Compendium

THIS ESSAY HAS BEEN PUBLISHED IN THE DECEMBER 2015 ISSUE OF ACES MAGAZINE

On view in the Islip Art Museum is a selection of artists who incorporate scientific fundamentals into their artistic process. The exhibition, Compendium, was curated by Lorrie Fredette and Beth Giacummo. The exhibition features the artwork of Brandon Ballengée, Gianluca Bianchino, Julia Buntaine, Beverly Fishman, Michelle Frick, Phil Hastings, Jeanne Heifetz, Mark Nystrom, Taney Roniger, Travis LeRoy Southworth, Laura Splan, Werner Sun, and Elaine Whittaker.

Ballengée’s imposing C-prints mounted on aluminum magnifies the deformed anatomy of genetically modified organisms. One work on view, It turns and flies…, places a underdeveloped bird in the center of the composition, in the fetal position. The creature’s vertebrate and bones are highlighted by a deep, cool blue that stunningly contrasts against the off-white, reflective surface of the piece. Across from Ballengée’s work are four digital videos taken from Phil Hastings’ Morphology Series. These works feature videos of manipulated digitally based organisms that swell, and move across the video screen, which are placed in four, hand crafted, reliquary-like boxes. Sharing the exhibition space with these two artists is Beverly Fishman whose work, Pillbox, features six colorful larger-than-life glass capsules that commentate on the allure of pharmaceuticals.

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Installation Shot of Gallery 1, featuring the artwork of Phil Hastings and Beverly Fishman, Courtesy of Andrei Budescu and Islip Art Museum

In the second gallery of the Islip Art Museum, one will find an installation by Laura Splan. Collectively titled Host, the installation features works of porcelain and three-dimensionally printed materials, painted in blood, that represents stereotypical objects found in suburban homes. Across the room, on a steel medical cart, Michelle Frick places a group of hand-made, cast and painted, syringe canary birds. The medical cart displaying the syringe birds, some of which are encased in glass specimen jars, is situated beneath three screen prints, which reads as x-rays of a heart. The gallery also features several adhesive vinyl prints by the artist Travis LeRoy Southworth. In his work, entitled Detouched, the artist draws inspiration from the manipulated imagery found in advertising. He abstracts images of various facial imperfections, such as wrinkles, moles, and other blemishes, and presents them across a series of prints of various sizes.

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Installation Shot of Gallery 2, featuring the artwork of Laura Splan and Michelle Frick, Courtesy of Andrei Budescu and Islip Art Museum

Another gallery features a site-specific installation from the artist Gianluca Bianchino entitled Space Junk #2. Here, the artist makes reference to the cosmos through the metal ribbings of parasols, light, and shadows that are both casted and drawn onto the walls.

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Installation Shot of Gallery 3, featuring the artwork of Gianluca Bianchino, Courtesy of Andrei Budescu and Islip Art Museum

Hanging in the main hall of the museum is a series of works on hand-made paper by Jeanne Heifetz. The artist’s biomorphic forms are created using Plateau’s Law, which governs the growth and development of forms found in nature. Accompanying Heifetz’s work are Mark Nystrom’s digital drawings that allows the viewer to actually see wind as it was processed through collected data. Situated between Heifetz and Nystrom’s works are Taney Roniger’s puncture drawings, taken from her Inscape Series. The works feature simple bifurcated patterns that are continuously repeated and overlaid atop one another as graphite powder is rubbed over the holes, creating monochromatic works that warrants close observation.

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Installation Shot of Main Hallway, featuring the artwork of Jean Heifetz, Taney Roniger, Mark Nystrom, and Julia Buntaine, Courtesy of Andrei Budescu and Islip Art Museum

As written by Lisbeth Murray in her essay that accompanies the exhibition, the artist Julia Buntaine visually represents eye movement data originally collected by Russia psychologist Alfred L. Yarbus as his participates observed a painting by the Realist Ilya Repin in her work Trace Movements. Across from Buntaine’s drawings are two computer generated fractal images by Werner Sun. Both, Continental Drift I and Continental Drift II, disregard traditional two-dimensional works, as pyramidal shapes rise above the surfaces of the works, like mountains in a landscape.

The final artist of the exhibition, Elaine Whittaker, uses infectious diseases as the subject matter in four works taken from her Screened For series. The works feature four digital prints of the artist wearing a surgical mask with a different disease designated by a specific color that appears on the mask and in the corresponding Petri dish which is hung beneath each print. For the exhibition, the curators wished to examine Malaria, Tuberculosis, SARS, and West Nile Virus.

