exhibitions ARCHIVE


And the Unseen Colors Erupt 

Mikey Kelly and Jen Pack

SLATE contemporary | 473 25th Street, Oakland, CA

January 9 - March 27, 2021 



Loading...


And the Unseen Colors Erupt features paintings by Mikey Kelly and textile sculptures by Jen Pack. While working in different mediums, both artists pursue the optical and emotional impact of color and line to create work that is on the one hand bright and bold and on the other, full of both detail and minimalist restraint.

Jen Pack constructs three-dimensional forms from two-dimensional sheets of fabric which are wrapped around complex sculptural shapes built of wood. The dynamic relationship between the heavy wooden structures that hang on the wall and the delicate fibers on the surface creates a wonderful dialogue, toggling between solid substance and negative space, tension and release, hard-angles and free-flow. The artist enjoys how this kind of play balances masculine and feminine approaches by challenging not only the notion of sewing as “feminine craft” but also the already ambiguous distinction between fine art and craft.

In Mikey Kelly’s paintings, space is more of an illusion. Made with hundreds or thousands of overlapping lines set at radiating and diagonal angles, these works can appear almost machine-made at first glance, and that assumption holds truth. Kelly has developed a system using poly-alphabetic ciphers and numeric algorithmic systems that allow language-based input to be translated into a directional code that dictates the angle and color of each layer of lines that make up a painting. When it comes time to actually execute the work, the artist himself is somewhat automated, run by the decisions he has already made and by the system of directions he has created. And yet, nature and humanity persist in the irregularity of lines made by a tool that is hand-held, in the moments where his paint pens or markers catch the nub of a coarsely-woven canvas, and in the emotional impact of the colors combined.

While each artist’s work stands on its own, the presentation of their work side by side highlights common themes. Both love bright spectral hues, while being equally comfortable taking pause in pieces that are largely black and white – proving that their materials and shapes hold up even without the delightful and sensational distraction of color. Both artists’ work has a strong graphic impact at a distance, but reveals hours of labor and mesmerizing detail when viewed intimately at close range. Both follow systematic modes of working, where repetition of action accumulates to generate pattern and form. Textile and its textures are foundational to both bodies of work as well. Indeed, this sense of experimentation is perhaps what is most exciting about these artists’ work. While both have a strong sense of discipline and focus, having moved past the painterly tropes of pictorialism and expressionism, and having stepped across the borders that separate fine art from craft and painting from sculpture; it seems that the possibilities are now endless.

Exhibition Catalog

Virtual Tour 


Piece & Plane

Eric Bohr, Heather Jones, Kerith Lisi + Silvia Poloto

SLATE contemporary | 473 25th Street, Oakland, CA

October 15 - December 30, 2020



Loading...

Piece & Plane (in the gallery at 473 25th Street October 15–December 30, 2020) features artworks by Eric BohrHeather JonesKerith Lisi, and Silvia Poloto. The thematic concept that underlies this exhibition is the collective focus on abstract compositions made by piecing together flat shapes. In each case, these shapes live in some material form before the work is begun, pre-existing the final composition, and providing a personal palette for each artist. Clearly, however, the outcome of each work is never pre-determined. Instead, a process of decision-making ensues, with the artists re-arranging parts or pieces until the perfect balance is achieved. The resulting artworks rest on the relationships between their internal components, not only across the surface, but also within the shallow depth of field where layers literally or merely seem to overlap, hinting at other unseen forms that may or may not exist beyond the visible plane.

Assemblage and collage are integral to the process of all four artists. Heather Jones, for example, cuts, assembles, and joins pieces of fabric together to create compositions that speak of 20th century abstraction yet evoke elements traditional quilt making. Kerith Lisi similarly draws some inspiration from quilt patterns but works with hardback book covers, book cloth, and book spines, which she cuts and reassembles using adhesive and/or embroidery thread. Silvia Poloto uses paper as her primary medium, glueing it to wood panel and then selectively pulling parts of it back, adding and subtracting to create a layered composition. Eric Bohr’s work (the only true “paintings” in the exhibition) are actually informed by preparatory paper collages, through which he explores the shapes, colors, and compositions that are vital to the eventual outcome of each painting.

Exhibition Catalog 


Color Fields

Juan Alonso-Rodríguez and Carol Inez Charney

SLATE contemporary | 473 25th Street, Oakland, CA

July 30 - October 10, 2020



Loading...

SLATE contemporary is pleased to present Color Fieldsfeaturing painting by Juan Alonso-Rodríguez and photography by Carol Inez Charney. While working in two different mediums, Alonso-Rodríguez and Charney both address the expansive nature of color, light, and space.

