NM Opens Fall Season With New Worlds in Glass!

Norte Maar, Paracosm, Krida Fjellman, Kim Harty, David King, Erica Rosenfeld, Brett Swenson, Benjamin Wright, Cypress Hills, Brooklyn, gallery

Cypress Hills, Brooklyn – Norte Maar’s cutting edge visual arts program continues at its new home in Cypress Hills! Norte Maar is excited to open its fall season with Paracosm: new worlds in glass curated by Suzanne Peck and Erin O’Connor. The exhibition explores paracosmimaginary worlds created inside one’s mind—fantasy worlds that involve humans, animals, and things that exist in reality—entities that are entirely imaginary, alien, and otherworldly. These imaginary worlds are offered up by artists Frida Fjellman (Stockholm), Kim Harty (Detroit), David King (Philadelphia), Erica Rosenfeld (Brooklyn), Brett Swenson (Brooklyn), and Benjamin Wright (Brooklyn / Philadelphia). The exhibition will open at Norte Maar’s new space in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn, on September 11 with a reception from 6-8pm and will continue through October 23. Gallery hours are weekends 1-6pm and always by appointment.

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Norte Maar, Paracosm, Frida Fjellman, Kim Harty, David King, Erica Rosenfeld, Brett Swenson, Benjamin Wright, Cypress Hills, Brooklyn, gallery

Frida Fjellman

Paracosm: new worlds in glass explores the scientific term for imaginary universes through works in glass by six artists. This show bears witness to the human quality to explore and create, searching for alternative narratives, and in this case, alternative approaches to a medium. Glassmaking history — charged with counterfeit, subterfuge, and experiment — betrays the ubiquitous shine, translucence, and radiance with which glass is now associated. The artists in Paracosm do no less; their works incubate experiences that amplify and distill the diverse possibilities of creating work that illuminates the interior and the exterior, works that draw in and challenge both the earnest and absurd.

Paracosm includes six international, national, and local artists. Each artist occupies a unique inquiry into this theme, entering from distinct points of view and emerging into a cacophonous conversation ripe with contradiction and possibilities.

Norte Maar, Paracosm, Krida Fjellman, Kim Harty, David King, Erica Rosenfeld, Brett Swenson, Benjamin Wright, Cypress Hills, Brooklyn, gallery

Brett Swenson

The alchemical microcosm that Erica Rosenfeld constructs in her “Twilight Cloud Scene” posits a rebirth both charred and radiant. Frida Fjellman creates transgressive whimsy evoking naïve wisdom in a group of her colorful glass “Lemmings”. Ben Wright’s water-like droplets, “Micro Fictions”, summon otherness in a bricolage of cultural self-reflection. In his pseudo-scientific experiment “Standards of Measurement, 1 Liter”, Brett Swenson honors the myth of the furnace as uterus, capturing the divine birth of onyx inside a contradictory host — laboratory glass. “Sisypuss”, David King’s pre-cinematic device, performs a GIF’s eternal return using this internet meme effused with humorous desperation, dark levity, and material intelligence. Kim Harty’s “Visceral Topographies”, a series of printed scars wrought by glass, express the animus of glass and present the body as canvas. These artists, with disparate methods and practices in glass, are united in their exploration of the unknown known — new universes both within and without.


Erica Rosenfeld

The notion of imaginary universes is boundless, yet these seven artists distill paracosms ripe with social and personal meanings. Each work exploits glass’ impossibly perfect traits to magnify, distort, and mimic, straining and capturing narratives of play, interpretation, being, and alterity. This exhibition springs from two concrete worlds in dialogue with the social world, that of the artists imagination and the material of glass. In combination, the results are delightfully otherworldly.


Frida Fjellman (Stockholm) is a multi-talented artist and designer. Taking inspiration from the Scandinavian eco-system and considering her experience of both its biological and emotional components, Fjellman processes and compounds this information into immersive, fantastical tableaus that are constructed with expert artistry across several types of media in combination, including glass, ceramic, wood, and neon. Representing hyper-realistic flora and fauna as well as her own biomorphic and surrealist designs, her installations are vivid, effective, and cohesive wonderlands that demand exploration.

