1959: Spirit of the Void

1959: Spirit of the Void @ DUMBO Open Studios

For Dumbo Open Studios, I invited Stephanie Theodore, founder and director of Theodore:Art in Bushwick, to co-curate an exhibition of work by artists born the same year I was–1959. I was surprised when more than fifty artists responded to my call, making the choices  difficult, but we ultimately put together “1959: Spirit of the Void,” on view Saturday and Sunday, April 27 & 28, 1-6pm at Two Coats of Paint HQ. Please join us on Saturday, 4 – 7 pm, for a reception with the artists and some birthday cake.


1959: Spirit of the Void – some thoughts from Stephanie Theodore

“But at my back I always hear
Time’s wing’d chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.”
[. . . ]
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

Excerpts from Andrew Marvell, “To His Coy Mistress”

Andrew Marvell begins “To His Coy Mistress” with the endless languor of youthful play, continues to a moment of reflection on mortality, and finishes with the determination of an adult, fully cogent about how long the fun will last, but determined to enjoy every second.

Sixty years of age – old enough to know better, young enough to indulge occasionally in the less than sensible. The road ahead does not stretch forth into infinity, but there are still some highways and byways to be wandered. We look mortality square in the eyes, but can still conjure up some youthful mischief to pretend it’s not looking over our shoulders ever so closely.

“Spirit of the void” sounds ominous, but it is also a relief. We have buried our last fucks in the back yard with the food scraps, and we can just be. No illusions, just a pursuit to the last of the ephemeral wonders of happiness and beauty.

Essay: Vintage 1959 from Jonathan Stevenson


“1959: Spirit of the Void,” co-curated by Sharon Butler and Stephanie Theodore. Artists include Markus Baenziger, Sharon Butler, Elisabeth Condon, Dionisio Cortes, Catherine Howe, Dion Kliner, Robert Lansden, Xanda McCagg, Joseph Salerno,Mary Schiliro, Jane Swavely, and Amy Yoes.

Where:Two Coats of Paint HQ (aka Sharon Butler’s studio)
55 Washington Street #454
Brooklyn, NY 11201 / Click here for map.

Dumbo Open Studios, Brooklyn, NY. April 27-28, 1-6 pm.

Amy Yoes

Amy Yoes works in a multi-faceted way, alternately employing installation, photography, video, painting, and sculpture. An interest in decorative language and architectural space permeates all of her work. She responds to formal topologies of ornament and style that have reverberated through time, informing our mutually constructed visual and cultural memory.

Born in 1959, Amy Yoes grew up in Houston, Texas. She has lived in Chicago, San Francisco and, since 1998, in New York. She works in a multi-faceted way, alternately employing installation, photography, video, painting, and sculpture. An interest in decorative language and architectural space permeates all of her work. She responds to formal topologies of ornament and style that have reverberated through time, informing our mutually constructed visual and cultural memory.
Born in Los Angeles and now based in New York, Elisabeth Condon is known for multilayered paintings that combine pours with landscape, scroll painting, vintage textile, and glam rock influences. Condon is the recipient of a 2018 Joan Mitchell Foundation Artist & Sculptors Grant.
Markus Baenziger
Markus Baenziger is a Swiss born artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. He is a full-time professor at Haverford College in Haverford, Pennsylvania and is represented by the Edward Thorp Gallery in New York City, where he had several one-person exhibitions. He is a recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship award.
Dionisio Cortes

Dionisio Cortes was born in 1959 in Saltillo, Coahuila – northern Mexico; he lives and works in New York City and the Hudson Valley. Cortes practice includes painting, sculpture and installation.  Holds a bachelor’s in architecture by the Coahuila Sate University, MX and an MFA by Hunter College, NY.Cortes has shown his work in Mexico and the United States including Centro de Arte Vitro; Mus

Catherine Howe

Born in Buffalo, NY, Catherine Howe is a painter with an extensive exhibitions history. She is currently represented  by Winston Wachter Fine Art, VonLintel Gallery and William Shearburn Gallery among others. Her work has been discussed in numerous publications including The New York Times, Artforum, Art in America, Flash Art, Artcritical, BOMB, Whitewall Magazine and The Los Angeles Times. She is currently a MFA faculty member at the New York Academy of Art, and makes work in studios in Manhattan and the Hudson Valley.



Mary Schiliro

Mary Schiliro, born 1959, in Brooklyn, New York, creates paintings and site-specific installations using acrylic paint and Mylar. Schiliro’s work has been exhibited widely across the United States and internationally, in France, The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Her work has been reviewed in the Los Angeles Times, Sculpture Magazine, The New Criterion and On-Verge.

Joseph Salerno is a painter who lives and works in Johnson, Vermont. His work is represented by the Furchgott Sourdiffe Gallery in Shelburne, VT, Mitchell Giddings Fine Arts in Brattleboro, VT, the Ober Gallery in Kent, CT and The Vermont Metro Gallery at Burlington City Arts Center. He has been on the faculty at Johnson State College since 1991.


Dion Kliner

Sculpture has been the apple of Dion Kliner’s eye for the past thirty-five years. He began writing about art in 1998, and has since published more than forty essays and reviews. Born in the City of Angels, Kliner spent 1990 to 2003 in NYC (some of which was spent remounting the dinosaurs at the AMNH), after which he relocated to Vancouver, Canada with his wife, the painter Darcy Mann, and their two children.





Robert Lansden

Robert Lansden was born in Earlington, KY in 1959. He earned a
BFA from The Atlanta College of Art in 1989, a MLS from Long Island
University in 1999, and a MFA from Tulane University in 2005. He
lives and maintains a studio in Norwalk, Connecticut.


Jane Swavely

Jane Swavely studied at Boston University and the School of Visual Arts and was the recipient of a Ford Foundation Fellowship. Previously represented by CDS Gallery, she is currently a member of A.I.R. gallery. Born in Allentown, PA., she lives and works in New York City. She will have a solo exhibition at the Mandeville Gallery at Union College in January, 2020.’

Xanda McCagg’s paintings have included in exhibitions inNew York, Connecticut, Florida, Ma  and internationally in Paris, France, and Budapest, Hungary. McCagg’s work has been collected extensively by private individuals and is also in the collections of Alliance Capital Management, NYC and Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP ,Boston MA. Along with a BFA in Art Education from Boston University she has completed Fellowship and residencies at C.A.M.A.C Marnay Sur Seine, France, The American Academy Rome, Italy, Visiting Artists and Scholars Program, The Contemporary Artists Center, North Adams MA, and Vermont Studio Center, Johnson VT.

Sharon Butler, work in progress at 55 Washington Street.

Sharon Butler, publisher of Two Coats of Paint, is affiliated with Theodore: Art in Bushwick and SEASON in Seattle. In the fall she’s looking forward to teaching at Cornell University and the New York Academy of Art. Her paintings are based on thedrawings she has been posting on Instagram each morning since 2016. Follow her  at @Sharon_Butler