Press Release: Collected Stories

New artwork by Holly Harrison & Kristina McComb
December 19, 2018 – February 17, 2019
Opening Reception: January 4, 2019, 6-9 pm

“Flash,” Holly Harrison, Mixed media and found papers on wood panel. 30 x 30 in., 2018

Abigail Ogilvy Gallery is proud to present Collected Stories, a duo exhibition featuring new works by Holly Harrison and Kristina McComb. Both Harrison and McComb are drawn to the idea of creating a visual story that documents the passing of time. Holly Harrison is an artist, writer, and poet; appropriately, her artwork is comprised of multiple bands of imagery and collage, the layers work like stanzas of modern verse, with bits of meaning half-hidden underneath like symbolism and subtext. The work reads as a narrative when paired with Kristina McComb’s recent documentation of the Boston Athenaeum. Each photograph highlights the minute details of the books in the library, worn and weathered through age and use. Together, Harrison and McComb combine elements of past and present, embracing imperfections as means to tell a contemporary tale.

Holly Harrison’s Color Field series relates sections of color with elements of mixed media. This new series is a return to using stripes as structure In this new series, the bands of color are themselves the subject, contrasting with her previous work that was mostly image-based. A crucial element to Harrison’s work is the mixed media components, giving each artwork texture, depth and most importantly: an imbedded story. Often the layers include old shopping lists, vintage comics, book and magazine pages, printed papers, junk mail, her daughter’s early doodles, and pieces of her husband’s works on paper. These components are covered with a wash of paint, acting to join the disparate pieces and also to obscure their content.  What remains is an impression or hint, encouraging the viewer to look more closely. Harrison also questions the emptiness or fullness of each block of color, her draw to poetic forms leads Harrison to build her own organic shapes that push against an established boundary.

Kristina McComb’s photographs capture the hidden history of the books within the Boston Anthenaeum. As their artist in residence for the past year, her plan for this project was intentionally vague, allowing for the individuality of the books to catch her attention. As she worked, McComb deliberately did not interfere with how the books were positioned, only documenting exactly as she found them, the unedited truth of how they exist in the library. These striking photographs bring attention to the tears, folds, broken spines, and cobwebs that mottle their surface; celebrating their imperfections rather than shunning them. By freezing the books in their current state and giving them a new life through digital reproduction, she starts the cycle anew, letting the images age much like the books themselves have aged. McComb finds profoundness in the life lived by both the object and those who have interacted with it. Whether a single image or the series in its entirety, the work tells the story of a collection through intricate maps across the surface of the books.

“Boston Athenaeum 0008,” Kristina McComb, 2018, Photograph - framed, Ed. 1 of 10

Holly Harrison is a mixed-media artist living and working in Concord, MA. Harrison received her MA from City College of New York and her BA from Wesleyan University. Harrison’s work has been featured at galleries and museums throughout New England and New York such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Concord Art, and is held in private collections across the country and internationally. Harrison was selected for the 2018 and 2015 Artcetera Auction as well as the 2017 MassArt Auction. She was also the recipient of the 2014 Dick Blick Materials Award and the 2012 Attleboro Museum Certificate of Merit. 

Kristina McComb is an interdisciplinary artist from Western Massachusetts. She graduated with Distinction from Greenfield Community College, receiving her Associates of Science in Visual Art with a concentration in Photography. McComb also holds a BFA from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University. Her work has been exhibited since 2014, most notably at the Brattleboro Museum and Arts Center in Brattleboro, VT, the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts, and The Museum of Fine Arts, in Boston, MA. McComb has also exhibited in galleries across the country including Manifest Gallery, in Cincinnati, OH, and the Mark Arts in Wichita.

Collected Stories, Holly Harrison & Kristina McComb, Abigail Ogilvy Gallery

Announcement: Allyson Boli as Gallery Director

Allyson Boli. Photo by Chris Anderson / CDA Media

Allyson Boli. Photo by Chris Anderson / CDA Media

Abigail Ogilvy Gallery is thrilled to announce the appointment of Allyson Boli to Gallery Director in Boston, MA. Since joining the team in 2017, Boli has collaborated with gallery owner Abigail Ogilvy to create numerous exhibitions that support the promotion of contemporary artists in Boston today. With an eye for challenging materials, Boli seeks to engage the local community through new and interesting artists working in original media. Boli works to broaden our view of contemporary art through the exhibition of local and international artists, most recently in welcoming Oklahoma-based artist Rena Detrixhe to a solo exhibition in September of 2018 which led to reviews and mentions in The Boston Globe, The Improper Bostonian, Delicious Line, and The Arts Fuse. Additionally, her curation of the group show, Domestic Memory, earned the artists a review by Art New England Magazine. Boli’s dedication to rigorous exhibition programming and commitment to building collections new and established has been admired by gallery visitors and clients alike. Beyond supporting the gallery artists, Boli has mentored over a dozen college undergraduate and post-graduate students through the gallery internship program. She is supported by our newest gallery associate, Kaylee Hennessey, who joined the team in April of 2018. Hennessey is both an art historian and fiber artist.

