Eric Kniss, Artist
CON_Sequential Complex: Solo Exhibition at Eastern Mennonite University
Opening Reception; October 26th 4-6 pm, in the Hartzler Library Gallery.
Review of ___Tension, by Rachel Hines


Tension: New Work by New Artists is an exhibition of appearances, disappearances, and reappearances. The small space yields quiet, thoughtful, fresh work by eight recent UNCG MFA alumni. The gallery, much like the work held within, requires a double-take. You look, you see nothing, you walk away. You turn, you come back. You did see something. And you want to know more.

I did this two-part-act as I walked down Grand Street towards the gallery, passed the gallery, and came back. I watched another two people do the same thing within ten minutes.

Once inside the space there is the one and only tense moment that presents itself in this show: What do I look at first?

Eric Kniss’ blue Column stands at the center of the space made of unpacked but not unraveled ropes laid like bricks 4x4 to reach the ceiling. The blue line(s) act as the center of a curated wheel, with each piece surrounding it as a distinct spoke.

To the left Christian Ryan’s interactive, textilogical sculptures beg to be played with. The viewer is allowed to change-out limbs, connecting one apparatus to another through male-female joints which make appendages move, claw, grab, and squirm.

Liliya Zalevskaya uses technology and play in a most sweet, and child-like way. A single-channel video filmed from a fixed shot shows the artist lying on a stool in front of a video projection that makes her appear to be falling. The artist remains calm and silent, in an endless loop of plummeting.

Beside the silent fall sits a white sculpture that fades in and out of the gallery walls. Matthew Thomason assembles found coat hangers, linens, and lace that float and dance towards the ceiling from a peculiar, lockable box. Time plays an important part in this piece, as it seems to unravel a narrative as it leads your eyes up, down, in and out.

Each work in the exhibition sits quietly, waiting for attention and then jumps into action upon recognition. Heath Montgomery’s thoughtful drips pour in a controlled way towards flowery, white, puddles that sit humbly on the floor. While it is a stunning piece in craft, it invites reflection on pollution and the recent oil disaster. Similarly, at first glance, Melissa Sullivan’s photograph of an interior corner appears simple, clean, beautiful. Upon closer look the wall reveals a mark left from a frame, of which we are only to imagine what it contained. Once again, there is more than meets the eye. It is an intelligent piece that speaks of nostalgia, loss, and the record of time.

Kristin Ashley’s black and white collage undulates towards and away from the viewer with a variety of marks and textures. Slowly, the piece transforms from clouds, to intestines, to organisms, never finding a final resting place. The process and hand of the artist are apparent throughout, and pull the viewer along her journey.

Finally, nearest to the gallery window there are two boxes of stacked, black and white prints. The images range from landscapes to political interventions. Sam Peck piles his images purposefully negating the careful attention owed to each piece. With this decision, Peck makes the work about layers, pluralism, and chance. Rather than a single, framed, well-lit understanding of the piece, you must handle them, shuffle through them, and spend time with them.

The work by these UNCG alumni has a fresh, strong, sense about it; the kind of feeling one usually gets only from experienced, practicing artists. Each artist shows a talent in craft and thoughtful choice of forms well beyond their years. In a time when attention span is shortening, these works not only grab your attention, but they hold it. So I invite you to happen upon this very small space full of understated, and big works.

-Rachel Hines


Rachel Hines is an interdisciplinary artist working with themes revolving around absence, community, and intimacy. The work takes shape in performances, actions, objects, paintings and drawings. Ms. Hines studied at Pratt Institute, NY where she received her MFA in Interdisciplinary Art with an emphasis in Art and Design Education. While at Oregon State University she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting with a minor in Art History. Hines has shown extensively throughout the U.S. including recent exhibitions at Electric Celluloid Film Festival, MI, NurtureArt, NY and the Patchogue Biennial, NY. Her work has also been shown internationally. Recently she performed at 98weeks, Beirut and has screened her videos at tina b. Prague Contemporary Art Festival.

http://www.rachelhines.com/
Christina Ray Opening photos
The opening at Christina Ray in Soho was a big hit!! Follow this link for a great side show of the event:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/christinaraygallery/4867470570/in/set-72157624668760462/lightbox/

Press Release
___TENSION . August 05–22, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 15, 2010

New York, New York – July 15, 2010 – CHRISTINA RAY is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition ___TENSION: New Works On The Rise, with work by eight newly graduated MFA students from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Through the month of August, the exhibition will showcase work in an array of media including printmaking, video, drawing, photography, installation and sculpture. Artists featured in the exhibition include Kristin Ashley, Eric Kniss, Heath Montgomery, Sam Peck, christian.ryan, Melissa Sullivan, Matthew Thomason and Liliya Zalevskaya. A reception will take place at the gallery on Thursday, August 05 from 7 to 9pm and the exhibition runs through August 22.

