Concrete Abstract

Concrete Abstract:
Seth Adelsberger, Lisa Dillin, Jeremy Flick, Steven Frost, Sue Johnson, Becca Kallem, Patrick McDonough, Danielle Mysliwiec and Matthew Smith
March 1 – April 20, 2013
Opening Reception: Friday, March 1, 2013, 6-8pm

Heiner Contemporary is pleased to announce Concrete Abstract, a group exhibition curated by Matthew Smith that explores the confluence of abstraction with the everyday, featuring work by Seth Adelsberger, Lisa Dillin, Jeremy Flick, Steven Frost, Sue Johnson, Becca Kallem, Patrick McDonough, Danielle Mysliwiec, and Matthew Smith. The works in the show cultivate a non-representational visual language that emerges from familiar ready-made objects, whether these objects are found or alluded to compositionally. Their formal and functional properties provide the contextual framework for works that are ultimately understood visually via their entanglement with abstraction, even as they remain securely tethered to the real, concrete world.

Danielle Mysliwiec and Becca Kallem, both painters, make compositional use of the physical and decorative elements of textiles in their abstract works. Seth Adelsberger, also a painter, reimagines the functional properties of wooden stretcher bars in compositions that reference the legacy of geometric abstraction. Meanwhile, Sue Johnson’s drawings of fantastical shelves arrive at forms that begin to resemble the mystic symbols of abstract painters like Alfred Jensen and Simon Gouverneur.

Patrick McDonough uses his lawn chair sculptures to investigate the aesthetics of leisure, all the while the formal and color properties of his works also appear to take a stake in abstract art. Lisa Dillin is interested in the aesthetics of the “office-scape” and offers a kind of beautiful escape by abstracting the objects of our cubicle culture. Jeremy Flick proposes a similar type of redemption, sourcing the pixelated, low-quality digital patterns of "web-tiles" to produce abstract compositions. Conversely, Steven Frost’s assortment of embellished sex toys -- protests against traditional notions of good taste -- become investigations of abstracted color and form in their ornate departure from the norm. 

All of the artists either live, work, or have exhibited extensively in the Washington, D.C. area.        

Seth Adelsberger lives and works in Baltimore, MD. He received a BFA from Towson University in 2002. Recent exhibitions include “Bordering on Painting” at Civilian Art Projects, and the Sondheim Semi-Finalist Exhibition in 2012. His work was featured in New American Paintings #45, #57, and #75 as well as in group and solo shows throughout the U.S. In 2008, he received the top award for painting from the Maryland State Arts Council. Adelsberger is represented by Civilian Art Projects in D.C. He is co-director of Nudashank in Baltimore.  ­

Lisa Dillin is based in Baltimore MD via Brooklyn, NY. She received an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Sculpture in 2006 and a BFA from Atlanta College of Art in Photography and Sculpture in 1998. She is an Adjunct Faculty member at the Corcoran College of Art + Design and Maryland Institute College of Art, and was selected as a finalist for the 2012 Sondheim Prize and a semifinalist for the 2011 Trawick Prize.

Steven Frost lives and works in Los Angeles, California. He received his BFA from Alfred University 2004 and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011. Frost has exhibited his fiber-based objects, drawings, performances and installations across the US including recent exhibitions in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, and Nashville. Frost was the 2009 recipient of the Lenore G. Tawney Prize, and a 2012 Resident at ACRE in Stueben, WI.

Sue Johnson earned a BFA in painting from Syracuse University and an MFA in painting from Columbia University.  Her work has been exhibited nationally, including the Tweed Museum of Art, Jan Cicero Gallery, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Midwest Museum of American Art, Swarthmore College, Anderson Gallery/VCU, and University of Richmond Museums. Grants include awards from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the NEA/Mid Atlantic Foundation Fellowship, among others.

Jeremy Flick received his BFA from the University of Cincinnati and his MFA from the University of Maryland. He has exhibited nationally with recent exhibitions at Studio 1469, Arlington Arts Center, (e)merge art fair, Conner Contemporary Art, Runnels Art Gallery, and Museum Gallery/Gallery Museum, among others.

Becca Kallem is an artist and teacher in the D.C. area. She received her MFA in painting from the University of New Hampshire, with a BA in Art and Spanish from the College of William and Mary. Currently she is a resident artist at the Arlington Arts Center, and formerly a resident at the Vermont Studio Center and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She is a member of Sparkplug, Project Dispatch, and the DC Cheer art squad.

Patrick McDonough lives and works in Washington, D.C. He has exhibited nationally at venues such as G Fine Art, Conner Contemporary, Vox Populi, and Towson University; produced public projects for Socrates Sculpture Park and Marvin Gaye Park; and collaborated with institutions such as the Washington Project for the Arts, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and the Maryland Institute College of Art. McDonough holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MFA from the George Washington University.

Danielle Mysliwiec received a BA from Wesleyan University and an MFA from Hunter College. She is a painter and co-founder of Brainstormers, a performance collaborative. Her work has been exhibited nationally at venues like the Brooklyn Museum, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Baer Ridgway Exhibitions, Galeria Marta Cervera, Rutgers University, and the Arlington Arts Center. Her work has been reviewed in publications including The Brooklyn Rail, ArtNews, Art Fag City, NYFA Current, and Artnet.

Matthew Smith is an artist and writer in Washington, D.C. He received a BA from George Washington University and an MA from the University of Maryland, College Park. He is a regular contributor to the New American Paintings blog and the Washington City Paper. He is also a resident artist at the Arlington Arts Center.

Concrete Abstract will be on view at Heiner Contemporary March 1 – April 20, 2013. The gallery will host an opening reception on Friday, March 1, from 6-8pm. Heiner Contemporary is located at 1675 Wisconsin Avenue, NW. For more information email or visit

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