Holding one’s breath while allowing artists complete creative license with Meg Malloy, partner, Sikkema Jenkins & Co.
BOASTING A DIVERSE ROSTER OF NOTEWORTHY ARTISTS WORKING TODAY, SIKKEMA JENKINS & CO. IS AN ESTABLISHED MIDSIZE GALLERY SPACE LOCATED IN WEST CHELSEA. REPRESENTED ARE SUCH BIG-NAME VETERANS AS VIK MUNIZ AND KARA WALKER, AS WELL AS MID-CAREER POWERHOUSES SHEILA HICKS AND DEANA LAWSON. THE WORK REPRESENTS ARTISTS WHO WORK IN EVERY MEDIUM: PAINTING, PHOTOGRAPHY, SCULPTURE, VIDEO, INSTALLATION; AND IN EVERY GENRE: ABSTRACTION, NARRATION, FIGURATION, MANY ADDRESSING SOCIAL AND POLITICAL ISSUES, OTHERS ADDRESSING THE LEGACY OF ART HISTORY AND EVOLVING IT FORWARD. THE UNIFYING FACTOR IS THE QUALITY, ENGAGEMENT AND IMPACT OF THE WORK, TO THE VIEWER, TO THE COLLECTOR AND TO THE MUSEUM CURATOR.
IN 2019 ALONE, SIKKEMA JENKINS & CO. EXHIBITED THE WORK OF THE FOLLOWING ARTISTS, AN ABBREVIATED EXAMPLE OF THE BREADTH AND SCOPE OF THE ARTISTS THE GALLERY SUPPORTS AND ENCOURAGES.
With over 50 years of experience as a painter, Goodman is an artist at the height of her career. She began in 1960s Detroit, as a member of the famed Cass Corridor Movement. In the early 1970s, she exhibited with Guston, Tworkov and de Kooning at the Gertrude Kasle Gallery. After moving to New York City in 1976, Goodman explored ways to integrate intensely personal issues with the freedom of abstract expressionism.
Drawing inspiration from personal experience and, more recently, photographic source material, Fratino makes paintings and drawings of the male body. His work includes portraits, nudes, and intimate scenes of male couples engaged in activities ranging from the mundane to the graphically sexual. The result is a body of work that is a loving and honest expression of the contemporary gay experience.
Packer’s painted figures and still lifes are exceptional for their expressive fields of color, worked tenderly by the artist’s hand. They are images made with the utmost care–for the subject, and for the artist herself. Packer’s subjects are often friends and family, loved ones who serve as an emotive force in her life. Her representations critique the positionality, autonomy and power of the marginalized subject.
Terry Haggerty’s paintings reveal the multi-dimensional possibilities within painting – bold color is used to enliven and give volume and depth to positive and negative space. A series of monochrome lines, corners, and edges fold around one another, activating gaps between geometric planes of color. Haggerty’s works embrace the tension between two-dimensional outline and three-dimensional form, creating images characterized as “half object, half painting.”
AND CURRENTLY, THE BEAUTIFUL RECENT ABSTRACTIONS BY
Working across sculpture, photography, and drawing, Fried’s oeuvre explores the potential of color and form to transcend language and express the nuances of the human experience. The subconscious remains a focal point of interest for Fried, as the formal conditions of object and image become deconstructed and reinterpreted through their symbolic connections to one another. Every gesture of the artist’s hand, in shape and form, signifies a distinct moment in the phenomenological experience of Fried’s work.
MEG, WHAT ARTISTS DOES THE GALLERY REPRESENT, AND HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE THE WORK?
The artists that we represent are quite varied, and it is hard to pinpoint, but I feel that all start from social or conceptual concerns, and all have great skill and create work that is consistently engaging on both a visual and an intellectual level.
IS THERE A PARTICULARLY AESTHETIC, OR CONCEPTUAL OR ABSTRACT POINT OF VIEW THAT CONNECTS EACH ARTIST’S WORKS?
I would say it is open-ended, but each of our artists has an integrity and an unshakable commitment to what they do.
WHAT DID YOU MOVE TO CHELSEA, AND WHAT PROMPTED THAT DECISION?
The gallery moved to Chelsea because there were great spaces, and Soho rents were through the roof.
WAS THE CURRENT 22nd STREET LOCATION THE FIRST SPACE THAT YOU TOOK, AND HOW HAS IT EXPANDED OVER THE YEARS?
We are at the same address, but the gallery has been in the unusual position of being able to expand in place as the business grew. We had half of our downstairs originally and then were offered the other half. This was due to unfortunate circumstances as both Pat Hearn and Colin de Land who had that space passed away. Then we rented the back of upstairs from Anina Nosei for storage and viewings, and then when she didn’t renew we took over that space.
THE GALLERY ROSTER IS A STRONG MIX OF ESTABLISHED ARTISTS SUCH AS ARTURO HERRERA, SHEILA HICKS, KARA WALKER, AND EMERGING TALENTS. WHO ARE SOME OF THE ARTISTS AND WHAT ARE SOME OF THE EXHIBITIONS THAT HAVE RESONATED WITH YOU THE MOST?
That is an impossible question! 😊
YOU SHOW ARTISTS IN A WIDE VARIETY OF MEDIA. WHO ARE SOME OF THE ARTISTS THAT YOU REPRESENT THAT ARE THE MOST CHALLENGING IN TERMS OF THE EXHIBITION OF THEIR WORK? YOU ARE SO GENEROUS WITH THE GALLERY SPACE, ALLOWING THE ARTISTS LICENSE TO TREAT THE SPACE AS PART OF THE CREATIVE PROCESS.
You have to have faith in an artist’s vision. That said, there are times when we hold our breath. For Kara’s last show, there were three very large-scale unframed works on paper. The audience for that show was enormous and we worried that the work could be damaged but people were so respectful. William Córdova created a scaffolding that pushed viewers to the perimeter of the gallery.
MORE ABOUT THE GALLERY, ART FAIRS, CURRENT AND FUTURE EXHIBITIONS WITH MEG MALLOY IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG.
IN THE MEANTIME, EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY, AND HAVE A HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!