, MT. She earned her BFA from Skidmore College. Her solo exhibition Act Three traveled to the Jackson Hole Center for the Arts in Wyoming; Missoula Art Museum, Missoula, MT; The Emerson, Bozeman, MT; Paris Gibson Museum in Great Falls, MT; Holter Museum of Art, Helena, MT; and MonDak Heritage Center, Sidney, MT. She had a solo exhibition at Marinaro Gallery in New York, NY in 2022 and has an upcoming solo exhibition at the Taube Museum of Art in Minot, ND. She has also been included in group exhibitions at White Columns, New York, NY; Tang Teaching Museum, Saratoga Springs, NY; and Museo d’Arte Moderna, Sassoferrato, Italy.

Ami Tallman lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She has exhibited in Los Angeles, New York, Berlin, and San Francisco. She holds a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and an MFA from ArtCenter College of Design. For the last several years she has been unhoused, making camp along the LA River and in Elysian Valley. Her work reflects her engagement with both her everyday life and the history of power, violence, and politics.

Jacques Louis Vidal (b. 1982, Paris France) lives and works in New York, NY. He received his BFA from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston in 2004, and his MFA in Sculpture from Yale University in 2009. His solo exhibitions include In the Project Room: Underground Posterz, Broadway Gallery (New York, NY), Dead End Jobs That Kill, Harkawik (New York, NY), Boy Brain Firstdominoignite, Harkawik (Los Angeles, CA), Perfect Strangers, Andrew Rafacz (Chicago, IL), In a Whole Mine, 247365 (New York, NY), Games People Play, Marc Jancou Contemporary (New York, NY), Wood Folks is Good Folks, Sean Horton Gallery (New York, NY). Recent group exhibitions include Unraveling, Hesse Flatow (New York, NY), Cosmic Joke, Safe Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), Hot House, KnowMoreGames (Brooklyn, NY), and Rive Gauche/Rive Droite, Marc Jancou Contemporary (Paris, France), and Maximal Minimal, Primopiano (Lugano, Switzerland). He runs the project space La Kaje along with Kate Levant. He will be curating the next exhibition at Brackett Creek in Montana, opening June 29, 2024.

UPCOMING
BOZEMAN, MT


Portraits

Tisch Abelow
Paul Harris

June 28 - July 31, 2024
Opening Reception: June 28, 2024 from 5-7pm

The Paul Harris & Marguerite Kirk Gallery
190 Skyway Blvd. Unit #2 Belgrade, MT 59714
By appointment - please g

Read more - Interview between Brackett Creek Exhibitions and Tisch Abelow: On the Couch with Tisch Abelow  

Tisch Abelow, Playing and Reality, 2018, Acrylic, gouache, watercolor on linen, 54 x 54”
Photo credit: Shark Senesac



WeaveWorld

Curated by Jacques Louis Vidal

Colt Hausman
Dmitri Hertz
Natalie Ochoa
Rose Marcus
Libby/Rosen

June 29 - August 31, 2024
Opening Reception: June 29, 2024 from 6-9pm*

*RSVP encouraged, as food will be provided

Brackett Creek Exhibitions
Address upon request
By appointment - please email to schedule a viewing




Open Your Eyes Space Is Not Poluted Until People From Earth Gets There
This Is The Greatest Place Earth If You Keep On Destroying It Really Bad Taste
There Is So Meny Lies You Never Know If There Is The Truth Or Is It A Lie


Cortney Andrews
Mia Ardito
Robert Kieswetter
William D. Lewis
Cristina Marian
Cait Porter
Kathryn W. Schmidt 
J.P. Spencer
Joseph “Count Slima” Williams

June 29 - August 31, 2024
Opening Reception: June 29, 2024 from 6-9pm*

*RSVP encouraged, as food will be provided

Brackett Creek Exhibitions
Address upon request
By appointment - please email to schedule a viewing


On the Couch with Tisch Abelow

The following is a transcription of an interview from June 10, 2024 between Tessa Granowski (Brackett Creek Exhibitions) and Tisch Abelow surrounding the exhibition, Portraits, with Tisch Abelow and Paul Harris from June 28 - July 31, 2024 at the Paul Harris and Marguerite Kirk Gallery.

Brackett Creek Exhibitions:  How did you first come across Paul Harris' work?

Tisch Abelow:  I came across it while I was in Montana last summer making a print with you all at Brackett Creek. I didn't know his work before. There was a talk at the Paul Harris Estate with Rob Kieswetter when I was there, and I immediately loved the Paul Harris work in the show… it was a female figure sculpture that went with a painting behind it. It reminded me of a collaboration I had done with my friend Dakotah.

