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  • Carol Taylor-Kearney

#FUTURE(Perfect) at Atlantic Gallery

Updated: May 29, 2020

Atlantic Gallery sits in Chelsea, in a historic arts building just steps from the High Line. As with all the galleries in New York, it floats in limbo. But that is the physical space. The artists of Atlantic Gallery not only continue to create artwork—YES, actual timely, new ART! But the gallery itself continues to exhibit with Future (Perfect): An Online Exhibition. (Click on “FUTURE (Perfect) to link to all the pieces from the exhibition.)

The artists participating are #KarenAdelaar, #DavidAllison, #SallyBrody, #GysinBroukwen, #PhyllisChillingworth, #CarolCrawford, #RobertForte, #EvelyneHuet, #JoelIskowitz, #PaulKimmerling, #RoniShermanRamos, #MelissaRubin, #WoSchiffman, #CarolTaylorKearney, #MeeraThompson, #JoanWalton. Each has contributed three pieces, one of which is included in this blog. (To see the others, click on their name.)

Respectively, the artists have talked about themselves and their creativity in terms of the quarantine and the pandemic. They have also shared an image of one of their newest artworks and many have also included a picture of themselves or their studio. It is nice to know that they are well!

The exhibition itself was the brainchild of Atlantic Gallery’s extraordinary gallery manager, Martha Jasopersaud. She is also responsible for coordinating and organizing this exhibit, so, in a way, she is our curator. But let’s hear from Jasopersaud in her own words:

When Atlantic Gallery closed because of the required quarantine on March 12th, it was literally one week into our newest March exhibition by our member, Sally Brody. Weeks went by and the amount of time we would be under quarantine became more and more unknown. I wanted to figure out a way for the gallery to keep an online presence and still have a way to share the artwork of our talented members. It was important to remind everyone that even though we were all going through this tough time there are still ways to bring us together even when we are apart. I suggested to the Atlantic Gallery members that we should have an online exhibition.

From everyone’s homes they brainstormed ideas to help make it all possible. The title of our online exhibition, FUTURE (Perfect) , was created by one of our members, Melissa Rubin. It was also suggested by one of our affiliate members, Gysin Brokwen all the way from France, that we make it an exhibition to benefit a charity specifically for the communities affected by COVID-19. After doing some research we all agreed that the

UNITED WAY NYC: Covid19 Community Response & Recovery Fund

would be a great fund to donate to! The online exhibition went live on April 23.

As we all know social distancing measures will be in effect for a while, Atlantic Gallery will continue to think of ways to adapt to the new normal and bring art to your homes virtually. As the gallery manager I look forward to greeting you again at our gallery some time in the future! Until then, stay safe and be well!

As for the artists, each artist’s name is linked to their three artworks featured in FUTURE (Perfect). So… read and click away!

I live on the upper east side of Manhattan. A few blocks from all the major hospitals in that area. I left New York City at the beginning of March. It was right before things got really deadly and there was a major shutdown. I am fortunate to have a home in Dutchess County, New York.

It is a family home that my Father bought before I was born. It is a large secluded piece of property so distancing myself from others is not a problem. There are so many memories associated with this place that I am constantly flooded with recollections of good times gone. Nostalgia for the past is especially bittersweet at this uncertain time when thoughts of the future are so bleak. I have been cloistered up here the entire time and have a studio where I paint and do my sculpture.

I have two kilns to fire my work but for some reason I have only been painting. I am fairly new to encaustic art but became captivated by the richness and intensity of this sensual medium as exemplified in Oysters, an encaustic painting pictured at left. At times I feel like I am painting with candy. As a former ceramic sculptor I find the versatility of encaustic wax particularly appealing in that it has the quality of translucent clay. There are endless techniques and innumerable materials that can be combined with encaustic wax.

There have been times during the past two months when I feel that I am walking in a dream. My life and the lives of everyone the world over have changed so dramatically It is difficult to accept the fact that life as we knew it will never again be the same. Everything is being done at a distance. As expressed in my painting, Keep Your Distance, at right.

