Margaret Thatcher Projects

Thatcher Projects presents a mix of internationally established artists alongside promising young talent.

Margaret Thatcher Projects has, since its inception in 1998, been located in the West Chelsea arts district. The gallery opened in its first space on West 20th Street. In 2002 Thatcher Projects moved to its artist-designed space on West 25th Street, the Whitehall building. In 2009 we relocated to our current home, a ground floor gallery at 539 West 23rd Street.

Thatcher Projects presents a mix of internationally established artists alongside promising young talent. The gallery focuses on abstract painting and process. Over our almost 20 year history, the exhibition program has broadened to encompass both abstract and figurative idioms, all united by a pivotal attention to concept.

Owner/director Margaret Thatcher brings a long history of integrity and professionalism to the development of the gallery exhibition program, and to the positioning of the gallery in the art community. Throughout most of the 1980’s she served as Administrator of Dia Art Foundation, working with Dia-supported artists and the founding Board of Directors to develop the institution’s public programs, including: The Lightning Field (Walter De Maria), Chamberlain Gardens (John Chamberlain), the Dan Flavin installation at Bridgehampton, and various other projects. In the 1990’s, until opening the gallery in 1998, Ms. Thatcher curated pop-up exhibitions in private and public spaces, and acted as advisor to art collectors building new contemporary collections.

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MATERIAL COLOR

On View: November 14th – December 21st 

Opening Reception: Thursday, November 14th, 6 – 8pm

Margaret Thatcher Projects is excited to present MATERIAL COLOR, a group exhibition that highlights the intersection of process and color theory of eleven represented and invited artists: Omar Chacón, Freddy Chandra, Kevin Finklea, Laurie Frick, Nobu Fukui, Jus Juchtmans, Robin Kang, Tegene Kunbi, Raymond Saá, Heidi Spector, Venske & Spänle.

MATERIAL COLOR looks at a range of artists’ practices, each artist drawing on color and the language of painting as a point of beginning. If color is the starting point, each artist is unique in his or her engagement with color, simultaneously bringing the viewer into a physical and metaphysical experience.

Omar Chacon’s layering and collaging of acrylic dots and drips on canvas is more than a visual strategy for making a painting. Each gesture conceptually counts as a unique individual in a large and diverse community, each reliant on the other to flourish. Omar Chacon was born in Bogota, Colombia and currently lives and works in Astoria, NY. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in cities such as Los Angeles, Milan, San Francisco and Mexico City.

Indonesian-American artist Freddy Chandra constructs luminously painted bars of cast acrylic experimenting with specific color relationships, value shifts, and dimensional modulations of density and transparency. Chandra structures his work within the confines of a logical and algorithmic process. Color is painted across the surface of the bars in such a way as to create an illusion of depth and an inner light that lends the pieces a lyrical flow. Chandra currently lives and works in upstate, New York.

Kevin Finklea’s contemporary color field paintings exemplify his belief that the simplest gesture is sometimes the best. Using rare pigments, he exploits their tonal interactions, highlighting the ways in which the interplay of specifically selected colors affects the viewer experience. The often-subtle color value variations in his works force the viewer to challenge their preconceived notions of color theory and the commonplace visual aesthetics in our daily lives. Finklea has been exhibited nationally and internationally, with shows in Philadelphia, New York, London, Zurich and Melbourne. He currently lives and works in Philadelphia, PA.

Laurie Frick uses data, especially personal data as the material of our age to examine what we can know about ourselves. Drawn to components that mimic tactile bio-fabricated parts and physical installations from familiar materials she hand-builds each piece as the more likely future alternative to digital media. Evidence of her
engineering background and long-history in high-tech are seen in the deep data analysis and detailed explanations of how this future will unfold. Born in Los Angeles, she lives and work in Austin, Texas and Brooklyn, New York.

Nobu Fukui’s paintings are marked by a combination of improvisational painterly abstraction with elements of collage and mixed media. This culminates into captivating surfaces that may be read as performative action paintings with a Gutai affinity, or at a closer vantage point, Pop Art suggestive of a narrative. Nobu Fukui was born in Tokyo, and came to New York from Japan in 1963.

Jus Juchtmans’s monochromatic paintings are deceivingly complex. Each aspect of the luminescent work from the stretcher to the number of layers of paint upon the surface is considered in the piece’s creation. Juchtmans’s interest lies in the act of viewing artwork. Drawing people in through the shining surfaces, Juchtmans’s work literally reflects how the surrounding environment colors one’s experience of viewing art.

Robin Kang’s tapestries explore the connections between contemporary technology and the history of textile fabrication and manufacturing. Incorporating graphics drawn from both circuit boards and patterns reminiscent of ancient weaving traditions, her work points to the influence that weaving technology has had on the development of modern computing. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Brushstrokes and washes of paint vary from light and translucent to thick and voluminous, the resulting surface rich with texture and a history of saturated layers built one on another. Originally from Addis Ababa, Kunbi lives and works in Berlin.

Raymond Saá’s collages are made of hand-painted paper, cut into various shapes that are then sewn together. The end result is an overlapping shingle-like pattern of color, shape and form. The work is very process-oriented. While Saá has no definitive image or composition in mind at the start, he uses an Xacto blade as a performative tool to rhythmically implement his drawings. The tension and unexpected consequences between the different color schemes and shapes yield to exciting and playful compositions that echo textile designs, reassembled and stitched back together. Saá lives and works in New Jersey.

Influenced by popular music, Canadian artist Heidi Spector’s works are composed of liquitex acrylic painted as bands of color on Russian birch. The works are then are topped with resin, creating a surface where candy-like colors pulse and dance together. The color palette of each painting is in part a response to a song, infusing the group of works with the sensation of being an audio/visual playlist. While emotional context is illusive in her works, the vibration of colors is evocative of self-reference in themes of musical rhythm, club life from era past and techno beats.

Taking visual and conceptual inspiration from the realms of sci-fi, cartoon animation and an innate sense of playful humor, the Munich-based duo, Venske & Spänle are deeply interested in the interaction between sculpture, place, and viewer. Venske & Spänle is the moniker for the artists Julia Venske (b.1971, Berlin) and Gregor Spänle (b. 1969, Munich). The artists live and work in Munich, and have exhibited their work worldwide in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa.

Margaret Thatcher Projects is located at 539 West 23rd Street, ground floor (between 10th and 11th Avenues). Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. For further information contact the gallery at: info@thatcherprojects.com, or 212.675.0222.