Karen Schifano & Paige Williams: The Space Between, Blank Space, New York, NY

Karen Schifano, Gorey, 2009

April 1-30, 2010

BLANK SPACE is pleased to present The Space Between, an exhibition of paintings by artists Karen Schifano and Paige Williams. Both Schifano and Williams’ abstract work in this exhibition focuses on transition, inviting the viewer to experience the tension within and between evocative moments. Exploring shifting spaces, both emotional and literal ? these works are minimalistic yet deceptively complex.

Karen Schifano’s Doors paintings are abstract pictures of doors and hallways: portals and gateways that look out onto what is not yet known. These thresholds to spaces of color and light, indeterminate spaces of breath and pause, invite feelings of liberation, perhaps emptiness, sometimes the ominous twinge of fear. They operate as metaphors for the transitional stages in a life, symbols pared down to their essentials and carried out in an unsentimental matter-of-fact style. Schifano’s work elicits tension between the metaphorical and the notional, evoking an emotional response, opening the door to imaginative dreaming and reverie.

Paige Williams’ paintings explore the physical and psychological disparities that exist in relationships along with the joys and tensions that arise as a result of navigating these intervals. The works are about discovery, the struggle to relinquish control and reveling in the absurd and unexpected. They are scenarios, situations and circumstances. The simultaneously casual yet conscientious quality of her forms address that which makes us human: varied degrees of elegance, awkwardness, clumsiness and grace.

Schifano earned a BA in art history from Swarthmore College, an MFA from Hunter College, and was a fellow at the MacDowell Colony and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her work has been shown both in New York and internationally, including recent shows at PS1/MoMA, Minus Space, and Tobey Fine Arts. Work will be included in group shows in Paris and Grenoble, France in October of this year.

Williams has been awarded residencies at the Millay Colony for the Arts, Working Space in Munich, Germany and selected as a visiting artist and lecturer at the University of Alaska. She received an Ohio Arts Council Individual Creativity Excellence Award in 2008. She completed her BFA at Eastern Kentucky University and her MFA at the University of Cincinnati and is currently a Professor at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally, including shows in Los Angeles, Albuquerque, Philadelphia, and Berlin and Munich (Germany).