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In Dialogue

Left to right: Dan Nadel, Melissa Brown, Marie Lorenz.

On the occasion of Evelyn Statsinger: Currents, GRAY New York is pleased to host the exhibition curator Dan Nadel in conversation with artists Marie Lorenz and Melissa Brown. In their live-streamed conversation, Nadel, Brown and Lorenz discuss Evelyn Statsinger’s practice—one that was informed deeply by forms in nature—and her unique approach to painting and drawing. 

This virtual event will be streamed here on Tuesday, May 17, at 3 PM EST / 2 PM CST. 

Currents presents the work of American artist Evelyn Statsinger (1927-2016). Curated by New York-based writer and curator Dan Nadel, Currents features Statsinger’s paintings and drawings from the 1980s and 90s, a period in which she developed her most immersive and otherworldly compositions. Deeply informed by her impressions of the natural world, in 1972, Statsinger moved her Chicago studio to a rural 1890s schoolhouse in Allegan, Michigan, where she began to develop her own unique visual language, relinquishing identifiable forms in favor of surreal compositions based on her observations in nature. The remote property, nestled within the sand dunes and woodlands on the eastern shores of Lake Michigan, served as the artist’s home base and allowed Statsinger to closely observe nature in all its orders of magnitude. “When Statsinger would return to downtown Chicago, she imported the outdoors to the city by bringing with her those specially observed bits of matter,” curator Dan Nadel reflects in his essay for the exhibition. “She collected seed pods, shells, twigs, leaves, and stones, which she arranged carefully in her studio. She could go macro or micro with these specimens—making them a subject or finding new details within them.”

Dan Nadel is the Curator at Large for the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at the University of California, Davis, where he has organized exhibitions on Kathy Butterly, Mary Heilmann, and William T. Wiley. Nadel is the editor of several books, including Peter Saul: Professional Artist Correspondence; The Collected Hairy Who Publications, 1966–1969; and It’s Life as I See It: Black Cartoonists in Chicago, 1940–1980. He has also curated exhibitions including What Nerve! Alternative Figures in American Art: 1960 to the Present; Suellen Rocca: Bare Shouldered Beauty; Gertrude Abercrombie; and, most recently, Chicago Comics: 1960s to Now, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Nadel, a 2021–2022 Fellow at the Leon Levy Center for Biography at the Graduate Center, CUNY, is currently at work on the biography of underground comic artist Robert Crumb (Scribner, 2024).

Melissa Brown received her MFA in Painting from Yale University and a BFA in Printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design. In 2000 she completed the Skowhegan School of Painting program. Recent solo and two person exhibitions include  NYNY2020, and Between States at Derek Eller Gallery in New York, NY, West Coast Paintings, at Anat Ebgi in Los Angeles, Melissa Brown and Jamie Bull at Dodd Gallery at University of Georgia, Athens, GA; Going AWOL, Biggins Gallery, Auburn University, Auburn, AL; Tennis Elbow, Journal Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Past Present Future, Magenta Planes, New York, NY; Paper Fortune, CANADA, New York, NY; and Roberto Paradise, San Juan, Puerto Rico. She has participated in group exhibitions at Mass MOCA, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, Klaus Von Nichtssagend, Musée International Des Arts Modestes, and Jeffery Deitch, Los Angeles. In 2012 she was awarded the Joan Mitchell Painter’s Grant and a residency at the Joan Mitchell Center in 2019. Her work is in the permanent collections at the Whitney Museum of Art and the New York City Department of Education. She is an associate professor in art at Lehman College, City University of New York. Brown lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

New York-based artist Marie Lorenz’s work is rooted in the exploration and narrative of New York City’s waterfronts. Combining psycho-geographic exploration with highly crafted, material forms, Lorenz uses boats to create an uncertain space and bring about a heightened awareness of place. In 2005, she started her Tide and Current Taxi project, taking people around the New York Harbor in a boat built from salvaged materials, using the tide to guide her navigation. Solo exhibitions include Waterways, at the Suzanne Lemberg Usdan Gallery at Bennington College, Vermont; Tide and Current Taxi, at the Rib Gallery in Rotterdam; and Graybelt, a multimedia project funded by the Bridging Barriers research initiative, at the University of Texas in Austin. She is the recipient of many awards and residencies, including the Joseph H. Hazen Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome. Lorenz received an MFA from Yale.

GRAY is a globally recognized team of art professionals devoted to fostering the development of historically important artists’ careers and to building outstanding art collections. Founded in 1963, GRAY has built its reputation as a resource for Modern, Post-War, and Contemporary art with prominent private and institutional clients worldwide. Known for producing critically acclaimed exhibitions and programming from its galleries in Chicago and New York, GRAY represents a roster of internationally recognized artists such as McArthur Binion, Jim Dine, Torkwase Dyson, Theaster Gates, David Hockney, Rashid Johnson, Alex Katz, Ellen Lanyon, Jaume Plensa, Leon Polk Smith, and Evelyn Statsinger.

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