Winter Collective Exhibition, featuring eighteen works by Engels, Alfredo Scaroina, and KwangHo Shin, is on view at UNIX Gallery New York, 532 W 24th St., through January 31st, 2015.
Art is a natural process for Haitian-born New York-based abstract artist Engels. He can create with anything, as evidenced by his diverse media. Engels builds with wood, paper, and layers of paint. He questions what painting is, often creating works that are left explicit. “Stretchers lay bare. Canvas is crumpled, torn, or shredded. Staples can be more than simple fasteners and can function as paint.” For Engels, a work does not have to be one thing or another. A painting can have elements of photography or sculpture, blurring the conventions between disciplines. “I believe in the spirit. Sometimes I enter the work; we become one.” Engels has the uncanny ability to create pieces as if from nothing, always listening to his senses. The process speaks to the poetry of his childhood, the survival strategies that Haitians use to get from one day to the next. The strict economy of line and texture, the use of everyday objects, and makeshift elegance recalls his grandmother’s home in Port-au-Prince, which against all odds, had splendor.
In his paintings, KwangHo Shin attempts to capture the complexity
of human emotion and the experience of the mind as we perceive it
visually. Harkening back to Abstract Expressionism, Shin employs
intense and vibrant colors in order to depict individualistic expression of emotion and a sense of self. He applies oils and charcoal in thick brushstrokes to distort and exaggerate the subject’s facial features and confront the viewer with the resulting emotional impact these painterly effects have on our understanding of the subject. Shin deliberately neglects the use of harmonious color and precise form in an effort to extend the internal mental world into an external reality. Shin is able to document the psychological change and clash that arises in the self in his portraits. “... the fear of the blank canvas is dissolved as the colors arrive safely and the shapes are formed on the picture plane... this moment is the process of bringing out something from the Artist’s inner spirit - it is the climax of the creative energy” (Yu MyeongJin).
Alfredo Scaroina explores the powerful influence the creative process has on his paintings. His techniques both dictate and reveal the subject matter, as he starts using different mediums and an array of reclaimed materials such as recycled mail, paper, found fabrics, archival newsprint, recycled magazines, old canvases, dirt, sand, metal, dust and everything he can find to create complex, urban decayed layered compositions. Scaroina also addresses how his paintings influence the emotional and physiological perception of the individual from one culture to another, as well as the collective unconsciousness in the Jungian sense. He incorporates archetypal symbols and primitive motifs into his paintings as a kind of universal language that is recognizable to people from many different backgrounds. Scaroina embraces experimental techniques and materials as a way to express fresh ideas about the function of art in a multicultural world.
About UNIX Gallery
Representing an international group of established and emerging artists, UNIX is a contemporary art gallery in New York’s Chelsea district. The gallery stimulates the careers of artists with compelling, unique visions who utilize exquisite artistic execution. These artists embrace a ranging spectrum of traditional and contemporary artistic practices from painting, sculpture, and photography, to large- scale installations and a synthesis of diverse mediums.
Aiming at providing a forum for innovative exhibitions and artistic exchange, UNIX Gallery meticulously selects artists based on their individual signature style. Artists represented by UNIX Gallery have exhibited extensively in galleries, museums, and fairs worldwide.
As a gallery specialized in the primary and secondary market, UNIX commits to the highest standards of connoisseurship and professionalism and eagerly expands within the present, evolving contemporary and modern art market. Functioning as an aperture to the future, the gallery makes an effort to introduce and establish prospective artistic mediums and visions to the subsequent art world.
Dalia Stoniene / Dan Schwartz
Susan Grant Lewin Associates