Monday, July 26, 2010


Allyson Strafella
hull, 2008
typed colons on paper, 7 1/4" x 12"

Allyson Strafella
catanery, 2007
typed colons transferred
from blue transfer paper, 13" x 9"

Allyson Strafella
truncated form, 2007
typed colons on paper, 18 1⁄2" 11 1⁄2"

Allyson Strafella
border, 2006
typed colons transferred
from blue and green transfer paper, 9" x 6"

Allyson Strafella
margin, 2006
typed colons transferred
from yellow transfer paper, 7" x 5"

 Allyson Strafella
airfoil, 2005
typed colons transferred
from blue transfer paper, 5 3⁄4" x 4 3⁄4"


I have been working with a typewriter, making drawings for nearly seventeen years. During that time I have developed marks that are my visual language: a drawing language 'written' by type, and a written language drawn as mark and form.

I began drawing out of the need to communicate, to find my own language. I was looking for a way to record my thoughts and ideas. So I began writing with a typewriter, a tool that could keep up with my thoughts.  However, I employed no rules of the written language: no capitalization, no punctuation, no paragraphs. The writing slowly transformed, initially into a language of patterns and grids formed by typing punctuation marks; the words left the page and what remained has become my language: drawing.

An early question raised: are these images details of something much larger than what is seen on the 8 1/2" x11" page or were these full scale landscapes as seen from the sky above? I like the idea that the images typed could hover between these two spaces/places; this question is a lasting provocation.

In 2003 I worked on an organic farm. Driving a Kubota tractor, making marks in the earth, patterns much the way I had with the typewriter, was a liberating experience in how I think about making drawings. To have spent time considering the space and the landscape of my typed drawings and imagine what they would be like as forms in the landscape and suddenly to be drawing across twenty-five acres made sense to me. The drawing plane had opened enormously. The marks in the earth to prepare the soil was one drawing, the seeds being dropped in another and then to see the plants sprout into colorful marks on such a seemingly vast page of surface and time has remained with me. That experience allowed me to think broadly about drawing, to the possibilities of mark-making. There are no limitations to drawing in my mind, and it is with this notion of the expanded field, literally and rhetorically, that I continue exploring the drawn mark. 

Allyson Strafella




1993    School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, M
           Tufts University, Medford, MA

Solo Exhibitions

2009     Grid Space, Brooklyn, NY  
            Drawing Intervention

2005     Untitled Space, Hudson, NY
            Drawing Scheme

2001     Thirteen Gallery, Danbury, CT

1997     Curt Marcus Gallery, New York, NY
            Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, MA
            New Work         

1994     88 Room, Boston, MA
            Between Here and There: Drawing With a Typewriter

Group Exhibitions

2010     University Art Museum,
Albany,New York
            Courier, curated by Corinna Ripps Schaming
Associate Director/Curator

            Gallery Joe, Philadelphia, PA
            Very Very Large Drawings

2009    Museo De Arte Contemporaneo Esteban Vicente, Segovia, Spain
           New York, New Drawings 1946-2007
           Judy Rotenberg Gallery, Boston, MA
           microwave,seven   curated by Josee Bienvenu

2008   Dieu Donne, New York, NY
          Group exhibition workspace artists
          San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA
          Dimensions in Nature: New Acquisitions 2006 -2008
2008    Josee Bienvenu Gallery, New York, NY
           microwave six
           John Davis Gallery, Hudson, NY
           History, Use & Borrowed Landscape, Curated by Nancy Shaver

2007    Von Lintel Gallery, New York, NY
           Drawing, Thinking,  curated by Marco Breuer

2006    Chelsea Center for the Arts, New York, NY
           Manhattan Transfer, curated by John Weber
           University Gallery, Lowell, MA
           Picturing Words, curated by Joseph Carroll

2004   The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.
          Book as Art XV
          Jean Paul Slusser Gallery
          University of Michigan School of Art & Design, Ann Arbor, MI
          Drawing a Pulse

2001   The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT

2000    Meridian International Center, Washington, D.C.
           Outward Bound: American Art on the Brink of the 21st Century
           Traveling to Vietnam, China, Singapore, Indonesia and Iran

1999   Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco, CA
          New Drawing Show
          Di Chiara / Stewart, New York, NY
          Keep Fit/ Be Happy

1998     The Art Store, New York, NY
            88 Room, Boston, MA
            Dorsky Gallery, New York, NY
            Growing Obsession

1997     Hunter College, New York, NY
            Text and Touch
            The Islip Museum, Islip, New York
            More & More

1996     The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT
            Landscape Reclaimed: New Approaches to an Artistic Tradition
            Montgomery Glasoe Fine Arts, Minneapolis, MN
            By Any Means
            Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York, NY
            Second District Artist Exhibition
            Curt Marcus Gallery, New York, NY

Works on Paper

1995     Drawing Center, New York, NY
            Selections Winter 1995
            Dana Art Gallery, Wellesley, MA
            Works on Paper

1994     Grossman Gallery, Boston, MA
            Women's Caucus for Art: Women

1988     Grossman Gallery, Boston, MA
            Boit Exhibition


Residencies / Awards / Grants

2007     Dieu Donne, New York, NY
            Workspace Program

2002     John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, New York, NY
            MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, NH
            Winter residency