Tisch Abelow & Dakotah Savage from the installation Hog Trap Road at Ober Gallery in 2017 | Image courtesy of Jason Mandella & the artist
Paul Harris, Strait is the Gate, 1980
Cloth, papier-mâché, plywood, 60 x 96 x 48 ″

BCE:  What was the collaboration?

TA:  I forget how it came about, but we were doing a show with my portrait paintings and also paintings of mountains. Dakotah was making these sculptures that were fabric busts. And we were thinking of making a show of townspeople, as if it was a rural town, and then the mountains surrounding them. She used a lot of fabric in her work, and I used a pattern from one of her busts in one of my paintings, so her sculpture melded into the background of my painting, which is what reminded me a lot of the Paul Harris work.

BCE:  Wow. Was it almost like one of the upholstery furniture fabric patterns that Paul Harris was using as well?

TA:  Kind of like that. Yeah. It was floral. Actually, it's the pattern in my painting, Playing and Reality. Anyways, after Rob’s talk, we got to go in the estate archives and roam around a little bit where Paul’s works and books are stored. I immediately felt a kinship with his work and felt very excited and surprised. I don't know what I was expecting, but I wasn't expecting that!

Tisch Abelow, Playing and Reality, 2018
Acrylic, gouache, watercolor on linen, 54 x 54”
Photo credit: Shark Senesac


BCE: There's a lot of good surprises back there.
I could immediately see a connection with your work as well. We had seen your portraits in that first studio visit, and even though Paul Harris wasn't always doing portraits, he did make a number of faceless, gestural, sculptural portraits, in a way.

TA:  And they also seem psychologically charged.

BCE:  On that note, I wanted to ask… you recently graduated with a Master’s in Psychoanalysis and the paintings in your upcoming exhibition feel connected to your academic interests. Where did your interest in psychoanalysis come from, and how does it tie into your art-making?

TA:  I don't know how I knew, but I've had an interest in psychoanalysis since I was young. There was some part of me, on an instinctual level, that knew I thought like an analyst. I thought it was something I might pursue when I was older, maybe in my 50s or 60s. Even in college, I was writing psychoanalytically oriented papers, although I had no idea what I was talking about. I guess it was the beginning of my research. I was also, at the same time, very interested in art, and I had just discovered Hilma af Klint. I was interested in this art-psychology overlap. Her work was very psychological to me.

I think ultimately my interest stems from my family history, and the mental illness and dysfunction in the family and trying to make sense of all those dynamics growing up.

My mom was in therapy my whole life. I later learned that she got her MA in Psychology. It made a lot of sense because she thinks like an analyst as well. I think I grew up with a certain dialog happening.

So, I entered the Master’s in Psychoanalysis in 2017. I was at this juncture in my life. I was 30, and I had just gone through a breakup, my dad was in hospice, and I was losing my apartment because they were selling the building. A lot was going on. And I felt stuck in my studio, in my art practice. It was like a light bulb went on, and I was like, I have to do this now! My rationalization at the time was that this is my own weird version of an MFA… I need to study this in order to develop my art practice because they are intertwined for me.

At the time, the master’s didn't involve seeing patients or any of the clinical work. It was an academic program, except we did do a field placement—an internship. I was an intern at this place called The Living Museum.

BCE:  Where is it? 

TA:  It's out in Queens, it's part of Creedmoor Psychiatric Center. It's a building on the Creedmoor campus that's run by this amazing man named Dr. Janos Marton. It's for patients there who have severe mental illness, but they're all artists. And it's a huge art studio for all the patients. So, all the patients are artists, or if they weren't artists before, they become artists or have resources to make art and then can identify more as a creative person rather than a mentally ill person. It's a real community of people, and it's really, really special. It feels like you're back in time or in a movie.

BCE: Are the patients working when you're in there ever?

TA:  Yeah! You can walk around. People come and go. It feels very communal. Some of the patients who are more serious artists have their own spaces. There are various rooms, communal spaces, private spaces. I think it's 15,000 square feet. There’s vines all over the building. There’s so much history there.

BCE:  I wonder what the choice was to make that into a museum….

TA:  Dr. Marton did. And it's not technically a museum. It's just called that. Now there are Living Museums all around the world! This is the original one - there’s a documentary about it.

BCE:  So that was where you worked for how long?

