Real States

Tom Burckhardt Clare Grill Sangram Majumdar February 10 - March 13, 2016

Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects is proud to present “Real States,” a three-person exhibition with Tom Burckhardt, Clare Grill, and Sangram Majumdar. The exhibition will include three to five pieces by each artist, New York-based friends and colleagues.

The three artists in this exhibition all make paintings that engage abstract or abstracted forms on the armature of an implied grid. However, these forms and shapes are simultaneously allowed to fall away from any such structure. This “on-grid / off-grid” tension permeates the work of all three painters.

In Majumdar’s paintings, the forms are derived from observed sources the artist arranges and constructs. The structure, in some of these works, originates from a digital printout of an early video game interior, layered with images of gardens in Indian miniature paintings, or the remains of cardboard cutouts from his larger paintings. The resulting paintings hint at something known, but seen here out of context. They evoke simultaneity, the feeling of being in two places at once. Gesture and felt experience are recognizable: embedded in the fragments, even as the artist plays with figure-ground reversal.

Clare Grill’s paintings are not planned, but rather found through repeated sanding, rubbing, and dragging of paint over linen. Antique embroidery samplers–needlepoint work made by young girls to present their craftwork skills to potential employers–often serve as an entry point. Grill is drawn to the tedious, tiny stitches that comprise these worn artifacts. Each of her paintings operates within its own tight chromatic and tonal range, the result of working in low, raking-light, on a tabletop. The subtle forms seen on and below the surface inform the resultant imagery. Her paintings testify to human touch and the subtle variations that inform our daily experiences, often unnoticed and unacknowledged.

Burckhardt uses humor to pull back from the logic of abstract forms within a grid. A maximalist (while the other two artists investigate traces, shadows, and missing information), Burckhardt allows suggestive forms to breed and layer. Some works are painted on cast plastic (trompel’œil canvases), made from the artist’s molds. They play with our constructed hierarchies of the unique work of art and tendency to fetishize material. They are wild but controlled: combining colors and forms that invoke a range of visual culture: art historical images, banal patterning, and mechanistic animation.

Burckhardt (b. 1964, New York, NY) received a BFA from Purchase College, SUNY, and also studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He has had over twenty solo exhibitions, several held at Tibor de Nagy Gallery between 2002-15. In 2014 a travelling exhibition of his FULL STOP (2004-2005), a walk-in version of an artist’s studio made of cardboard at life size, opened at the Columbus College of Art & Design. In 2011, his work was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC. The artist is the recipient of the International Association of Art Critics Award, the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award from the Academy of Arts and Letters, and two Pollack-Krasner Foundation grants. He lives in New York and spends his summers in Maine.

Grill (b. 1979, Chicago, IL) lives and works in Queens, NY. She received a MFA from Pratt and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Zieher Smith & Horton, NY presented a solo exhibition of her paintings in 2015. Additional solo exhibitions include Albright College, Reading, PA; Reserve Ames, Los Angeles, CA; Soloway, Brooklyn, NY; and Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT. Recent group exhibitions include Paramo, Guadalajara, MX; Josh Lilley Gallery, London, UK; P420, Bologna, IT; The New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT, OMI International Art Center, Ghent, NY; and Artspace, New Haven, CT.

Majumdar (b. 1976, Kolkata, India) has an MFA from Indiana University and a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. He has been the subject of three solo exhibitions at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects (2009, 2012, and 2013). Additional solo exhibitions include Georgetown University, DC; Rothschild Fine Art, Tel Aviv, Israel, and the Kresge Art Museum, MI. Recent selected group exhibition venues include Morgan Lehman Gallery, NY; Come Together: Surviving Sandy, curated by Phong Bui, Brooklyn, NY; Salon Zürcher, Paris, France; and the 2010 Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts, American Academy of Arts and Letters, NY. Awards include a MacDowell Fellowship, a residency at Yaddo, and the 2009-10 Marie Walsh Sharpe Studio Space Program Grant. Majumdar lives and works in Brooklyn, New York and is a full-time Professor of Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

There will be a panel discussion with the artists and art historian Jennifer Samet on Sunday, February 28th, at 3pm in the gallery. Please contact SHFAP at or 917-861-7312 for further information or images.