The exhibit is a collaboration between artists Kate Abercrombie and Trevor Winkfield. Both artists’ artistic processes are built on a foundation of collage work. They’re work also emphasizes using an overabundance of bright colors. Abercrombie is represented by Fleisher Ollman, while Winkfield is based in New York City.
Abercrombie incorporates imagery she encounters in her daily life into her art. Through a combination of tracing, drawing, and photocopying she brings her collages to life on paper. Her go-to coloring medium is gouache, an opaque variation of watercolor.
“My work is not highly conceptual,” Abercrombie said. “It’s very much a combination of formalist painting principles and a starting idea. There’s clues of what’s going on, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.”
Similarly, Winkfield makes a collage as the first step toward a painting. He said the collage allows him to identify and correct mistakes before the painting phase. Once he’s satisfied with his collage, Winkfield traces it onto canvas and fills in the design with acrylics.
Abercrombie and Winkfield were strangers up until the gallery opening. Alex Baker, the director of Fleisher Ollman, coordinated the collaboration on the basis of the artists’ similar styles.
Baker said he likes how the artwork in the exhibit bridges two generations, with Abercrombie aged 39 and Winkfield aged 73.
“Oftentimes in contemporary art, it’s a young person’s game,” Baker said. “I think it’s nice to contextualize the younger with the more senior.”
Abercrombie said she hopes gallery-goers will take time to reflect on the “Collage as Painting” exhibit because people tend to jump too quickly from one thing to the next in their daily lives. Winkfield added he hopes the artwork will make people ask themselves questions.
“They’re very puzzling paintings,” Winkfield said. “They’re not the sort of paintings you can look at for 30 seconds like most of us do. You really have to think about the paintings.”
Abercrombie received the 2005 Independence Foundation Fellowship in the Arts and has had her work displayed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Fabric Workshop and Museum, among other locations. Winkfield, born in England, has received a Purchase Prize; awards from Yaddo, Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and the Academy of Arts and Letters; and a Chevalier in l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French government. His work has been shown in numerous galleries in New York and is currently on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and New York’s Museum of Modern Art, among others.
Fleisher Ollman provided a variety of refreshments, wine, and beer at the opening reception. People from all over the city came to see the exhibit and meet with the artists.
“Collage as Painting” will be on display at Fleisher Ollman Gallery through January 27.