Infinite Space by Maelee Lee

Thursday, October 6th – Saturday, November 5th, 2011
Third Floor, Gallery M
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 6th, 6pm – 8pm

Chelsea Art Museum is pleased to present Maelee Lee: Infinite Space, curated by Dr. Thalia Vrachopoulos, Ph.D and Elga Wimmer.

From the perspective of artist Maelee Lee, her photographic installations are a manifestation of atmosphere, negative space, as well as artistic or infinite space. These concepts, or morphologies, closely challenge how we understand “space,” which can take on different forms depending on one’s approach: through mathematics, psychology, mechanics, philosophy, and that of one’s personal history.

In her first series, entitled Absolute Space (2011), Lee tackles issues of time and space, being and existence. Her references to the real, physical world take on the form of everything from a mountain or the sea to pages of a book. Within Lee’s worlds, white sculptural, geometric forms are multiplied through planes in space and time, as if they have been refracted and reflected through infinite mirrors. At the same time, the curves of a woman’s high heel shoe contrasts with its pristine, linear surroundings, and act as a distinct and direct allusion to a female presence. The spatial relationship between these disparate elements and its position in respect to the viewer makes us further question the work’s deeper, ambiguous meanings.

Lee’s 2010 Ocean series are photographs that present contradictory conceptions about space: one that is solid and visible, while alternately can be observed and invisible. The solid/void relationship holds great significance for Korean culture, and is associated with the yin and yang, or feminine and masculine principles of Taoism. In this context, the void is full and empty simultaneously. In Lee’s hands, this idea is translated into physically sliced photographs of the ocean taken during different weather conditions so that the horizontal slats are read as solid and voids. Much like Carl Andre and Sol LeWitt’s Minimalist sculptures are intended to reduce artistic components to their most basic levels, Lee appropriates these minimal, clean lines that further emphasize the conceptual above all else.

Lee’s Poetics of Space (2011) take on socio-political ideals of feminist thought through a photographic series depicting land-seascapes with underlying textual references. To Lee, substance is represented by natural forms while the texts refer to immaterial concepts and worlds of a wholly different time and space. For instance, when Lee alludes to Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, her intention is to encompass the author’s own historical and personal environment. In the essay, Woolf postulates for women’s right to have a space of their own in which to be creative and the means with which to support themselves. Lee pairs imagery taken from the concrete, visible world and the immaterial concept of liberation, and in this way presents both solidity and the intangible. Lee also employs text from Heo Nanseiolheon, a Korean poet of the 16th Century Chosun Dynasty. In Kyunwonka, Heo’s stance is decidedly feminist and writes about the unrequited longing of women for such recognition. Woolf’s writings, just as with those of Heo, advocate for women’s independence. Although these two heroines didn’t live to see their independence during their own lifetimes, Lee celebrates these authors as being far ahead of their own time and space. By inscribing these landscapes with their words, Lee claims these spaces and rights on behalf of them.

Taken as a whole, Lee’s work examines a myriad of themes from ancient Greek geometry to Asian philosophy and modern philosophical precepts of space as they pertain to feminist thought. In this way, her work cannot be easily categorized and must be viewed on multiple levels. Ultimately, her work is deeply rooted in conceptual ideals that merge history, personal experience, and perceptions of our physical reality.

This exhibition is made possible by the support of DISTECH CO., LTD.

Back to Black at CAM

Opening Reception: Thursday, November 6, 5pm – 8pm
Performance of Black Zero: Wednesday, October 20, 6pm
Featuring: Christoph Draeger, Ben Morea, and Kewighbaye Kotee – and special guest Aldo Tambellini

The Performance of Black Zero has been made possible by a generous grant from the Swiss Arts Council, Pro Helvetia.

Exhibition Dates: October 1 – November 1, 2011

Download Press Release

The Boris Lurie Art Foundation is pleased to announce a major retrospective of paintings, sculpture, lumagrams, videograms, film, video and television work (1960-199) at the Chelsea Art Museum by the American avant-garde artist, Aldo Tambellino, entitled Black Zero.

Born in Syracuse, NY in 1930, Tambellini was brought to Lucca, Italy at the age of eighteen months by his soon to be separated parents and would live there through the Second World War, the experience of which – with his town being mercilessly bombed by the Allies and exposing him to death and destruction at a young age – would mark his soul and his art indelibly. Tambellini came to NY in 1959, living in a storefront in the East Village, from which he would mount site installations, exhibit large-scale sculptures and rpoject proto-new media events onto the walls of neighborhood buildings. He worked closely with a number of African-American writers and artists, particularly the writers associated with the politically-charged literary journal, UMBRA, being that it had been an American Buffalo Regiment that liberated the town of Lucca at the end of the war.

