Exhibitions > CurrentToile News Project: Margaret Murphy
November 16 - December 14
Opening Reception November 16 7-10pmGallery Aferro, Project Room
After a decade of working with figurines deconstructing gender and consumerism I am making new work that is based on current news images that I am confronted by on google and facebook. Using acrylic and silkscreen on fabric I am painting sections of a toile fabric design switching out the central figure with one of my own from a current event. In an attempt to de-stress my life I tried to not watch, read or hear the news. I realized quickly that this was impossible and unavoidable. Every time I turn on my computer I am bombarded with images that reflect current events, some horrific and some silly. Like my work of the past these paintings juxtapose historic sentimentalized views of life with current images and viewpoints. Women’s rights protests from around the world, the Boston Marathon bombing event and Sandy Hook Elementary all appear in my work as well as other current
news events from popular culture and global actions. In this exhibition I will present a series of individual paintings as well as a site-specific wallpapered wall and a dress designed with custom made textiles.
Award winning artist, curator and educator Margaret Murphy received her BS degree from Towson University in Maryland and her MFA in Painting from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University in New Jersey. Murphy is the recipient of a Pollock Krasner Individual Artist Fellowship, a New Jersey State Arts Council Fellowship in
Painting, a Puffin Foundation Grant, a MacDowell Colony Artist Residency and many others. She was inaugurated into the Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: Feminist Art Base in 2011. She has exhibited in solo and group shows internationally. Recent exhibitions include solo shows at the Visual Art Center of New Jersey, HPGRP Gallery in NY, Real Art Ways in CT., and Pentimenti Gallery in Philadelphia, as well as a traveling Ten-Year Survey Exhibition. Murphy is represented by Pentimenti Gallery in Philadelphia. Murphy is an accomplished curator mounting over a dozen contemporary art exhibitions in NY and NJ. She has taught
at numerous colleges and universities for the past eighteen years.
Sowing Promise: Vikki Michalios
November 16 - December 14
Opening Reception November 16 7-10pmGallery Aferro, Liminal Space
The work and art of Vikki Michalios is about environmental systems inspired by ecological events, contemporary media coverage of them, or
legends related to them. Since the 2009 Fukushima Daiichi catastrophe, fields of sunflowers have been planted to absorb radioactive contamination from Japan’s soil. The flowers lifted spirits while lightening the radiation damage. Sowing flowers of hope for a radioactive free future was the point of departure for the series of water based screen prints. Prints, as well as a 6 foot high by 20 foot long hanging water garden, can be seen together. The garden installation, “Beyond Organic,” is intended to ignite inquiry about modern use of natural
resources and its impacts on ecology and health. Although the use of pesticides and genetically modified organisms are a common practice,
“Beyond Organic” suggests natural alternatives. It blends together art, horticulture, and sustainable technologies. Using a simple
hydroponic technique, 200 hanging vessels are filled with water, nutrients, and bricks of rock-wool. The garden adapts and changes to
the indoor environment as it grows with no soil or natural light. Whimsical pink grow-lights shine on beans sprouting from this volcanic
rock (rock-wool) that is melted and spun into a cotton candy-like consistency. This inviting and festive night-club atmosphere draws
interest and inquiry. Like the prints, it lifts spirits while offering sustainable options. Water gardens can be grown on any scale, nearly
carbon free, by anyone, and in unexpected places such as in basements or hanging from ceilings
Vikki Michalios makes work about environmental systems, and is inspired by ecological events, contemporary media coverage of them, or legends related to them. Her drawings, prints, paintings, and installations have been exhibited nationally in group exhibitions in
the U.S. and Europe. Past exhibition venues include the Hunterdon Museum (Hunterdon, NJ), Brooklyn Museum (Brooklyn, NY), Jersey City
Museum (Jersey City, NJ), Teachers College Columbia University (New York City, NY), Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University (South Orange, NJ), Portland Art Museum (Portland, OR), Blackburn 20/20 at The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (New York City, NY), Center for
Contemporary Arts (Bedminster, NJ), Contemporary Artists Center, (Woodside, NY), Curious Matter (Jersey City, NJ), Denise Bibro Gallery
(New York City, NY). Upcoming shows include her first solo show, “Sowing Promise,” at Gallery Aferro (Newark, NJ), and the 2014 Aljira
Emerge 11 group exhibition curated by Edwin Ramaron. She has been published in The Star Ledger (NJ), New York Arts Magazine (NY), and Steven Zevitas, Studio Visit Magazine (MA). Michalios was awarded residencies at Millay Colony of Art (Austerlitz, NY), City Without Walls, ArtReach (Newark, NJ), Chautauqua Institution (Chautauqua, NY), and Gallery Aferro (Newark, NJ). She is a 2013 recipient of Aljira
Emerge 11. Michalios earned a B.A. in Liberal Arts from The Evergreen State College with a focus in literature and an M.F.A. in Painting
from the University of Oregon. She was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and now lives and works in New York and New Jersey.
Reflections on Everyman: The Work of Jan Sawka
September 12 - December 14
Opening Reception September 12, 7-10pm
Gallery Aferro, Main Gallery & New Media Room
Curated by Evonne M. Davis & Hanna Sawka
This exhibition is presented in partnership with the Polish Cultural Institute New York, and with support by the Polish American Business Club and the Polish Slavic Federal Credit Union.
Gallery Aferro’s Main Gallery and New Media Room will feature a major retrospective celebrating the life and work of artist, expatriate, activist, architect and impossible-to-classify Jan Sawka (1946-2012). Sawka's body of work includes paintings, book arts, sculptures, engravings, editorial illustrations, architectural installations, monuments, new media and a 10-story stage set designed for the Grateful Dead. Currently, a memorial exhibition of his work is on view at The National Museum in Krakow, Poland.
Born in 1946 in Zabrze, Poland, his childhood overshadowed by his father's Stalin-era political imprisonment, by his 20’s Sawka had become the youngest member of the Polish Poster School. Sawka’s portrayal in his art of the impact of totalitarianism on the individual led to his expulsion from Poland in 1976. Having just won the “Oscar de la Peinture” in France, he was given a residency at the newly opened Pompidou Center in Paris. In 1977, he arrived in New York with his wife and baby, four suitcases and a portfolio of artworks. Within a year, he became a prolific editorial illustrator for The New York Times. While producing paintings at his home studio, he designed posters and sets for the Jean Cocteau Repertory Theater, Harold Clurman Theater, and Samuel Beckett Theater, where he collaborated closely with Beckett. By this time, he had built a gallery career in New York, Los Angeles and many other cities. In 1981, when Martial Law was imposed in Poland, the AFL-CIO sold Sawka's Solidarity Poster in the millions to provide immediate support to the besieged Solidarity movement. In 1993, he created his first full multi-media spectacle in Japan. At the time of his death the artist was working on numerous projects. Sawka's works are in over 60 museums around the world and he had over 70 solo exhibitions. The exhibition will focus on Jan Sawka’s concern with the human condition in today’s world, with examples of his paintings, prints and sculptures. As the late Professor James Beck of Columbia University wrote “He contemplates and dissects the social conditions of our moment – the absurdities of political states, the leadership, the courts, the universities – within the context of the individual caught in the labyrinth… such a condition is not differentiated from the absurdities of more human interaction, between lovers, husbands and wives. The isolation is there too, perhaps even more so: the absence of communication, the uniformity, the blandness, the emptiness… Here too is the softened, approachable world of physical beauty, of delicacy, refinement and sensitivity. These two struggle with one another… in Sawka’s irresistible art.”