Somewhere in the early 20th century there was a shift in modern art, a major turning point spurred by two giants of the genre—Braque and Picasso—as they struggled with questions of illusion and representation, reality and space. Each one claimed to have produced the first collage, but neither would be the last. From June 20–August 4, the 70-foot wall at Dodds & Eder in Sag Harbor will showcase the work of three young and emerging artists specializing in the rich tradition of collage in the show, Strength in Layers.
An opening reception with the artists is scheduled for Saturday, June 27 from 6–8 p.m.
“They all have a voice,” says Kathy Zeiger, curator of the exhibition. It’s a rare thing, she notes, for artists so young to be so keenly aware of their messages.
The three artists—Ruben Marroquin, Steve Mitrani and Oliver Peterson—are the type of emerging artists who Zeiger gets unapologetically excited to discuss. “I want to scream from the rooftops,” she says,“There’s so much talent out here!”
Dada pioneer Max Ernst, who spent time in the Hamptons, said, “Collage is the noble conquest of the irrational, the coupling of two realities, irreconcilable in appearance, upon a plane which apparently does not suit them.”
Marroquin is a visual artist, textile designer and weaving instructor. He settled in New York City in 2004 by way of Venezuela, Guatemala and Mexico. Once in the city, he received a degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology and later attended the École Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle (ENSCI, Les Ateliers) in Paris. He has participated in a number of shows and is fresh from a show in Holland before arriving with his work in Sag Harbor.
A Brooklyn-based mixed media artist, Mitrani is not formally trained. He questioned his artistic validity after graduating with a B.A. in Arts Management from Purchase College. This thinking would stick with Mitrani until, after teaching himself the process of screen-printing, he gradually began showing in small exhibitions around Brooklyn and gained increasing confidence. His work incorporates screen-printing and psychedelic patterning that lends a “nostalgic feel” to the imagery, Zeiger explains.
The final artist appearing in the exhibit, Oliver Peterson, a mixed media painter (and editor of DansPapers.com), finds inspiration in what Ernst might describe as disparate realities. Peterson looks to graffiti, structural decay, the pop iconography, literature, politics, history, religion and his personal experiences to create complex, raw and energetic compositions—both irreconcilable and whole.
A male presence in collage might seem surprising, says Zeiger, given some young girls’ fondness for scrapbooking and paper cutouts. But, the unique voices here are masculine, divergent, yet Zeiger has attempted to “pull together these three separate forces” to create one unifying space.
Of these emerging talents, Zeiger says, “Any day now, they’re going to get their due.” One of those days might just be upon them.
Dodds & Eder is located at 11 Bridge Street in Sag Harbor. Call 631-725-1175 or visit doddsandeder.com for more info.