P A S T E X H I B I T I O N S
Alexandra Kohl is a textile artist specializing in weavings using cotton and horse hair sourced from an equine rescue farm called Our Farm in North Salem, NY, that rehabilitates and re-homes unwanted horses. Her minimalist aesthetic is inspired by the meditative pace of hand craftsmanship, and the union of plant and animal textures. Her pieces radiate a stillness and strength that is reminiscent of both Agnes Martin and Anni Albers, but her style is wholly her own.
“I think of the loom as an ancient computer, one that insists on a different sense of time than we are used to in daily life. Setting it up can take up to ten hours, and the weaving hasn’t even begun...Art, in all forms, asks us to slow down: pouring molten bronze into ceramic molds, mixing pigments of oil paint on a palette, or threading the reed and heddles that hold a warp in place. I have apprenticed to all of these forms. The work demands steady focus and attention— from the initial sketches to completion — and even so, the final product is always a surprise. Hand-craftsmanship is an intensive and meditative practice. It’s my intention that the healing nature of this art transmits to those who enjoy these pieces.”
Starting out in London and now operating out of Brooklyn, Bellocq Tea offers carefully selected, single-origin teas from estates in China, Japan, India, Nepal, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Malawi. Their teas are full leaf and almost entirely organic, sourced from high elevation gardens. Several months a year the founders, Heidi Johannsen Stewart and Michael Shannon, still travel abroad to revisit estates, source new teas, and ensure the quality behind the tea’s cultivation and its processing.
“Our selections are the result of rigorous sourcing and lengthy tastings. The unifying factor is exceptional quality and a beautiful flavor profile,” says co-founder Heidi. “In Western culture, tea so often falls prey to this drowsy, well-worn vision of a cup of black tea that’s fashioned more by tradition than by exploration of the palate. That’s lovely in its own way, but why can’t tea be more exciting? You don’t even need to look at our blends or our more exotic herbals to get there—just take the tea. Tea by itself is already so invigorating, affecting—transformative. We want people to explore.”
Demy Lee first launched her eponymous sweater line in 2007, after studying at Parsons School of Design and working at Calvin Klein and GAP Inc. Her first line was a collection of premium cashmere, and has since grown to include cut & sewn knit and woven essentials for women, as well as a men’s collection. Her work is luxurious, versatile, and fills a niche in the industry for classic yet current knits.
She says of her inspiration, “I wanted to design what I appreciated most in my own closet. Something I reached for everyday, sweaters.” She works out of her design studio in New York City, where she also raises her two daughters.
Jim works with raw materials—coal, rubber, leather, and steel—to create functional furnishings that give off a wildly creative and industrial feel. Zivic has created work collected by private and commercial clients such as Lou Reed, Yves Saint Laurent, Yoji Yamamoto and Tom Ford and is recognized in both the art and design communities as an innovator of materials.
On working with one of his favorite natural materials, Zivic expresses, "I could work with it for the rest of my life. I love shaping and wet polishing it! It’s brittle but soft, when honed it looks a lot like graphite…silvery and gorgeous. It’s so weird and wonderful – what the hell are we burning it for?! I’m a very tactile, sensual person so it works for me, but it’s also the history which makes it such a great material, it really digs into our industrial heritage.
Kiki Smith has been known since the 1980s for her multidisciplinary practice relating to the human condition and the natural world. She uses a broad variety of materials to continuously expand and evolve a body of work that includes sculpture, printmaking, photography, drawing and textiles. One of the most widely recognized contemporary artists and one of the most pro- lific, Smith is also credited with having forged her own unique path within Feminist art by concentrating on the human figure itself when abstraction and performance art were more popular. New York Times art critic Holland Cotter summed up Smith’s style perfectly: “This
is not fashionable style; for much of the art world it never has been. And maybe that’s why, more and more, her art seems to occupy a universe of its own, a floating world where art, like religion, is both high and low, gross and fine, and always about the only essential things.”
Steidl books came about in 1967 when its founder, Gerhard Steidl, started printing posters for art exhibitions, which he soon expanded to include German literature along with translations from French, English and Icelandic. In 1996, Steidl started his own photo book program, which has grown to include some of the most renowned photographers and artists from around the world. His press (in Göttingen, Germany) publishes more than two hundred photography books a year, and Steidl oversees the production of all of them personally.
According to the New Yorker, Steidl is known for his “fanatical attention to detail, for superlative craftsmanship, and for embracing the best that technology has to offer.” He is “the printer the world’s best photographers trust most.”
Susan Paulsen's photographs contain a visions of ordinary objects made preternaturally interesting, and infused with charm. Her work is both painterly and dream-like, yet rooted in the every day experience of family, heritage, and place.
Paulsen has had solo exhibitions at Maison Européenne de la Photographie (Paris), Deborah Bell Gallery (New York, NY), and Arkansas Art Center (Little Rock , AR). She has published three books of her photography with STEIDL: Tomatoes on the Back Porch (2005), Sarah Rhymes with Clara (2011), and Wilmot (2012).
Photography critic Vicki Goldberg says of Susan’s work: “Life’s major moments and cataclysms generally arrive with fanfare, but existence tends to be daily, and days fill up with insignificant matters that mean more than they say. Paulsen’s life is replete with family, a house, a kitchen, a laundry line, a bed, several dogs, the sea, fruit, sunlight that steals a march on expectations, colors that reverberate, shadows that venture into the avant-garde, and a model who is perfectly comfortable doffing her clothes – Sarah, whose name rhymes with Paulsen’s grandmother’s and who stands in for the photographer.”