Melanie Reese is the Head Curator for Art inRes (YC W20). She developed and now manages both curatorial programs. Melanie has curated 20+ exhibitions including Abstract Thoughts (2020); Art as a Moment for Reflection (2020); Text in Art (2020); Time in Color & Light (2021); and Large & Hung (2021).
Publications include the three-part series, “Why Does Artwork Cost What It Costs?”, “Limited Edition Prints”, and “Artist Bios”. In addition to her curatorial work, Melanie is an independent artist and received her MFA in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in 2017.
The Yard: City Hall Park
Co-curated with Morgan Everhart, Depth Perception is a group exhibition of artists that explore their own spatial relativity through a range of visual and/or audible hierarchies. Depth Perception features Mel Reese, Traci Johnson, Morgan Everhart, Andrew Keiper, Andrea Caldarise, and Rachael Wren. This exhibition is co-curated by two participating artists, Morgan Everhart and Mel Reese, who see this show as an opportunity for viewers to consider what mental, physical, and illusory elements influence their own vista.
“Not all modernist painting was abstract, not by a long shot––but the entire field of painting was reconfigured by the arrival of abstraction. The old genres never went away, but their significance changed––they became, in fact, more abstract, more generalized. I like to put it this way: still life became object, figure became presence, and landscape became space”. –Barry Scwabsky, “Landscape Painting Now”.
What makes an artwork a landscape? There is a general understanding that a landscape is a depiction of natural scenery, but the way we define and orient ourselves with the outdoors has developed drastically since modernism and the digital age. Landscapes, being primarily non-human, have now become a stage for an artist to describe what they don't understand and cannot control. In essence, landscapes explore the perplexities and paradoxes of the human perspective.
Landscapes often aim to represent the physical beauty of the outdoors. There’s also an inherent complexity to the landscape that allows an individual to reconcile indescribable, internal dialogues. With both of these objectives in mind, landscapes are even a method for exploring the boundaries and materiality of an artistic medium itself. This exhibition considers the range in which landscape exists in contemporary art and questions the point in which an artwork is a landscape or rather, a point of departure for an emotional message.
Each artist in this show approaches the landscape from a unique perspective. Rachael Wren’s paintings coalesce geometry, brushstroke, and color to generate an environment of humming, harmony. Andrew Keiper’s sound installation provides the listener with a nostalgia for a place beyond their own current location. Andrea Caldarise’s psychological and whimsical memory-scapes are the perfect example of the fantastical romanticism thriving through en-plein air painting today. Traci Johnson’s bold, grounding installations and tapestries emit a joyous release and let us redefine our present mental space.
SPRING/BREAK Art Show 2021
My curation Fractured Truths was included in the 10th annual SPRING/BREAK Art Show 2021, HEARSAY:HERESY. Fractured Truths was a soft-sculpture architectural installation by Kathy Sirico that utilizes fractured reflections of light and tapestry-inspired production as a means of critiquing patriarchal modes of narrative power and one-sided truth-telling. In Sirico’s construction, heresy is a feminist reframe of aesthetic power, within the collective traditions of collage and textiles, highlighting the multiplicity of truths.
09/07/21 – 09/13/21
Bushwood Visuals Gallery
JUAN HINOJOSA, GORDIEH NASSERI, KATHY SIRICO
four works by three NYC-based artists
LARGE & HUNG explores the use of recycled–or rather upcycled–materials while challenging concepts of power and critiquing the traditions of the overwhelming visual lexicon of American culture. Juan’s brightly constructed collages are made from recycled, found materials sculpted and drawn together to challenge the greed and excessive consumption of our daily existence. Gordieh’s baroque-inspired work uses minimal colors collaged together with strong, fruitful imagery of fertility that challenges the soft, feminine imagery too often favored throughout American culture. Kathy’s architectural fabrics bridge the other works’ concepts by collaging together–at an overwhelming scale–seemingly countless yards of meticulously constructed, physically soft, and visually saturating materials that come together to provide a strong visual representation of feminized power within abstraction.
7/1/2021 – 9/30/2021
Art in Res
Beginning April 2020, in the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic in NYC, I developed the virtual curatorial program for Art in Res. Since then I have had the challenging pleasure of producing weekly virtual curations with the stunning paintings from the amazing stable of emerging artists who are showing and selling their work with Art in Res. I bring together a group of artworks, curating them in virtual spaces to discuss how they work together in theme, and teaching collectors how to consider art in this new virtual age.
It seems like I am not the only one feelin’ the heat these days. As I scroll through the newly uploaded artworks, many Art in Res artists appear to be just as inspired by the summer and it’s all encompassing heat. Still-lifes remind us of summer scenes at home, hot colors embrace the steamy environment, and portraits embody our overwhelming desire to cool off. This curation really brings together a collection of Art in Res pieces that really turn up the heat.
There are many paintings that, when we look at them, we are instantly transported to a specific time and place–somewhere that calls on a place we have been or a scene that evokes a memory or experience. In order to achieve this magnificent feat, artists utilize their finely-honed skills in crafting light and color to help place us within a specific moment in time. Bright colors? We understand the sun must be shining. Cool, faded colors? Perhaps we are in dusk, that funky time when the sun has already set yet some light remains. This curation brings together pieces that are all in conversation with understanding time by their strategic and stunning use of color and light.