We are currently existing in an alternate reality. Although the pace at which we live has slowed considerably because of massive restrictions on everything I sometimes find myself working at a frenetic pace. I work as if there is no tomorrow and there may very well not be. I work because it is the only thing that keeps me from becoming totally unhinged…

I have been doing a great deal of new work lately as there is not much else to do except clean the house, plant my sculpture garden and go to Zoom meetings.

It is rather unusual in that I am wearing a WWII Navy Gas Mask. I think that sometimes a little humor is needed in the deadly day-to-day tedium many of us encounter in adhering to the absolutely necessary preventative guidelines… One of my favorite new paintings Is Going Bananas. It is a small encaustic painting that expresses my feelings about being so restricted and paranoid about catching the virus. I am holding that painting in my right hand. The little painting on the left is called Beautiful Bacteria. Behind me is Life is a Circus.

I am the artist whose exhibition, A Personal View, was suspended after less than a week. (To find out more and see a video of the exhibition, click here.) Although it will continue after the quarantine is lifted, I guess I am just discouraged by being in seclusion and painting furiously pictures that I am not sure anyone will ever see. But, of course, they will as one of my still lifes, Cat Tail and Hosta, is included below!

When I start a painting, I take a look at the plants, flowers, the jugs, pitchers, and vases that I live with. Some I love, some not so much. I draw my subjects in charcoal and fix them on canvas with a brush and mineral spirits. Then, using oil paint and brushes I begin a dialogue with color and space, push and pull. In two dimensions it is a dance, working out relationships on the canvas with space and color. The canvas becomes a puzzle to be solved. Often difficult but also exciting. Sometimes satisfying. Always completely engaging.

Pictured above is Red Pots, an oil on canvas work from "Sally Brody: A Personal View".

I define my Art as CoLL Art. Such an artistic expression uses collage techniques from fragments of images, to create a visual sculpture in 2D or through a composition in a predetermined surface. The CoLL Art is a metaphor of life: essential, ephemeral, fragile. I follow through a series of steps until I obtain a mysterious alchemy that pops out from images and creates a new one as in Eternity Twins, featured below.

During the confinement in France, I was on the dole which means that I had a lot of time for creation. This artwork , Body vs Virus (25 inch x 38 inch, mix media) is the expression of the tragic struggle between the body and the virus. I think of this exhibition as "the only virus we share is Art ".

Unexpected moments have astonished me and have jump-started a new group of paintings, personal in nature. They capture the boldness of oil, the airiness of watercolor and the symbolism of egg tempera as senn above in Imagine (egg tempera on board) and below, right in Fort Pond, Montauk (oil on board). Always present is the energy of gesture and the sensation of color.

My paintings express an essence of freedom found in life and embody my personal perception and moods in the range of passages and scene. “The

Cosmos”, the name for this group of works and my upcoming exhibition at Atlantic Gallery sometime in the future, is presented as a metaphor for a unified statement of wonders and intimate

views and of past and present journeys of perception and memory.

Although I fall within one of the so-called vulnerable groups, I feel relatively safe from COVID 19 physically. The psychological impact is another matter. To counter the feelings of despair unleashed by the virus, and by the horrific failure of our current administration to react honorably and effectively to it, I have painted the new work, A Sense of Loss. I wanted to say so much, and yet create one powerful image. There is an ambivalence when one is confronted with loss; grief, anger, guilt, longing. My intent was to simulate this emotional conflict in the woman in the foreground, who looks away from the lost figure. But there is hope as well. The woman is surrounded by, but not shrouded, in black. The lightness of her blouse establishes a sharp dichotomy.

Painting this work was a great release for me. If others "sense the loss" expressed there, it will be even more worthwhile. As a brief comment on the painting In the Salon (pictured below), I can say only that it functions in a totally different place. One of the more mundane consequences of quarantine and social distancing, is the inability to tend to certain aspects of grooming. The painting is a nostalgic look back, as well as a harbinger of, the return to normalcy.

