The Operating System

ART :: OPENINGS presents FRENZY INTO FOLLY : Virtual Gallery I :: Hildebrandt, Nelson, Penizzotto, Brennan, Bellucci

In celebration of Awesome Creators OPENINGS Collective upcoming group show, Frenzy into Folly, Exit Strata will be featuring the work of the 38 participating artists weekly in anticipation of and through the run [September 14 – October 26, 2012, Opening Reception Thursday – September 20th, 7-9pm] — so that our community near and far can have an opportunity to be exposed to this work even if you aren’t able to attend.
We are grateful to curators Michael Berube and Keena Gonzalez, who have curated these mini online group shows, as well as to participating artist Joey Kilrain, who did such a fantastic job with video production and design, and are excited to share their work with you, as well, over the course of these weeks.
Without further ado! Megan Hildebrandt, Daniel Nelson, Denise Penizzotto, Mark Brennan, and Patricia Bellucci.
Megan Hildebrandt (Austin, TX)

Being diagnosed with cancer in 2009 intensified my need to document my life via autobiographical drawings.  I work to comprehend mortality and vitality.  I am interested in physical and psychological endurance, and the ways in which we document the passage of time.  My oncologist recently informed me that at age 28, I have been exposed to 16 lifetimes worth of radiation due to my cancer treatment regimen, which involved many head and neck CT scans.  This was alarming news.   Counting radiation on paper is a way of controlling my fear.  I am counting to harness it, tallying to transform it.  To repeat a mark is to move a step further toward taming my history and future.  To represent an invisible harm is to erase it, to exorcise it.  I am tallying time, drawing a large desert that shifts perspectives: a landscape that rolls, tumbles, and caves in.
Daniel Nelson (Brooklyn, NY)

The intention of this work is to represent the Virgin Mary in the events of the Annunciation, conception and, specifically here, the moment of the birth of Jesus as it is understood in the Islamic tradition and depicted in the Qur’an.  This piece is built to resemble a traditional Islamic prayer-niche known as a mihrab and it has been designed in the proportions of the sculpture of the Virgin Mary by Bela Lyon Pratt in the present Altar of the Annunciation.  The script from the Qur’an can be translated as:


       And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a date palm.  She said:
        “O! I wish that I had died before this, and was in oblivion, forgotten!”  
                                                                                                                         -(Surah [of] Maryam, 19.23)

It is worth contemplating that if there are approximately 2.2 billion Christians and 1.6 billion Muslims in the world today, then there are more or less 4 billion human beings who live with an unalterable reverence for one woman, whose life story bears witness to the sacred mystery of creation, of which every human being, as a supposedly cognizant formation of matter, is a recipient: having once been in a state of nothingness, each of us has been rendered into Being.  As God states in the Qur’an regarding the conception of Jesus (19.35), “When He decrees a thing, He only says to it, ‘Be!’ and it is.”  

Denise Penizzotto (New York, NY)


When Odin Released the Ravens (to Peruse the Earth for Truths) : A tale of impulsive action of meaningless folly resulting in a frenzy of devastation and life altering consequences, told within the calming confines of vibrant color, flowers and blue skies.The theme “Frenzy Into Folly” within the setting of St. Paul the Apostle Church melded quite naturally for me in my pictorial thought process.To interpret I thought of the folly of many ill conceived ideas carried out without consideration to others and the resulting frenzy that often times occurs in the wake.I have always admired the narrative paintings that are common in most celebrated churches in the world. These paintings tell stories that capture the one moment when the plot has taken a turn – something has just happened and we are in the moment of action between reaction.I hope to have captured that moment in my story depiction, leaving the previous happenings to imagination and the outcome to personal conclusions.
Mark Brennan (Brooklyn, NY / Wellfleet, MA)

EpiloguesThe five paintings that comprise this installation are all taken from the artist’s Epilogues series.  They can each stand alone as an autonomous work of art in their own right or be viewed as one five-part whole.  The pictures all portray the aftermath of some cataclysmic destruction, in some cases nuclear holocaust.  On the surface, this work speaks to the frenzy of nuclear proliferation and its attendant folly, a defense policy of mutually assured destruction.  The elongated format of the pictures derives from Asian scroll painting, an appropriate choice for the depictions of post-nuclear Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Interpreted as a whole, however, the installation posits two contrasting points of view toward apocalyptic devastation: a vast emptiness in the picture on the right versus a vibrant living cosmos that seems to include and supersede all destruction in the pictures on the left.
Patricia Bellucci (New York, NY)

“Dust and Ash” explores the conflicted themes of brokenness and renewal, a recurrent motif in my work (and thought) of late.The mise-en-scène of “Dust and Ash” consists of a shattered figure entombed in debris; wings and appendages are encased in shards of broken glass and other rubble, which can also glimmer like jewels (they are…“pleasing to the eye#”). This central composition is enclosed in a dark, void-like form of an indeterminate nature. Themes of disconnectedness, brokenness, and manifold forms of captivity unite in a singular aesthetic which transcends the trappings of temporal confinement.
The exhibition runs from Sept. 14 – Oct. 26 , with the opening reception on Thursday, Sept. 20th from 7-9pm inside the church.
The show, curated by Keena Gonzalez and Michael Berube, features work by Andrew Berardi,Anthony Santella, Araceli Cruz, Carrie Elston Tunick, Daniel Nelson, Denise Penizzotto, Dennis Santella, Garry Velletri, Iliyan Ivanov, James Vanderberg, Joey Kilrain, Johanna Bartelt, John Pavlou, Julia Whitney Barnes, Keena Gonzalez, Kenneth Walker, Lori Merhige, Marjan Moghaddam, Mark Brennan, Matthew Farrell, Meg Graham, Megan Hildebrandt, Michael Berube, Oksana Prokopenko, Patricia Bellucci, Rachel Kohn, Rebecca Simon, Robert Aitchison, Roger Geier, Sandra Mack-Valencia, Sarah Hollars, Sarah Knouse, Sherry Aliberti, Steve Palermo, Suzanne Broughel, Tim Rusterholz, Virgil Alderson, and Wen-Chi Chen.
Artists can be contacted via or at or at their websites where applicable.
Opening Reception: September 20th 2012, 7-9pm
Exhibition Dates: September 14- October 26
Mon – Fri 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sat – Sun 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Location : Church of St. Paul the Apostle
Corner of West 60th & Columbus Ave. (212) 265-3495
New York, New York 10019

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