Current Exhibition

March 2 - 23, 2017

Changing Patterns: Olivia Beens, Claire Boren, Sylvia Harnick
Reflections: Joan Mellon
On the Wall: Elisabeth Jacobsen

Opening reception: Thursday, March 2nd from 6 to 8 PM

Carter Burden Gallery presents three new exhibitions: Changing Patterns in the east gallery featuring Olivia Beens, Claire Boren and Sylvia Harnick, Reflections in the west gallery featuring Joan Mellon, and On the Wallfeaturing Elisabeth Jacobsen. The reception will be held March 2, 2017 from 6 - 8 p.m. The exhibition runs from March 2 through 23th at 548 West 28th Street in New York City. The gallery hours are Tuesday - Friday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. 

In Changing PatternsOlivia Beens presents ceramic sculptures that explore issues of identity, feminism, and spirituality. The gilded and brightly glazed faces she sculpts in the clay provoke a sense of ritual and ceremony.  Beens states, “The pieces create visual anomalies that question or confuse fundamental ideas of perspective and perception... but most importantly they suggest ‘transcendence’”. Without a preconceived notion as to what the sculpture will turn into, Beens’ works are process driven, often influenced by her everyday experiences. She reflects, “The spirit moves me but the world informs me.”

In Changing PatternsClaire Boren presents recent abstract mixed media works in her third exhibition at Carter Burden Gallery. The inspiration for Boren’s works often stem from her personal history and memories of her childhood during World War II and the Holocaust. These experiences paired with disturbing current events inform Boren’s gestural works in Changing Patterns. She states, “In contrast to much of my earlier work, many pieces in this show express the urgency, the immediacy of our present time.” 

In Changing PatternsSylvia Harnick presents atmospheric abstracted paintings from her series Under the Sea. Inspired by a dream, Harnick explores time, place, and memory by applying layers of paint and meditatively scraping away at the canvas’ surface. The works present dynamic textures and an eloquent use of color. Harnick feels that when she enters her studio a sense of calmness followed by anticipation comes over her. “I sit on my step stool chair, allow time to pass, observe my work, make mental notes, feel a stirring, usually proceed to mix a new color or if a canvas is raw, start that first coat of gesso. I allow my painting to take me along, follow the path in which it leads me. I am there with my memories, experiences, to inform me. I am there whole in the moment.”


In On the WallElisabeth Jacobsen’s installation emerged from her ongoing interest in casting cement forms and working with natural materials. Recyclable plastic containers serve as molds for the stones, making use of material discarded or found. The linear assemblages of the cement and wood are reminiscent of primitive totems, with spiritual significance. Jacobsen notes “As I grew into this piece I became more and more sensitized to the phrase "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." This statement reflects the hostility of acts such as bullying, and verbal insults that have recently become more prevalent in our national dialogue, as well as the strength required to resist these acts. The hateful deeds suggested in the piece's title are juxtaposed against the composition's soft and quiet palette and posture.” 

In Reflections, Joan Mellon presents colorful, process-driven oil paintings. The physical act of painting and the exploration of color are central to Mellon’s work. Each mark suggests the next and as the numerous layers of paint build a rich and complex final surface emerges. She has said, "Painting for me is pleasure. The process is a kind of dance. For me, the magic of painting happens when, after applying paint and wiping it off, perhaps hundreds of times, there is that moment when suddenly the surface that was once inanimate, comes alive.”