Artists have so many different ways at their disposal to confront the current crisis. I look forward to seeing their responses and to learn what has been most significant for them. I know that it will be some time before I will be ready to move on.

Evelyne Huet is a French digital

painter. For as far back as she can

remember, she has always

painted humans, often only one

at a time and only the face,

simplifying their representations

to the extreme, so that one can

imagine their current emotions.

Her themes cover the spectrum

of human impulses, with

their joys, their physical and

mental torments, their links

to myths and religions,

their fights and tragedies.

Her digital images are printed with a Diasec® finishing that offers a « Museum Quality ». They are available to print in various formats, in only three limited editions. At right is Hope, an aspiration we all desire at this time.

Evelyne Huet with one of her digital prints.

I call this piece, The Little Covid. The full title is The Little Covid took his role as a tragedy very seriously.

Painted on a screen with my fingertips, his figure emerged on his own accord on last April 22. I took him to where he had to go to say everything he had to say in the form of a tale:

The Planet had commissioned him to remind mankind of good manners. She had asked him not to hit too hard. Much more wicked cousins could take care of it later if the humans continued to refuse to hear anything and ransack the rest of the Living.

I am a narrative artist. In plain English, I tell stories with images. I feel that my artwork should always be in service of our collective human story. This is epitomized in this pastel on Strathmore called Queen of the Nile.

 During this surreal and terribly grim period of the Coronavirus contagion, I have had my share of issues trying to concentrate on the commissioned work on my drawing board.

I tend to think expansively and I am naturally drawn to view the larger, macro picture.

When contemplating the global scope and the abrupt and rapid change we all were subjected to: a completely alien and uninviting (downright terrifying) new reality, I, like so many, felt challenged and lost, unable to find a sense of purpose to my artwork.

Luckily, a private commission to honor the founder of the American Red Cross, Clara Barton, began a connective thought process that had reminded me that I had once done some philatelic art work honoring Henri Dunant for his work in human rights and for his founding

of the International Red Cross Movement.

So it began to make sense to me to try to combine and connect the history of these two great icons of human compassion and the lay the groundwork for a new image, one which would bring attention to the current international effort of all the front line workers fighting the Covid 19 Pandemic. I am presently still working on reconfiguring a composition interconnecting images of Dunant, Clara Barton and I am presently wrestling with trying to refine the image which will be representative of today's heroes. For reference, please find one of the stamp designs I created of Henri Dunant, and the recent drawing honoring Clara Barton.

If I call myself a narrative artist and profess to create artwork which is relevant to the human story, then this seems like a worthy use of the time. This project helps engender a sense of purpose to focus on during this frightful and stressful period and reach beyond the gloom and terror for a ray of hope and light by portraying these compassionate heroes.

My studio is my sanctuary during the pandemic. It is the place I feel most normal. As the days in shelter in place grow so does it become the new normal. I think in color as I distance myself from the reality of the global crisis and distance from other people. And so I escape into fantastic landscapes, weird orange forests, moon glows of lavender.

I grow older in my studio as my pandemic birthday celebration takes place masked and relatively alone. I use this feeling in Topography, the painting pictured behind me, to portray solitude in my work, only the saturation of color and the intense chroma relieves the ghostly silence.

What will become of us? How will my work reflect the new world? When will we be liberated?

Pictured above, Moon Glows of Lavender.

This has been a tough time for creating art. Being in a ‘forced’ residency with limited access to my outside studio, I set up a small workspace in my basement. It’s very dark and cold, and no natural light source, yet I’ve been working with India ink on yupo paper, experimenting with tones, lines and shapes.

I’m thinking I will end up cutting these up and using them in collaged pieces such as the ones exhibited on FUTURE (Perfect). This one is called The Forest and includes watercolor, vintage wallpaper on yupa.

