Oct 2013, The Studio Work, by Elise Morris, http://thestudiowork.blogspot.com/

May 2012, Review by Barbara Morris, Art Ltd. Magazine

March 2012, Review by Obi Kaufman, East Bay Express Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events

May 2011, Review by DeWitt Cheng, East Bay Express: Slow Food at Arts and Consciousness Gallery

March 2011, San Francisco Art Beat review of SFMOMA Artist Gallery show

September 2009, Review by DeWitt Cheng, East Bay Express, Solo show, Chandra Cerrito Contemporary

October 2009, Square Cylinder Solo show, Chandra Cerrito Contemporary

October 2009, Review by DeWitt Cheng, East Bay Express, "Metaphysical Abstraction", Berkeley Art Center

October 2009, Recent review by Peter Selz, Berkeley Daily Planet, "Metaphyshical Abstraction", Berkeley Art Center

 

 

 

Artweek Review: Keira Kotler and Jenn Shifflet at Chandra Cerrito Contemporary

By, Jakki Spicer

February 2008

       

           The relatively new Chandra Cerrito Contemporary is nestled in a snug, loft-like space, hovering above another gallery; the stairs leading up to the space are inscribed with a poem by Geri Digiorno, poet laureate of Sonoma, California. All of this creates a more than appropriate setting for the recent show featuring Keira Kotler and Jenn Shifflet. Both Shifflet and Kotler play with space and light, smallness and bigness to produce landscapes that are as much-or more-interior ones than exterior.

            Kotler’s light-jet images are extreme photographic close-ups, and thus more blur than line-and certainly contain no discernible object-but the digital print gives them a clarity that turns the blur to luminescent aura rather than mud. They are printed on aluminum sheets, which give them an internal gleam that echoes the light of the images themselves. Each piece is a field of color and light, with no way to determine where one begins and the other ends.

            Kotler purports to be influenced by yogic or Buddhist contemplation, a kind of studied quietness that brings one’s attention to things “usually taken for granted.” But, although what we are looking at are photographs of objects, what we see is nothing that exists in our usual sensory world. They are meditative, almost hallucinogenic pieces that draw the viewer in like portals to some other existence without ground or horizon-just light and space. There is no way to tell, really, if these images bring one too close to something or too far away from the know world. Lumina: Mauve may have just the fuzzy limits of a face within its field of color; Lumina: Yellow almost has a horizon, but even that floats and shifts and has no determined location; in Lumina: Purple, smears of blue sneak and seep in to the frame, but it may be that they are only ticks of light. Seeing an object this close-up divests it of its objectness, and turns it into a blurry swath of sky, an otherworldly sand/sun-scape, a well of light-something distant yet captivating, accessible only when given the time it is due. The lack of lines, edges, hard shapes, distinctions between figure and ground opens up an unlimited expanse beyond the frame.

            Because Shifflet’s oils mirror Kotler’s investigations in certain ways, the two artists’ works do seem a natural pairing. Shifflet also explores space and light-all the titles of her pieces reflect a preoccupation with luminosity and air-and she also eschews horizon lines and creates a luminescent dimensionality that has nothing to do with architecture. But Shifflet’s oils are thick and glossy with a texture eschewed by Kotler’s digital prints. Indeed, it may be better to view these works at a certain distance-too closeup and the paint’s impasto becomes something of a distraction. But, at the ideal distance of five or ten feet, the eye turns the sometimes imprecise brushstrokes into perfect orbs.

            Shifflet’s works are like waking up on the floor after a very lovely, very posh party, and gazing through an intoxicated haze at a Tiffany chandelier suspended from a gilded ceiling. You can almost hear the tinkling of the crystal, the ripe silence it amplifies. Or swimming through a dreamscape and coming upon the welcoming streetlights of Atlantis.

            Shifflet alternates between an ochre and gold palette and a sea-green one-the sere and the aquatic. Yet all of the paintings share the same visual thematic: thick, luminescent space furnished with clusters of glowing orbs-like grapes of ice or light-and strands that whisper down like gentle curtains. These eerie shapes have a solidity within them that Kotler’s images do not. Finding Elusive Spaciousness, Shifflet’s largest work, a four-by-five foot entrance into a fairy cave, glitter with shadows and light. Effervescently Adrift combines ochres and turquoises, like the floor of a shallow, glittering sea. And Luminance features a nova explosion of light against a background of teal. Both Shifflet and Kotler present us with the sense of being suspended in water or sky or a space we’ve never been given access to before. This quality produces both anxiety and peace: We have been drawn into the secret spaces of childhood imagination or adult intoxication.

 

                                                                                                             -Jakki Spicer

 

 Critic's Choice, By Gay Dawson, The Bohemian, Santa Rosa 

'Still' Standing
Can the medium mute the message?

