All That Paradise Allows by Adam Bell on the Aperture Blog

reviews July 18th, 2017

All That Paradise Allows

In Crimea and the Caribbean, Nicholas Muellner’s new photobook is a tropical gothic of seduction and violence.

By Adam Bell

Nicholas Muellner, Untitled, from In Most Tides an Island, 2017 Courtesy the artist

Nicholas Muellner, Untitled, from In Most Tides an Island, 2017
Courtesy the artist

Gracefully marrying image and text, Nicholas Muellner’s photobook In Most Tides an Island(2017) is a poignant meditation on loneliness, love, and isolation in our contemporary world. Structured in twelve chapters, the book tells two parallel but related stories: the real-life struggles of closeted, gay men in provincial Russia and Ukraine, yearning for a connection and love they can’t openly express; and the invented life of a solitary woman on a Caribbean island. Equal parts document, diary, and fictional invention, In Most Tides an Island defies easy categorization. Like Muellner’s previous books—The Amnesia Pavilions (2011) and The Photograph Commands Indifference (2009)—the work deftly combines image and text into a unique form, while, at the same time, poetically questioning the limits of each. The book’s parallel stories ultimately converge to offer a portrait of the heartrending reality of our disconnected, yet networked lives.

Nicholas Muellner, Untitled, from In Most Tides an Island, 2017 Courtesy the artist

Nicholas Muellner, Untitled, from In Most Tides an Island, 2017
Courtesy the artist

Adam Bell: You describe yourself as an artist who “operates at the intersection of photography and writing.” How did you come to this relationship and how do you see it working in In Most Tides an Island?

Nicholas Muellner: I came to that intersection in my work by way of a circle: it’s precisely where I started. Long before I knew myself as an artist, I loved following threads of language, and I loved making pictures. They were better places to live than inside myself—richer, safer, more satisfying. Simultaneously, and for as long as I can remember, I have been both thrilled and heartbroken by the inviolable separateness of each human consciousness, no matter the physical or emotional proximity. For me, these facts were inseparable. Words and images became like two lovers lying next to each other in bed who can never know the other’s mind. And, at some point, without a formal declaration, I made it my life’s work—what an absurd claim!—to reconcile those two fraught lovers, by making a romance of the space between them.

That’s a lie. My work never hopes to reconcile language and image. More accurately, it deploys their unbridgeable autonomies as both a means and a metaphor. In the new book, the reticence and stillness of the photographs often amplifies the loneliness and repression of the written narratives. Other times, the emotion of an image confesses what cannot be expressed in words. The language and the photographs collapse into disjunctive double exposures and create a broken double vision, moving in and out of sensory alignment.

For the full review and text, please visit the Aperture Blog here

Alum, Maureen Drennan Exhibiting at Aperture Summer Open, On Freedom

Curated by For Freedoms, the 2017 Aperture Summer Open exhibition, On Freedom, offers a photographic response to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. The photographers and image-makers selected for inclusion each address these issues in their work in varying ways. By bringing them together, we aim to open up a dialogue about the nature and necessity of political action, the language and means by which we critique and produce avenues for sustainable change, and the relationship of photography to these issues.

In the hands of some of the photographers presented in this exhibition, the camera serves as a mirror, reflecting on the stark limitations that make social inequality visible. In others, the camera serves as a tool of liberation—for the body and the mind, and from personal and ecological danger, social constructs, and political limitations. The selection demonstrates how the democratic nature of photography can serve as a vehicle for diverse perspectives to visualize social problems, spark dialogue, and transform assumptions. For many, freedom may be an illusion, but the photographers here are committed to mapping new aspects of this critical terrain—identifying a trail, pointing out dangers along the way—and ever aiming toward the light.

—For Freedoms

Participating photographers: Myriam Abdelaziz / Inbal Abergil / Susan Barnett / Claire Beckett / Lisa K. Blatt / Corinne May Botz / Xavi Bou / Jean-Christian Bourcart / Jenny Brover / Gary Burnley / Jasmine Clark / Debi Cornwall / Marcus DeSieno / Daesha Devón Harris / Maureen Drennan / Jess T. Dugan / Dan Farnum / Mike Fernandez / Ashley Gates / Gigi Gatewood / Kris Graves / Matthew Hamon / Jon Henry / Perri Hofmann / Lili Holzer-Glier / Michael Joseph / Stephen Joyce / Rhea Karam / KevinCharityFair / Lali Khalid / Demetris Koilalous / Marta Kosiorek / Holly Lynton / Francesca Magnani / Marc McAndrews / Mary Beth Meehan / Noritaka Minami / Sam O’Neill / Mike Osborne / Joaquin Palting / Argus Paul Estabrook / Ke Peng / Brittany M. Powell / Hector Rene / Jordan Reznick / Daniel Evan Rodriguez / Phil Roeder / David Rothenberg / Mara Sánchez-Renero / Ben Schonberger / Jay Turner Frey Seawell / Daniel Shea and Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa / Danna Singer / Angie Smith / Steven Trent Smith / Allison Stewart / Jared Thorne / Millee Tibbs / Shane Rocheleau and Brian Ulrich / Sandra Chen Weinstein / Harm Weistra / Emily Yang