I did manage to get access to my hot palette and made some encaustic (wax) monotypes. The images, unsurprisingly, were very reminiscent of viral cells. During this time of isolation, I have fluctuated between feeling at peace and accepting the situation, to anxious and worried about our future. Generally, I am a very optimistic person, but not being able to envision how the future will be is very unsettling. However, in reality, we never do know what the future brings, and the lesson here has been to ‘just be’ and live in the moment. As in my newest monotype called Deep Breath...

Isolation in my studio has allowed me time to combine a series of disparate painting and printing processes with mineral paper. Quarantine has meant that I can combine time-consuming processes without interruption.

In this series, I have created ink and wax palettes using minerals, botanicals and beeswax. Each piece begins with a Suminagashi vat (lifting ink images from the surface of cold water onto the paper). After each piece of paper is removed and cured, I then create images using beeswax and powdered pigment on a heated aluminum plate (between 150-180 degrees F). My images are lifted off the heated plate onto the paper in a series of layers. After cooling, I can now paint onto the surface of the monotype using cold water-soluble encaustic wax paints with individual brushes and marking tools. Upon completion, heat or ice may be applied to each piece to create the final surface and fuse the layers. As in A Balance of Nature seen below.

My response to the self-quarantine of the Covid-19 period has been to dive into these disparate processes and using temperature variations, guide these separate materials into a cohesive whole. Though these materials remain intact and separate, the final product offers a balance of nature, distinct but part of a whole –much like our own situation as we gaze out of our windows.

I was to have an exhibition of my “window paintings”, that is mixed media artworks painted, carved, and collaged onto windows. The theme for the exhibition is the Zimmerbild, or “room portrait”. All of the pieces take place in and share the view of a single room—the art studio. What seems strange is that this body of work has been building up for years and it was to be exhibited in early April. Now it seems that we all are “stuck in a place” with only our imagination to assist us!

But being in the world and seeing the imaginative possibilities of the world is what I like to do—whether painting a picture, putting together a story, or figuring out a possible way to keep myself from not being alone. Maybe that’s why I like to draw and paint people.

Recently, I have taken to using electrical tape to draw lines that resemble heads on the windows of my house and studio. These strange representations are based on drawings where both the head upright and upside-down look like a face. This is especially comical when the sun shines as the tape-made face casts a shadow on the floor-- another visitor.

My husband and I had plans to go to Hawaii in March--we try to get there every spring. I love painting in watercolor there and many of my large works expand on the sketches I bring home. Our daily routine in Hawaii is to stay on the beach until the sun has disappeared beneath the horizon. Pictured below, the triptych Fanfare in the FUTURE (Perfect) exhibition, is inspired by memories of watching the sun set.

I began this small (12 inch x 12 inch) acrylic painting during the first days of shut down and finished recently. It is on panel and incorporates collage elements. The title is Arrangement in Gold, White and Black. Working on this new painting while sequestered in New York City let me go there in spirit.

I am sheltering in place in Montauk during these hard times. It’s pretty quiet out here and things seem fairly safe. I am finding it difficult to do studio work.

I completed a body of work in the fall and I am ready to push forward with some new ideas but the change in daily life is very distracting. So, I am gardening and taking abstracted landscape photographs (my other great loves). Examples of the photographs are featured below. I have been thinking about the new directions my clay work will take and sketching in my mind.

One of these days soon, I will be in the studio with my hands immersed in clay. I have two directions to follow. One will be compositions made up of small pieces and the other will be a further exploration of a new kind of form as exemplified in my sculpture in the photo of me.

As always, eroded and cast-off remnants of natural objects are a big influence in my work. I’m spending lots of time walking the beach, scooping up small items of beauty and building in myself a sense of urgency to begin again.

Once again, to see more artworks by individual artists, click on their names. To find out more information or to purchase any of the artworks seen in this article contact Martha Jasopersaud by email at .

#AtlanticGallery #FuturePerfect #ArtinthetimeofCovid19 #ArtinQuarantine @AtlanticGalleryNYC @CarolTaylorKearney @caroltaylork

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