Worlds Within: Works on Paper by Matilde Alessandra & Brian Fekete

2 May - 26 July 2019

 571 Projects is pleased to announce Worlds Within: Works on Paper by Matilde Alessandra & Brian Fekete, an online exclusive exhibition.  Exploring systems, textures, patterns and light, each artist has developed a distinctive and evocative visual language.  Matilde Alessandra's meditative, non-objective pen drawings create a sense of light emanating or receding, through her painstaking, repetitive mark making, while Brian Fekete's distorted appropriated imagery from vintage reference books create uncanny, compelling compositions veering between figuration and abstraction. 


Through her minimalist, non-objective drawings and light sculptures Matilde Alessandra explores light - both as medium and as subject.  Employing a restrained visual vocabulary, she exercises masterly control of her chosen media.  Reducing her palette to black pen on white paper, with an occasional pop of dramatic color, she uses the most basic element of drawing - line - to create elegant illusions of energy, light and space, as her marks coalesce and disperse.  Each considered gesture builds texture, tension, creating a superficial web modulating gracefully between inky black to brilliant, incandescent white.  Alessandra states, "My drawings are a mix of tragedy and triumph (…), about light and energy as well as darkness and negation. (…) In them there's a real struggle between the flaws of the human mark and a striving for perfection devoid of irregularity or conflict."  While the artist is careful to leave her work open for the interpretation of each viewer, it is rich with metaphorical possibility.  The illusions she creates are seductive, and we are drawn in, mesmerized by their rhythm and flow.


In contrast to Alessandra's paired down vocabulary, Fekete offers a cornucopia of visual references, celebrating the familiar, the mysterious and bizarre with his meticulous execution and dynamic palette.  Alluding to the worlds of science, consumerism, nature and the animal and spiritual worlds, he works in a wide variety of wet and dry media, employing appropriated imagery drawn from vintage encyclopedias, auto parts catalogues, and old medical texts, to name a few.  This layered and intentionally distorted imagery creates surprising juxtapositions, from the recognizable to the seemingly totally abstracted: an elephant's head overlaid with jewel-like car head tail lights, in Ganesh at the Well or the biomorphic shapes in the Cuttlefish Stretch series.  Fekete states, "My objective is to present refreshing new settings for psychological tableaux and phenomenological scenarios through formal language by injecting otherwise neutral imagery with layers of new meaning."


Born in Venice, Italy, Matilde Alessandra studied Theater Design at the Academy of Fine Arts (Venice, Italy).  While she began her career in London working as interior and display designer, Matilde Alessandra's artistic career took off in New York in the late 1990s. She started working with light, pairing fluorescent tubes with painted canvasses and plexiglas boxes. Since then she has built a reputation both as artist and designer, developing a distinctive and communicative style, recognizable in all her work. Her artistic output spans from luminous sculptures and site specific installations, to ink drawings.  Among her numerous collaborations are: Mercedes Benz, Levis, Visionaire, Foscarini, Calvin Klein, Nodus, OSRAM, Maarten Van Severen, International Flavor and Fragrances, LIGHT, Ian Schrager Hotels, Archi-tectonics, Leucos, Coty Prestige, Alf Naman R.E.  She lives and works in New York City.


Now settled and working in Kingston, NY, Brian Fekete reached the Hudson Valley by way of Brooklyn and Detroit, where he was born in 1955. There, he received his BFA and MFA degrees, before moving to Brooklyn in 1997. Fekete has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Wayne State University, and grants from the Michigan Council for the Arts. His work can be seen in the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts, as well as numerous public and private collections, both in the US and abroad.