Envisioning Natural Forces

Envisioning Natural Forces

April 14 April 29, 2018

Opening: Saturday, April 14th, 3 - 5 pm

Key Projects is pleased to present Envisioning Natural Forces, a group exhibition featuring the work of Chris Arabadjis, Jonathan Cowan and Jaanika Peerna. On view from April 14 – April 29, 2018, with an opening reception on Saturday, April 14th from 3 - 5 pm. Key Projects is open Saturday and Sundays from 1 – 5 pm and by appointment.


Storm systems – how are they captured or perceived visually? Leonardo da Vinci created the “Deluge” drawings during the last decade of his life that depicted a vast disaster of wind and water. The drawings captured not only the movement of water but the energy of a storm. After last fall’s hurricane season, the thought of storms and the forces of nature kept lingering in my mind. Artists continue to explore natural phenomena in various ways. With Envisioning Natural Forces, we look at them from the perspective of systems, the spiritual and emotion.


Chris Arabadjis’ ball point pen drawings are derived from simple systems that originate in the micro level. Beginning with a single mark and a rule for repetition, the drawings grow organically. For Arabadjis, who studied theoretical physics, the drawings can be viewed as mini physics models or simulations, however without the need for scientific rigor. The drawings have a spiral or circular orientation that illicit a flow of energy.


Jonathan Cowan’s paintings contain a background of a night sky or a landscape with a large, central symbol stitched with black thread in the foreground. Their presence is imminent, dark and mysterious. A sense of brooding hangs in the air. Cowan’s paintings have an apocalyptic vision like that described in Genesis 1:2 "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.”


Jaanika Peerna’s tangle of lines and cuts on Mylar intertwine to create a dynamic swirl of energy. Peerna’s lines are drawn using the full weight of her body and gravity. The verticality of her line is disrupted cross-wise with the wetness of a large brush and by long, physical cuts that break the stillness. The resulting Mylar sheets are turned around themselves in a vital towering and spiraling movement.


About the artists:


Chris Arabadjis was born and raised in Syracuse, NY. Prior to earning an MFA at Pratt Institute, he studied physics for 14 years at SUNY Buffalo and UMass Amherst. Arabadjis has shown his work in the metropolitan areas of New York, Boston, and San Francisco as well as in Europe. His drawings were recently reproduced in several poetry collections and anthologies, and in the July 2017 issue of Physics Today. He lives and works in New York City.


Jonathan Cowan was born in1982 in Temple, Texas. He attended The University of Texas at San Antonio where he earned a BFA in 2006. He has participated in numerous exhibitions including shows at Simuvac Projects, Brooklyn, NY; Gray Contemporary, Houston, TX; Ortega y Gasset Projects, Brooklyn, NY; The Parlour Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY; c2c projects, San Francisco, CA; Ventana 244, Brooklyn, NY; and TSA New York, Brooklyn, NY. He lives and works in Boston, MA.


Jaanika Peerna is an Estonian-born artist and educator living and working primarily in New York since 1998. She has exhibited her work and performed extensively in New York as well as in Berlin, Paris, Tallinn, Barcelona, Venice, Moscow, Dubai, Sydney, Canberra, and Cologne. Her work is in numerous private collections in the USA and Europe and has been acquired by the Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris. Her work is represented in the United States by JHB Gallery and ARC Fine Art, and in Europe by Galerie Ulf Larsson in Cologne. She was awarded the FID Grand Prize in 2016 for her work in drawing.