The exhibition’s title references the Color Field painting movement of the 1950s and 60s, which anchored compositions around large, immersive fields of color and illusions of deep space. The aim of Color Field painters was not to emphasize images, brush strokes, or impasto, but rather to create a swath of color that was sensory and immaterial. In the work of Mark Rothko, Helen Frankenthaler, and Morris Louis, to name only a few, paint was thinned to the point that instead of sitting on top of the canvas, it was absorbed by it, staining it without changing its texture or dimension. Thinning also allowed the paint to respond to gravity, and to create additive effects with multiple overlapping translucent layers.

While the artists that SLATE is presenting do not adhere strictly to this tradition, there are core elements of their work that are informed by, and resonate with it. Alonso-Rodríguez works in acrylic on unprimed canvas for his series “Pattern & Flow,” in which he allows multiple layers of thin but saturated color to blend, drip and flow into one another. Charney approaches photography with a similar sensibility, using moving water as a filter to visually dissolve colored prints hanging in her studio. Indeed, the gravitational movement of material is a particular focus of both artists, who play with this natural force, allowing it to act of its own accord, while also manipulating and mitigating its effects in various ways. Alonso-Rodríguez flips his canvases in different directions when working, so that the paint moves, runs into itself, or stops at a precise moment. Charney carefully designs the patterning of liquid on glass using thickeners, resist, and a dance against time. Both artists are allowing a degree of chance, as paint and water move with their own agency, while still carefully controlling the resulting forms according to their artistic intent.

Press Release


Black & White

Anastasia Faiella, Joanne Fox, Barbara Kolo, Maya Kabat + Patricia Thomas

SLATE contemporary | 473 25th Street, Oakland, CA

April 11 - July 25th, 2020 | Hours: Saturdays from 12-5pm

SLATE contemporary is pleased to present Black & White: a stylish exhibition featuring works on paper that explore the bold and graphic impact of black and white. Featuring SLATE artists Anastasia FaiellaJoanne FoxBarbara KoloMaya Kabat + Patricia Thomas.



Loading...

Robert Buelteman

SLATE contemporary | 473 25th Street, Oakland, CA

February 1 - April 4, 2020



Loading...

SLATE contemporary is pleased to present a solo exhibition featuring both color and black and white  energetic photograms by Robert Buelteman. Buelteman does not use cameras, lenses or computers but rather works directly with large sheets of photographic film, and uses living plants as a filter through which high-voltage electricity and fiber-optically-delivered light is passed. The resulting images open a window on life’s mysteries, and were compared by the Los Angeles Times with photographs of our universe made by the Hubble Telescope.

Buelteman writes, “The actual process of imaging begins with the introduction of high frequency, high voltage electricity into the exposure matrix to create and illuminate the blue aura that emanates from the subject.  Then, I use one of a variety of light sources including xenon-strobe, tungsten, and fiber-optic light to illuminate the subject by hand so the light is scattered through the diffusion screens, through the subject, and onto the film where the exposure is recorded.  In essence, I regard these as paintings made with the energy of visible light and electricity, using the living plant as both source and filter.”


Winter Hall Gallery Exhibition

David Fredrik Moussallem, Andrzej Michael Karwacki, Phillip Griswold, Maya Kabat, Eric Bohr + Carol Inez Charney

SLATE contemporary Hall Gallery | 473 25th Street, Oakland, CA

February 2020

On view in SLATE contemporary’s Hall Gallery, works by David Fredrik MoussallemAndrzej Michael KarwackiPhillips GriswoldMaya KabatEric Bohr + Carol Inez Charney.



Loading...

Michael Garlington + Natalia Bertotti

SLATE contemporary | 473 25th Street, Oakland, CA

December 5, 2019 - January 25, 2020



Loading...

SLATE contemporary gallery is proud to present an immersive and imaginative exhibition, Muse, for the winter season in Oakland, featuring new works by acclaimed photography, sculpture, and installation team Michael Garlington and Natalia Bertotti. SLATE contemporary first exhibited the duo’s work in the 2016 group show, Mystery and Narrative. The 2019-2020 exhibition will be a solo show, and has been planned to coincide with their participation in Oakland Museum of California’s exhibition No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man (on view through February 16), which was organized by the Smithsonian Museum’s Renwick Gallery and traveled to the Cincinnati Art Museum this past summer. Garlington and Bertotti’s monumental Paper Arch is arguably the centerpiece of the museum exhibition, and is not to be missed.

