Articles / May 1, 2017


Contemporary Art Exhibition Series
The Manhattan Art & Antiques Center
1050 2nd Ave, New York
Opening Saturday April 22, 2017 4PM –7 PM
Exhibition open to the public daily until May 22, 2017

MAAC on the Map is a contemporary art exhibition series that aims to give a platform to emerging and established artists at The Manhattan Art & Antique Center – one of the nation’s largest fine art and historical design centers. MAAC on the Map is a movement to give contemporary artists a new home on the Upper East Side and an opportunity to expose their work to a different audience. The injection of these vital contemporary artists reinforces that the Upper East Side is a potent destination for innovation, a creative hotspot where experience meets a new breed of artistic disruptor.

April 22, 2017 will mark the opening and reception of Maac on the Map Edition II, featuring the artistry of Alexis Duque, Alicia Degener, Allan Gorman, Christina Massey, Sarah Whalen and Yikui Gu. The exhibition will be open daily to the public until May 22, 2017.

The Maac on the Map Edition I inaugural exhibition opened on Saturday March 11, 2017 with a packed reception to honor the eight female, Asian artists featured in the first series. They included Gao Yuan, O Zhang, Xin Song, Zahra Nazary, Shiva Jlayer, Lulu Dong, Ping Zheng, Dasha Shkurpela.

Visitors had the opportunity to explore the work, curated by Paul Anavian and Michaela Boruta, in the six dedicated gallery spaces at The Manhattan Art & Antique Center. The guests were also invited to discover the wonders of the remaining 50 galleries populating the space. The artists were on hand to discuss their works in detail with the public. Smaller groups gathered at various artworks to hear the motivations, techniques and inspiration for the artist’s creations.

This format will again be employed at Maac on the Map Edition II.

The curatorial vision for Maac on the Map Edition II is based on visual patterns and how we “see” the world through our own particular cultural or personal filters. It’s a collection of artists who are exploring the idea of the line. How we break it, flow with it, chase it, sexualize it or define space with it to control our relationship with the world. Each artist is gazing, glaring, observing society and shifting the way we “look” at our inner and outer landscapes.

New York City comes to life in spring with the rich offering of art fairs focusing on contemporary art and design. The Affordable Art Fair, ArtExpo, Context, Frieze and 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, to name a few, will all be in full swing during May. This energizing MAAC on the Map Edition II collection contributes to the potent atmosphere of all of these different artists across NYC, waking us all up after the long winter.

The artists featured in Maac on the Map Edition II include:

Alexis Duque

(Painting on right – “Vanitas” by Alexis Duque)

“The chaotic and unavoidable process of urbanization in our globalized and over populated world are the central focus of my work. I am interested in depicting clustered spaces and precarious constructions that seem to multiply and overflow with crowded objects in one continuous urban sprawl, at the same time as such structures begin to crumble and decompose from within. Through the use of exaggerated drama and distortion, my work attempts to challenge the way the viewer confronts the idea of consumerism and urbanization within contemporary culture and draw the viewer’s attention to the isolation of the transitory residents, like semi-nomads that emigrate hoping to find a better life on the outskirts of large metropolises”.

“Newly globalized economies have engendered major changes, from expanded trade networks to new methods of commodity production and the shifts in the labor force these activities require. In recent decades, new patterns of migration have emerged and significant populations have moved to rapidly expanding urban centers, transforming the individual’s relationship to the city. I investigate the conditions of metropolitan landscapes, including the effects of gentrification and urban renewal, political expression, and power”.

Alicia Degener

(Painting on the Left – “Bed Stuy Brownstones)

“I paint the landscape of New York City. I am fascinated with rollercoasters, architectural details such as cornices and anything kitschy Americana like roadside signs. I combine literal representation with abstract elements to focus on what I want people to see I find interesting about a place. What I find interesting are often details and the beauty in patterns like the Spanish tile on the house in “Ovington Avenue” or the ironwork on the Manhattan Bridge.

Brilliant and vibrant color combined with a wonky sense of perspective bring movement to my paintings and a fresh view on city landscapes. Unusual cropping and framing of images add to the overall look of my artwork. I often incorporate text and imagery I find in street signs to give a narrative sometimes ironic or humorous to my artwork. An example of this is the Nathan’s hot dog man wearing a little apron and pointy shoes or the balding chubby man hoisting a burger above his head atop “Paul’s Daughter’s” on the boardwalk in many of my Coney Island pieces. I work in a variety of mediums including Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor, Pastel and Linoleum block printing. My work works ranges from tiny watercolors to large scale murals I have done on site in various businesses”.

Allan Gorman

(Painting on the left – “A Little Light Peeking Through” by Allan Gorman)

“I find myself drawn to hidden abstract patterns, random shapes and aesthetic tensions I see in real objects –particularly within the confines of industrial structures, machinery, and vehicles.

Although I paint in a realistic style, my focus isn’t necessarily on the precise rendering of objects, but rather on conveying the abstract information created by – and within – those objects.  I ask viewers to share a journey of discovery with me and hope they’ll become as excited and fascinated and moved as I am about the beauty that can be found in what’s often taken for commonplace and mundane.