Born in 1971 in Mariestad, Fjellman took to working with clay from a young age, attending local ceramics classes with her father. A course at the Community College Helliden with reknown Rörstrand designer Inger Persson solidified Fjellman’s interest in the medium. The focus of Fjellman’s studies later expanded to include courses in glasswork at The Corning Studio in New York in 2000 and in neon at the Pilchuck School of Glass in Washington from 2003-2004.

At the core of Fjellman’s installations are a clear divergence from the subtle minimalism that characterizes most traditional and contemporary Swedish art and design. Fjellman was drawn to these deviating themes and practices out of a rebellious desire to tackle figurative studies, namely the study of animals, because it was considered “tacky and vulgar” and ultimately taboo within the greater artistic community. Fjellman began experimenting with her own perception of the Swedish aesthetic, appropriating and subverting the traditional elements of Swedish design, and typified beauty to create highly personal sculptures and installations, which are in many ways evocative of the Northern Swedish landscape. (Bio prepared by Hostler Burrows)

Norte Maar, Paracosm, Frida Fjellman, Kim Harty, David King, Erica Rosenfeld, Brett Swenson, Benjamin Wright, Cypress Hills, Brooklyn, galleryKIM HARTY
Kim Harty (Detroit) is an artist, writer, and educator. Her work investigates the connection between craft and performance through sculpture, installation, video, and performance. She is heavily informed by her training as a glassblower, and draws on her personal history as a craftsperson to explore how kinetic knowledge can be tracked, embodied, and performed.

Kim has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Ox-bow School of Art, and Penland School of Crafts. Her artwork and collaborative performance work has been shown in museums in the U.S. and Europe including the Design Museum Gent, Corning Museum of Glass, and the Toledo Museum of Art. Kim has written for Glass Quarterly and Detroit Research and has delivered lectures on various topics at conferences and universities throughout the country. Kim is Assistant Professor and Section Head of Glass at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan, where she currently resides.

Paracosm_4x4_kingDAVID KING
“I became interested in developing my own animation device when I came across a GIF of a kitten running up a plastic slide only to slip back down, as if running on a treadmill. In this bit of Internet ephemera, I saw a direct reference to the animal locomotion photography of Eadweard Muybridge inspired by Éttienne-Jules Marey as well as to the Greek myth of Sisyphus.

It became my goal to develop a zoetrope, which could combine all of these references in one mechanism. After Muybridge’s contributions to the study of animal locomotion, he developed and demonstrated several versions of mechanical devices similar to the zoetrope. His work was ultimately considered an important precedent for the motion picture industry. By drawing a comparison between the short, cyclical, low-brow animations of the Victorian era zoetrope and the similarly frivolous nature of modern day Internet GIFs, I address the time and space between the animation formats that bookend the 20th Century. This points subtly to the fact that newer technology does not translate into greater sophistication in terms of content – an appropriate analogy to Sisyphus’s tiresome task of endlessly pushing the same rock up a mountain only to watch it tumble back again.”

Erica Rosenfeld (Brooklyn) uses glass, beads, fabric, food, and found objects to create her work.  Aside from her sculpture, installations, and performances, she has a line of jewelry and functional glass.  Through all of these disciplines she seeks to make work that expresses time, conveys a history, and serves as a means to preserve perceived memory.  Her wearable art acts as models for her larger scale work; her sculpture becomes a memory of its smaller counterpart.

Erica is a founding member of The Burnt Asphalt Family, an artists’ collective whose mission is to create unique performance-based “installations” that reinvent objects and redefine the relationships of audience and performer, observer, and participant.  Each installation activates its space at the crossroads between art, craft, and design, through innovative techniques like hot-glass cooking demonstrations, shared meals, and edible sculptures.