For their show at SLATE, the team presents new work in a variety of media including unframed prints, a digital presentation, and their trademark unique sculpted frames. As usual, the pair’s work is marked by a fluid sense of the real. Starting with fantastical scenes that are created in the artists’ “minds’ eyes,” Bertotti and Garlington recruit models and construct grandiose costumes and surreal props, which are assembled in settings as banal as Petaluma’s industrial riverfront and as exotic as Venice, Italy. The staged scene is then captured in a single straight shot using an old-fashioned camera to transfer the image to medium-format film. While the scenes are illusionistic and strive above all for emotional impact, they document an accrual of people and things in a specific time and place that is in fact more “real” than most of the images we look at every day.

The show’s title, Muse, refers to Natalia, who appears as the actress or model in so many of the works. Other images feature friends, clients who have commissioned family portraits, and occasional celebrities (such as Willem Dafoe who plays the prince in Willem and the Mermaid).

Photographer Michael Garlington grew up in northern California and learned his craft working in a black- and-white photography lab that his family owned, turning his career eventually, through his partnership with Natalia Bertotti, to performance and sculpture. Their work has been supported by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, SF Camerawork, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Andy Warhol Foundation. They have received Burning Man Honoraria for their internationally acclaimed installations “Totem of Confessions” and “Photo Chapel.”


Northern Drift

David DeFelice

SLATE contemporary Hall Gallery | 473 25th Street, Oakland, CA

December 5, 2019 - January 25, 2020 | Hours: Monday through Friday 10—5pm Saturday 12—5pm + by appt

SLATE contemporary is pleased to present Northern Drift, a solo exhibition featuring figurative paintings by SLATE artist David DeFelice.



Loading...

State of Change

Audra Weaser, Danielle Eubank + David Ruth

SLATE contemporary | 473 25th Street, Oakland, CA

October 3 - November 30, 2019



Loading...

SLATE contemporary is pleased to present State of Change, an exhibition featuring two painters and one glass sculptor. State of Change presents works which address elements in the natural world that are subject to transformation: from glaciers, to oceans, to watery landscapes.

Audra Weaser‘s work takes nature as its central point of reference, resulting in physically charged images reminiscent of trees and bodies of water. As the artist explains, “I’m continually inspired by the elements of the natural world which are in a constant state of flux — from the powerful force of rushing waters to shafts of light glimpsed through a forest of trees. These external states often correspond to internal feelings which I hope to elicit in the viewer.” These works evoke images such as swampy bayous, mystical forests, and light shining in from gathering weather.

Danielle Eubank‘s work occupies the liminal space between abstraction and representation, actively seeking out the tipping point between the conceptual and visible in her subject of choice: water. Through the theme of water, Eubank is also highlighting the consequences of the human footprint on landscapes all over the world. Destruction surrounds many sites where she works, and her paintings can feature such items as cigarette butts, oil slicks, and cans. The artist explains, “Looking for formal value is my way of coping with the destruction.”

David Ruth’s glass sculpture forms a geological connection between a man-made material and sources in nature such as icebergs and rock faces. Ruth makes sculpture molds from objects like glacier ice and stone as a way to record that which is facing tremendous change in our current climate.  The sculptures record the things we see in nature while at the same time, comment on the fragility of our environment.


Michael Azgour + Phillip Griswold

SLATE contemporary | 473 25th Street, Oakland, CA

August 1 - September 28, 2019

SLATE contemporary is pleased to present a two-artist exhibition featuring new paintings by Michael Azgour and Phillip Griswold.



Loading...

Hall Gallery

Kerith Lisi, Juan Alonso-Rodríguez, Alan Mazzetti + Michael Azgour

SLATE contemporary | 473 25th Street, Oakland, CA

August 2019 | Hours: Monday through Friday 10—5pm Saturday 12—5pm + by appt

On view in SLATE contemporary’s Hall Gallery, works by Alan MazzettiMichael AzgourJuan Alonso-Rodríguez and Kerith Lisi.



Loading...

Introductions

Celeste Chin, Kathleen Finney, Katy Kuhn, Heather Patterson + Kate Zimmer
SLATE contemporary | 473 25th Street, Oakland, CA
July 5 - July 27, 2019 | Hours: Monday through Friday 10—5pm Saturday 12—5pm + by appt
SLATE contemporary is pleased to present Introductions, an exhibition showcasing five new SLATE artists. Featuring abstract painters, Celeste ChinKathleen FinneyKaty Kuhn, Heather Patterson + Kate Zimmer.



Loading...

FIND US

473 25th Street
Suite A
Oakland, CA 94612

QUICK LINKS

SUBSCRIBE

473 25th Street
Suite A
Oakland, CA 94612