Please join us at HarlemStudioFellowship by Montrasioarte for the upcoming exhibition,

S c a f f o l d i n g s

featuring works by:
Mariagrazia Pontorno & Tamas Jovanovics

Curated by Raffaele Bedarida

Opening reception: Thursday, April 23, 2009 – 6.00 PM – 10.30 PMBy appointment: April 24 – May 4


Italian artist Mariagrazia Pontorno exhibits two works linked to each other and both entitled Roots. Her series of digital images adopt the iconography of traditional herbaria. Eight species of plants and flowers that grow and blossom in Central Park during the months of Pontorno’s residency in Manhattan, are painstakingly reconstructed in exceptionally precise 3D pictures (with the technical support of Alessandro Lupo and Francesco Palenga). Only at a closer analysis the viewer feels uncomfortable: the tension between naturalness and artificiality emerges slowly and uncannily from those plants. Printed and traditionally framed, the synthetic herbarium further resounds in the early-1900s environment of HSF’s townhouse. Pontorno’s second work is a storyboard, the project for a visionary video animation: the plants of the herbarium are now in Central Park’s Great Lawn. Touched by the wind, they emerge form the ground and levitate. In the background, the skyscrapers takeoff as space shuttles, showing their eradicated roots.

London-based, Hungarian artist Tamas Jovanovics exhibits Horizontal Straight Lines: a series of paintings exclusively consisting of horizontal straight lines (thousands of them) on square-shaped canvases. Combined in triptychs, the canvases are hung at 45 degrees, and the colored-pencil lines dash through the lozenges. The optical result on the canvas’ surface is that of a pulsing vibration, a centrifugal tendency (Rosalind Krauss), described by Jovanovics in terms of evasiveness. Beyond the canvases’ limits, the effect is that of an infinite continuity: the lozenges are “just” the visible terminals of the lines’ virtual limitlessness. An homage to Piet Mondrian’s New York work, Horizontal Straight Lines engage a dialogue with Manhattan: their infinite horizontality is playfully dialectical with the most vertical of all the cities.

HSF – residency program
for international artists
W128 121 St.
New York, NY 10027


Andrea Belfi – Stefano Pilia at HSF

  • Two special guests, musicians Andrea Belfi and Stefano Pilia
    have been invited at HSF for the period March-April 2009. Their HSF project consists of a sound performance based on two different works: “Con i piedi per terra” by Belfi and “NY Strings” by Pilia. During their US stay, Belfi and Pilia are giving a series of concerts:

In New York City

-March 18th: Stefano Pilia/Andrea Belfi/Marina Rosenfeld (&Mudboy)
at Paris London
285 Kent Ave btwn s1 & s2
Williamsburg, NY
-March 23rd: Andrea Belfi/Stefano Pilia
at Goodbyebluemonday
1087 Brodway Brooklyn, NY
-March 24th: Andrea Belfi/Stefano Pilia/Margarida Garcia/Barry Weisblat
at the Lit Lounge
93 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003
-April 4th: Andrea Belfi/Stefano Pilia/David Grubbs (& Scott Haggart)
at Issue Project Room
At the Old American Can Factory
232 3rd Street, 3rd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Out of NYC with Jeffrey Alexander (of Black Forrset/Black Sea:
-March 27th @ H+H, Baltimore MD
-March 28th @ Front Room Gallery, Cleveland OH
-March 29th @ Schlow Centre Region Library, State College PA
-March 31st @ The Nerve, Pittsburgh PA w/ Animental
-April 1st@ Skylab, Columbus OH w/ Caethua, Animental

Vice Versa – January 6, 2009

Please join us at HSF by MontrasioArte for the opening reception of Vice Versa, featuring works by artists-in-residence, Nicola Magrin and Issa Nyaphaga curated by Raffaele Bedarida.

Opening reception:
Tuesday, January 6th 2009 (6.30-10.30 pm)
128 W 121st Street (between Lenox and Powell).
Subway 2/3 to 116th Street or 125th Street

Vice Versa presents two specular approaches to art making. Nicola Magrin and Issa Nyaphaga are poles apart both formally and conceptually, yet they open up complementary possibilities of post-relational art practices.

Paris-based artist Issa Nyaphaga left his country, Cameroon, in 1996 as a refugee after being imprisoned and tortured for the publication of his political drawings, which targeted government officials. Active in counter-information and educational activities with schools, universities, cultural centers and social institutes mostly in France and in the US, Issa’s art practice ranges from painting to political drawing, from body art to performance and installation. At HSF, Issa presents a series of portraits of Barack Obama. Living in Harlem during the last months of the campaign and the presidential elections of November 2008, Issa witnessed these historical events from the outsider perspective of an African exile and with the eye of the political drawer. He has represented the iconic face of the President Elect on the backdrop of his words, white on black, showing the current in-between condition of intense expectations. A participatory performance, part of Issa’s ongoing project Urban Way, will take place during the opening reception, where the artist will dialogue with live music and the public through live painting, action, and body painting.

