Shelley Haven, Umpachene IV, gouache, 2015, courtesy of artist.
Bronx artist Shelley Haven presents an exhibition of works in ink, graphite, gouache and oil. Selected from Haven’s series Travel Drawings and Boulders, these expressive, linear renderings of rock and cliff formations sighted during her travels resonate with the grandeur and rugged texture of the Hudson River Palisades, visible from Wave Hill’s Pergola and elsewhere on the grounds.
Haven’s formidable use of line to delineate geological structures translates like handwriting through numerous mediums. Intentionally unclear horizon lines and outcrops push against their canvas and paper borders.Haven prioritizes materiality over imagery; assured mark-making blurs distinctions between painting and drawing. From photographs and working en plein air, she captures boulder outcroppings and rock ravines she has visited in Spain, Italy and Switzerland, as well as throughout the east coast of the US and in our national parks. These sites appear eternal in their monumental, natural architecture, but geological fissures and sedimentary layers betray the inevitable erosion and transformation wrought by time.
Shelley Haven recently received the 2018 Bronx Recognizes Its Own (BRIO) award and served as the summer 2017 Teaching-Artist-in-Residence at the Hudson River Museum. She has been awarded grants by the Puffin Foundation and the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, and has participated in residencies and fellowships in the US and abroad. Her work is included in collections at the Library of Congress; the Museum of Modern Art’s Franklin Furnace Archive; the New York City Public Library’s Rare Books Collection; the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam; University of Iowa Library Rare Books Collection in Iowa City, IA; and New York University, among others. Solo exhibitions include installations at the New York Public Library, Pfizer World Headquarters, The Elsie B. Rosefsky Memorial Art Gallery at Binghamton University, the Media Loft Gallery in New Rochelle, NY. Of her creative practice, she explains, “nature is my inspiration and my refuge.”