July 20 — August 31, 2019

Whitfield Lovell, Steven Norton, Judy Blum Reddy, Juan Sanchez, Rose Viggiano, Michael Kelly Williams & Scott Wixon



Conduit Gallery is pleased to announce Persistence, Vision & Passion = Longevity, a group exhibition of work curated by Dallas-based artist, Robert Barsamian.

Upon a recent trip to New York to honor the memory of his friend, artist and educator, Krishna Reddy, Robert Barsamian decided it was time to introduce an even larger group of his former New York City compatriots to a Texas audience. In this mode of thinking, he constructed a group show, featuring seven artists working in New York, to exhibit works on paper from the past five years at Conduit Gallery in Dallas. This collection of artists come from Barsamian’s time living in New York during the 1970's. Now living and working in North Texas, Barsamian sees this as an opportunity to exchange some cultural output between Texas and New York. He advocates that this show can be an educational experience for the next generation of artists in North Texas, peeking into the past and present of what it is like to exist as an artist in New York.

These artists are varied in their approaches and individual interests, but are unified in dedication to their practice. Some have received prestigious awards and prizes for their work, others have been educators in some of the more revered institutions that the US has to offer.

Michael Kelly Williams
Williams works in sculpture and also creates works on paper and prints. His art is inspired by music, poetry, literature, nature, mythology and love. He draws heavily from world cultures, the art of the ancients, folk art, and African art. Concepts that interest him are the spiritual in art, environmental concerns, equality and justice, hierarchies collapsing, irony, and surrealism. He is motivated by his mentors, great teachers, and the belief in his own vision. He believes he has reached the point where his influences have percolated into something unique yet very much linked to art being produced throughout the African diaspora.

He was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, and grew up in Detroit. He is the son of artist Kelly Williams. He attended Cass Technical High School. He graduated with a B.F.A. in Printmaking from the University of Michigan in 1975 and went on to study and teach in New York City at Robert Blackburn’s Printmaking Workshop from 1979 to 1983.

Williams was Artist-in-Residence at The Studio Museum in Harlem from 1986 to 1987. He attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1988. He was the art director for "Daughters of the Dust," a 1991 PBS-American Playhouse Production directed by Julie Dash. He graduated in 1996 with an M.F.A. in Sculpture from Brooklyn College. Williams has also been an educator with the New York City Department of Education system for many years.

His work can be found in several museums and institutions, such as The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York; The Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He has been commissioned for various permanent installations, including two mosaic murals located at the Intervale Subway Station (2/5) in the Bronx as well as several glass murals in P.S. 82 Hammond School in Queens, New York. His work has been exhibited in China, Morocco, Canada, India and Japan. He has had residencies at Materials for the Arts in Long Island City, Wave Hill in the Bronx, and the first Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop Legacy Publishing Fellowship at the Elizabeth Foundation. He was recently awarded a Pollock/Krasner grant. His studio is located in Amenia New York.

Rose Viggiano
The drawings in this show represent my magical thinking about possible places and life forms residing in other dimensions. These creatures and places are afloat and moving through space with some unknown direction and purpose. They reside on the other side of a thin veil, and on rare occasions one may be lucky enough to glimpse them and their environments.

The bronzes have landed on earth from an industrial world not so unlike ours. A little menacing, dark and mechanical. Why did they come here? This remains a mystery.

Dr. Rose Viggiano has been an artist teacher for 40 years at the School of Visual Arts located in New York City. She uses different materials and techniques ranging from bronze, printmaking and cut paper in her artwork. Rose has exhibited in group shows: Whitney Museum Downtown, Manhattan; Hudson River Museum, Yonkers and the International Arts Festival at Asilah, Morocco, and one-person shows: SoHo20, New York City and Museo de Guanajuato, Mexico.

She holds an undergraduate degree in sculpture form the University of the Arts, a degree in printmaking from SUNY Albany and a doctorate in Art Education from Teachers college, Columbia University.

Judy Blum Reddy
Judy received a B.F.A. from Cooper Union and has shown in New York City at P.S.1/MoMA, Art in General, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, ABC No Rio and at Rutgers University, New Jersey, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Galerie Nicolas Deman in Paris. She also had a one-person show at Nature Morte, New Delhi. Blum-Reddy's work is in the collections of The Bronx Museum of the Arts, NYC, The Cleveland Museum of Art in Ohio, Fond National d'Art Contemporain and Centre National d'Art de Grenoble both in France. She has recently shown at the Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam 2015, Irish Museum of Modern Art 2016, Dublin, Villa Vassilieff 2016, Paris, Dak'Art 2016, Senegal, Station Independent Project, New York 2015, 33 Orchard, New York, 2016, FIAC 2016, Paris, Clark House Initiative 2014 - 15 - 16, Bombay, Asian Cultural Centre, Asian Cultural Centre - Gwangju Biennale 2016 and Art Dubai 2015. She worked for about two decades for the Camille Billops and James V. Hatch Archives of African-American Culture and the publication Artist and Influence, an annual journal featuring interviews with noted American "marginalized artists" across a wide range of genres.

She has appeared in reviews in Art Forum, Frieze, New York Times, Blouin Artinfo, Le Monde, Hindustan Times, NY Arts and Bronx Press Review.

