June 25 - July 21 2021
SUSAN BERNSTEIN | PHYLLIS EWEN | PHILIP GERSTEIN | AMY SOLOMON | JUDITH TREPP
Opening: Friday, June 25 (4-6 masked people at a time)
Susan Berstein | The Space Between
“The Space Between” is inspired by the Japanese concept of Ma. Ceramic artist Kensuke Yamada has described an example of Ma as the experience of beauty, before we give it the word beautiful. The vibrant potential of the space in-between is perhaps even more important than the objects themselves. This sculptural piece animates and honors that invisible essence.
Ma is highly appreciated and valued in every aspect of Japanese daily life, not only in art, architecture and music. Music only exists with the silent intervals between the notes. Ma means space, emptiness, pause, distance, silence. The spaciousness of Ma makes room for limitless intangible energy, where contemplation, intuition, feeling, freedom, meaning and possibility can reside. The kanji character for Ma combines the character for gate and the character for sun; it is depicting a door that is open enough to let light thru the crevice where it beams bright, between the edges.
In Japanese culture there is “plenty of Ma” in everyday conversation. This clearly contrasts with American culture where a long pause in a conversation would most likely be uncomfortable. Our consumer culture is all about accumulation, commodification and there is a strong cultural value to be hyper productive, to fill every moment. This past year of pandemic shutdown has certainly challenged many of us to review the impact of our cultural pace and spaces. Instead of just going back to “normal”, there is so much to learn from Japan’s Ma wisdom."
’s work is all hand built, using coils of clay or slab to build up the piece. Her ceramics speak to the time and place where they are made. This is made relevant in the work by her keen awareness and intimate connection to eve-ryday life, yet it can also reveal what it means to be human. “I am inspired by look-ing at images and films of potters around the world from South Africa, Burkina Fa-so, Nigeria, Ghana, Mexico, India, Korea. Even within widely diverse cultures, there is an inextricable kinship within a common craft language. I am in love with the dense physicality and pure nature of clay in all its stages. However, my great-est artistic challenge and passion lies not just with clay and ceramic form but its capacity to transcend its physical state and touch something deeper about our shared humanity.”
Bernstein is a resident studio ceramic artist and teacher at Mudflat Studio in Somerville, MA. She has exhibited her work at AMP Gallery since 2013.
Phyllis Ewen | Sonata
“The past year and a half opened new avenues of expression and exploration in my studio practice. Early 2020 in the lockdown I began drawing every day on graph paper; its quadratic structure giving order to the chaos I felt within and without. It became a visual journal of my experience of the Covid-19 pandemic. Images were inspired by drawings by Leonardo of the Deluge, garden growth and decay, climate change, the Covid-19 virus, and the politics of race and grief. A friend shared her reactions, writing, “What would I have done without Phyllis’s translations of our fears and passions? Not cameos or snapshots, but taken together as an epic”.
With Debbie Nadolney, I have selected twenty-four drawings to show together; grouping them as a in piece of music into three movements.. I. Chaos. II. Resilience. III. Loss and Renewal
Phyllis Ewen’s new group of drawings entitled “Sonata” are in many ways revelatory. These eloquent and evocative visual entries span a year wrought with enormous hardship and change. Working on graph paper, each work is like a rough-cut recording of a single note sounding a moment in time. Scientific, tonal and organically explosive, “Sonata” distills through meditative mark-making the beauty that can be found in chaos. – Debbie Nadolney, director and curator of AMP Gallery
lives in Massachusetts, with studios in Wellfleet and Somerville. Her art is in public collections, including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, the Boston Public Library, Harvard University, MIT Sloan School of Business, the Reykjanes Museum of Art, and numerous corporate and private collections. Ewen’s work has been shown widely. In 2017, Ewen’s work was in a well-received 3-artist exhibit at the Reykjanes Museum of Art in Iceland, Við Sjónarrönd/Above And Below The Horizon
, a two-person show, Imprint
, in York Maine, and a solo, Land and Water
, at the Lesley University Spotlight Gallery. In 2019, she had a solo show, Intertidal
at Off Main Gallery, Wellfleet, and in 2018, Deep Time
, at the Kingston Gallery in Boston. Her work was included in HOW’S YOUR WEATHER? 7 Artists Respond to Climate Change
, at the Grimshaw-Gudewicz Art Gallery, Bristol Community College, Fall River, in Verve
at Room 83 Spring, and As Above, So Below
, at the Gowanus Boathouse in Brooklyn, She has had several solo shows in Cuba and at the A.I.R Gallery, where she has been a member since 2005.
Philip Gerstein | Sometimes There is Bliss
“I paint in several color-filled abstract modes. In this exhibition, I invite you to experience the bliss of my post-minimal cycle of paintings. This work first came into being several years ago, as I experimented with a new artists’ material, glass bead gel – tiny glass beads in a suspension of acrylic medium.
