Artist Profiles

Josef Levi
"Still Life With Warhol and Van Dongen" 1999
graphite and acrylic on canvas
37.5 x 52.5 inches
94 x 133.35 cm

	JOSEF LEVI Digitally inspired paintings of womens portraits from the history of art are
juxtaposed via the spacial and psychological relations of flat and illusional space to create an unexpectedly complex and appropriate duality. Artists Statement: Images in the paintings and drawings represent an unending search to find meaning in art. Contrasting ideas about the nature of paintings with inherent plastic connections between
two women are incorporated in all the work. My paintings are metaphors for the dualities of
existence. Life, Death, Black, White, Negative and Positive. Flatness against volume are linked
to reality and illusion, ultimately resolving in new formal structures. Each face fiercely competes for frontality while breathing in the same unification of time and
space. Working process begins with choice of art reproductions eliciting my strongest response.
These are subject matter as well as being emotionally and aesthetically loaded. With a
computer I change and reduce the reproductions to the needed essentials. A pencil drawing is made on a smooth paper or gesso coated-canvas. This is refined and
limited sections are painted with thin acrylic glazes. Broad areas of graphite are left giving
rhythmic consistency as well as allowing completion to be a continual process. Josef Levi Rome 1998
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Keith Long
"Morocco I" 1996
wood
27 x 67.5 inches
68.6 x 171.4 cm