Erica has taught at Pilchuck Glass School, UrbanGlass, The Corning Museum of Glass and Worchester Center for Crafts; she has been a visiting artist at University of the Arts, Tyler School of Art, Pratt University, and University of Louisville.  Her work is included in the collection of the Museum of Arts and Design, NY and The Museum of American Glass, NY.  Erica also has been featured in various publications including The New York Times, Glass Magazine, New York Magazine, and American Craft.  Her work is shown internationally in galleries, stores, and museums.

Brett Swenson’s practice explores the mutability of memory and perception in search of unseen connections between the natural and the constructed environment. Working in sculpture, video, photography, and installation, Swenson scours and subverts the constructs of time, measurement, and categorization. Through performative interventions that combine seemingly disparate elements, he embeds improbable human signatures within natural and geologic systems. His works manifest uncanny juxtapositions of the mundane and the phenomenal, evidence of something that can’t be dreamed. Brett received his BFA in Glass from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2010. He has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center of New Jersey, Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation in Brooklyn, NY, Ramdom Association’s “DEFAULT ‘15” workshop in Gagliano Del Capo, Italy, Urban Glass’s Studio Residency program in Brooklyn, NY, and Residency Unlimited in Brooklyn, NY. Brett was a 2015 nominee for the Rema Hort Mann Foundation’s Emerging Artist Grant. Recent exhibitions include his solo show Potential Difference at the Agnes Varis Art Center, Urban Glass, Brooklyn, NY (2014), as well as group exhibitions including the SIKKA Art Fair, Dubai, UAE (2016), Perched in the Eye of a Tornado, Ying Space, Beijing (2015), A Personal Thing, 184 Project Space, Brooklyn, NY (2014) Come Together: Surviving Sandy, Industry City, Brooklyn, NY (2013), Body And Material, Greenpoint Film Festival, Brooklyn, NY (2012), Fractured, performance at the Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA (2011), {Superposition}, Hyperopia Projects, Seattle, WA (2011), Art Here Art Now, University of Chicago/HyPa, Chicago, IL (2011), The Post- Glass Video Festival, Heller Gallery, New York, NY (2010), A Thin Veneer, RISD Museum, Providence, RI (2009). Brett is currently based in Brooklyn

Paracosm_4x4_WrightBENJAMIN WRIGHT
Benjamin Wright (Brooklyn) investigates time-based systems — an interest deeply rooted in his early education in evolutionary biology and catalytic to his understanding of self and his relationship to his world. Wright’s work uses light and other natural forces to create semiotic systems, at times vis-à-vis portraiture, and investigates absurdity, destruction, the material properties of glass, and scientific authority. Wright earned his MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, following a BFA from the Appalachian Center for Crafts and B.S. in Environmental and Evolutionary Biology from Dartmouth College (1998). Wright has been a Niche finalist and honoree of the Glass Art Society, as well as a visiting artist and lecturer at the Penland School of Crafts, Pilchuck Glass School, and Japan’s Toyama City Institute of Glass Art. Wright is currently the Education Director of UrbanGlass in Brooklyn, New York.

Suzanne Peck and Erin O’Connor, have worked together for over a decade, collaborating both within and outside of the glassblowing studio. Recently, they published “The Prototype: problem work in the relationship between designer, artist and gaffer in glassblowing” in Trevor Marchand’s Craftwork as Problem Solving: Ethnographic Studies of Design and Making (Ashgate, 2016). In addition to work as curators, Suzanne is a visual artist, writer and educator living in Brooklyn. Her work considers themes of skin, touch, intimacy, and material, with a healthy scoop of irreverence on top. She has taught and exhibited all over the United States and abroad. Her work can be found at suzannepeck.com and in many private collections around the world. Erin, an Associate Professor of Sociology in the Politics and Human Department at Marymount Manhattan College, is known for her ethnographic research on the body, knowledge, and culture in glassblowing — the cumulative labors of which produced her book manuscript, Firework: art, craft, and self among glassblowers. Both curators are residents of Cypress Hills, Brooklyn.

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