HUMBLE ITERATIONS: A group show of small-scale artworks

December 3 - 23, 2015
Ky Anderson
2015 Small Series #20, 2015
acrylic and ink on paper
12 x 9 in


Kathryn Markel Fine Arts is pleased to present Humble Iterations, an ambitious group show of small-scale artwork. Artists included are as follows: Ky Anderson, Diane Ayott, Lisa Breslow, Mary Didoardo, Laura Fayer, Elizabeth Gilfilen, Jeffrey Cortland Jones, Sydney Licht, Sara MacCulloch, Don Martiny, Martina Nehrling, Marilla Palmer, Nancy Rubens, Debra Smith, Josette Urso, Annie Wildey, and Tamar Zinn.


This show consists of gallery artists and a few guest artists who, while using a variety of sizes in their practice, also create small versions of their signature styles. Small, in this case, is loosely defined as paintings and works on paper that are under 20 inches at the largest dimension. In creating these, the artists pare down their visual vocabulary to the most important marks or motifs. From Sydney Licht and Josette Urso, who tend to work in small scale on a more regular basis, to Annie Wildey and Don Martiny, who typically use larger scale to create atmosphere or impact, the humble iterations in this show all stand on their own alongside the rest of the artists’ current oeuvre.


These works are not made up of sketches to be later realized in a bigger, more finished composition. They are fully-developed works that exercise the same (if not more) time, skill and vision that larger work demands. In fact, it can be argued that it is more difficult to create successful works of this size, as all the formal aspects of their work are included on a much smaller plane. The work forgoes the automatic impact of larger works for a more intimate version, inviting the viewer in close. The interaction of the work with the empty space around it becomes more eloquent as the work gets smaller.


With little room for a complex narrative, small works’ subjects and mark making are more selective and become about a singular moment or feeling. They can be poignant in their simplicity. Rarely exhibited, these works tend to hang around the studio, or the back corners of our gallery storage. This show aims to shine a spotlight on these carefully created moments of expression. Moreover, it gives art lovers a chance to see works rarely viewed outside the studio, as well as provide them with more access to great artwork, which has been at the heart of our gallery’s mission since 1976.