		KEITH LONG Constructed wall-relief sculptures that combine natural and man-made forms into 
symmetrical abstract compositions. The pieces often constructed from the discards of contemporary
culture are incorporated into the construct in order to be perceived in a formistic way yet retaining
the recognizable original character as well. The works have a totemic, icon-like presence and are
sometimes humorous and often brooding. Artist's Statement: I am always interested and somewhat amused when people ask me if my work is influenced by
Northwest Coast Indian constructions, Australian aborigine rock and "Dream" paintings, constructed
star charts of the Micronesian canoeists, African tribal art, American Indian handicrafts and sand
paintings, Egyptian artifacts, etc. I am aware of and enjoy looking at these and other art forms and
artifacts. However, most of these objects were made for purposes other than "art." Only the eclecticism of our contemporary esthetic would allow the conglomerate of, for example, an Egyptian
canoptic jar (made for holding preserved viscera), a prehistoric carved "Venus," a Mimbres pot
(made to cover the face of the deceased in burial), and an African fetish figure which is pierced with
nails, to be thought of as an "art collection." While we admire their form, level of abstraction, ingenuity and imagination, etc., the primary sense and function of these objects is lost to us. To
simply copy the forms of these artifacts would be plagiarism without content. By contrast, I saw recently, in a collection of African and Oceanic art, a mask from the Tusyan tribe
(whose art I was seeing for the first time) which took almost exactly the same form as one of my
pieces from a number of years ago. I would call this, in Darwinian terms, a case of "parallel
development," and I was truly charmed and pleased by the discovery. Clearly, the mask-maker
and I have many things in common. For me, true motivation comes from the natural sciences in general, and biology, fossils and
paleontology in particular. Far more interesting to me than the average art gallery or art museum is
the Museum of Natural History in New York, or better still, the Museum d'Histoire Naturelle In Paris,
where skeletons and specimens are lined up side by side with no fanfare or attempt to aggrandize
the spectacularly unique beauty of their individual forms. I find it tremendously exciting to view the delicate indentations of a fossilized plant or animal, and to try to have some sense of the
individual life that formed it. If I have any real heroes of art, they are the prehistoric cave painters-it
is really exciting to see an image made as much as 30,000 years ago, and to feel within a relatively
uncomplicated image made without the successive layering of cultural imprinting and experiences,
the delicate decisiveness and choice of a human hand and brain. This is "art" made only for the innocent purpose of creating an image - or as close to it as we are likely to see - and again, I feel a
kinship and a communality with the artist, even though our methods and results differ. It is my opinion that people try to find a relationship between my work and other cultures, not because
there is some kind of superficial resemblance in common, but rather because my work is estranged
from the Western tradition of art-making, and the viewer, sensing this, feels the need to attach the
work to some cultural roots. I try to make something which is an object in its own right, commanding
its own space in the world by reason of its own unique character. It is presented frontally and formally, almost clinically, like a carefully prepared microscopic slide designed to clarify or instruct
the viewer, as opposed to assuming some relaxed or naturalistic posture. Referentially, my work is
concerned with, for the most part, highly abstract notions of growth and interrelation of forms as they
occur in the physical and natural world, rather than an attempt to picture or copy some particular
aspect of nature. There is no implied window or point of view that refers to the naturalistic world in
my pieces aside from basic considerations of horizontality and verticality; only the centrality and
internal logic of the object invites the viewer to regard each of them as an entity. I have a fascination,
almost a preoccupation with symmetry, or rather the kind of symmetry which is found biologically,
and it permeates my work. When symmetry or some play upon symmetry is not present in a piece
of mine, it is conspicuous by its absence, like lack of movement in a Calder. My pieces are built physically with a kind of collage mentality, adding and subtracting chunks of
material at will. These materials vary - sometimes they come already manufactured from another
source and are used as is, sometimes they are raw material directly from natural sources, and
sometimes they are completely reworked by me, shaped, carved, painted, etc. I am most pleased
with a piece when it is impossible to determine at what point intervention on my part has taken place. Although it is enjoyable to build in the surrealistic reaction that recognition of an element from a
disparate source engenders, it is better still when it does not even occur to the viewer to ask what
the original source of materials in the piece is. Art, if it is mature work, can contain many psychological and emotional aspects simultaneously. I am
excited by the realization that my better works contain a complicated combination of sometimes
conflicting messages. The simplistic pieces are discarded, are reworked, or become parts of other
works; they are not intelligent or complex enough to have an ongoing relationship with me, their
maker, let alone the outside world. I am governed by the pantheistic sense that everything is absolutely unique, can occur only once, and
should be appreciated, perhaps revered, for this quality. This is as true for individual artworks as it is
for individual people, or for that matter, birds in the tree, or plates of bean salad on the dinner table. When the object on which I am working begins to have its own internal integrity and logic, it then
begins to become interesting to me. At this point, paradoxically, I have less to do with it than when it
was in a more formative stage - it begins to construct itself. This object starts to assume a "presence," a place of its own in the world which is at first delicate and somewhat tentative. I try to help it along, to
give it space to find itself beyond the incidental or haphazard. Finally, if we are both lucky, it asserts
itself, much like an ingenious child who does or says something it was not taught. Like any other individual, it has become unique. This moment, to me, contains the real, perhaps magical essence of
art, the reason why Man has been involved in art-making since the emergence of Homo Sapiens and
perhaps before, and the reason why I am hopelessly and continuously intrigued and involved in such a
ridiculous undertaking. Keith Long August, 1995 New York
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Randy Dudley
"Dutch Kills Creek Toward the Long Island Expressway From Hunters Point Ave." 1998
oil on canvas
16 x 57 inches
40.6 x 144.8

		RANDY DUDLEY Topographical and panoramic realist paintings of the industrial landscape. This 
landscape has been referred to as "rustbelt", a connotation that indicates a once vigorous
environment abandoned for more favorable ground. Activity continues to renew this landscape,
however, and when reflected through its history and isolation it becomes unique and is filled with
intense visual vitality.
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Tino Zago
"Mushaboom Bay '98 #7" 1998
oil pastel on paper
13 x 24 inches
33 x 61 cm