TA:  I worked there every week for a year and a half. I was just volunteering and getting experience. I ended up putting on a show of one of the artists who recently passed away. His name was Alan Sturm. I organized a solo show of his work at Situations Gallery in 2019.

BCE:  I remember seeing something about that! It's a lot of text-based work?

TA:  There's text in it, but it's mostly women's shoes. They’re great!

Alan Sturm artwork, photo courtesy of Situations Gallery

TA (cont.): When I first showed up at The Living Museum, I just had an overwhelming feeling of I must be on the right path!

But overall, the master's program didn’t involve clinical work. It was more about the academic study.

BCE:  To feed into your art practice.

TA:  Yeah. I was in denial that I was actually on a trajectory to become a clinician..

BCE:  When did that change?

TA:  It has changed gradually. But for a while, I questioned if it threatened my identity as an artist. Even though intellectually and spiritually, it makes sense to me, in practical ways, it felt like school was taking away from my studio practice. It felt frustrating because in the art world, when I said I was going back to school for something that wasn't art, people would just assume I wasn't making art. I felt like I couldn’t tell anybody and I didn't for a long time because it felt like it was inhibiting me from having opportunities. When in fact, I feel like having an MFA could be less important than studying something that you're really interested in that you want to then make art in relation to.

BCE:  Absolutely. An MFA can be more insular.

For the titles in your portrait paintings you seem to be using psychological terms or phrases, correct?

TA:  Yeah, I began making the portraits after I went back to school. I often use terms or phrases that I took from my studies.

BCE:  Do you title your work before or after making a painting?

TA:  They are all a little different. A lot of the time I'll title them after they're done. And I won't necessarily be thinking, 'Oh, I need a title for that painting.’ But I might be reading something, and a phrase might stand out, and I'll be like, ‘Oh, that's perfect for that work.’ There's the painting in the exhibition with an older woman with a child who looks scared. That one is based on a photo of me and my maternal grandmother. The title is from a Melanie Klein text—Excess of Sadism Gives Rise to Anxiety.

BCE:  As if a minimal amount of sadism would not. *laughs*

Tisch Abelow, Excess of Sadism Gives Rise to Anxiety, 2020, Acrylic, Gouache, watercolor on linen, 50 x 60” | Photo credit: Shark Senesac

TA:  But the title can give a little context to the painting. The titles can give a little hint of like, ‘Yeah, this is weird. This is intentional. Yeah, what you're feeling is correct. There is anxiety in this.'

BCE:  The eyes almost look like when you accidentally photograph a person when they're looking neither away nor towards the camera, and it comes out so demented.

TA:  Yeah! And another title is Reciprocal Determinism--My Environment Causes Me, and in Return, I Cause My Environment. I think about that a lot, and I feel like this pertains to Paul's work, too — the way the figures blend into the background. Yeah. And just like how… I'm interested in how internal and external affect each other, how they get enmeshed, how they interact and get confused.

BCE:  So, were you close with this grandmother in the Sadism portrait?

TA:  Yeah. I mean, things were weird. I grew up seeing both sets of grandparents fairly regularly…I grew up outside of Baltimore. My mom's parents had a farm in northern Pennsylvania, and then a suburban home in New York State. My dad's parents lived on a farm in West Virginia. That was pretty close to where I lived in Maryland.

BCE:  What type of farm?

TA:  It was a pheasant farm! I used to have this T-shirt from the farm that said, “Foxy Pheasant Hunt Club.” *laughs*

BCE:  So back to psychoanalysis. How else are psychoanalysis and art-making intertwined for you?

TA:  It depends. I'm a patient of psychoanalysis as well as an analyst. Psychoanalysis is all about the unconscious, as is art making, for me, at least, and I think for a lot of artists, whether they are thinking about it in those terms or not. And art making is visual, even if we use text sometimes. It is ultimately image-based. Both things are about bringing things from our unconscious to consciousness, expressing it in some way, whether verbally or in images. A lot of my art practice is controlled, or it's more conceptual, so I'm not making it up as I go, and I usually have a painting fairly planned out before I make it. It's not free association necessarily in the making of it, but it is before I make it. It is in the conceptualizing of it. And then I'll have some vision or idea that I execute. Even so, I’ll have a general idea of what something might look like before I make it, and after I make it, I'm like, Oh, that's weird… I made that? What is this about? It still always surprises me somehow. And that's how analysis works, too, as a patient and as an analyst.

BCE:  Are you working, as an analyst, with predetermined images and symbols?

