Art & History

The Needle and The Milkmaid: Exhibition that merges the absurd and the abstract

The Needle and The Milkmaid is a two-person show at New York’s SAPAR Contemporary gallery, featuring new works by John Bisbee and Anna Schuleit Haber – artists who have admired each other’s work for years. In this exhibition their creative paths converge, once again, at the junction of abstraction and the absurd.

Anna’s new paintings feature the imagery and motifs that she has developed in dialogue with the darkly comic fiction of the Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard. Each of her intricate, abstract paintings explores Bernhard’s long-standing obsession with intrigue, political corruption, trauma, and urban mystery.

The absurdity of life in the stories is amplified in the bold visual vocabulary of the paintings. The paintings reflect the density and inconclusiveness of the stories without illustrating them. While Bernhard ends each of his stories abruptly, always without warning, Anna appears to provide a chance for a more unhurried encounter with the material. This ongoing series of paintings is heading in a mischievous, hypnotic direction.

John is Anna’s inverse; a metal sculptor whose work, always consisting of nails, has emerged from the common ground between geometric and organic worlds and their tendencies for replication and repetition. In his new works, he reconfigures this relationship through diminishing scale, collage, line and narrative.

There is now an immediacy to the notion of mutation as a dominant element. His work always is rooted in the materiality of nails and common spikes, but in this new body of work the steel is bent to create vivid and elegant abstractions such as “Infinity Pool” and “Common Mirage”.

The Needle and The Milkmaid will run from 8 September until 10 October 2016 at SAPAR Contempoary, 9 N Moore Street, 1st Floor, New York, NY 10013.

Via direct submission | All images courtesy of the artists

 

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