His work, even at its most abstract, has always been informed by a powerful political awareness and resistance against injustice. With the early underground art collective, Group Center, of which he was a founder, he mounted art actions that would prefigure both the social activism of the later sixties and the guerilla art actions of subsequent avant-gardes. Group Center’s vision of a new art of global creative communities prefigures both the social activism of the integrative social concepts that animate much of the most advanced and radical art of our own time. Like Boris Lurie’s No!Art Movement, Group Center actively resisted the cynical, commercialist, self-serving, and, ultimately, vapid corporate art that would captivate the masses, including the art-collecting masses and museums, for decades. Group Center’s The Event of the Screw (1962) was a direct confrontation with the art hierarchy of the day akin to the famous open letter to the Metropolitan Museum from The Irascibles in 1950.

Although Tambellini’s reputation as a new media pioneer has grown impressively in recent years throughout the performance and avant-garde film communities in America and abroad, with widespread acknowledgement of his early and important contributions to modes of art that had no name when he was creating paths among them, much of even his own media work is infused with a profound sense of the painterly that developed during a lifetime of collateral work in two-dimensions. The present exhibition includes a broad sampling of his painting and related related work over a period of more than three decades, covering the essential course of his long-standing and obsessive engagement with Black, which for him is simply the source and destination of everything; it is a spiritual and cosmic – and cosmogenic – principle akin to fire for Heralitus. Over the decades of his work in black, Tambellini has evolved from the distressed, even pessimistic, observer of the destruction of the human and natural worlds to a philosopher looking to distant and inner space with equanimity, and even hope. His Destruction Series of the early sixties places him alongside the early Yves Klein and the mature Antonio Burri, and certainly in a conceptual and tactical lineage with Lucio Fontana. His penetration of the pictorial plane and virtual attach upon it with gouges, drill-bits and flame bespeak the fury of this witness of humanity at its worst against the habits and limits that cast it back ceaselessly into its brutal past. Astonishingly, in his later body of distressed-surface works (1989), he creates a sense of boundless possibility and hope using more or less the same tactics, materials, and iconography as he had in the earlier series, testimony to a long life devoted to the struggle of understanding.

Hope Springs from Good Roots

CAM has always been a collaborative institution that supports education and the empowerment of young voices.

Join us at CAM to support Raíces de Esperanza (“Roots of Hope”) and 100cameras. Roots of Hope is a network of more than 3,000 students and young professionals across the U.S. and abroad focused on empowering Cuban youth through innovative initiatives and programs. 100cameras supports the artistic and personal development of children living in unjust conditions and gives them cameras to document their lives. Their photo narratives are used to raise awareness and capital to meet physical needs and empower sustainable growth within their community.

Event date: September 21, 2011. 7 - 10 pm

Come by for art, cocktails, food, live music and a silent auction. Please check out other details at our event page or to purchase tickets by clicking here.

"Great art picks up where nature ends." - Marc Chagall

Another Change of Season…Time to Dance

Thursday, September 22, 6:30p – 8:30p
Third Floor

Violinist Jane Chung
and the work of Visual Artist Betsy Weis

Performance, Light Hors D’œuvres and Wine Reception:
General: $40
Artists: $20
Students: $12
Soirée Series Special:: $50 for both the Autumn and Winter Soirée on Thursday, December 1st (details TBA)

Or if you prefer to send payment via mail, please make it out to and send to:
Cherylyn Lavagnino, 470 West 24th St #4A, New York, NY 10011

In the third installment of Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance’s 2011 Salon and Soirée Series, Lavagnino continues her mission of engaging audiences through merging the classicism of traditional ballet with the immediacy of post-modern contemporary dance. Her immersive performances become collaborative experiences which combine live music, art, and dance. Wavering between the dynamic extremes of the vigor and ease of ballet, Lavagnino aims to convey the passion of aggression, fragility, and struggle – and the human condition that binds us all.

The rich and diverse program will be set against the backdrop of works by Visual Artist Betsy Weis:

Will, composed and performed live by Jane Chung
Duet #3, composed by Scott Killian
Quiet Place, music by Heinrich Biber
And the NYC premiere of: A Bird Came Down the Path with music by Toru Takemitsu

World Photography comes to CAM

October 13 – November 5, 2011
Ground Floor and Mezzanine
Curated by former The New Yorker Visuals Editor Elisabeth Biondi

October 13 – November 12, 2011
Mezzanine Only
(which will feature work from the Student Focus and City Projects programs)

Chelsea Art Museum is thrilled to partner with and host the Sony World Photography Awards and the World Photography Organisation (WPO) New York Events. After its highly successful iterations in Shanghai, São Paulo, San Francisco and London, the WPO makes its mark in New York – fittingly in the heart of Chelsea. The Events and Exhibition – which will feature WPO photography competition winners from an open call for both
amateur and professional photographers in New York and abroad – celebrates the launch of the exhibition as much as the WPO’s rich history of promoting young students, educators and emerging artists and providing a platform upon which to create, share, and collaborate with one another.