The only way to get to the art exhibition known as "Still" is to log on to the alternative art space at www.contemporaryquarterly.com. Once in, the viewer is given the illusion of travel through a series of art encounters organized into galleries. The site is the brainchild of Napa-based art consultant Chandra Cerrito, and "Still" is the sixth exhibition hosted there.

Bypassing the curator's statement, go straight to a perfect square of gray that is bisected horizontally. The subtle division of this quiet square calls up memories of the transcendental photographs by Hiroshi Sugimoto that depict the line where earth and sea meet. But according to the oversized caption weighting the base of the image, the work is made of steel and pigment by Miya Ando Stanoff and is a whopping 36-by-36-inches large. Any furtive attempt to touch the artwork will only leave fingerprints on a monitor. And this is a line that cannot be transgressed: there is no actual body to the work in "Still." All contact is virtual.

Cerrito says she assembled "Still" to invite us to slow down and pay attention to the details of the material world as a passage to the immaterial. All works in the show appear luminous, atmospheric and hushed. But they have little in common.

Jubilantly contrasting Ando Stanoff's subtle works are the lighter-than-air objects that float through Jenn Shifflet's paintings. Drenched in color, her bubbles seem to coalesce and emit light outside the reach of gravity. Around the proverbial corner are paintings by another artist, Mel Prest, recently in residence at the Marin Headlands. Onscreen, Prest's work loses the vulnerability it suggests in person. Her optically playful squiggly rows of hand-painted lines become orderly and mechanical.

"Still" is extended by a physical catalogue that can be ordered. But to cross the line into the actual, you must attend a studio tour of the artists presented. In viewing Lumina Tangerine by Keira Kotler both on the screen and on the catalogue page, differences emerge. The online version manifests through light; the on-the-page version is paler, more yellow, less luminous. And since this work is about creating the memory of illumination, these differences are noteworthy. This is a case where the medium limits the message.

As the Internet is captured as a new site for art experience, the difference between the actual and the virtual collapses further, leaving us with an untouchable world readily available. According to the curator, 8,700 viewers have already visited "Still" in the two months that it has been posted. The last virtual exhibition was viewed by 74,000 visitors over eight months. These are attendance numbers that would make any local curator salivate. In this world, is there a need for real art?

Visit "Still" at www.contemporaryquarterly.org.


Sections

Press & Writings

Oct 2013, The Studio Work, by Elise Morris, http://thestudiowork.blogspot.com/

May 2012, Review by Barbara Morris, Art Ltd. Magazine

March 2012, Review by Obi Kaufman, East Bay Express Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events

May 2011, Review by DeWitt Cheng, East Bay Express: Slow Food at Arts and Consciousness Gallery

March 2011, San Francisco Art Beat review of SFMOMA Artist Gallery show

September 2009, Review by DeWitt Cheng, East Bay Express, Solo show, Chandra Cerrito Contemporary

October 2009, Square Cylinder Solo show, Chandra Cerrito Contemporary

October 2009, Review by DeWitt Cheng, East Bay Express, "Metaphysical Abstraction", Berkeley Art Center

October 2009, Recent review by Peter Selz, Berkeley Daily Planet, "Metaphyshical Abstraction", Berkeley Art Center

 

 

 

Artweek Review: Keira Kotler and Jenn Shifflet at Chandra Cerrito Contemporary

By, Jakki Spicer

February 2008

       

           The relatively new Chandra Cerrito Contemporary is nestled in a snug, loft-like space, hovering above another gallery; the stairs leading up to the space are inscribed with a poem by Geri Digiorno, poet laureate of Sonoma, California. All of this creates a more than appropriate setting for the recent show featuring Keira Kotler and Jenn Shifflet. Both Shifflet and Kotler play with space and light, smallness and bigness to produce landscapes that are as much-or more-interior ones than exterior.

            Kotler’s light-jet images are extreme photographic close-ups, and thus more blur than line-and certainly contain no discernible object-but the digital print gives them a clarity that turns the blur to luminescent aura rather than mud. They are printed on aluminum sheets, which give them an internal gleam that echoes the light of the images themselves. Each piece is a field of color and light, with no way to determine where one begins and the other ends.

            Kotler purports to be influenced by yogic or Buddhist contemplation, a kind of studied quietness that brings one’s attention to things “usually taken for granted.” But, although what we are looking at are photographs of objects, what we see is nothing that exists in our usual sensory world. They are meditative, almost hallucinogenic pieces that draw the viewer in like portals to some other existence without ground or horizon-just light and space. There is no way to tell, really, if these images bring one too close to something or too far away from the know world. Lumina: Mauve may have just the fuzzy limits of a face within its field of color; Lumina: Yellow almost has a horizon, but even that floats and shifts and has no determined location; in Lumina: Purple, smears of blue sneak and seep in to the frame, but it may be that they are only ticks of light. Seeing an object this close-up divests it of its objectness, and turns it into a blurry swath of sky, an otherworldly sand/sun-scape, a well of light-something distant yet captivating, accessible only when given the time it is due. The lack of lines, edges, hard shapes, distinctions between figure and ground opens up an unlimited expanse beyond the frame.

