Image: Predrag Pavić, Parachute, from the series Succeeding Dangerously, 2018, Video, 3:09 min loop. Photo: Boris Cvjetanovic

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Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space and Residency Unlimited are pleased to present OUT OF THE BLUE, a group show opening on Friday August 20, 2021 that celebrates the accidental coming together of strangers. In an era of immense polarization, OUT OF THE BLUE indirectly addresses what it means to have (or not have) something in common. The exhibition will feature the work of five international artists whose paths intersect while in residency with one another: Cecilia Abeid  (Brazil), Brigita Antoni (Montenegro), Sharon Poliakine (Israel), Predrag Pavic (Croatia).

Without a collective story bringing them together, other than working out of their usual context and being connected in an “out of the blue” fashion, the notion of finding something in common suddenly becomes a chance operation.

Special thanks to Lauraberth Lima.

Cecilia Abeid is a Brazilian artist and designer currently living and working in New York. Coming from Rio de Janeiro, her sense of creativity tends to come from the art of improvisation and a universe of pigments. While Abeid works with diverse mediums and techniques, including metal etching, lithography, and animation, she has been dedicating herself more and more to stoneware sculptures. One of her many intents is to bring elements of magic and delight into everyday objects and situations of the mundane while still projecting a sense of motion and life into solid sculptures. Especially since the pandemic, Cecilia has cultivated the feeling of making the home an oasis or a magic land. The ceramic sculptures tell a narrative and have a life of their own; we are merely spectators.

Abeid’s ceramic sculptures explore the newfound perspective towards a material proven to be timeless. Fascinated by the capacity of how such a raw, natural mix of water and minerals can mimic reality so vividly, her intent is to capture a sense of doubt in the visual representation of her ceramic sculptures while subtly leaving hints of a tiny world with a life and colors of its own. The artist states that it is important to play around with how such a solid material (at its final step) can look so malleable and feel so tasty; in a world where eggs not only have faces, but they have personality, where bananas are big and unreal, and to an extent even sexual. According to the artist it is all about playing with textures, sizes, and the sense that it goes beyond what your eyes can see.

This summer Abeid will continue exploring ceramics, investing in size and more challenging hand-built sculptures. She hopes to assemble a body of work that projects mundane objects into a surreal and magical perspective.

Brigita Antoni is the winner of the 2019 Milčik Award. Through digital media, painting, and video, combined with found objects, the artist explores the relationships between science and global transformations derived from the scientific discoveries particularly in the fields of astronomy and optics. Her research-based projects result in visual forms that function both as virtual and material installations. Brigita’s solo exhibitions include “The moon is wet and wild” at the City Museum in Ulcinj (2019), Magical Waters in gallery Alexander, Rose (2018), Softness of Being in Atelier Dado, Cetinje (2017), Intrigue in Center gallery, Podgorica (2015), and Sometimes, something… in Sue Ryder gallery, Herceg Novi (2012). Her works were featured in several group exhibitions in Montenegro and Croatia including the National Museum of Montenegro in Cetinje, Petrović Njegoš Foundation, and Center for Contemporary Art in Podgorica.

Engaging in a deep exploration of painting and printmaking for more than three decades, Sharon Poliakine’s work interrogates the relations between these two art forms. Sharon makes large-scale gestural paintings that are built up through layers of oil paint. Characterized by physical actions and intense drawings, her paintings are thick, dense, and rich with pictorial motives which are entangled in and through them.

Sharon’s main point of departure is printmaking, which remains her greatest influence, on her drawing, prints, paintings, and mixed media objects, whether as technique, inspiration, or in its artistic-historic context. Her work is intimately tied to the place where she lives and works. The way in which she works is always associative, yet grounded in practice-based research, augmented by voracious reading and her academic surroundings. The practice of looking back to old masters’ paintings and consistently relating to historical maps and cultural signs, provides her with a distancing and thus critical point of view.

Her works are held in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, New York; The Public Library, New York; The British Museum, London Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Tel Aviv Museum of Art; and many private collections. Sharon Poliakine is a professor at Haifa University, where she currently serves as the head of the MFA program.

Predrag Pavić is the winner of the 2019 Radoslav Putar Award. He works in sculpture, video, performance, and is interested in media archaeology, art theory, film, and literature. An active member of the Zagreb independent art scene, Pavić is the founder of the architect Marko Ambroš of Deminutiv Studio that specializes in model making. He also co-manages the artist-run studio/gallery space Atelijeri Žitnjak and is a member of the Croatian Freelance Artist Association.

His work has been featured in group and solo exhibitions in Zagreb, Split, Pula, Osijek, Gothenburg, Catania, Sofia, Düsseldorf, and Gdansk. He was awarded a Croatian AICA association award, Grand Prix of the 10th Triennial of Croatian sculpture, and Grand Prix Emanuel Vidović at the 38th Split Salon. He teaches sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb.

This exhibition benefits from the support of The Trust for Mutual Understanding, The Younes & Soraya Nazarian Family Foundation, Artis, the Fulbright Program, the Galicia Regional Government and the County Council of Pontevedra, The Israel Office of Cultural Affairs, Consulate General of Israel in New York. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

About Residency Unlimited (RU)
Founded in 2009, Residency Unlimited (RU) is a non-profit art organization that supports the creation, presentation and dissemination of contemporary art through its unique residency program and year-round public programs. RU is located within a former South Congregational Church in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. The space acts as a multifunctional hub and meeting place for RU’s various activities and public programs, including talks, screenings, performances and exhibitions. Here artists and curators-in-residence meet with RU staff, conduct research, and at times produce work. RU provides customized residencies for international and local artists and curators in New York City focused on network support, project/production assistance, and public exposure. This includes weekly meetings with art professionals aligning artistic and curatorial interests, regular project support from RU staff, and a public program opportunity at our Brooklyn location or partnering venues throughout New York.

Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space is located inside Essex Market, which is fully accessible by ADA standards. The gallery can be accessed from any ground floor entrance. Cuchifritos Gallery welcomes assistance dogs and has wheelchair-accessible toilet facilities on the lower level and 2nd floor, which can be accessed by the east-side elevator. For access inquiries please contact Artists Alliance at info@artistsallianceinc.org or (212) 420-9202.