ARENA at Suite 806 is pleased to present Wrap Around 18, the eighteenth in a series of exhibitions curated by Renée Riccardo featuring shaped paintings by Dominick Leuci, ceramics and paintings by Linda Nagaoka and sculptural wall works by Angélica Maria Millán Lozano. ARENA at Suite 806 is located at 89 Fifth Avenue (near 16th St.) in the Manhattan office of Lee Shapiro, Psy.D, Licensed Clinical Psychologist. There will be an opening to the public Saturday, June 22nd from 2 – 5 p.m. and afterwards the exhibition will open by appointment through October 2019. The works that are presented in the context of a therapist’s office offer the viewer a place to contemplate and transform their thoughts through universal themes. This space continues Riccardo's presentation of contemporary art in unique and intimate venues that she has pursued for decades.
Dominick Leuci is an artist and designer who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Before opening his own studio in 2016, he worked extensively in fashion and home design. For the past several years, he has been creating works that explore the mystery of nature within atmospheric and geological abstraction. In his Dream Hive series abstract color field works on synthetic paper reveal fluttering light through swooshing fluid acrylic paint. Working under a concentrated trance, both acrylic and paper are exchanged for a type of alchemy in which the artist tries to achieve a sublime moment of ‘lift’ by allowing materials to have an expression of their own. Paper and paint reveal a dynamic exposure within the process almost imbedding the works with light and translucency. Under a freeform starting point of push-and-pull between controlled experiment and accidental discovery, Leuci reaches for both romantic and modernistic touch points in his abstract works. Interaction of light and shadow is also a key element in how the works are perceived, as they evolve and change with light altering one’s observational view. Following a scientific current, Leuci believes that ‘What we see is not all we see.’ His explorations in both art and design are intents to create tethers from us to hidden worlds in nature and science. He refers to some of his works as ‘atmospheric occurrences,’ or a ‘meditative abstractions’ that offer a viewing plane of contemplation, mystery and wonder of the ethereal world… ‘ETHEReality.’
Linda Nagaoka, an artist working in many mediums including ceramics and painting has this to say regarding her practice, “Whether working with clay or paint, I try to make some spirited stories. The East and the West, the functional and the decorative, and places observed or sometimes imagined, are all being gleaned for this purpose.” Nagaoka was born in California and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She studied theater and modern dance at the University of California at Berkeley and has a BFA in Dramatic Arts/Dance. At Berkeley, she also studied studio art and art history. Years later, she took classes at Greenwich House Pottery with Kim Dickey and Ann Agee. From there she attended Alfred University/School of Art & Design where she continued her studies in ceramics as well as sculpture and painting. She had her first solo show at Yellow Peril Gallery in Providence, RI, and a three-person show at Monya Rowe Gallery in New York. Recent group shows have been at Drive-By Projects, Boston, MA, The Clemente, New York, NY, and Dorrance H. Hamilton Gallery at Salve Regina University, Newport, RI, and Russell Janis Project Space, Brooklyn, NY.
Angélica Maria Millán Lozano is an artist from Bogotá, Colombia currently based in Brooklyn, New York. She creates abstract and figurative compositions on distressed fabrics that question the social injustices that affect Latinas in the home. In her work, Pero Arreglada included in Wrap Around 18 she states, "I explore the agency of beauty and the audacity of glamour through burnt fibers and glimmering surfaces. In Decadecia .04, I disrupt the structure of woven threads by pulling and therefore revealing overlapping strands that hold an object of safety and comfort. This piece, is part of a series of de threaded blankets in collaboration with artist, Hunter Buck. Together Pero Arreglada and Decadecia .04 challenge material structures of safety and expose their beauty and power in fragility." Lozano received her MFA in Visual Studies at Pacific Northwest College of Art. Millán is also a co-founder at cvllejerx, a poc focused fashion, poetry, and performance collective. Millán has recently presented work at Equity Gallery in New York, NY, Nationale in Portland, OR; Gas Gallery in L.A., CA, among others.
Renée Riccardo is an independent curator and art advisor born and raised in New York. She was an adjunct curator at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in New York from 1987 to 1988 and independently organized shows of postmodernist photography from 1985 through 1990, including the traveling exhibition Acceptable Entertainment for Independent Curators Inc. In 1991 she opened ARENA, a gallery dedicated to emerging artists working in all media, and in 1996 and 1997 she co-organized with John Good the legendary Art Exchange Show, an New York art fair that focused on new art, music and performance that took place on 9 floors of two abandoned Wall Street office buildings. Riccardo continued ARENA through 2004, having it sitedas a gallery in Soho, Cobble Hill, Williamsburg, and Chelsea at various times launching many artists very early in their careers including first solo shows including Joanne Greenbaum, Rachel Harrison, Simone Leigh, Jason Middlebrook, Marilyn Minter, Vik Muniz, Wangechi Mutu, Mickalene Thomas and Kehinde Wiley among dozens of other now well known artists. In 2004 she established ARENA Projects, a roving curatorial and consulting entity. She also currently regularly curates a space of contemporary art, ARENA at Brooklyn Dermatology at 440 Atlantic Ave. in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. She recently co-curated a museum show entitled Maker, Maker with Paul Laster at The CMA in NYC in June 2017.
Lee Shapiro is a Psychologist who grew up in New York City on the Lower East Side. He attended two different private Quaker schools and graduated from Vassar College in 1995. He received a Masters in Counseling Psychology from Teacher’s College, Columbia University and his Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), from the Ferkauf School of Psychology, Yeshiva University. His dissertation was on Post-College Transition. During his doctoral training he worked at both New York University and Marymount Manhattan College’s counseling centers, as well as the Forensic Service of Kings County Hospital. He did his Internship at North Central Bronx Hospital. After completing a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital he took a staff psychologist position at Woodhull Hospital where he worked in both the adult outpatient clinic and Inpatient service from 2007 until March 2013, when he entered full time private practice. In June of 2010 he completed the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society’s, “The One Year Training Program”, and is qualified to be a Certified Group Psychotherapist. He has been working in private practice in downtown Manhattan since 2009.
For additional information regarding Wrap Around 18 or to make an appointment to visit the exhibition please contact Renée Riccardo at 646 734 2261 or e-mail at arenagalbyreneericcardo@gmail.