2017 Aperture Summer Open: On Freedom / July 14 - August 17, 2017

Aperture Gallery: 547 West 27th Street, 4th Floor

Monday–Thursday & Saturday: 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Friday: 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Closed Sunday

New Work by Alum, Tiffany Smith Presented at Bronx Calling: the Fourth AIM Biennial at The Bronx Museum of the Arts

Now in its fourth cycle, Bronx Calling: The Fourth AIM Biennial features the work of seventy-two emerging artists from the 2016 and 2017 classes of the Bronx Museum’s Artist in the Marketplace (AIM) program. AIM provides professional development resources to emerging artists living and working in the New York metropolitan area. The exhibition is organized by Aylet Ojeda Jequin, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana; and the Bronx Museum’s Christine Licata, Director of Community and Public Programs; and, Heather Reyes, independent curator. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog.

Participating Artists: Seyi Adebanjo, Constanza Alarcon-Tennen, Francheska Alcantara, Amanda Alfieri, Setare Arashloo, Sabrina Barrios, Milcah Bassel, Laura Bernstein, Leo Castaneda, Kiran Chandra, Jesse Chun, Clare Churchouse, Maya Ciarrocchi, Lionel Cruet, Craig Damrauer, Sophia Dawson, Rose DeSiano, Luba Drozd, Carrie Elston Tunick, Dolores Furtado, Dhanashree Gadiyar, Ivan Gaete, Ana Garces Kiley, Pablo Garcia, Dakota Gearhart, Michelle Gevint, Naima Green, Uraline Septembre Hager, Kathie Halfin, Bang Geul Han, Amber Heaton, Robert Hernandez, Chika, Sara Jimenez, Merritt Johnson, Dominika Ksel, Stephanie Lindquist, Tammy Kiku Logan, Lulu Meng, Estefani Mercedes, Coralina Meyer, Kyle Meyer, Joiri Minaya, Pablo Montealegre, Shayok Mukhopadhyay, Jasmine Murrell, Zahra Nazari, Christie Neptune, Brandon Neubauer, Ana Penalba, Nestor Perez-Moliere, Anna Pinkas, Gustavo Prado, Elise Rasmussen, David Rios-Ferreira, Sarah Sagarin, Annesofie Sandal, Giovana Schluter, Kristine Servia, Dustina Sherbine, David Shrobe, Tiffany Smith, Vered Snear, Rachel Sydlowski, Mikolaj Szoska, Adrienne Tarver, Rosemary Taylor, Heryk Tomassini, Ekaterina Vanovskaya, Alisha Wessler, Doohyun Yoon, Jayoung Yoon

Bronx Calling: The Fourth AIM Biennial

July 22, 2017 to October 22, 2017

An opening reception will be held in conjunction with the museum's Summer Season Open House on Thursday, July 27 from 6pm to 8pm


Group Show at Metro Pictures featuring Alum, Shiyuan Liu

As a part of CONDO Complex New York, a gallery swap between New York galleries and national and international partners, Metro Pictures hosts Leo Xu’s two-part exhibition A New Ballardian Vision. The show brings together a selection of works that reflect recent social, technological and environmental developments through the lens of author J.G. Ballard’s (1930–2009) writings. Xu conceived the exhibition as two distinct chapters; the first features Metro Pictures artists Nina Beier, Camille Henrot, Martin Kippenberger, Oliver Laric, Robert Longo, Trevor Paglen, Jim Shaw and Cindy Sherman. The second chapter focuses on a younger generation of Chinese artists represented by Leo Xu Projects, including aaajiao, Chen Wei, Cheng Ran, Cui Jie, Li Qing, Liu Shiyuan and Pixy Liao.