TA:   No, I mean, I try and go in without anything predetermined. Part of the training is to go in knowing you know nothing, without any presumptions, because you don't want to guide anyone in a certain direction. Bion, who's a famous psychoanalyst, says, ‘Enter every session as if it's a dream, as if it's just a completely new experience.’ And I really love that.

BCE:  I want to enter every interaction in that way.

TA:  I feel like even just thinking that helps open something up.

BCE:  Yeah, It’s not charged with residue of the previous interactions. I think I was confusing psychiatry and psychoanalysis in thinking about the image cards before, the Rorschach test.

TA:  Right, it took me a long time to learn the differences between all the various kinds of therapies. Psychoanalysis is just the talking lying down on couches. And that's in part why I was so drawn to Paul's work… he has so many women on couches! And the Eleanor Looking For work… Eleanor is my mom's name, so that is specifically interesting to me. Her looking under the couch is very symbolic in terms of feeling into the unconscious…looking, trying to see what's underneath, see what's below, what to dig up.

Paul Harris, Eleanor Looking For, 1973, Stuffed cloth, aluminium, 127 x 124.5 x 198 in.

BCE:  Or even seemingly because she's faceless, I imagine her as someone who's looking for herself.

TA:  Exactly. I love the facelessness and also how it might interact with my portraits that have faces. Have you ever read that short story called The Yellow Wallpaper?

BCE:  Not yet!

TA:  It's a classic. It was written in 1892 by Charlotte Perkins Gillman. And in a nutshell, it's about patriarchy and how that can drive women crazy. It's about a woman whose husband is a doctor, and she's supposedly ill, so she gets locked in this room in their house because she must rest. And there's this horrible yellow wallpaper on the walls. It drives her mad being there. Or that's one way of reading it…In the end, she becomes part of the wallpaper, or believes she came out of it, or lives in it. So again, back to Paul’s work, these female figures who are enmeshed with their environment in this dream-like psychotic space…

BCE:  The ultimate domesticity…You become I'm one with the furniture.

So, at the Paul Harris talk last summer with Rob that you were at, Michele Corriel, the Creative Director, mentioned that Paul Harris's mother died when he was young, and that all the flowers in his work has to do with the feminine and with losing his mother. There are flowers in your work as well. What do those mean for you? Is it about your mother?

TA:  Yes, there are flowers in my paintings. It was funny at some point, I was like ‘Oh my God, I became an artist who just paints flowers and portraits.’ *laughs* The flower patterns actually came from my paternal grandmother's bedsheets.

BCE:  Oh, so it is psychologically charged – you slept with them! I can't even remember my grandmother's bedding… Was it something that you found when she passed away?

TA:  I think that is actually what happened. She died in 2018, and we had to go through her house and her things. I saw the bedsheets and took some photos of them. But yeah, obviously, flowers are vaginal, and they are part of the feminine.

BCE:  I wanted to ask you about your writing practice, too. You have a writing practice, yes?

TA:  So, I was really serious about writing when I was growing up and through college. I went to Sarah Lawrence for fiction writing. I wrote short stories that have a similar tone to my paintings, where the plot is very minimal, but the vibe is very dark. And they're almost character studies. Maybe there's some plot, but it's subtle--it's more of a weird, eerie feeling. They have a dark humor, and they're dry and very simple. But once I got more serious about visual art, I didn't write for a long time. And then once I went back to school for psychoanalysis, that got me writing again because I had to read so much. I was reading so much, and I was writing so much psychoanalytic stuff, which is similar for me as the short stories because they are like case narratives, case studies, so it all just ties together. And then, yeah, I've slowly begun to write short stories again.

BCE:  What about your dreams? Do those ever make their way into your work?

TA:  Oh, they sure do. I use my dreams a lot, actually. And I'm a very avid dreamer, and I write down all my dreams.

BCE:  You have a dream journal?

TA:  I just mostly write it in the notes section on my phone. And then every year, I'll copy and paste it into a Google Doc for Dreams. It’s a lot…

But sometimes I have art dreams. The small paintings of flowers came from a dream. I had a dream that I was doing close-ups of paintings, detail shots. Also, I used to have text in my paintings that would be excerpts of dreams that I would write out.

One time I had a dream that I did an exhibition that was in a museum, and it was on two floors, and one floor was playing a music score of some kind, but it was empty. And then on the other floor were the dancers dancing to the score, but there was no sound.

BCE:  Whoa.

TA: I was like... That's a fucking good idea! *laughs.*

BCE: Maybe one day…

Tisch Abelow at Brackett Creek Montana