Searching to discover new artists and trends outside of NYC, gallery director Christina Ray finds an opportunity to exhibit the work of a unique group of artists located in North Carolina. Lee Walton, Assistant Professor of Art at UNCG and long time collaborator with Ray, states “There is an amazing group of artists coming through our program. They have a fresh perspective on why they are making art. They are the real deal.”

Kristin Ashley creates multifaceted drawings that investigate space using process and abstract forms. Eric Kniss collaborates with gravity by using humble materials to create intense sculptural works that struggle to survive under their own weight. Heath Montgomery invents absurdly logical systems that question the nature of painting, sculpture and the artist’s hand. Sam Peck’s Speak for the Silent is a sequential narrative composed of block prints. Based on interviews with illegal immigrants, his images straddle the line between high art and social activism. The work of christian.ryan, situated at the intersection of new media, participatory installation and queer cyborg theory, playfully questions the relationship of technology, intimacy and social activity. Melissa Sullivan’s photograph, taken from a recent series devoted to the real estate crisis, evokes the ghostly presence of human history in an empty house that is no longer a home. Matthew Thomason creates lyrical, abstract installations made of fabric, lathe and thread that invoke an itinerant sensibility. Liliya Zalevskaya’s videos employ absurdist strategies to better understand the multiplicity of the self.

___TENSION is made possible with the support of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Department of Art.

Contact: Christina Ray, Gallery Director

Phone: 212.334.0204

Email: info @ christinaray.com

Exhibition Dates: August 05-22, 2010

Reception: Thursday, August 05, 7-9pm

Gallery hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 12-6pm
Location: 30 Grand Street, Ground Floor, between Thompson Street and 6th Avenue

Upcoming Show at Christina Ray Gallery, NCY
CHRISTINA RAY
30 Grand Street, Ground floor, New York NY 10013

August 05-22, 2010

_____Tension
new work by new artists

Kristin Ashley
Eric Kniss
Heath Montgomery
Sam Peck
christian.ryan
Melissa Sullivan
Matthew Thomason
Liliya Zalevskaya

Reception for the artists: Thursday, August 05, 7-9 pm

Exhibition Sponsor: University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Department of Art
2010 Joan Mitchell MFA Grant Program Winners
The Joan Mitchell Foundation Inc. is pleased to announce the fifteen recipients of the
2010 MFA Grant Program:

Molly Anderson, Tulane University
Janet Bruhn, Virginia Commonwealth University
Micah Daw, The Ohio State University
Michel Droge, Maine College of Art
Patricia Fernandez, California Institute of the Arts
Rema Ghuloum, California College of the Arts
Erik Gonzalez, Yale University
Kristin Haas, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Eric Kniss, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Jon Lee, Syracuse University
Caitlin Lonegan, University of California, Los Angeles
Cobi Moules, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Brian Porray, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Ashley Shellhause, Miami University
Michael Sirianni, University of Illinois at Chicago

The annual MFA Grant Program was created in 1997 to help MFA painters & sculptors in furthering their artistic careers and to aid in the transition from academic to professional studio work upon graduation.

Each recipient will receive an MFA Grant in the amount of $15,000. To date the Joan Mitchell Foundation has awarded 162 MFA Grants. These grants are given in recognition of artistic quality to artists chosen from a body of candidates put forth by nominators from the academic art community across the United States.

The nominated candidates' images were viewed for grant consideration through an anonymous process by a jury panel. The jury convened in April at the facilities of the Joan Mitchell Foundation.

Additional programs undertaken by the Foundation include free art classes for New York City youth, an annual grant to painters & sculptors, and grants to artists and arts communities in need of emergency support after a disaster.

The Joan Mitchell Foundation was established in April 1993 as a not-for-profit corporation following the death of Joan Mitchell in October 1992. The Foundation strives to fulfill the ambitions of Joan Mitchell to aid and assist the needs of contemporary artists and to demonstrate that painting and sculpture are significant cultural necessities.


Contact: Allison Hawkins
Program Director
212.524.0100