Challenging our perception of the canvas as a format for creative expression, Curious Terrain brings together dynamic, multi-dimensional ‘paintings’ by New York City and Long Island-based artists Darius Yektai, Claire Watson, and Keren Anavy. From leather to resin and foam core, unconventional materials meet equally unconventional methodologies, all within the traditional format of a canvas and stretcher bars. These works push and pull the viewer’s gaze in unexpected directions – flatworks with texture and depth, resisting all categorization.
Starting at the Barn’s exterior, viewers encounter a site-specific installation by Keren Anavy. Adapting her abstract, painterly style to architectural scale, Anavy created a 30 foot continuous scroll of translucent ink paintings on mylar, installed across the glass garage door. Inside, three circular works composed of ink painting on plexiglass showcase her distinctive use of abstracted, natural source material to simultaneously call into question environmental distress and beauty.
Darius Yektai’s paintings explore the surface unlike any other. By manipulating the materials at hand and layering multiple levels of imagery, he takes the viewer’s eye on a journey through the physical surface of the work. Two of these works, including the monumental Excavation, utilize poured resin on select areas of canvas, creating transparency which allows geometric abstractions above and below the surface to overlap, intertwine, and interact in unexpected ways.
Claire Watson’s work combines leather and canvas in shaped wall hangings. She repurposes vintage leather garments, deconstructing their patterns into curious shapes which are used as the basis for her abstract quilted ‘paintings.’ Other than canvas, the only paint involved in the works is a deliberate use of gesso in certain areas, bringing the ‘painting’ conversation to the forefront all while questioning this categorization.