In this way, I define my works as abstract compositions nested in the guise of realism, and I use this criterion to inform my choices of what to paint”.

Christina Massey

(Artwork on the left – “Interwoven 4” by Christina Massey)

“Using methods of constructing and deconstructing, I am constantly re-using and re-purposing my own artwork.  One series literally leads to another, where previous series of works are cut, torn and sewn or woven back together again into new series of works, which may again be reconstructed into yet another art form.  The past always present in the current and future works, they tell a story of my progression as an Artist, and question the finality of Art.

I often use word play and general political topics as a way to communicate opinions that ultimately define an observation about the Art world itself.  Painting as a medium, having taken the largest “beating” so to speak from the critical art world has been my primary focus of material, be it acrylic or oil on paper or canvas.  I “kill” my traditionally framed paintings by cutting and tearing them apart, then mend them together by thread, a series of knots or weaving them together again giving them new life as a different form.

How I choose what works to re-work, and what works to remain is a difficult process.  Often it is work that has sat around for too long, perhaps “failed” in some way, by not showing or selling or simply no longer satisfying my creative desires.  There are “favorites” so to speak that will stick around for years and not be touched, however, on occasion, even these “favorites” sometimes get the ax if it’s what I feel the new work requires.  It’s a therapeutic process of letting go in order to move forward.  Ultimately, any work that I have created in the past is subject to be re-worked again in the future in some way shape or form as my own tastes and opinions change, my body of work continues to evolve with me”.

Sarah B. Whalen

(Artwork on the left – “A witch and her Wand” by Sarah B. Whalen)

“During sex your physical animal self takes over allowing you to truly be present in the experience. Feeling someone else’s skin, smelling them, tasting them, reacting to their touch. Sex itself is a beautiful, passionate act. Yet the physicality of sex is gross. Sloppy kisses are exchanged, sweaty gental’s rub together and deep guttural sounds are emitted. In my work I try to capture this dichotomy between the beautiful and the grotesque.
When I began my drawing often looked like monsters having sex. I used modified contour drawings as a way to abstract a recognizable image. As I matured both as a sexual being and as an artist my work evolved. I chose to draw moments that showed intimacy, passion and love. I use black and white imagery to project focus on the movement of the body and the occurring act. The fluid lines between bodies and background show how it is all one collective experience. Hands, legs and blankets are all morphed together in a maze of linework to show the experience of sex.

Too often in our culture sex is either alluded to without being shown, dismissed as too raunchy for the public eye or shown in an unrealistic way. In my work I am bringing a more realistic depiction on sex to the forefront of society. I want to bridge the gap between our animal selves, the gross reality of what happens when bodies come together, and the tenderness of what happens in those body’s souls”.

Yikui Gu

“The spaces between order and chaos, sincerity and irony or design and chance are the most interesting to explore. My paintings are an attempt to probe these areas using visual elements from sneakerhead culture, found internet images, Ikea catalogues and personal photos and art historical references. Through this combination of political, cultural and domestic imagery I hope to affirm and subvert the modern human condition. I want my work to be both horrifying and hilarious.

MAAC on the Map is a year long initiative featuring four contemporary art series in 2017. It is a drive to bring a stronger contemporary art presence into the surrounding neighborhood. The program also includes a lecture series by prominent arts funders, critics, academics, visionaries and creators. A smaller program of “mini-talks” with the participating artists are intimate, specialized sessions that speak to both the public and the art connoisseur. Podcasts of these talks will be available on the website after the event.

The first lecture that will take place as part of MAAC on the Map Edition II, is entitled Glamorous Spaces: New York’s Landmark Interiors and will be given by Judith Gura, Design Historian, Author, Faculty The New York School of Interior Design. This lecture will take place on Thursday, May 4th from 6-7pm in the contemporary art gallery on the ground floor of the Manhattan Art & Antique Center (1050 2nd Ave). Seating is limited so please rsvp to [email protected]

The mini talk session features the artists who will be exhibiting as part of MAAC on the Map Edition II. 5 of the artists will be in attendance for this event. (Sarah B. Whalen is unable to attend) The 5 mini talks sessions will take place on Sunday, May 7th from 1-3pm in the contemporary art gallery on the ground floor of the Manhattan Art & Antique Center (1050 2nd Ave). Seating is limited so please rsvp to [email protected]


The Manhattan Art & Antiques Center

The Manhattan Art & Antiques Center in Midtown Manhattan, is the nation’s largest with over 50 galleries representing America’s top dealers in every category of arts and antiques. The Manhattan Art & Antiques Center is a veritable treasure trove of all that is beautiful, fascinating and unique for sale. Boasting three floors of historical design, fine art, decoration, silver, jewelry, European, Asian African art, and antiquities–this is a “must visit” for art lovers, collectors, interior decorators, or those just looking to be visually inspired. Whether you want to buy or sell, we welcome you to visit us 7 days a week.

For more information about MAAC:
Email:    [email protected]
Phone:     212 355 4400

MAAC on the Map gallery hours: Monday – Saturday, 10:30am – 6pm and Sunday, 12pm – 6pm

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