            Because Shifflet’s oils mirror Kotler’s investigations in certain ways, the two artists’ works do seem a natural pairing. Shifflet also explores space and light-all the titles of her pieces reflect a preoccupation with luminosity and air-and she also eschews horizon lines and creates a luminescent dimensionality that has nothing to do with architecture. But Shifflet’s oils are thick and glossy with a texture eschewed by Kotler’s digital prints. Indeed, it may be better to view these works at a certain distance-too closeup and the paint’s impasto becomes something of a distraction. But, at the ideal distance of five or ten feet, the eye turns the sometimes imprecise brushstrokes into perfect orbs.

            Shifflet’s works are like waking up on the floor after a very lovely, very posh party, and gazing through an intoxicated haze at a Tiffany chandelier suspended from a gilded ceiling. You can almost hear the tinkling of the crystal, the ripe silence it amplifies. Or swimming through a dreamscape and coming upon the welcoming streetlights of Atlantis.

            Shifflet alternates between an ochre and gold palette and a sea-green one-the sere and the aquatic. Yet all of the paintings share the same visual thematic: thick, luminescent space furnished with clusters of glowing orbs-like grapes of ice or light-and strands that whisper down like gentle curtains. These eerie shapes have a solidity within them that Kotler’s images do not. Finding Elusive Spaciousness, Shifflet’s largest work, a four-by-five foot entrance into a fairy cave, glitter with shadows and light. Effervescently Adrift combines ochres and turquoises, like the floor of a shallow, glittering sea. And Luminance features a nova explosion of light against a background of teal. Both Shifflet and Kotler present us with the sense of being suspended in water or sky or a space we’ve never been given access to before. This quality produces both anxiety and peace: We have been drawn into the secret spaces of childhood imagination or adult intoxication.

 

                                                                                                             -Jakki Spicer

 

 Critic's Choice, By Gay Dawson, The Bohemian, Santa Rosa 

'Still' Standing
Can the medium mute the message?

The only way to get to the art exhibition known as "Still" is to log on to the alternative art space at www.contemporaryquarterly.com. Once in, the viewer is given the illusion of travel through a series of art encounters organized into galleries. The site is the brainchild of Napa-based art consultant Chandra Cerrito, and "Still" is the sixth exhibition hosted there.

Bypassing the curator's statement, go straight to a perfect square of gray that is bisected horizontally. The subtle division of this quiet square calls up memories of the transcendental photographs by Hiroshi Sugimoto that depict the line where earth and sea meet. But according to the oversized caption weighting the base of the image, the work is made of steel and pigment by Miya Ando Stanoff and is a whopping 36-by-36-inches large. Any furtive attempt to touch the artwork will only leave fingerprints on a monitor. And this is a line that cannot be transgressed: there is no actual body to the work in "Still." All contact is virtual.

Cerrito says she assembled "Still" to invite us to slow down and pay attention to the details of the material world as a passage to the immaterial. All works in the show appear luminous, atmospheric and hushed. But they have little in common.

Jubilantly contrasting Ando Stanoff's subtle works are the lighter-than-air objects that float through Jenn Shifflet's paintings. Drenched in color, her bubbles seem to coalesce and emit light outside the reach of gravity. Around the proverbial corner are paintings by another artist, Mel Prest, recently in residence at the Marin Headlands. Onscreen, Prest's work loses the vulnerability it suggests in person. Her optically playful squiggly rows of hand-painted lines become orderly and mechanical.

"Still" is extended by a physical catalogue that can be ordered. But to cross the line into the actual, you must attend a studio tour of the artists presented. In viewing Lumina Tangerine by Keira Kotler both on the screen and on the catalogue page, differences emerge. The online version manifests through light; the on-the-page version is paler, more yellow, less luminous. And since this work is about creating the memory of illumination, these differences are noteworthy. This is a case where the medium limits the message.

As the Internet is captured as a new site for art experience, the difference between the actual and the virtual collapses further, leaving us with an untouchable world readily available. According to the curator, 8,700 viewers have already visited "Still" in the two months that it has been posted. The last virtual exhibition was viewed by 74,000 visitors over eight months. These are attendance numbers that would make any local curator salivate. In this world, is there a need for real art?

Visit "Still" at www.contemporaryquarterly.org.


Sections