Small Business Spotlight: DoubWorks

Custom stretcher bars built in Joshua Doub's workshop. Photo courtesy of  DoubWorks Instagram

Custom stretcher bars built in Joshua Doub's workshop. Photo courtesy of DoubWorks Instagram

At Abigail Ogilvy Gallery, we like to consider the quality of the work our artists are producing in a holistic manner. Our artists place heavy importance of each detail that goes into creating their work, from the caliber of the paint to the stretcher bars that support the canvas. Stretchers are the foundation of a painting: their quality dictates its longevity and durability. For this reason, we were thrilled when we learned about DoubWorks a few years back.

DoubWorks is a small business founded in 2013 in Royalston, Massachusetts, dedicated to creating handcrafted artist materials. They build each product from scratch, creating high-quality stretchers. Primarily, they build custom stretcher bars - including uniquely shaped surfaces, such as circles or ellipses. Their stretcher bars are made of poplar, which is stronger than pine but weighs about the same. Poplar also grows on the east coast not too far from the shop, making it an environmentally friendly choice. All of the stretchers are milled completely in-house to assure straightness. Because of DoubWorks’ exceptional process of handcrafting products from the rough lumber to the finished item, their artist materials have become highly sought after by artists across the country. One of our own artists, Natalia Wróbel, uses DoubWorks for her canvases to ensure that her abstract oil paintings have the support and durability they deserve.

Natalia Wróbel using DoubWorks for her canvases

Founder Joshua Doub was first inspired to start DoubWorks when he desired higher quality canvases for his own work. Out of this need, the business grew organically as Josh began making and selling his custom canvases to other artists. Josh designed and built his entire workshop from the ground up, even harvesting the lumber from trees cut on the property. Josh worked with a master timber framer to construct the workshop's wooden frame and with the help of friends and family. His business is 100% powered by solar energy!

As you can tell, creating quality stretcher bars is its own art form!

Visit their website for more information:

Photo courtesy of Doubworks Instragram

Curator's Notes: Night Swimming

Our intern Abby Lindsay sat down with Abigail Ogilvy and Ally Boli to ask a few questions about their co-curated exhibition, Night Swimming, on view this summer:

Q: At Abigail Ogilvy Gallery, you present both group and solo shows. Is the creative process for curating solo shows particularly different than for a group exhibition?

Abigail: Absolutely, each show is so nuanced in terms of how it comes together. Our recent solo exhibition with Anna Schuleit Haber happened very organically, the works were all in the Northeast (her studio is in New Orleans) and she was quick to work with us on the writing and promotion. For our current show, Night Swimming, Ally and I both researched, met with artists, and discussed who would be the best fit. We were excited to exhibit a few new artists this summer, and are very pleased with how the show turned out.

Q: How long did it take to plan this exhibition? How far in advance did you start preparing for Night Swimming?

Abigail: Each exhibition varies, but for this particular exhibition it took just over a year of planning, studio visits, and selection of the artwork.

Q:  How did you come up with the title, Night Swimming?

Abigail: Ally picked it! So I’ll let her explain.

Ally: I felt Jenna Pirello's piece Night Swimming encapsulated elements of other artists work, visually it references the black background of Donna Moylan's work Twelve Twelve, as well as the fluidity of Natalia Wróbel's work. Austin Eddy also reference's swimming and nighttime in a few of his titles such as, Four Birds, Two Boys, Lake Floating Late at Night in Spring and Two Birds, One Flag Bearer Swimming Down Stream Past a Tunnel.

Q: You are showing Austin Eddy’s artwork for the first time, what drew you to his work initially?

Austin Eddy, "Flying-Fingers, City-Face (Between Here and There)," Oil stick, paper collage on fabric collage on canvas, 40 x 60 in.

Abigail: I saw Austin’s work in an exhibition in June 2017.  We were attracted to his work for the same reason we exhibited each painter in this show. Like all of the artists on view, Austin has a unique and interesting process, is hardworking, smart, and an incredibly talented artist. For Austin specifically, I was initially attracted to his use of basic geometric forms as building blocks for his paintings.

Ally: Abigail showed me his work and I loved his use of texture. 

Q: Austin Eddy, Donna Moylan, and Jenna Pirello are originally from the Boston area, and Natalia Wróbel worked in Boston until last year. Did this impact your decision to feature them together in this exhibition?

Abigail: Isn’t it interesting how they all have ties to Boston? That was a complete accident, we actually didn’t even notice until we were finalizing their bio pages on the website!  

Q: You represent Natalia Wróbel, and have featured her paintings in previous exhibitions at Abigail Ogilvy Gallery. How did you decide which of her works to include in Night Swimming?

