FAULTED VALLEY FOG
KATIE BELL, ELLIOTT GREEN, KEVIN COOLEY, AND PHILLIP ANDREW LEWIS
FEBRUARY 19 – MARCH 20, 2016
“I am interested in scenarios and artifacts where the artificial and natural are confused.”—Katie Bell
In Faulted Valley Fog, Katie Bell, Elliott Green, and Kevin Cooley and Phillip Andrew Lewis subvert and distort preconceived notions of space, material, and functionality, creating illusory environments, which we must struggle to understand.
In “Casualties,” as with all of her site-specific installations, Katie Bell utilizes her surroundings to provide her materials. She forms relationships with neighbors and strangers and scavenges from their detritus to fashion what she considers “future ruins,” time capsules of sorts, existing only briefly until she deconstructs and transforms them into something else. Bell embraces and investigates the physical qualities of such construction materials as Formica, linoleum, and drywall—overlooked yet always present in our environment—allowing them to support or pierce one another, forming shattered arenas, an explosion missed by mere seconds.
Elliott Green’s paintings contain expansive planes of color reminiscent of hillsides, deep oceans in the midst of ravaging storms, or psychedelic states, while rendering deceptive and contradictory spaces unexpected in landscape painting. Green, who has been painting for over 30 years, shifted his focus to considering the landscape after a 2009 visit to Segesta, a Roman temple in Sicily, from which vast expanses—both in space and in human history—can be seen. The application of paint varies greatly in each composition, with small portions rendered tightly amidst large swaths of color. Highly considered and often subdued color palettes evoke both weather patterns and emotional states—subjects of great interest to Green. Waves, bands, and blocks seamlessly intersect and overlap, collapsing against and fading into one another. The results of this process subtly defy the constraints inherent in two-dimensional painting, concealing both beginnings and ends.
In “Keep Pushing On,” Kevin Cooley and Phillip Andrew Lewis assemble a pair of common box fans, running with concealed smoke-producing mechanisms, to conduct a visually compelling experiment, the purpose of which is left unknown. Cooley and Lewis bring together opposing forms, glorifying tension and unison, creation and destruction. Their process- and material-based projects—often taking the form of durational actions documented with photography and video—are fused with their shared interest in the unexpected and unresolved, resulting in sublime and uncanny experiences which tend to raise questions rather than provide answers.
Katie Bell was born in Rockford, IL in 1985. She received her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, RI, and BA from Knox College, Galesburg, IL. She received a New York Foundation for the Arts painting fellowship in 2015, was awarded the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation Space Program in 2011/12, and has exhibited extensively in the US. Her work has been reviewed in Art F City, the Boston Globe, City Paper (Baltimore), and has been featured in numerous magazines in the US and abroad. Bell currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Elliott Green was born in Detroit, MI in 1960 and attended the University of Michigan. He has had solo exhibitions at John Davis Gallery (Hudson, NY) Tibor de Nagy (NY, NY), and Postmasters (NY, NY), and has exhibited collaboratively as Team SHaG with David Humphrey and Amy Sillman at various US locations including the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art (Ridgefield, CT). He has been reviewed in The New York Times, Art in America, and Artnews, among others, and has received the Rome Prize (2011-12) and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2005). He currently lives and works in Athens, NY.
Kevin Cooley was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1975 and received an MFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts, NY and a BFA from Lewis and Clark College, Portland, OR. He currently lives and works between Los Angeles, CA and New York, NY. Phillip Andrew Lewis was born in Memphis, TN in 1973, and received an MFA from the Memphis College of Art, TN and BA from the University of Memphis, TN. He currently lives, works, and teaches in Chattanooga, TN. Lewis and Cooley met during a residency at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NE in 2013 and have since exhibited collaboratively at Kopeikin Gallery (Los Angeles, CA), Sonoma State University (CA), Pierogi (Brooklyn, NY), and Zeitgeist Gallery (Nashville, TN), among others. Cooley is a 2013 recipient of a Central for Cultural Innovation Grant and Lewis received a 2012 Creative Capital Grant for his ongoing project SYNONYM, and their first collaborative project won the 3-D Award at ArtPrize, Grand Rapids, MI in 2013.