Professor Natalie Westbrook’s work is included in the group show “Unearthed by JC,” at Mindy Solomon Gallery in Miami, on view August 8 through September. Curated by Joe Chira AKA JC the Art Consultant, the show is an expression of his passion for contemporary art and innovative mark making.
For Unearthed, Chira has assembled a group of artists that range from emerging to well established mid-career painters. His interest in vibrant color and explosive patterning is evident in the works chosen. For example, artists Trudy Benson, Russell Tyler, Jonathan Casella and Matt Phillips all utilize repetitious line and shape in various ways. Trudy Benson’s vibrant, slashing yellow lines play against a black and white check pattern creating a unique relationship between positive and negative space. Jonathan Casella’s painting becomes more of an amorphous shape composed of patterned lines and forms against a background of bold letters that represent his signature as well as additional pigmented cut outs. Matt Philips also employs diagonal lines as a compositional element while colors appear much more muted and transparent. Russell Tyler utilizes vibrant rectangular forms that appear like piano keys playing a highly saturated florescent melody. Another fan of neon, Ali Smith articulates her heavily impasto surfaces with neon color and densely built-up brush marks to create a hidden abstract jungle. This methodology also appears to be a current running through the exhibition.
Catherine Haggarty, Natalie Westbrook, Bill Saylor and Erik Foss create frenzied canvases that evince an urban vibe. Channeling street art and graffiti, the paintings draw the viewer into articulated recognizable forms. Whether overt portraits, animal shapes, and floating organic matter, the energy of their works is palpable.
Ammon Rost and Elaine Stocki are mark makers. There is a tentative gentility to the gestures of Rost and an organic softness in the raw canvases of Stocki. One feels as though they are spying on the artists, watching them drawing their first breath through line.