Natalia Wróbel, "Luminaries," Oil paint on linen, 39.4 x 47.2 in.

Abigail: Natalia is constantly pushing herself to create new work and go outside of her comfort zone artistically. When she does so, a new series is born and it is amazing to watch her work grow and develop. This new work was created during her artist residency at the Berlin Art Institute in Germany this past fall, and this show debuts these works in Boston.

 Q:  The paintings featured in Night Swimming explore the imaginary using both figuration and abstraction. What effect do you think this has on the audience?

Abigail: Our goal is always to create interesting exhibitions in which visitors want to spend a lot of time with each artwork. The works in Night Swimming really cannot be understood with a quick glance, the audience is forced to slow down. It’s been wonderful to watch our visitors take in the work from a distance, and then get close and analyze the details.

Ally: I hope it inspires our audience to ask questions, whether to themselves, their friends, or to me! 

Q: What does a typical installation day look like for you?

Abigail: I absolutely love install week! Well, it is really a two day period. It may come as a surprise, but I am typically the person who de-installs the previous show (taking down the works), and then I retouch the walls with spackle and bright white paint. When the walls are blank and ready for the next show, there is so much opportunity on the horizon! Usually de-install takes a day and then we install the next day, we like efficiency. 

Ally: And a couple trips back and forth between the gallery and Home Depot

Q: What would you say is the hardest part of coordinating an exhibition?

Abigail: Ah, I hate that question! To answer the reverse of that question, my favorite part is when the first artwork is hung and we are on our way to having a show!

Ally: It's hard to pinpoint, each exhibition presents its own set of unique challenges which is part of what I love.

Rena Detrixhe, "Red Dirt Rug," Photo courtesy of Mark Andrus

Q: Any upcoming shows you are excited about?

Abigail: I think our programming in 2018 has been our strongest in the gallery history – and we have a powerhouse roster of artists exhibiting this fall. Starting with Rena Detrixhe’s installation of Red Dirt Rug in September and ending with our first solo exhibition by Natalia Wróbel in November!

Ally: All of them - go check out our upcoming exhibition page to take a peek what's next. 

Press Release: Night Swimming

Austin Eddy, Luca Molnar, Donna Moylan, Jenna Pirello, and Natalia Wróbel
June 7 – August 19, 2018

Abigail Ogilvy Gallery is proud to present Night Swimming, an exhibition featuring Austin Eddy, Luca Molnar, Donna Moylan, Jenna Pirello, and Natalia Wróbel. Night Swimming is a selection of contemporary paintings showing a junction between abstraction and figuration. These paintings engage the viewer with their uses of geometric and organic forms, patterns, and irregularities.  The works in this exhibition converge where reality meets fantasy, bringing the audience into an imaginary realm through an overwhelming sense of wonder and creativity.

Installation shot of  Night Swimming , on view through August 19th

Installation shot of Night Swimming, on view through August 19th

Austin Eddy, Three Birds, Two Clouds, One Man Caught Moving. Flashe, Acrylic, paper collage on paper 26 x 20 in.

            Austin Eddy, a Boston-native, is an abstract painter currently working in Brooklyn, NY. Eddy uses mixed-media elements to create vibrant and geometric assemblages that are often sculptural, but typically in the form of a painting. Eddy’s works on paper break down forms into basic geometry. Triangles, squares, and circles make up the figures’ bodies. What appears to be a repeated pattern or color field turns into the neck of a bird, the hull of a boat, or man’s hat in motion. Eddy has focused on this simplification of form and narrative for several years through both a serious and lighthearted approach. His painting on canvas, Flying-Fingers, City-Face (Between Here and There), depicts his most recent addition of collage elements on top of the oil paint. From a distance the work appears mostly abstract, but as the viewer approaches the canvas they will find a swan, a man with a trumpet, or angels flying amongst the varying textures of oil paint.

Eddy received a BFA in Painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and his work was recently exhibited at Fresh Windows Gallery in Brooklyn NY, SetUp 2018 Art Fair with Cellar Contemporary (Italy), and David Shelton Gallery in Houston, TX. Upcoming, Eddy’s work will be shown at SOCO Gallery in Charlotte, NC, Ampersand Gallery in Portland, OR, as well as Viu Gallery in Queens, New York. He recently completed the Liquitex International Residency in London. 

Luca Molnar, Vesuvius at home. Oil on panel. 40 x 30 in.