To experiment, to search, to find that stopping point, when the painting becomes self-sufficient, its own, prepared for an interchange of energies (formerly hidden and now visible) with the viewer. The painter becomes a medium. And which medium s/he chooses, leads to an outcome: an open meeting on the plane of materiality, in the textures of what once was a flat surface, and is no longer two-dimensional, inert and lifeless.
The artist-mediated energies are called down from the Elysian Fields above, activated into conscious understanding, into intermingling with our restless plane -- on that Occam’s razor between exuberance and quiescence – known to the lovers of chanting meditation as the eternal transcendent moment. It’s the humming of hummingbirds, restless wings blurring before the nectar of life. The potentiality of creation is the surface that entertains the coming together of tribes and cultures, the rhythms of their wordless songs – before words arrive to sort our feelings into concepts and to stiffen energies into solid objects.”
: Born and raised in Moscow, Russia, Philip Gerstein began exhibiting his work in the 1980’s with the Boston Visual Artists Union, after pursuing a PhD in Art History at Harvard University. He studied painting at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Japanese calligraphy with Toshu Ogawa.
Philip has been exhibiting in NYC, Provincetown MA, and very extensively in the Boston area, as well as organizing and curating painting and photography shows. His work has been reviewed, reproduced and praised in numerous publications, including The Boston Globe, ArtScope Magazine, and Art New England. Philip's monthly postings are published online in Scene4 – International Magazine of Arts and Culture.
Amy Solomon | The Scroll Project: Earth Beat
"These works are made with heavily layered ink and paint on paper during our lockdown year. Many hours of isolation, counting time, walking in nature and thinking about and missing people.
I also found myself thinking about Hokusai, the Japanese printmaker from the 1700's. How did he paint wind and air? So impossible! The simplicity of his line carrying so much weight. I discovered a new ritual of walking the river near my home with a mixture of joy and fear. Time was slower and this was a long year. I enjoyed the new solitude and watching as the seasons changed. Walking in cold snow and slushy rain and finally a spring with leaves returning and new hope. A strange and wonderful year of art making! I found the repetitive and quiet days suited me. These paintings are a marking of that time."
is an artist and educator living and working in Brookline MA. She has a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Her new work can be seen this summer at AMP Gallery Provincetown, MA and Off Main Gallery Wellfleet, MA. Recently she has been shown at Wayfarers Brooklyn and Chandler Gallery in Cambridge. She received a grant from Jewish Collaborative Arts for a travelling, interactive exhibit and happening "Words Matter - The Tree of Life". Her work is in collections in the United States, Greece and Switzerland.
Judith Trepp | Active Presence
“My works are deceptively simple: the forms and colors are clear however the story they offer is complex. The story, at first glance, is created only by the artist, but in reality it is created equally by the viewer. Thus, the work of art is also a point of reference; a place where artwork and viewer come together to create a dialogue—a dialogue unique to each viewer. It is his/her singular story or response to the artwork. Both image and color are deliberately understated and uncluttered to enable the viewer a greater freedom to approach the artwork-- silently and singularly. These works have presence: still yet active they reach out to the viewer to form a dialogue unspoken and intense.
Color and image create the basis for this dialogue. Each color has an intensity which is experienced differently; creates a signal and initiates a message. How do you experience “red?” How does its presence differ from “black?” or a “soft blue-green?”—Color, image, and placement on the handmade Indian paper join together and form a unity. They support each other to create a active harmony which is at once a material presence and a strong point of reference for the viewer to open him/herself to active engagement.”
a native New Yorker, has lived in Zurich, Switzerland, the major part of each year since 1970. From 1974-85 she also lived in Tuscany, Italy, and since 1990 has maintained an atelier in Provincetown, Massachusetts, USA, where she had a one-person show at the Provincetown Art Museum (PAAM) in 2011. In addition, Trepp has traveled extensively in various regions of India and Japan as well as in Europe. These diverse enlargements of vision — intellectually and culturally — resonate in her work.
During this past year Judith has shown at Stand 132 in Zurich.
For further information regarding Trepp’s background, publications, and exhibitions please go to the website judithtrepp.net.
“Travel is an important part of my life. As a child and until early adulthood, each summer we piled the car high and set off for Provincetown. Here I had my first art lessons (Seon Moy), over the years saw the piers disappear one by one in the hurricanes, and experienced the unique life of the active fishing village with its summer residents of artists and craft-persons. I worked making bags and belts at Gambella’s, a local craft shop. Later I moved to Switzerland and again I travelled, this time both literally and emotionally --between two continents, two cultures: that of the USA and Provincetown and that of Europe and Zurich. During the winter I often made trips to the tribal areas of India. The differences and thus the opportunity for cultural dialogue that these distinct physical, intellectual and cultural areas offered—and offer—me form the underlying basis for my artwork. The paper I use is handmade Indian paper. The immediacy and directness of my images I associate with the character of the United States, and the minimalistic forms are born in the modern artistic heritage of Zurich.”