Jul 6

"The painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through." - Jackson Pollock (1912 - 1956)

Jul 6

Love in the Time of Oppression

Delving into universal themes of memory, love, and loss, La Cueca is an experimental theater piece by New York City-based writer and actress Andrea Goldman. The performance is a stark exploration of the complexities found in human relationships and our unrelenting desire for forgiveness and redemption. The work opens with a couple who has been buried alive and as they struggle with their own tenuous will to survive, they also become immersed within one another. As the performance unfolds, the two lovers attempt to “unbury” themselves from the heavy guilt and pain of their tumultuous marriage, which has been burdened with infidelity, infertility and disillusionment. The work questions our innate need to unearth the past to fully rediscover one another, as well as ourselves.

Taking place in Pinochet’s tyrannical Chile (1974 – 1990), the piece delicately hovers between realism and surrealism. This organic sensibility reflects Goldman’s rebellious stance on artistic freedom from dictatorial oppression and censorship, which is metaphorically alluded to by the couple’s entombed state. The performance becomes a collaborative experience where the audience is assaulted visually, physically, and psychologically once they enter the space. The intimate experience is also shared with the audience in that they are buried alongside the couple, breathing the same heady air, and submerging themselves within the palpable agony and anxiety of the two woeful lovers.

The work began as a poem that Goldman created while studying Literature at the University of Santiago in Chile. There, she immersed herself within the literary scene, including collaborations with poets, professors and writers persecuted by Pinochet’s regime. She also encountered those who were pro-Pinochet and – despite having experienced the atrocities of his administration – were supportive of the controversial dictator. La Cueca reflects upon the way in which we choose to recall both our personal and political history, particularly memories that are emotionally and physically painful. In this way, Goldman contends that we unburden ourselves from the weight of life through memories that inherently become fragmented and distorted with time and experience. The work also suggests that the turmoil between two individuals is not very different from the relationship between any governing body and its citizens. Both relationships are informed by a desire to move past this pain in order to progress and survive.

Special Thanks to the La Cueca Crew:
Lighting Design: Brett Maughan
Lighting Operator: Laura Williams
Sound Design : Daniel Neumann
Set Design: Rafael Gomez / Daeha Ko
Costume/Makeup Design: Keenan Caldwell
Vocal Coach: Alithea Phillips
La Cueca Dance Choreographer: Paulina Marinkovic

Performance, Wine Reception and Discussion
Thursday – Saturday, July 21 – 23, 7pm – 9pm

Starring: Abraham De Funes and Andrea Goldman
Featuring: Brian Konstantin Wicker and Michael Jefferson
Written By: Andrea Goldman | Directed By: Ben Sargent

SPACE IS LIMITED, so please purchase tickets in advance!
$25 | $20 Students and Seniors at the Door
$5 Off Advance Tickets Online

For purchase of tickets and more details, please visit our website events page:

Dance, Dance on the Museum Floors

Cherylyn Lavagnino transforms the beauty of the human form into an immersive experience that combines live music, art and dance. Lauded for weaving the unexpected and the experimental, tradition and innovation, Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance presents an intimate Salon and Soirée set against the live musical compositions of Takemitsu, Satie and Beethoven. Impressionistic in tone and mood, the performance will also incorporate Cherylyn’s distinctive contemporary sensibility for which the her dance company has become known.

Led by Monadnock Music Festival Artistic Director Laura Gilbert, the work of Takemitsu will be performed live along with the entire Satie series by distinguished conductor and pianist Kenneth Hamrick. Photographer Betsy Weis completes the evening with her digitally-composed water lilies as a backdrop to the performance.

About Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance
Artistic Director and choreographer Cherylyn Lavagnino holds an MFA in Dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, as well as a BA in Philosophy from USC. She is currently Chair of the Dance Department at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and has directed Tisch’s Second Avenue Dance Company for 14 years. Lavagnino has toured nationally with the Pennsylvania Ballet at New York’s City Center and BAM. Her other credits include performances with the San Diego Ballet, Arizona Ballet Theatre, and Ballet Teatro del Espacio in Mexico City, as well as collaborations with composers including Scott Killian and Andy Teirstein. Her extensive experiences have informed her as an artist to explore everything from the classical to the contemporary and taking inspiration from choreographers such as Balanchine, John Butler, Hans Van Manen, and Tere O’Connor.

Lavagnino’s choreography has been showcased in New York City by Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church (for four seasons); The Field; Dance Theater Workshop; Symphony Space; DanceNow / NYC; Ballet Builders at Florence Gould Hall; and The Joyce Theatre’s Evening Stars series. Lavagnino is a recipient of the Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation’s award for choreography, a residency from the Baryshnikov Arts Center, and NYU’s prestigious David Payne Carter Award for Excellence in Teaching. Her work has also been supported by the American Music Center’s Live Music for Dance grant and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Manhattan Creative Communities Fund.

Thursday, June 30, 6:30p – 8:30p
Third Floor

Tickets: $25 General / $15 Students

Visit our website for more information:

"Art is identical with a state of capacity to make, involving a true course of reasoning." - Aristotle