Luca Molnar currently lives and works outside of New York in Jersey City, New Jersey. Her abstract paintings are derived from maps of places, whether real or imagined. Molnar writes, "I am drawn to patterns found in domestic spaces like bathrooms and kitchens, the center of care for the body. The inescapable duality of homes as both sites of comfort and battlegrounds of intimate violence leads me to paint contested borders, edges where disparate patterns or colors confront one another." In her painting, Vesuvius at Home, Molnar combines flat colors, vibrant patterns, and suggests a flannel cloth with the use of oil paint alone. The artist intentionally combines seemingly jarring textures and surfaces, coming together to create a surprising unity as a whole. 

            Molnar was born in Budapest, Hungary, she received her BA from Dartmouth College and her MFA from New York University. Her artwork has been exhibited throughout the country, most recently at 80WSE Gallery in New York City. 

Donna Moylan. Nocturne. Acrylic, oil and linen on panel. 10 x 10 in

Donna Moylan’s paintings transport the viewer into a world divided between reality and fantasy. An abstracted background meets figures and landscapes presented across the foreground of her work. Upon closer inspection, a couple embraces inside a hut, a crab scurries over grass, a figure seems to be half man half animal, elements that could be missed via a quick glance. Her color choices demand an audience, either bright and bold, or dark and ominous through thinly applied paint. Moylan’s work exudes spontaneity, freeing both the artist and viewer from societal expectations.

Moylan has studios in Houston and New York.  She grew up in Boston where she attended Massachusetts College of Art during high school and The Museum of Fine Arts School for college on full scholarship. Moylan then left for Rome, Italy where she began her career as a professional artist. Selected collections include the Whitney Museum of Art, The Cleveland Center for the Arts, The New York Public Collection, and The Achille Maramotti Collection, Italy. Her work has been reviewed by the New York Times, Art Forum, Art in America along with many other publications as well as in Italy. 

Jenna Pirello is a contemporary painter who emphasizes the idea of process. In her most recent works, Pirello uses wood panel to transcend the traditional idea of a frame and creates an imperfect ground to work on. The organic nature of the wood panel reflects the unpredictability of the paint, which moves organically, resulting in vibrant, abstract pieces. Pirello generally describes herself as a process-based painter, often spending weeks drawing in order to develop an idea or temperament. The bulk of the decision making, however, is made in reaction to what the paint itself is doing. Describing her process as "a series of methodical excavations. Treating my body as a shapeshifter, I move rhythmically to change the pace, pressure and intention through various ways of touching the surface.”

Left: Jenna Pirello, Don't Touch Me - I'm A Real Live Wire, 30 x 24 in. Acrylic on wood Right: Jenna Pirello, Silver Springs, 30 x 24 in. Acrylic on wood

Left: Jenna Pirello, Don't Touch Me - I'm A Real Live Wire, 30 x 24 in. Acrylic on wood
Right: Jenna Pirello, Silver Springs, 30 x 24 in. Acrylic on wood

Pirello received her BFA in painting and sculpture from Boston University, then went on to earn her MFA in painting from Yale University. Jenna was born in Newton, MA and grew up in the suburbs of Boston. She was recently granted a Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship from Provincetown MA, where she also exhibited in a solo fellow show titled Slow Disco in 2018.

Natalia Wróbel is an abstract painter currently living and working in Amsterdam. Her artwork featured in Night Swimming was completed during her artist residency this fall in Berlin, Germany at the Berlin Art Institute. Wróbel writes, “I was inspired by cosmology, the idea of the multiverse, esoteric philosophy that acknowledges the inherent mystery around us, optical illusions, mindscape as landscape, and inversion of space.” The paintings give the viewer a sense of the unknown, as if they are peeking into a private moment shared between themselves and the artist. The artworks come from a place of self-reflection for Wróbel, in the most pure and honest way. Each piece creates a sense of overall cohesiveness, while there are hundreds of small moments created through the lines and brushstrokes to captivate an audience for hours.

Natalia Wróbel Gates to Masada Oil paint and charcoal on Belgian linen 55 x 39.4 in.

Wrobél studied art at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, US, the New York Studio School, and the Lorenzo de'Medici Institute in Florence. Her paintings are featured in private collections around the world and have been on view at Art Fairs including Art Basel: Miami, Art South Hampton, and Texas Contemporary. She received the New York Studio School Mercedes Matter Fellowship in 2012, and the Murray Art Prize in 2015. In 2016, her painting was selected for inclusion at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston Auction. In 2017, Wrobel completed a painting residency at the Berlin Art Institute and her work was selected for inclusion in the MassArt auction. Wrobel's work is represented by Abigail Ogilvy Gallery in Boston, MA. She currently lives and works in Amsterdam.