Art by Deborah Brown.

SPF 32
A group Show
Opening Reception:
June 15th // 6-9PM
On view:
June 15 – July 6, 2019
William Ulmer Brewery
81 Beaver Street, Brooklyn, New York

Curator Madeleine Mermall brings her latest group exhibition to Brooklyn’s oldest brewery. On view from June 15th through July 6th, SPF 32 features thirty-two emerging and mid-career artists, on view at the William Ulmer Brewery in Brooklyn. Featuring primarily female painters, the works presented explore themes of summer through imagery that evoke the season’s experiential lexicon.

The artists featured in SPF 32 expand on themes of summer through distilled moments, depicting more than just the fleeting fantasia of hot sun on skin. Adrienne Tarver’s watercolor studies of a female form amidst a blue-green backdrop evoke a bather in a cool forest stream, while Alex Hammond’s crisply idealized details of American architecture and roadside rest stops recall memories of suburban life and road trips. Elizabeth Tillemans’ paintings of the sea, lighthouses, gently swaying beach grass on dunes transport the viewer quite literally to the beach, a place of rest and reflection. Intricate interior scenes by Gail Spaien reminisce on summers in the kitchen with windows and doors open–one can almost feel the sweet breeze lapping at the skin, rustling the flowers on the table.

Kyle Coniglio “Self-Portrait in My Late 20s.”

These scenes are familiar not because of the exact moments that they depict, but because of the emotions they evoke. The works embrace the magic of the steaming cement and glistening particles in the air after a thunderstorm, flip flops coated with the sweet smell of stale beer and the lingering musk of bonfire hair. We remember the hot humid nights and cool, quiet mornings. This is summer.

Summer’s visit is both amiable and oppressive: its sweet sap that envelops us in its hazy warmth is at first a welcome delight that, as the heat and humidity take their most formidable positions, turns cloying. Golden afternoons sweat away into slick, metallic evenings: city lights set against luminescent skies that fade fast into an inky black mimic the flicker of the lighting bugs that meander about the darkening fields and forests. Summer is a time of repose and reflection, exploration and adventure, simultaneously melancholic and blissful; there is nostalgia in the quietude and freedom in the frivolity. It is a double scoop soft serve, offering relief and release. School is out, summer camp is in session, work has slowed, vacation is scheduled, days are long, the sun drags itself through the sky. Some of the artwork includes visionary scenes of childhood feel-good memories that allow the envisioning of the perfect picturesque summer memory. The exhibition is not comprised of just the idée fixe of the hot rays of sun on tanned skin, the works are about time traveling to the sweetest most enjoyable moments summer creates, as well as the lonely, cold times spent alone, allowing a time of deep inner reflection. The scenes displayed elicit familiar feelings not because one experienced the same moment, but because of the emotions they evoke.

Exhibiting Artists:
Aaron Zulpo, Adrienne Tarver, Alexandra Hammond, Amy Lincoln, Audun Alvestad, Caitlyn Murphy, Chelsea Gibson, Deborah Brown, Elizabeth Tillemans, Emilia Olsen, Gail Spaien,, Grace Metzler, Giordanne Salley, Jacob Patrick Brooks, JJ Manford, Kady Grant, Karen Lederer, Kathryn Lynch, Kyle Coniglio, Lesley Wamsley, Maddy Bohrer, Madeline Donahue, Mary Kudlak, Molly Busk, Maggie Ellis, Mary DeVincentis, Nicole Wittenberg, Polly Shindler, Re McBride, Sarah Slappey, Scott Indrisek, Tessa Greene O’Brien

To learn more about the group exhibit, click here.

Audun Alvestad, “Every Rose Has its Thorn.”

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