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Painted birds by Michelle Morin

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New Hampshire based artist Michelle Morin paints delicate detailed drawings of birds. Using watercolor and gouache, Morin depicts hummingbirds, herons and other avian creatures, amid stylized views of their natural habitats.

From her artist’s statement, “With many years designing and maintaining gardens, Michelle has narrowed her primary focus to nature as a subject to reference. She works to convey the beauty and complexities of nature using texture, pattern, and narrative elements throughout her work, which range from elaborate watercolor and gouache compositions on paper to vast and more layered paintings on canvas. Through her travels she continues to seek out inspiration from the natural world while honing in on the unique details that define each place.

See more of Morin’s work here.

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Crochet figures by Yulia Ustinova

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Moscow, Russia based artist Yulia Ustinova is captivated by the roundness of the female figure. Hips, buttocks, tummy and breasts. Armed with a crochet hook and variegated yarn, Ustinova renders the curves, twists and turns, covering the underlying metal armature with a skin of tightly wound fabric.

From an interview with ZoneArts, the artist says about her work, “I prefer to call them ladies or ‘plumpies’. Originally, instead of “plumpies” Iused the Russian word “tetki” – it means uneducated and ungroomed women. Maybe there is a more appropriate word for this – it depends on their image and my mood… They are all around me, my friends, my acquaintance, almost every one of them has problems, and lots of them have a difficult personal life, or are unfortunate in love. Something concentrates and the lady or plumpie (tetka) appears.

See more of Ustinova’s work on her Facebook page.
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Abstract collage by Aaron Wexler

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“Directions to Home” 2011 Acrylic Painted Paper And Paint On Paper 48 x 36 in

I like the abstract collage work of the Brooklyn based artist Aaron Wexler. Inspired by nature, Wexler collects source materials from prints, books, photographs and more. After making drawings and collages from these source materials, the artist cuts his work apart and pastes them together, building the layers of the picture plane.

Wexler writes in his artist statement, “Concealing and revealing in my work is an important form of visual play. I play with the back and forth between what is print, what is paint and what is just negative space. Collage is a form of sampling but for me it’s what’s in between those samples, which is just as exciting. My selection process of shapes, images and paint is based in poetic responses on how I respond to formal elements – it is in that act that I find profound meaning.”

Last year (May 2 – June 29, 2013), Wexler had a solo exhibition of his work at the Morgan Lehman Gallery in New York City.

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“Tune Then Turn” 2014 Acrylic, Painted Paper and Print Material Collaged On Panel 30 x 42 in

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Tune Then Turn (detail)

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Emperor Tomato Katchup 2013. Acrylic, painted paper collage and print material on panel. 24″ x 18″

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“The Not-So-Distant Future” 2008, acrylic and paper collage on panel. 74″ x 54″

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Window of Opportunity 2013. Acrylic painted paper and printed material collage on panel. 68″ x 48″

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Window of Opportunity:detail, 2013. Acrylic painted paper and printed material collage on panel. 68″ x 48″

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work shown at the Morgan Lehman Gallery in NYC

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Aaron Wexler, Brooklyn, 2014

Figure paintings by Beata Chrzanowska

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“MINT” 40.5×31 inches, Oil/Acrylic on Canvas, 2014

New York City based artist Beata Chrzanowska builds her figure paintings using many contradictory elements: bright and dull colors, geometric and organic shapes, minimalism and chaos. With deft brushstrokes and a precise eye, Chrzanowska uses these varied characteristics to breathe life into her works. See more of Chrzanowska’s work here.

From the artist’s website: “Beata’s works are compositionally, chromatically and geometrically conscious. They are puzzles that she builds from a single figurative line drawing. Once the first colors are placed, every additional color is affected until a compositional balance is created. The work exists to demonstrate a non-traditional execution of the flesh and sexuality, arising attention to the moments she finds most intriguing and inviting the audience to experience that same driven thrill through the femme.”