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Installation Shot of Short Hallway, featuring the artwork of Elaine Whittaker, Courtesy of Andrei Budescu and Islip Art Museum

Compendium was curated by Lorrie Freddette and Beth Giacummo, and features a group of artists who incorporate their scientific interests into their artwork. The exhibition runs in conjunction with the Museum Shop exhibition Alternative Historic Photography Experiments curated by Jessica McAvoy. Both exhibitions are now on view at the Islip Art Museum until December 27, 2015. A closing reception will be held on December 13, from 1 – 4 PM.

Jay Schuck
Museum Curatorial & Exhibitions Assistant/Jr. Curator

Source Material
Murray, Lisbeth, Compendium, East Islip, NY: Islip Art Museum, 2015, Print.

Photo Credits
Andrei Budescu, Ph.D, and Islip Art Museum

Car Momentum Drawings

THIS ESSAY HAS BEEN PUBLISHED IN THE NOVEMBER 2015 ISSUE OF ACES MAGAZINE

Eric Murphy is a fine artist who lives and works on Long Island, NY. The artist creates what he has dubbed ‘car momentum drawings,’ a type of drawing that is not created by hand, but is rather created while driving a car. This past October, the artist recently exhibited eight car momentum drawings in a solo exhibition titled Automentum in the Museum Store of the Islip Art Museum, and four drawings in the group exhibition Artists in Motion that was on view in Shand’s Loft at Brickhouse Brewery in Patchogue, NY. Car momentum drawings are abstract in composition and are composed of two complimentary, intertwining colors that are based on the artist’s travels throughout Long Island.

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Eric Murphy, Car Momentum Drawing: Riverhead, 2015

The routes and road conditions taken by the artist dictate a car momentum drawing’s composition. A more direct route will produce a more minimal work, while a more scenic route filled with potholes, speed bumps, and traffic will produce a more complex image. One such drawing, Car Momentum Drawing: Riverhead, appears to be taken from the latter category. Based in central Long Island, the artist’s journey to the East End appears to be filled with many twists and turns, along with a plethora of stationary moments, that is indicated by the many purple and green pools of dry marker. A more direct route taken by the artist appears mapped out in Car Momentum Drawing: Coram. Done in orange-red and blue-green, the drawing features many straight, long lines, which indicates fewer roads and few turns over a period of time.

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Eric Murphy, Car Momentum Drawing: Islip I, 2015

Two of the drawings included in the recent Automentum exhibition utilized trips to and from the Islip Art Museum as subject matter, and were done in stunning neon colors. Car Momentum Drawing: Islip I features vibrant yellow and royal purple, while Car Momentum Drawing: Islip II finds the artist using neon blue and pink. Despite the destination being the same, the two drawings are, compositionally, very different. This either indicates that the artist’s starting location differed between the two drawings or that he took different routes to reach his final destination. Another factors to consider would be the time of day the artist traveled, the amount of traffic on the road, and any pit stops the artist made on his trip. Other towns that serve as subjects in Murphy’s drawings that were on view at the Islip Art Museum include Shirley, Bellport, Setauket, and Selden.

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Eric Murphy, Car Momentum Drawing: Islip II, 2015

For the exhibition Artists in Motion, a group exhibition that exhibited six artists inspired by travel, Murphy submitted four car momentum drawings. One piece, Car Momentum Drawing: Home Depot I, is, what Murphy considers to be, his first successful drawing done in this style. The work features an uneven composition with the majority of movement residing on the right-hand side. Intersecting red and blue diagonals crisscross on the white paper. The multitude of blue inkblots indicates static moments when the artist was either stationary or maintained the same speed for a considerable amount of time in one directs.

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Eric Murphy, Car Momentum Drawing: Islip I, 2015

The car momentum drawings are not done by hand, but are rather created by a handmade pendulum, holding a marker, that pivots across the paper. The apparatus is then placed in the artist’s car in the foot well of the passenger’s side seat. The lines and ink blots that are the final result of each work is thus created from the various twist, turns, and stationary moments the artist takes on his travel routes. Murphy uses two colors in each work. One color documents the artist’s route to a location, while the second color indicates the artist’s returning route from the designated location. Apart from the choice of color, the artist has very little control on the overall aesthetics of the piece, which are dictated by outside forces. Each piece is unique, capturing a certain moment in the artist’s life.

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Eric Murphy, Car Momentum Drawing: Home Depot I, 2014

Eric Murphy is a fine artist from Long Island, NY. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History & Criticism from Stony Brook University. His artwork has been exhibited throughout Long Island with select locations including the South Bay Art Association in Bellport, NY, the Patchogue Arts Gallery in Patchogue, NY, and the Sunwood Estate Mansion in Stony Brook, NY.

Jay Schuck