Italian artist Nicola Magrin exhibits large and medium size calligraphic works on paper where his daily experiences, encounters, and observations during his three-month stay in New York are translated into poetic, rarefied images. Magrin’s wonder before the range of banal and exceptional scenes or events encountered as a foreigner is initially an intimate fact, but it is then progressively turned, in his folios, into more universal images, which are, themselves, instruments of wonder. “Suddenly – he writes — the fear of a sheet of a piece of paper, good paper, clean, white ready to host some images, fruit of my excursions. And then to prepare the color – in this case instinctively mixing an ‘earth color’ with a black, dense and fragile as coal – finally, a lot of water… water from Harlem.” The artist’s presence is substantial: figures made out of single, uninterrupted brushstrokes that skillfully give shape to abundantly diluted ink, are the physical link between the visitor and the artist’s intimacy. Sometimes, if an affinity is established, Magrin works in presence of and for intimate audiences bringing the gesture back to its performative, yet non-heroic dimension.

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HSF @ Harlem Open Artist Studio Tour

Harlem Studio Fellowship is participating to
Harlem Open Artist Studio Tour
Saturday Oct. 4, 12-6 pm
Sunday Oct 5, 1-6 pm
(see for the full program and the map).

HSF at Harlem Open Artist Studio Tour 2008, Oct 4 & 5, 2008
Harlem Studio Fellowship is glad to participate to Harlem Open Artist Studio Tour on Oct. 4 & 5, 2008 (see for the full program). HSF’s townhouse will present a threefold program:
–    Abacism, an exhibition by French HSF fellow artist France Languérand, co-curated by Stéphanie Jeanjean and Raffaele Bedarida;
–    On the Block, a projection of HSF artist Susy Blu’s photographic project;
–    freeDimensional will be hosted with its Action Lab on Economic Migration.
HSF is a residency program for international artists. Conceived by Ruggero Montrasio and curated by Raffaele Bedarida, the program invites young artists every three months. HSF provides them with housing and studio in Harlem, NYC. In addition to presenting their work at the conclusion of their residency, a complete show of the artists in residence will be held at the end of the first 3 years (catalogue by Silvana Editoriale). It will display a selection from the artists invited.

France Languérand – Abacism
Using different media, France Languérand interrogates the structures and systems of a selection of cultural objects, which popularity have turned into clichés and cultural commodities. Engaged in an obstinate relationship with the cultural product, the artist’s activities respond to her absolute need to tentatively set in order and understand a specific object through the structural organization of its components. The object is qualified, and then quantified until it disappears or, better, is re-qualified.
During her residency at HSF, France Languérand proposes two different projects. The first one concerns photographs obtained with a computer program that she created. The photographs are 16 777 216 pixels in size and each pixel corresponds to one color from the 16 777 216 numeric color scale. The second project is a sound piece using the basic chords that anyone must know before playing an instrument. The basic chords will become the material studied and manipulated for this project and result in the creation of an original musical composition.

Susy Blu – On the Block
“Harlem is deeply and quickly changing: many old houses are being restored; new people are moving to this neighbourhood, some residents have to leave because the rent prices are increasing; new shops, bars, buildings, hotels and restaurants are opening, while some old, no more competitive ones are closing. Students from Columbia University, artists, young couples and freelances live and work nowadays in Harlem, sharing spaces and habits with the historical residents of this area. Last summer a lot of white people moved to Harlem and the gentrification is getting faster and faster. The block where HSF is located reflects this interesting phase of transition, that’s why I decided to concentrate on this small but rich reality. Being an agent myself of this process I thought I could only work where I am part of it.” (Susy Blu, On the Block – Concept, Sept. 2007)
Susy Blu’s photographic project On the Block is a systematic study/portrait of the houses’ interiors on 121st Street between Lenox and Powel, where HSF is located. Although absent, their inhabitants collectively emerge through the environments that they have personalized. The project is a reflection on topics such as gentrification, domesticity, identity and privacy. Photographs will be shown shown through a loop projection, commented by text and sounds.

Susy Blu - On the Block 2008

Susy Blu - On the Block 2008

Susy Blu - On the Block 2008

Susy Blu - On the Block 2008

freeDimensional – Action Lab on Economic Migration
freeDimensional (fD) is a platform of collaboration linking community art spaces to social justice movements globally.  fD conducts advocacy on behalf of vulnerable groups and produces tactical media to illustrate critical, contemporary issues.  fD uses existing resources in the art, media and entertainment sectors in order to engage and financially underwrite direct actions, raise awareness and instigate change.
The freeDimensional Action Lab on Economic Migration has been in development since 2006. Starting with an fD resident artist in NYC, Bara Diokhane and the Gowanus Canal “Empty Vessel” Boat Project, up to the artHARLEM tour on October 4/5, 2008 with no intention of slowing down. The project has found a great deal on momentum in 2008. Beginning with an event during New York City’s Immigrant Heritage Week, on to a one week workshop on Economic Migration at the Santa Fe Art Institute and ending the spring season of events with a media intervention in Dakar, with their partner center the Atelier Mustapha Dime, during the Dak’Art Biennale.
Moving from the spring to summer has found fD working with a new and dynamic research project on Economic Migration, “Taking to the Sea”. Taking to the Sea is interested in looking at Egyptian Economic Migration by the sea. fD will feature Taking to the Sea during artHARLEM. fD plans to bring Taking to the Sea to a new audience in New York City and connect it to other projects on migration that are also ongoing. There are a number of community based organizations that are focused on Economic Migration from Central America to the US as well as West Africa to Europe that fD has been working with. fD looks to further the discussion by bringing organizations and community art spaces to work together to focus on the situation at hand.


works by France Languerand

curated by Stephanie Jeanjean and Raffaele Bedarida

opening reception October 3, 6-10 pm

on view October 4 – 5 within the program artHarlem Tour

by appointment October 6 – 12, 2008

Tondo Brunch