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“ICE” 29×28 inches, Acrylic on Canvas, 2013

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“HIGH JELLY” Acrylic on Canvas, 2012

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“NICE” 25×32 inches, Acrylic on Canvas, 2012

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“FIGURE BEYOND” Oil on Canvas, 2010

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“FIGURE BEYOND” Oil on Canvas, 2010

Installation of vintage photographs shown at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights

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I like this installation of hanging photographic portraits. It is currently on display at the opening of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia. Unfortunately, I can’t find any mention of the artist who created the installation or a description of it.

I imagine it might have been inspired by images of segregated buses in the South, like the ones shown below.

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Tara Donovan creates two new large-scale installations from index cards and acrylic rods

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detailed views of above installation

Artist Tara Donovan is currently showing two new large-scale sculptures at the Pace Gallery in New York City. Donovan is known for taking massive quantities of a single everyday object – like toothpicks, drinking straws, paper plates, or styrofoam cups – and clustering these items in a repetitive manner forming very large organic structures.

In Donovan’s latest work, she uses index cards and acrylic rods as her atomic units. Stacking and gluing together millions of 3″ x 5″ index cards, the New York City based artist creates irregular conical forms resembling rock formations found in the American Southwest. In another room of the Pace Gallery, Donovan creates shapes resembling clusters of furry spherical balls. Upon closer inspection, the piece is actually composed of thousands of thin acrylic rods. By varying the lengths of the rods, and playing with how the light reflects off the glass, the artist tricks the eye into believing the surface is soft-to-the-touch.

From the gallery press release: “As in all of her work, Donovan spends months or even years searching for a method of assembly that allows the simple and immutable characteristics of the chosen material to generate complex, emergent phenomena which keep the viewer cycling between perception of the parts and the whole between the forms themselves and the light that surrounds and divides them. The work draws on both Minimalist and formalist histories, while creating a radically new form which embraces complexity and iterative processing.”

Donovan’s exhibit is on view at the Pace Gallery in New York City (534 West 25th Street) from May 10 to June 28, 2014.

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Lucas Simões cuts and layers digital images into portraits

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In the series “Desmemórias,” São Paulo, Brazil based artist/architect Lucas Simões cuts out geometrical shapes from digitally-produced copies of portraits, and then layers them on top of more portraits of the same person.

Simões writes that he photographs “old childhood friends with whom I no longer maintain contact and also individuals I have just met. The portraits were made during a conversation. From this encounter, I separated 10 photos of each one and, for the most part, I did not treat the photos with any particular color in mind, leaving the color and light as they were at that moment the photos were made, without any treatment. In a few cases, I found it necessary to use color. The basic cuts for these photos are more geometric and appear to be a continuous pattern, but they actually do not repeat, they do complement each other.”
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More embroidery on vintage photographs by Hinke Schreuder

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Dark. Delicate. More embroidery on vintage photographs by Amsterdam, Netherlands based artist Hinke Schreuder.

See more of Schreuder’s work here.

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A herd of knitted animals by Hannah Haworth

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Dogs? Ant-eaters? Whatever the species, this pack of magical creatures has captured my fancy. Constructed by Brooklyn-based artist Hannah Haworth, each animal was made with material hand-knitted by the artist herself. I love the way Haworth uses the fair-isle patterns to denote the animals’ legs, body and facial features, emphasizing their ambling motion.

About her work, Haworth says, “I am interested in early man-made conveniences and their connections with passed down oral traditions and craft. The Hunt is a piece of work knitted in response to a typically Therianthropic-themed Inuit tale concerning a man that comes home to find that his wife has gone missing. A search ensues where progressively stranger tracks are found before a decision is made that she has become a wolf and the search party returns to the village.”

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Sketchbook inspiration: graphite drawings of friends on a Moleskine by Thomas Cian

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Some sensitively rendered portraits by Milan based artist Thomas Cian. Cian uses graphite pencil on Moleskine sketchbooks to draw his friends. See more of the artist’s work on his tumblr site.

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