She curated in 1980: New York – co-curated Science Fiction: Imaginary Voyages at the Bronx Museum of the Arts and in 1986: New York – Henry Street Settlement – Extended Family/Collaboration Between Artists and their Children. She was awarded the NYSCA CAPS Grant for Drawing and Graphics.

Juan Sánchez
Sánchez is a painter, photographer, printmaker and video artist. Born to Immigrant working—class Puerto Rican parents in Brooklyn, New York, Sánchez is part of a generation of artists—such as Coco Fusco, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Pepón Osorio and Papo Colo—who in the 1980s and '90s explored questions of ethnic, racial and national identity in their work.

Among numerous group exhibitions in numerous national and international gallery and museum venues, Sánchez had solo exhibitions at BRIC Arts/Media House, P.S.1/MoMA Contemporary Art Center, El Museo del Barrio, Exit Art, Bronx Museum of the Arts, the 5th Havana Biennale, and El Museo de Historia, Antropologia y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico.

Among several permanent collections, his art is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, El Museo del Barrio, The Smithsonian Museum of American Art.

Sánchez has been awarded grants and fellowships, from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Sánchez earned a BFA from The Cooper Union School of Art and a MFA from the Mason Gross School of the Arts of Rutgers University. He is Professor of Art at Hunter College in New York City.

Steven Norton
My fondness for drawn narrative images was like so many others sparked by comics, stacks of which my brother would bring home. The desire to recreate them and learn how to draw turned into an identity as an artist. That identity was sustained and enlarged in undergraduate and graduate school, particularly in printmaking.

Moving to NYC and working in the arts community exposed me to works by Homer, Sargent, Walton Ford and Melissa Miller. Their work inspired an appreciation of watercolors with its subtle soft beauty and intimacy. Paper and pigment, just like printmaking, that can say so much but without a heavy hand.

Whitfield Lovell
Lovell is renowned for his artworks that incorporate images of anonymous African Americans hand drawn from his personal archive of hundreds of photographs. His imagery is derived from studio portraits, mug shots, and vernacular photos mostly from the era between the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil Rights Movement. Lovell often pairs his subjects with found objects, evoking personal memories, ancestral connections, and the collective American past.

Lovell’s major installations and exhibitions include: Visitation: The Richmond Project, which traveled to several venues including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, Australia; Deep River, which was first exhibited at the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, TN and travelled to the Telfair Museum in Savannah, GA. His installation Whispers From the Walls, which received much critical acclaim and toured nationally, appearing at venues including the San Antonio Museum and New York’s Studio Museum in Harlem.

Whitfield Lovell: The Kin Series & Related Works, opened October 2016 at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. The exhibition featured selections from his Kin Series, a group of drawings on paper that present stark depictions of early to mid-20th-century African Americans, in dialogue with related works; including examples of his “tableaux,” drawings on antique wood panels, combined with found objects.

In 2007 Lovell was awarded the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, sometimes referred to as the "genius grant.” His work is included in the permanent collections of The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art, in New York City; The National Museum of African American History and Culture, DC; The Seattle Art Museum, WA; The McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX; and others.

Scott Wixon
"All kinds of abstract elements crowd Mr. Wixon’s . . . canvases. Puzzling together biomorphic, expressionistic, geological, spacey and funky forms in confectionery colors, he creates dense jazzy improvisations of infectiously playful freedom." - Ken Johnson New York Times.

Color has always been extremely important to Scott Wixon, and is one of the defining elements of his work. Over the years he has developed a personal vocabulary of shapes and gestures. The current work is a combination of influences from the environment where the work is crated and from the artist's imagination. As he puts it: "When I start a new painting, I usually have only a preliminary idea. I start to paint and my structure develops as I go along, reacting to what has come before. When I am painting, I feel confident that I can totally trust my intuition and make the right decisions."

Scott has worked and lived in Tribeca in Manhattan since 1975. He grew up on Cape Cod and returns there often. He received a Masters of Fine Arts degree from Yale University. He has a love of nature and the sea, but also enjoys the energy of the city. He has traveled extensively and sampled the art and culture of the world. All of these influences and passions have informed and affected his work. Scott’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Guggenheim Museum. He has artworks in the Guggenheim Museum permanent collection, as well as in private and corporate collections. In the past two years he was awarded residencies at the Cill Rialaig Project in Ballinskelligs, Ireland and at Foundation Obras in Estremoz, Portugal where he concentrated on works on paper using watercolors and colored pencils.

About the Curator
Robert Barsamian was born in a close-knit Armenian community in Whitinsville, Massachusetts in 1947, the son and grandson of survivors of the 1915 Armenian Genocide. A studio art major at Massachusetts College of Art, Barsamian went on to receive his M.A. in 1971 from the State University of New York at Albany. He has exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions in a variety of museums throughout the country and abroad including: The Bronx Museum, NY; The Tyler Museum of Art, TX; The Dallas Museum of Art, TX; The Asilah Museum, Morocco; Swarthmore College, PA; Colgate College, NY; The University of Minnesota, MN; Holocaust Museum of Florida, FL; Holocaust Center in Farmington Hills, MI; Project Row House, TX; Baruch College, NY; The Arlington Museum in Arlington, TX; Western New Mexico University, NM; George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, MA; Russell Sage College, NY; The Oklahoma Art Center, OK; The Houston Holocaust Museum, TX and Southern Connecticut State University, CT.

Artists in this Exhibition