A New Ballardian Vision Chapter 1: Curated by Leo Xu Chapter 2: Leo Xu Projects in Metro Pictures’ Upstairs Gallery June 29 – August 4, 2017

A New Ballardian Vision. Installation View, 2017. Metro Pictures, New York  

A New Ballardian Vision. Installation View, 2017. Metro Pictures, New York  

Read full press release here

Upcoming Exhibitions featuring Alum, Yoav Friedlander

Space /spās/


  1. a continuous area or expanse that is free, available, or unoccupied. "a table took up much of the space" synonyms: Room, Capacity, area, volume, expanse, scope, latitude, margin, leeway, play, clearance. “There was not enough space”
  2. the dimensions of height, depth, and the width within which all things exist and move. "the work gives the sense of a journey in space and time"


  1. position (two or more items) at a distance from one another. "the houses are spaced out"
  2. informal be or become distracted, euphoric, or disoriented, especially from taking drugs; cease to be aware of one's surroundings. "I was so tired that I began to feel totally spaced out"

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS: Lluís Tudela, Olga Matveeva, Jenny Rafalson, Mikayla Whitmore, Alex Djordjevic, Malwa Grabowska, Anastasia Davis, Jessica Giles, Saul Robbins, Gianluca Pardelli, Romina Rivadeneira, Tajana Dedić-Starović, Tal Rosen, Gabby Gonzalez, Justin Snyder, Scott Sheffield , Jackie Ng, Lennart Normann, Patricia Ackerman, George E. Holroyd III, Frida Lindblom, Jonathan David Smyth, Nechama Winston, Adam Cable, Joseph Podlesnik, Donald Roberts, Andreea-Mihaela Andrei, Guilherme Bergamini, Ellen Wallenstein, Alex Valone, Peter Ydeen, Ange Ong, M. Apparition, Fabiana Sala, Bat-Ami Rivlin, Kumi Oguro, Johnnie Chatman, Emily Porter,Brice Krummenacker, Laura Noel, Julianne Nash, Tim Hodge, Sullivan Gardner, Ana Ambrož, Candi Kalinsky.

Curated by Dana Stirling & Yoav Friedlander

Opening Reception : June 8th 6-8pm

Exhibition runs from June 8th – June 30th

Facebook Event 

Facebook Event 


Noisy Paint Box through the Rockaway Artists Alliance, Inc. present:

a study of place, multimedia art exhibition
June 9-July1 in sTudio 7 Gallery, RAA, Fort Tilden

Join us for our Opening Reception: June 9, 7-10pm
Music by White Merlot and Breezy Grass
Through this four week exhibition we seek to record artists’ individual perspectives of significant locations throughout our peninsula. Each wall in our gallery will serve as a map of microstories, outlining the narratives of our collective experience as inhabitants of the Rockaways from the native to the new wave.

You Are Here will have weekly live music events in addition to our opening reception, a cabaret in partnership with the Rockaway Theatre Company, our second annual Battle of the Bands and a closing party with Beach Rats.
#noisypaintbox #youarehere


"Join us June 14th from 7-9pm for the Opening Celebration of

DE[CON]STRUCT, a group exhibition curated by Damien Anger featuring the work of Aljosha Farassat, Samuel Paral, YoavFriedlander, Bonam Kim, Kacie Lee, Alana MacDougall, Alana Roth and Carrie Able. Complementary Proscecco provided by Gryphon Events. Special Musical performance by Alison Jean
-- And when the tide breaks...
Heroes make...
A lesson learned...
Of past turned..
Inside the light...
Of windows..

Who will cast the greatest take?
Inside the spark...
Of Makers' Make? ~Carrie Able

DE[CON]STRUCT “Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.” ― Pablo Picasso"

link to facebook event



Jesse Chun: Twenty Five Hours at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Alum, Jesse Chun currently has a solo exhibition titled Twenty Five Hours, currently on view at the Brooklyn Bridge Park. This body of work features an installation of paintings and prints that conceptually draw from the site-specific data of the Brooklyn Waterfront and East River Tides.

Twenty Five Hours is on view now until June 20 at 99 Plymouth, open 8:00am-11:00pm daily.

Installation of Twenty Five Hours by Jesse Chun

Installation of Twenty Five Hours by Jesse Chun

For more info, please visit the Brooklyn Bridge Park website


An Artist and Her 'Beautiful Boy' by Alum, Lissa Rivera

In their intimate portraits, the photographer Lissa Rivera and her partner, BJ Lillis, are building their own fantasy world. The body of work has recently been featured in The New York Times, Harper's Bazaar, Creators (VICE), Forbes, Artnet, and Photo District News.

There will be an opening of 'Beautiful Boy' on June 1 from 6-8pm at ClampArt. Exhibition and upcoming event details below.

