The second exhibition of The JHouse Greenwich hotel’s new Art-otel Project of revolving free, open-to-the-public shows by emerging artists, will debut Jan. 23, presenting works by two New York / Brooklyn artists – sculptor John Powers and painter Jeremy Wagner – whose pieces are crafted from unexpected and challenging materials. Entitled Per(pro)spective 2: Material Matters and curated by Douglas Lederman, principal of Schermerhorn 9 Art Advisory, the show will celebrate the featured artists’ non-traditional exploration and advancement of materials and techniques; Powers’s rectilinear shaped building blocks in progressive sizes made of styrene and wood and Wagner’s steel “canvases,”painted with rust, charcoal and enamel.
John Powers, Untitled (2013), hand-joined wood
Per(pro)spective 2: Material Matters, like its predecessor The Art-otel Project’s inaugural Per(pro)spective) show, will honor the original perspective, skill, individuality and innate creativity of the artists, along with their ability to communicate with a contemporary audience. The show will run through March 23, utilizing the newly dedicated ART Salon on the hotel’s mezzanine level, along with work on display by additional emerging artists in other spaces throughout the property. The exhibited works will be available for sale with ALL proceeds going directly to the artists, providing much-needed practical support for their ongoing endeavors – in contrast to the practice at commercial galleries,no commission will be collected from the artists by The JHouse or by Schermerhorn9 Art Advisory.
While there is a strong sense of a hardedge formalism in John Powers’s work, he manages to develop his abstract “building blocks” – both solid and skeletal – into marvels resembling futuristic architecture and technology, which in their complexity often transcend the purely mechanical to appear almost organic. Square edged blocks turn into undulating curves or growing crystalline masses. Layer upon layer of obsessively placed and spaced elements in varying sizes (but always the same proportions) draw the viewer deeper and deeper. Indeed, the temptation to crawl inside his more byzantine sculptural works to explore their interior structure is hard to resist. In addition to his sculptures, Powers creates works made of paper chads collaged into low, white-on- white reliefs. He refers to these bas-relief pieces as his drawings, which, despite their near two-dimensionality, present complex, layered planes and convey amazing depth. Powers work has been widely exhibited internationally in private, corporate and institutional settings.
Jeremy Wagner, Tara, (2013), rust, charcoal and enamel on steel panel, 42”x42”
Jeremy Wagner’s work is distinguished by the use of the roughest of materials to create his jewel box-like surfaces. Rust is interspersed with layers of opaque color, and patches of the raw steel canvas are left revealed. Gritty urban settings, along with slap-in-the-face, agit-prop political messages and tongue-in-cheek art historical references, all reveal Wagner’s wit, wisdom and personal journey as an artist and individual. Wagner’s skill with his tools, the ability to affect viewers’ perception and his truly unique play with materials, along with his knowledge of and teasing references to art history is what makes his work contemporary and pertinent. Wagner’s work has been shown extensively in galleries in New York City and elsewhere and is found in a number of prominent collections, both private and corporate.
“The overwhelming success of our first exhibit has created a massive amount of buzz and interest in the next installment. Well beyond the opening, there has been a constant stream of guests, both out-of-town visitors and local residents, touring through the property, eager to see each piece,” enthuses Jonathan Wise, general manager of The JHouse. “This sort of creative activity and interest allows the spaces to serve as much more than what people expect within any typical hotel or restaurant”
The curator’s statement regarding the show and the artists represented, along with information about purchasing the exhibited works, will be available to hotel guests and visitors at the front desk, as well as other locations within the hotel and from Schermerhorn 9.
Per(pro)spective 2: Material Matters, the second of the TheJHouse’s Art-otel Project shows. will open Jan. 23 for a two month run through March 23 at the hotel located at 1114 East Putnam Avenue, Riverside, CT. Visitors will be directed to the hotel’s new ART Salon and other exhibition areas by the front desk, which will also provide the curator’s statement and purchase information.
For more information about The JHouse and its Art-otel Project, please visit www.jhousegreenwich.com. For more information about Schermerhorn 9 Art Advisory, which conducts business in New York, Greenwich and Venice, call 203-698-2260 or log on to www.schermerhorn9.com.