Kenise Barnes Fine Art is pleased to present the fourth iteration of our emerging artist exhibition series Cool & Collected. Five artists age 35 and under were meticulously vetted by the exhibition’s curators, gallery manager Lani Holloway and associate Avery Syrig, who are themselves under 30. The show introduces new artistic explorations and movements within the millennial generation. Luscious painting in a variety of media by Katie Barrie (Richmond, VA), Rebecca Levitan (Providence, RI), Laini Nemett (Long Island City, NY), Alex Osborne (Brooklyn, NY and Paris, France), and Sophie Treppendahl (Richmond, VA) exemplify how the younger generation of artists stays cool and collected in these trying times and the last hot days of summer.
Katie Barrie’s practice is rooted in the perceptive and psychological effects of color and geometric abstraction. Influenced by architecture, midcentury modernism, the history of utopias, and color theory, her aim is to create works that dance along the border between beauty and unconventionality. Drawing inspiration from the hyper-designed resort community in northern Michigan where Barrie enjoyed summers with her family, the artist is intrigued by the concept of utopian communities, how they evolve over time, and the effects they have on the social identity of those permitted to be a member. Channeling hard-edge abstraction, design archetypes, and subjective perception, her method of working allows her to process what color and space can come to represent for the artist herself and other individuals.
Barrie, an MFA candidate from Virginia Commonwealth University, has also studied at Lorenzo de Medici in Florence, Italy and the Ox-Bow School of Art in Michigan. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States at Target Gallery (Alexandria, VA), at Work:Detroit (Detroit, MI), and Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT), to name a few. She is the recipient of an Ox-Bow School of Art Merit Scholarship and a fully funded residency by The Sam & Adele Golden Foundation for the Arts.
Rebecca Levitan's work explores the sensory overload of our world brought about by the omnipresence of wildly different images and visual cues juxtaposed and given equal importance. Photos, ads, strange hybrids of a multitude of formats reside on the same billboard or news feed, interfering with our ability to focus on any one image with a single perspective. This modern cacophony poses a challenge to Levitan’s painterly process which strives to make work that embraces this chaos as a vehicle for offering dense, perceptual, emotional experiences of seemingly mundane moments.
Levitan is an MFA candidate for Painting at Rhode Island School of Design and received a BA in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard College. She has exhibited through the Northeast at the NARS Foundation (Brooklyn, NY), Spoke the Hub (Brooklyn, NY), and the Harvard Monday Gallery (Cambridge, MA). She is the recipient of a RISD Fellowship, Benjamin A. Trustman Fellowship, and a Harvard Artist Development Fellowship.
Laini Nemett explores the parallels of life and loss across cultures, and the collective ways we understand the notion of home through large oil paintings of aging buildings and new constructions, both residential and industrial. Through her use of geometric planes and a loving depiction of wood beams and floorboards worn with use, she conjures the passing of time and echos of generations of lives lived within these spaces. As part of her process, Nemett constructs small cardboard models of composite environments that, though appearing believable at first glance, are not architecturally logical. The models serve as a reference point for the artist’s immersive oil paintings that explore our personal sense of place and the intimate histories housed within architectural spaces.
Nemett holds BAs in Visual Arts and History of Art & Architecture from Brown University, and an MFA from the Hoffberger School of Painting at Maryland Institute College of Art. Nemett has received grants from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Queens Council on the Arts, and a Fulbright Fellowship, and has held residencies at Yaddo (NY), the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans (LA), UCross Foundation (WY), and the Alfred & Trafford Klots International Residency (Léhon, France). Solo and group shows include venues at the Mandeville Gallery in Union College, Guilin Art Museum in China, SACI Gallery (Florence, Italy), This Red Door at REH Kunst (Berlin, Germany), YoungArts with JP Morgan Chase Collection for Miami Basel Art Week (Miami, FL), and George Mason University (Fairfax, VA). Nemett currently teaches as Assistant Professor of Drawing & Painting at Union College in Schenectady, NY.
Alex Osborne’s work explores the possibilities of color and space within diverse media, including acrylic paint, resin, spray paint and glue. Osborne embraces chance through a spontaneity of process when he paints, approaching the act of painting as an experience. His practice challenges spatial dimensions and examines the dynamics between organic design inherent to the handmade and the perfect symmetry that can be achieved through digital manipulation. In his digital prints on metal, Osborne uses Photoshop to manipulate paintings on canvas, altering the visual format to create kaleidoscopic compositions that are at once dizzying and inviting. The prints challenge the confines of a two-dimensional space, impelling the viewer to question the limits of their format. His paintings experiment with fluidity in kinetic layers that encapsulate space and time specific to his methods of creation.
Living and working between Brooklyn, NY and Paris, Osborne earned a BA in Sociology from Occidental College in Los Angeles. His work has been featured in exhibitions from Tokyo to Paris and New York City.
Sophie Treppendahl’s paintings investigate enchantment in the ordinary, capturing and contemplating unexpected moments of bliss where everyday life seems filled with ephemeral perfection. Summer swimmers lounging and luxuriating in enticing pools, and the ever-iconic Coney Island roller coaster evoke our collective memories of peaceful warm weather pastimes. The nostalgia implicit within the subject matter of her paintings allows Treppendahl to explore the association of these reminiscent moments and investigate how they bring us together. The images conjure our own personal recollections in a way that is both haunting and wistful.
Treppendahl holds a BA in Painting and Printmaking from the College of Charleston. Her paintings have been shown at Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art (Charleston, SC), 1019 Gallery and Richard and Dolly Maass Gallery at SUNY Purchase College of Art and Design (Purchase, NY), and the Visual Art Center of Richmond (Richmond, VA).