bk projects | beth kantrowitz

current project


Ryan Steadman
August Ventimiglia

February 9 - March 30, 2019

Opening Reception:
Saturday, February 9, 4-6pm

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Drive-by Projects is pleased to present Book, an exhibition of paintings by Ryan Steadman and collaged, paper works by August Ventimiglia. As a point of departure, both artists approach the book as an object: Steadman reimagines books as colorful abstracted paintings meant to hang on the wall, stack on a table or rest on a shelf, and Ventimiglia cuts and reassembles pages to create shaped wall constructions. Through the process of transforming books, both artists ask the viewer to consider their enduring relevance in a world of ever-evolving modes of  expression and communication.

Ryan Steadman paints geometric abstractions of books that transport the viewer beyond simple recognition and into a world of subtle and harmonic color. He looks to Claes Oldenburg's early replicas of everyday objects and the colorist pioneers John McLaughlin and Blinky Palermo for inspiration. Layering paint onto canvas or wood panel, Steadman creates works that are at once small abstract paintings and representational objects. He sees his books as symbols of painting in a time when the printed word and non-digital visual art are no longer primary forms of communication.

August Ventimiglia continues his series of "found drawings" by cutting out the phrases underlined in books by past readers and reassembling these thin fragments of text into abstract wall constructions. Choosing books whose subjects relate to exploration, he focuses on the parallel between the creative process and discovery of the yet unknown. As he rearranges segments of underlined text, Ventimiglia also presents an opportunity for the viewer to shape a new narrative. The original found book has been transformed in shape as well as content, a metamorphosis that prompts us to consider the power of visual presentation as well as the written word.

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Ryan Steadman, Dog Days, 2017, oil on canvas, 8 x 5 x .75"

August Ventimiglia, Borrowed Lines from 'Odyssey', 2017, cut paperback book pages, ink, and graphite, 16.25 x 16.25"

about Face

Curated by Beth Kantrowitz

February 19 - March 22, 2019

Gallery Hours: Mon - Fri 8:30am - 6pm
Mazmanian Gallery at Framingham State University

...dating from the late 19th century, originally meant to turn about in the opposite direction. That meaning remains, but "about-face" is now more commonly used to mean figuratively a complete, sudden change in position, action, principle, or attitude. As a verb, it means to change one’s mind completely.

This exhibition of portraiture is about literal faces, but also about recognizing the importance of diverse voices in a climate of widespread racism, sexism and misogyny, which would truly be a cultural about-face.

Sue McNally

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