Visitors in New York: Mary Addison Hackett and Raffaella Chiara

Raffaella Chiara, installation of drawings at Frosch & Portmann.

On Sunday, Nashville-based blogging painter Mary Addison Hackett and I took a trip to the Lower East Side to visit the New Museum, check out the Festival of Ideas for The New City, and stop by some galleries. For the festival, Frosch & Portmann gallery invited Swiss artist Raffaella Chiara to spend a month doing an ad hoc studio residency in an apartment on the LES, and Chiara drew her way around the city. The result is a series of small pencil drawings whose abstract, architecturally-inflected images coalesce from straight, decisively drawn lines. Installed with electrical tape in overlapping layers, the series captures the intensity Chiara discovered in New York and evokes the ADD that New York brings out in visitors. Remember Broadway Boogie Woogie
Raffaella Chiara, Downstairs, 2011 Pencil and Gouache on paper, 38 x 28 inches

Several handsome larger drawings on display were made before the residency period. Raffaella Chiara, “Downstairs,” 2011, pencil and gouache on paper, 38 � 28″

Raffaella Chiara; Parallel Lines,” Frosch & Portmann, New York, NY. Through June 25, 2011.  

Mary Addison Hackett, “There is a Tree Outside My Window,” 2011, watercolor and gouache on paper. Installation view.

The reason Mary Addison Hackett was in town was because her work is included in an exhibition in Williamsburg, “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” at WG News + Arts. Curated by Luisa Caldwell and Mery Lynn McCorkle, the show includes work by Claudine Anrather, Dawn Arrowsmith, Luisa Caldwel, Rebecca Graves, Mary Addison Hackett, David Krame, Cati LaPorte, Norma Markley, Mery Lynn McCorkle, Marilla Palmer, Gary Petersen, Roland Reiss and Greg Stone. 
“Flowers have a mixed heritage in the arts. On the one hand, they have symbolized memento mori and represented lofty emotions (Shakespeare�s ‘rosemary is for remembrance’) and sexuality (O�Keefe). On the other, they are pretty, a suitable subject for Sunday watercolorists.  They are a perfect metaphor for the half empty/half full debate: it all depends upon one�s viewpoint.” So true.

Read Mary Addison’s New York Report and see more images from the show here.


  1. Really an inspired combination… the passion and excitement and informal, clever and lovely chaos of the Chiara drawings… up against the formal, careful, no-hard-edges & not-quite-represntational-not-quite-abstract works by Hackett… thank you. Truly a wonderful respite…

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