EXHIBITION Lissa Rivera: Beautiful Boy June 1- July 15, 2017 Reception: June 1, 2017, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. ClampArt, 247 West 29th Street, NYC

ARTIST TALK Lissa Rivera with BJ Lillis Saturday, June 10, 2017, 3:00 p.m. ClampArt, 247 West 29th Street, NYC

LECTURE Beautiful Boy: Artist Lissa Rivera and Muse BJ Lillis in Dialogue June 22, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. New York Public Library, Mid-Manhattan Library, 6th Floor

Lissa Rivera, left, and BJ Lillis in two early test images. Credit Courtesy of the artist and ClampArt, New York

Lissa Rivera, left, and BJ Lillis in two early test images. Credit Courtesy of the artist and ClampArt, New York

On a long subway ride three years ago, BJ Lillis decided to share something with his friend and co-worker, Lissa Rivera. Mr. Lillis, who describes himself as genderqueer, told her that he had spent most of his college years dressing, full-time, in women’s clothing.

But in the professional world, he’d lost his confidence. To help him regain it, she offered to take his photograph.

Mr. Lillis had never really seen himself, dressed as he wished, in a carefully made portrait.

“So much of identity is constructed from looking at pictures,” Ms. Rivera said in a recent interview. “Looking at photographs and looking at a film can really change who you are.”

The two have made dozens of images since, in a project called “Beautiful Boy.” An exhibition of the same name opens June 1 at the ClampArt gallery in Chelsea. 

For the full NYT article, please visit the site

Rethinking how science is seen by Marvin Heiferman on NYT LENS Blog

Photography and science continually reimagine each other. Yet science photography — for all its impact and range — is a surprisingly underexamined field. That deficit led me to develop “Seeing Science: Photography, Science and Visual Culture.” Sponsored by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and its Center for Art Design and Visual Culture, the project tracks how science and photography work in tandem.

The symbiotic relationship of photography and the sciences has sparked epiphanies, controversies and paradigm shifts for nearly two centuries. The term “scientist” was first used in 1834, the word “photography” was introduced just five years later, and the two observational disciplines have been intertwined ever since.

The British-made ICL 7500 series from the 1970s included terminals and workstations designed for office use, and by the 1980s, to play games such as Pac-Man and Space Invaders.Credit James Ball/Docubyte

The British-made ICL 7500 series from the 1970s included terminals and workstations designed for office use, and by the 1980s, to play games such as Pac-Man and Space Invaders.Credit James Ball/Docubyte

For the full article, please visit the New York Times LENS blog site

Concrete at the Local Artist Project Curated by Alum, Dana Stirling

The exhibition Concrete showcases the overlap between the works of two contemporary Israeli artists, Yoav Friedlander and Michelle Claire Gevint. For both, Concrete is a pivotal aspect in their work. Michelle and Yoav both use the medium of photography to examine a fascinating persistency of concrete in the Israeli cultural landscape, the influence of concrete architecture, monumental structures, their exterior and interior presence in-between a physical place or space and its representation.

Both artists, base their work and rely on indexicality, that derives from photography, to remake or replicate known monuments, architecture, existing images and visions from a collective memory. Their recreations accentuate the influence of photographic representation on a collective perception.

Curated by: Dana Stirling

Opening reception: Thursday, May 25th 6-9PM.

The exhibition runs through June 11th. Local Project is open to the public Wednesday - Saturday between 12pm and 6PM.

Local Art Project LIC 11-27th 44th Rd Long Island City, NY 11101 Take 7, M, E, G to Court Square.

Panel Discussion: "The Role of Imagination in Contemporary Art" Feat. Alum, Reet Das

Westbeth Gallery - In This House of Sky Exhibition

Opening Reception: May 25th between the hours of 6pm to 8pm 55 Bethune Street, NYC / Directions

**Panel Discussion: "The Role of Imagination in Contemporary Art", Saturday June 3rd, 6pm-8pm

Curated by: Karen Fitzgerald Artists Include: Reet Das, Yan Cynthia Chen, Susan Spencer Crowe, Karen Fitzgerald, Julie Gross, Ellen Grossman, Susan Knight, Paula Overbay, Jim Pignetti, Florina Sbircea, Mary Vengrofski, Alice Zinnes

From May 25 to June 18, the Westbeth Gallery will host a show titled "In This House of Sky" which features twelve contemporary artists and explores the concept of space, time and the sky. The exhibition is free to the public, and the gallery is open from 1 pm-6 pm Wednesday through Sunday.