Yvette Cohen, Diane Englander, Audrey Stone, Shira Toren
“Draw lines, young man, and still more lines… and you will become a good artist.” Advice from Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres to Edgar Degas.
We all draw lines all the time! We draw a line to connect one thing to another. We draw a line when we have reached a limit, or to create a limit, or simply to discern this from that. We draw a line between right and wrong, here and there. We hold the line and warn our adversaries not to cross the line. A line can describe or define an object or a space. And a line can tie things together. It is quite remarkable how much a simple line can achieve. In Elements, Euclid described a line as “breadthless length.” How does something that has no substance do so much? Through the varied and facile ways Audrey Stone, Yvette Cohen, Shira Toren, and Diane Englander employ a line we see how a line can define, unite, and blur the boundary between painting and sculpture.
Thread and Flashe paint give dimensionality to Audrey Stone’s works, releasing them from a series of “breadthless lengths” and allowing them to oscillate between painting and sculpture. Stone’s elegant works on paper, canvas, and linen initially appear straightforward—materiality is so hard to discern on the computer screen—but a work like #71 (Hot Spot 2) soon begins to vibrate. The beholder’s eye darts back and forth between ink on a support and the thread bound to it. In the process, a wonderful, unstable effect of plenitude emerges causing one to question which is the drawn line and which the physical one.
Nowhere here is the line more physical than in Yvette Cohen’s Constructions Kite Series III. The same threads that bind sprout forward as in Kite Series III #5. Wooden frames provide the fabric, structur,e and geometry that belies the whimsical nature of the forms. Tousled threads look as though they were formed through blowing in the wind while also connecting the inside to the outside.
In Shira Toren’s elegant work in graphite and plaster, marks and lines are built up, as if both referring to and creating new memories. Her material sensitivity is evident in the weight of her marks, residual and lingering. The forms appear to gently emerge out of a conversation between materials, weaving back and forth. In Urban Pond the lines seem to pierce the ice blue central form. One can feel the prick of the points on the tip of the needle like an icy winter day.
Diane Englander’s diffident graphite lines tussle and sift through chunks of wood and textured homemade paper, at times uniting the materials and at other times offering a frame for the materials to stand within. The crude marks in the surface of the wood, the ridges formed through the application of paint, or the weave in the homemade paper adds yet another kind of line. The wooden lines framing either side in White and Wood 9 introduce a bolder notion of line.
In some instances, the lines here demarcate, in others they establish a form, or furrow a surface, or are simply the material itself. It reveals to us no matter how broad the stroke, we may find common ground in our individuality.
About the Artists:
Diane Englander A native New Yorker who works in NYC and Southampton, NY, Diane Englander had an earlier career including 17 years as a management consultant to local nonprofits concerned with poverty or disenfranchisement; work in NYC government; and several years as a lawyer at a large NYC law firm. In late 2006 Diane began making collages that started her on her current path; in late 2007 she left her consulting job to focus on her artwork full-time. She has studied with Bruce Dorfman at the Art Students League in New York, and has had solo exhibits including those at the Alexey von Schlippe Gallery at the University of Connecticut in 2016, the Hampden Gallery Incubator Project Space at U Mass Amherst in 2015, Cambridge Health Associates in Cambridge, MA in 2012, and at the Living Room Gallery at Saint Peter’s Church in Manhattan in 2010. She has also had pieces in group exhibits in New York City, New Jersey, Grand Rapids, San Francisco and elsewhere in the United States. One of her drawings is included in The Visual Language of Drawing (McElhinney, J. ed., Sterling Publishing 2012). In 2013 she won the Allied Artists of America award at the Butler Institute of American Art.
Audrey Stone During her 30 year career, Stone has worked in many mediums, including painting, sculpture, drawing, mixed media and installation. Her work has been exhibited widely across the US as well as in Prague, London, Bulgaria, Paris and more recently Tokyo. Recent exhibits include a 2015 two-person show at Muriel Guepin Gallery, a solo exhibit of a thread based installation on Governor’s Island in 2014, and group shows at The Arkansas Art Center, Geoffrey Young Gallery, Kentler International Drawing Space, and Jeff Bailey Gallery. Her work is included in many private collections across the United States, in Hong Kong, as well as The Amateras Foundation in Sophia, Bulgaria and the Fidelity Investments Collection.
Shira Toren is an American-Israeli artist. Born in Tel-Aviv. She moved to New York City to study fine art and design. Toren received her BFA from the Pratt Institute and an Associate Degree in Art Therapy from The New School. She attended classes in Paintings and Printmaking at The Arts Student League in New York. Ms. Toren is currently working in her studios in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York.
About the Curator:
Elizabeth Mead’s sculpture, drawings, and photographs have been exhibited across the U.S. as well as in Iceland, Italy, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Portugal, Australia, and England. She has designed theatrical productions with theater companies across the U. S. including work with the internationally acclaimed, Tony award winning Theatre de la Jeune Lune. She has been a visiting artist and artist in residence at numerous distinguished institutions including The Slade School of Fine Art, University College, London, England (2001, 2002, 2003, 2013), Youkobo Art Space,Tokyo, Japan (2002-03), Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota (2002, 2004), Pacific Northwest College of Art (1994, 2000), Southern Methodist University (1993,1997), Burren College of Art, Co. Clare, Ireland (1995). Elizabeth Mead has curated 16 exhibition including 4 museum exhibitions in London, Dallas, and Williamsburg. She is Professor of Art at The College of William and Mary.