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Little Windows

FEATURING
MARTA ABBOTT, BRETT ANGELL, ANA JELENKOVIĆ, AND KEVIN UMAÑA

September 7 through 30, 2022

Visit the Online Viewing Room

Praise Shadows Art Gallery is pleased to announce a new exhibition of small works in various media, on view September 7 through 30. The artworks in Little Windows, though relatively diminutive in size, ask the viewer to expand on the relationship between our interior lives and the world or times beyond the here and now.

The exhibition features four artists in various media, including ceramics, prints, painting, and collage.

Rome-based Marta Abbott’s abstract paintings on paper from the series Vessels for Light are inspired by the Junichiro Tanizaki book In Praise of Shadows. According to the artist, “Each piece is a vessel formed from color and line, intended to hold light; something that cannot be touched yet can be felt. Created using handmade inks derived from materials such as eucalyptus and carbon, as well as gold leaf, these works are also a reminder that all living things need light to grow and therefore, we all have light inside us. It is a way to maintain awareness of the many forms and sources of light around us everyday, from those that occur in nature to those that are created by human hand.”

Brett Angell, a Boston-based artist, creates surrealistic worlds contained within intricately reworked frames made from cigar boxes. In one example, Petite Storm (2022), the box is fitted with a hinged cover, which in itself is fitted with a small oval door. This multi-door format allows the viewer multiple experiences in which to view the Dutch Renaissance portrait concealed inside. Depicting a partial detail of a man’s face, Angell’s final intervention is the inclusion just below the right eye of a tear-drop shaped cut-out from a Delft Blue pattern. By opening these various portals into this interior space, the viewer is allowed a glimpse of a regal portrait sitter in an unexpected state of vulnerability.

Three Leaves, a series by Vienna-based Ana Jelenković, is the culmination of multiple years of long-distance correspondence and collaboration between the artist, an American art collector, and Praise Shadows Art Gallery. The limited edition prints are based on original drawings created by Jelenković for the collector following an extended period of exchange over letters and e-mail. In these original drawings, the artist chose three ink colors steeped in the history of art – Prussian Blue, Phthalo Green, and Vermilion – and added her own self-made pigments. Expanding beyond narrative form, each print pulsates with energy, revealing the leaf to be an expression of vascularity and inner life. Praise Shadows worked with Vermont-based studio Stinehour Editions to masterfully translate the rich colors of Jelenković’s drawings to limited edition prints.

Kansas City-based artist Kevin Umaña creates ceramic paintings that are akin to tablets that record memory and time. Through the use of bold colors, dynamic gestures, and expressive marks, his work proposes a dialogue between the systematic and the open-ended. The ceramics on view disrupt the formal rectangular structure of the tablet, while maintaining the rich use of color, line and texture that he is celebrated for. While certain shapes, lines, form, may spark recognition, Umaña’s work is open to interpretation, allowing his viewers to draw upon their own experiences and associations.

About the artists

Marta Abbott is a Czech-American artist based in Rome. She uses organic, botanical materials to extract and convey that which she finds essential to the human experience of nature and beauty. Marta does this through combining concept with intuition, elements of control with those of contained chaos, and with eyes scanning both earth and sky, seeking ways to interpret that which links the two.

Brett Angell is a Boston area-based artist who has lived on the East Coast for the last fifteen years. He received his MFA in Painting from the University of Wisconsin. While he started his career focusing on painting, Angell has dedicated the past few years to developing and innovating his approach to collage work. Angell has worked in art museums for his entire adult life and this special access to museum collections has influenced his body of work. 

Ana Jelenković, (aka ANA AHA), is an artist and educator based in Vienna, Austria, originally from Yugoslavia. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, and her work has been exhibited  throughout European museums and biennials. Drawing and painting are central to Jelenković’s practice. Her multilayered constructions often reference music, language, architecture and design.

Kevin Umaña is an American artist based in Kansas City, MO. He received a B.F.A. from San Francisco State University with a degree in Printmaking. He is the co-founder of The Ekru Project and a contributor to The Coastal Post. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, including in a two-person exhibition A New Devotional (2022) at Praise Shadows Art Gallery. 

Artwork credits (from left to right)

Marta Abbott
Vessels for Light 0, 2020
Eucalyptus ink, lamb’s ear ink, vine black ink, gold leaf
23 x 31 cm | 9 x 12 in.
Courtesy the artist

Ana Jelenković
Prussian Blue Leaf, 2021-2002
Artist stamp included
Archival pigment ink print on paper
23 x 17 inches paper / 20 1/4 x 14 1/2 inches image
Edition of 10 plus 2 APs
Courtesy the artist

Brett Angell
Petite Storm, 2022
Mixed media assemblage in repurposed cigar box
Courtesy the artist

Kevin Umaña
Marie Antoinette’s Closet, 2021
Glaze on Black Stoneware
12.75”x10”
Courtesy the artist

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