Since 1978, the Artist-In-Residence Workspace Program has provided visual artists with 11 months of free studio space located within the complex of the Abrons Arts Center. Among the artists selected for the program are painters, printmakers, photographers, sculptors, and video and installation artists. The residency offers professional development opportunities, including studio visits with distinguished artists, critics, and curators. The newly dubbed exhibition and open studio event, AIRspace 2010, highlights the work of the 2009-2010 artists-in-residence: Aisha Tandiwe Bell, Ginger Brooks Takahashi, Mikhail Iliatov, Ella Kruglyanskaya, Caitlin Masley, and Erika Ranee.
Aisha Tandiwe Bell‘s work is an exploration of individual burdens, insecurities, and self-prescribed traps. Her work in ceramics, sculpture, video, performance, and drawing seeks to resist the limiting force of cultural stereotypes by presenting layered and fantastic characters that straddle the barriers of public and internal identity. She has been granted a 2005 NYFA fellowship and was a 2006 Skowhegan fellow. Some of Bell’s numerous exhibitions have appeared at the National Museum of Catholic Art, MOCADA, and Rush Arts.
Ginger Brooks Takahashi maintains a social, project-based practice that allows her to organize numerous collaborative events while simultaneously creating independent artworks and installations. Gay power slogans, revolutionary feminist texts, and evocations of radical queer embodiment find form and meaning in her multimedia practice. Takahashi has presented public projects at documenta 12; Kassel, 2007; The Kitchen, New York; and the Serpentine Gallery, London. She is the recipient of a 2008 NYFA fellowship and 2009 Art Matters grant.
Mikhail Iliatov works with sounds. His current projects are based primarily in field recordings from places of personal significance. He often searches for sonic qualities that can characterize cultural histories, mutability, spatial dimension, and the disparities in our perceptual awareness. Recent exhibitions include Open Skies project, San Francisco; International Flip Book Festival; Little Cakes Gallery, New York; and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. His work was also selected for the Book of Stamps published by Cabinetmagazine.
Ella Kruglyanskaya’s current paintings engage with the feminine image and the boundaries of pictorial convention in graphic and often comical modes. Her work aspires to an unspoken punch line or wise-cracking tableau where figures, spaces, and inanimate objects seem to trade roles within their own painted reality. She received her MFA from Yale in 2006, has participated in numerous group exhibitions and has an upcoming show at White Columns, New York, in early 2011.
Caitlin Masley works primarily through drawings, constructions, and installations focused on imprinting themselves within viewer’s spatial mind. By leaving visual traces of an invisible history of where we go, where we live, create, erase, and redraw borders, the viewer sees the intimacy of mapping and works that are seeped in the emotional and political texture of landscape. Her extensive solo and group exhibitions have appeared at Projetto Cusipide Venice Biennial, Greater New York; PS1/MoMA; and Islip Museum Carriage House, and she has received grants from the Pollack-Krasner Foundation and most recently the Puffin Foundation, for her contribution to AIRspace 2010.
Erika Ranee’s recent paintings address the seduction of “bling” culture and women in the sex trade. The work is primarily large-scale, saturated in a bright, often neon palette, and heavily layered with the detritus of these women’s day-to-day toils. The action of the paint mark and the implication of sex inherent in the medium’s viscosity demand a magnanimous and chaotic presence. She has attended Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting and is the recipient of a NYFA fellowship in painting. Recent exhibitions include the Arlington Arts Center, Virginia; the Brennan Gallery, New Jersey; and the SALTWORKS Gallery, Atlanta.