2001     Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, NY
            Winter Residency
            MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, NH
            Summer Residency

2001     New York Foundation for the Arts, New York, NY
            Fellowship in the Arts

1999     The Pollock Krasner Foundation, New York, NY

1996     The Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, MA
            Fellowship/ Residency October 1996 – April 1997

1995     Skowhegan School of Art, Skowhegan, ME
            Summer Program


The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

The Davis Museum, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA

The Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA

The Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA

Yale Art Museum, New Haven, CT

Sherri Geldin, Columbus, OH

Ruth Kaufman, New York, NY

Werner Kramarsky, New York, NY

Patricia Orden, New York, NY

Ruth & Marvin Sackner, Miami Beach, FL

Andrea Woodner, New York, NY

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Allyson Strafella represented by Von Lintel Gallery

Allyson Strafella 
elevated block, 2006
typed lines and colons transferred 
from blue transfer paper
7 1/2" x 5"

Von Lintel Gallery is pleased to announce that we now represent Allyson Strafella.  Strafella has shown extensively in New York and abroad and her work is in numerous public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Fogg Art Museum and the Hammer Museum.

We are excited to show Strafella's new typewriter drawings in her upcoming solo exhibition at Von Lintel in January.  Show dates are January 13—February 12, 2011. 

Please check back soon as we add her work to our website, www.vonlintel.com. In the meantime, stop by to see Strafella's drawings currently on view in our Summer Group Show or contact the gallery for a preview of her new work.

Click on these links for more information and to view selected works:


Artist's Statement

Selected Works

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hybrid “Futuristic Species”: The latest from Medrie MacPhee - Artcritical review

Medrie MacPhee, Big Bang, 2010. Oil on canvas, 64 x 84 inches

by Christina Kee

"What it Is – the title of Medrie MacPhee’s recent show at Von Lintel – was fitting for an artist with a career-long preoccupation with the slippery identities of painted forms. Over the past years MacPhee has exhibited abstract paintings that are nonetheless evocative of some specific, if indeterminate, time and place.  Forms feel rendered rather than invented in her work, and distinct spaces are suggested by horizon-like lines.

The dense, challenging paintings that comprise the new show mark a dramatic departure. In these mostly larger-scale canvasses the separate shapes, or “futuristic species”, as the artist has playfully described them, of earlier pictures have been brought together en masse to collide, overlap and interact in scenes of barely controlled abundance. The approach builds forcefully from the abstract/figurative tensions established in the previous works, and the multiple forms are more engaging than the solitary ones to an almost proportionate degree.

The works in this show differ in character, effect and intention, while united in their elusiveness. In Big Bang (2010) jagged shapes press uncomfortably past the picture plane, right-angled items stack and teeter to a compositional point of near-breakdown. Float (2009) similarly depicts a collection of forms either emerging or being submerged amidst piles of wreckage. Further comparison to anything architectural falls short, however: the configurations of parts depicted in these paintings are in no way earthbound or materially stable. Not only has gravity given way to a point where questions of support and suspension are non-applicable, but the very planes of the matter depicted often give way to contrasting underpainting of atmospheric blues and grays, to disorienting effect. Strong dramatic light unexpectedly strikes some forms and softly passes through others.

But rather than allowing us to get lost in the rich ambiguities these elaborate set ups offer, MacPhee seems insistent questioning just what is being looked at in these pictures? The response is rich in adjectives and short on nouns. The seemingly discrete parts that make up these works have clear and specific characteristics–hard, transparent, soft, columnar, etc. – and yet remain unidentifiable as any known object outside their painted world. As viewers we have the distinct sense of looking at real, raw materials in a pre-named state. Surveying these paintings recalls the tasks of early philosophy, laboriously weighing questions of attribute against those of essence. MacPhee’s unusual, even jarring, palette becomes significant in this context – purples, acidic greens and reds are laid on, label-like, to objects that still stubbornly resist definition. The world presented by the artist is one keenly, even threateningly, felt – if not necessarily comprehended."

Read full review @ artcritical.com

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Like A Moth Flapping: Robert J. Hughes on Marco Breuer

"The limits of how life and objects are represented, even the very nature of how we see, have been at the heart of photography since its inception. And as the decades passed and photography matured, the realism of the photographic world – always a mutable concept given the way one could manipulate film – flapped like a moth against the libidinous light of abstract expressionism in the mid-20th century, which was not about representation at all, but being.

Yet the two forms coexisted in different corners. Think of the age of news magazines, when the world was represented in dramatic stills, or the clarity of an Irving Penn or Richard Avedon photographic composition of the 1950s – whether of a fashion model or an everyday object – and then think of how such works held their own opposite the Big Bang exuberance of Jackson Pollock or the numinous crepuscular gravity of Barnett Newman. You'd never think the two would meet.

Yet abstraction is at the heart of German artist Marco Breuer's photographs, which are photographs only in the sense that they use film. Breuer exposes photographic paper, then scratches or scores on it directly to allow patterns and colors to appear. These abstract works, unlike the enormous canvases of his midcentury painter forbears, are small and compact. They are reflections rather than statements, objects of iconic contemplation rather than explorations of immensity and freedom."

Read more here