Sean Naftel

Feast and Famine
December 2011
Ellicott City, Maryland
 
Held in the offices of Line of Sight, management consulting for government and industry, Feast and Famine features work by six artists from Maryland, New York, Massachusetts, Maine, and Ireland whose work explores the intersection of Minimalism and Maximalism. Feast and Famine is the ninth short-term art exhibition/event held by Roving Project. Curated by Erin Treacy, the exhibition focuses on similarities between art genres rather then differences. Minimalism researches how formal limitation can create in-depth investigation into perception, reducing substance and concept to the essentials. On the contrary, Maximalist allows process-driven work to result in dense, complex space, at once over indulgence yet still orderly. 
 
Maximalism can often be related to excess and Minimalism to elimination, this exhibition focuses on how process and intent between these two fields share many similarities. Though Sean Naftel's Playgrounds depict empty space devoid of any reference to people and Ryan Walkers utilizes brightly colored plastics that intertwine into a punk-like monster, their process and conception both stem from the desire to activate space, control medium, and use process as a meditative practice. Similarly Erin Treacy's layered paintings are collections of objects from the everyday that result in a dense abstraction. Chris Attenborough's photographs take the everyday and through reduction abstract the objects we thought we knew to an unrecognizable surface. The end results may appear contradictory but the ambition and process is the same- methodical studio process that reflects upon and questions place. Roisin McGuigan's Minimalistic paintings reference landscape and memory, while questioning boundaries and form. The physical layers are soft, sometimes transparent, and effectively appear and disappear as you engage with the pieces. Rather then slow layers built up to create a whole, Mike Vance's illustrations are one-ups, single character paintings, but each piece interacts with the next blurring boundaries and creating an expansive conversation. Despite formal attributes all artist are creating arenas for discovery, inciting emotional responses, while working within their own process to highlight their comfort zone and natural inclinations.