Jackie Meier — 10 X Relay
This group of 10 artists represents a collective group of New York abstract painters. It is also my personal connection to the art world. I took a circuitous path to art making, I always wanted to paint but it took years to get there. I often struggled to find people who felt like my contemporaries. Fresh out of graduate school I continually went to openings and eventually stumbled upon a new, small gallery called Galeria Janet Kurnatowski. Janet’s was located in Greenpoint, a neighborhood of Brooklyn New York, this space was more than a gallery. It was a fledgling community of like minded artists. Abstract art ruled here and I finally felt at home. I first met Russell Roberts who introduced me to another as a painter. I later met Lisa Taliano, Erick Johnson and Jennifer Riley, and eventually, Pierre Obano and Kylie Heidenheimer. This group came to include Laura Newman, Pinkney Herbert and Chuck Webster . Every month there was an opening for the next show and an afterparty at the odd Fireplace Bar down the street.
I realize now, we were creating a community. Our discussions about art making, what we saw in the galleries, work in others studios and discussing what we read, were the beginning of my real world education. We shared our lives, our struggles and were forging bonds that I needed to feel supported in the land called the art world. These colleagues and competitors became an audience and cheering section. They are the best critics when honest and strongest supporters when the creative juices just aren’t flowing. They are the people who helped me to see my work as others see the work.
They are the friends whose work I deeply respect, and admire. When the gallery closed after a strong 10 year run, I was left without a home base. I had no reliable place where I could find a friendly face and hold an honest conversation about the color blue. Yet our connections endured and the friendships grew. Years later, these people have gathered together and are presented in this show.
The work runs a range of styles and methods, from hard edge geometry to sensitive intuitive painting, but they are all definitively abstract. In a symbolic way our perseverance at our mission has become a type of protest. A protest saying that there is still room for new abstract painting.