		TINO ZAGO This series of pastel drawings entitled "Mushaboom Bay '98" is based on the artist's 
summer visits to a small island fishing village in Nova Scotia. The images of rocks, clouds, and water
reflections, though on the edge of pure abstraction still resonate as natural forms. Mr. Zago works spontaneously and intensely in a traditional Abstract Expressionistic mode of action
and reaction. His usually large, tactile, and highly energized paintings evoke both landscape and
waterscape images. Inspired by the vibrant hues of the Dolomite mountains and of Venice, he visits
the country periodically. "While I'm working, I conjure things, but it's all made up - reality is a jumping
off point" Born in Italy in Crespano del Grappa, a small town north of Venice, Mr. Zago has lived in the United
States since 1948. He spent his formative years in the Detroit area and received his MFA in Painting
from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan in 1965. He went on to attend Yale University where he
studied painting under Lester Johnson. Mr. Zago's work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions in New York and throughout the United States.
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Mike Nogami
"Sterling Optical, Brooklyn, N.Y." 1983
edition #1/7 Fujicolor negative print
40 x 50 inches
101.6 x 127 cm

		MIKE NOGAMI "New York: Sacred Ground" - Photographs of desolate New York City landscapes by 
a Japanese photographer who lived in New York for sixteen years. This transcendent world
encompasses "industrial" Queens, Brooklyn, the South Bronx and Manhattan. Mike Nogami was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1947, and graduated from Rikkyo (St. Paul's) University in
1970. In 1971 and 1972, he studied photography with Masayoshi Sukita who is an advertising photographer
who is also known for his photos of rock musicians, particularly David Bowie. Mike was a freelance
photographer during this period, and continued until 1974. His fields of activity included advertising
photography and record album jackets, some of which are still in use as CD covers. He also kept a
"snapshot diary" in Tokyo from 1968 to 1973. In 1974, Mike came to the United States. He hitchhiked from Los Angeles to New York, taking an
extensive series of photographs, and in 1997, a book of his New York photographs, entitled, "New
York-Holy City." was published by Bijutsu Shuppan-Sha, Ltd. Artist's Statement: When I lived in New York from 1979 to 1994, I often visited the places shown in this exhibition. The
quiet, still, almost spiritual feeling of these "landscapes" attracted my eye. These areas of New York
are my Yosemite Park, man made places that speak to me with the same intensity that God's
creations communicate to many western photographers. I felt their "holiness, like visiting a shrine in Kyoto. I enjoyed exploring this abandoned, desolate and very strange world. My photographs are not a criticism of a decaying, industrial world. On the contrary, they are a
celebration of a man-made, natural world captured in different exposures.
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Larry Kagan
"Beach Chair" 2000
steel with shdow
45 x 40 x 13 inches (114.3 x 101.6 x 33.02 cm)

		LARRY KAGAN Born in a German refugee camp, Kagan moved to Israel at age 5 and then to the 
Bronx at age 12, After high school, he went to RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) to become an
aeronautical engineer, but discovered he was "more of an individualist" and found himself fulfilling
what it seems was his original destiny ("I was known in the family as 'the kid who could draw' ") by
passing through SUNYA's Masters in Studio Art program and landing a job in 1972 as an instructor
of sculpture at RPl, where he has worked ever since. How appropriate that one who's life was directly
shaped so early by world-scale historical forces should be centrally concerned with "preserving choice
in an environment where choice is very limited." If all this sounds formidable, prospective viewers ought not be intimidated. In fact, far from ponderous
conceptual gravity, the prevailing mood of Kagan's welded scrap metal sculpture is light, humorous
and playful. His generic pictures- landscapes, still lifes, window scenes- contained within an endlessly
inventive variety of welded junk-metal frames, offer the delightful charm of an inspired folk art and the
ironically cool wit of Pop-Modernism. Artist's Statement
"For most of us, shadows occupy the border of consciousness; the area where the real gives way to
the imagined, where ghosts and half remembered visions flourish. My interest in shadows lies in their ability to conjure up an added spatial dimension. They help clarify
the ambiguities, which are inherent in visual perception, and they point to the crucial rule which light
plays in determining how we interpret events in the world around us. Most importantly, letting shadows
take over the primary narrative role helps me open up the question of what is real." Larry Kagan, 1998
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