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Close Look

An Artist's-Eye View of Pulse and NADA


An Artist's-Eye View of Pulse and NADA

Bill Claps may be known for his "It's All Derivative" series lampooning the gospel of originality in art, but when it comes to the work of other artists his eye is just as keenly geared toward the fresh, the innovative, and the unexpected. This week Claps toured two of the week's satellite fairs, Pulse and NADA, to provide his perspective on several outstanding artworks that caught his attention.

At right, find a sampling of works by Bill Claps and Sara Greenberger Rafferty, whom is featured below.


Beatrice Pediconi’s Untitled XXII at Z20 Galleria

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Z20 presented a two-person show featuring Beatrice Pediconi’s large-scale photographs, polaroids, videos alongside Mia Pearlman’s blown-glass sculptures. Pediconi uses various liquified substances in both her photos and videos to create abstract forms reminiscent of constellations and marine organisms, which float and dance through water and space in an act that merges performance, painting, and photography—capturing the substances in the transitional moments before they disappear into space. The forms of Pearlman’s organic sculptures, meanwhile, seem to mimic the abstract compositions in Pediconi’s works and likewise refer to the transient nature of reality. Presented in tandem, the works of the two artists harmonize seamlessly. See photo at top. 

Etsuko Ichikawa’s molten-glass paintings on paper at Waterhouse & Dodd

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Using a process that involves drawing with red-hot glass gliding over paper to create “glass pyrographs," Etsuko Ichikawa is another artist who captures and eternalizes the immediacy of the moment.

Ambreen Butt’s Pages of Deception at Carroll and Sons 

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Ambreen Butt’s visually intriguing two-panel mixed-media installation comments on the erosion of Fifth Amendment rights since 9/11. The work is based on a recent Massachusetts Court case in which an Arab-American was prosecuted and convicted for terrorist activities related to transcribing materials from Arabic to English. Butt uses hand-cut text from transcripts of the trial—the defendant's closing statement is on the left, and the prosecutor’s is on the right—to create intricate designs that reference miniature images from the Koran.

Jessica Drenk’s Bibliophylum at Adah Rose Gallery 

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Jessica Drenk’s work is influenced by systems of information and the impulse to develop an encyclopedic understanding of the world. With Bibliophylum, she continues this exploration with an installation that she created by encasing books in wax and carving them into fragments that reference bones, scrimshaw, and ancient forms of writing.


David Kennedy Cutler’s Aluminum sculptures at Derek Eller Gallery

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David Kennedy Cutler’s process involves photographing and hand-scanning still lifes, which he prints onto aluminum and shapes into abstract works reminiscent of Robert Rauchenberg’s combines and John Chamberlain’s scrap-steel sculptures. 

Sara Greenberger Rafferty’s mixed media pieces at Rachel Uffner Gallery

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Using paint as performance, Sara Greenberger Rafferty manipulates drying paint on photographic images in her latest series of collages to distort and abstract the various elements of the works. Images include suits, ties, microphones, and nooses, referencing her interest in gender issues and the darker side of performance and comedy (like the idea of "dying" onstage).



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