Press Release: Rena Detrixhe, Red Dirt Rug

Installation Preview Dates: August 28 – August 31, 2018 (Open to the public)
Opening Reception: Friday, September 7, 6-9 pm
Exhibition dates: September 5 - 30, 2018

Rena Detrixhe presses designs into a Red Dirt Rug installation. Photo by: Mark Andrus

Abigail Ogilvy Gallery is proud to introduce the site-specific installation, Red Dirt Rug by Rena Detrixhe. Self identified as a hunter-gatherer, Detrixhe explores and analyzes history and the effect of human impact on our soil. Originally from Kansas, the artist now lives and works in Tulsa, Oklahoma, an area of the country that has been rapidly altered in the past century. Detrixhe began developing this body of work in 2016, as a result of her residency with the Tulsa Artist Fellowship. Red Dirt Rug is created from soil collected in central Oklahoma. Once transported to her studio in Tulsa, the artist spends hours finely grinding and sifting the earth into a soft, red dust. Standing in front of Red Dirt Rug, visitors might find their perception changes. The differences between outside and indoors, past and present become blurred, or perhaps they even merge. According to Detrixhe, “Red dirt symbolizes grit, perseverance, sorrow, pain, spirit, resilience. While it is rooted here in Oklahoma, I believe it has national implications.”

Rena Detrixhe’s work is both meticulous and ephemeral. Detrixhe has intimate connections with her materials and she works to understand their properties through process and careful labor. Prior to working with red dirt, she has created drawings and objects from seeds, ice, dried crabapple fruits, resin droplets emulating water, and a variety of household objects. Red Dirt Rug is heavy with metaphors and historical significance. The work is both a meditation of our past and the frame for our future, prompting deeper thinking about our world. For Detrixhe, “Landscapes have memory, places have memory, the earth has memory. There is a reason we say something happened on our home soil. Soil has a memory, too.”

Detail of previous installation of Red Dirt Rug. Photo by: Mark Andrus 

The significance of Detrixhe’s Red Dirt Rug goes beyond the piece’s original location. The artist illuminates questions that can be asked about the histories and geographies of land in the United States at large. When reflecting on the meaning of the artwork, Detrixhe explains, “I’m not sure that a single work of art can adequately represent the multitude of complicated histories,” she said. “But if any material can hold all of those things in it, it would be soil, earth.” Iterations of Red Dirt Rug have been previously displayed in a number of states throughout the Midwest, in Virginia and now in Boston.

This installation is a unique artwork that will only be displayed for the duration of the exhibition, holding the harsh and powerful reality that it will inevitably be swept away. Detrixhe works the entirety of the four-day installation, with visitors welcomed to step into the gallery and view the slow, deliberate mark making through careful gestures. The artwork provides a distinct opportunity to allow for a more nuanced space of consideration between the person and the landscape, reminding us of the preciousness of the earth just below our feet. By bringing the dirt inside, the earth attempts to reclaim and reinforce its presence and importance.

While the implications of the artwork are environmental, Detrixhe allows the audience to come to their own conclusions in regard to meaning and impact. Red Dirt Rug encourages the viewer to consider the question: moving forward, is there an alternative to how we, as a culture, relate to our land and the histories it holds?

Detrixhe received her BFA from the University of Kansas in 2013. She has exhibited in museums and galleries across the United States and is the recipient of numerous awards including a scholarship to attend the prestigious art school at Hongik University in Seoul, South Korea and a two-year studio residency with Charlotte Street Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri. Recent exhibitions include Ephemera at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland Park, KS, and a solo exhibition at the Philbrook Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 2017 she received both the public vote and juried vote awards in the time-based category for her work Red Dirt Rug at ArtPrize Nine in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Detrixhe has spent the past two years as a Tulsa Artist Fellow in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Originally from Kansas, the artist now lives and works in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Completed Red Dirt Rug. Photo by: Mark Andrus

Completed Red Dirt Rug. Photo by: Mark Andrus

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.