Press Release

The distinct two and three-dimensional work of the artists in Resonant Space is enriched by the reverberant tone they invoke in each other. The affinity of these artists—Jacob Cartwright, Joanne Freeman, Jim Osman, Karen Schifano, and Melissa Staiger—can be seen in a lexicon of marks: lines, scribbles, scratches, smudges, dots, dashes, patterns, geometric and organic forms, textures and color, even as each stands firmly and uniquely in their approaches to art making.

Reaching beyond the boundaries of form, these works call out and comment on each other's ideas about the ongoing exploration of abstraction. Joanne Freeman does this in the way saturated color shapes overlap, converge and angle for footage within the edges and surface area of the raw linen canvas, while Melissa Staiger’s organic shapes of radiant and trippy color combinations jostle between foreground and background. Jacob Cartwright's highly organized compositions of geometric forms, combined with dense patterns, solid and translucent color, allude to an architectural space, man-made or natural. Like a theater set, Karen Schifano populates the stage with simple, provocative shapes and solid expanses of color that come in and out of the picture plane. And Jim Osman's ideas, with the addition of a third dimension, flow throughout the spaces and colors of his carefully constructed multi-leveled abstract tableaux of cut-out, exposed, and painted wood.

The artists in Resonant Space are all current members of the American Abstract Artists (AAA). AAA was founded in 1936 in New York City at a time when American abstract art was met with vigorous critical and popular resistance. AAA is a democratic, artist-run organization that promotes and fosters understanding of abstract and non-objective art.

About the artists:

Jacob Cartwright is an artist, curator, and writer based in New York City. His work has been shown internationally and exhibited most recently at Art Cake and McKenzie Fine Art. Curatorial work includes Harmony and Contrast—Chromatic Painting at the Turn of the Century, at Transmitter in Brooklyn, New York, and New York is Now, presented with IS-projects in Athens, Greece. He is a member of American Abstract Artists and holds a BFA in Painting from the Kansas City Art Institute.

Joanne Freeman received a BS in Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin and a MA in Studio Art from New York University. She serves as the Vice President of American Abstract Artists and is the 2021 recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. Her work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally. Selected solo exhibitions include Gilman Contemporary, Kathryn Markel Fine Art, 490 Atlantic and the Zillman Art Museum University of Maine. Her work has been reviewed in various publications including ARTnews, The New Criterion, The L.A. Weekly, The New York Observer and The Portland Press Herald. Freeman has been a visiting artist at New York University, The New School for Social Research, The New York Studio School, Massachusetts College of Art, Chautauqua School of Art, The Marie Sharpe Foundation and the Rome Art Program.

Jim Osman was born in New York City. He received his BA and MFA from Queens College. He has had solo exhibitions at McKenzie Fine Art, Lesley Heller Workspace, Long Island University and Dartmouth College. His work has been included in group shows at the Brooklyn Museum, Transmitter Gallery and University of Texas at San Antonio. He has received grants from the Brooklyn Arts Council, Parsons School of Design and a NYFA Artist Fellowship in Craft/Sculpture. He became a member of the National Academy in 2019. Osman taught courses in three-dimensional design and sculpture at Parsons School of Design for 22 years. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He has been a member of the American Abstract Artists since 2014 and currently serves as its President.

Karen Schifano is a painter living and working in New York City. She received a BA in Art History from Swarthmore College, an MFA from Hunter College, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She has exhibited widely in this country, Europe, Australia and Japan. Recent exhibition venues include Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, DC Moore Gallery, Deanna Evans Projects, Rick Wester Fine Arts, MoMA PS1, New Jersey Center for the Visual Arts, Alfred University, CB1 Gallery and Transmitter Gallery. Karen was elected to membership in American Abstract Artists in 2018.

Melissa Staiger was born in Louisville, KY and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She earned a BFA from Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore, MD and an MFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Staiger attended the Robert Rauschenberg Artist Residency in Captiva, Florida. She has had solo exhibitions at the Pratt Institute, SCPS Art Gallery, Kent Place Gallery in Summit, NJ, and Trestle Gallery in Brooklyn, NY. She is a member of the American Abstract Artists and currently teaches at 92NY, Adelphi University and Pratt Institute.

About the curator:

Patricia Zarate is an artist, curator, and co-founder of Key Projects, an artist-run gallery space based in Sunnyside, Queens, NY. Through intimate exhibits of contemporary abstract and conceptual art, Key Projects explores and showcases an international community of artists. Zarate’s own practice consists of paintings, drawings and installations that explore abstraction and perception through color, seriality, pattern and repetition. She is a member of the American Abstract Artists.