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In February of 2005, Marcia G. Yerman curated
Long Island City – The Creative Path at Flushing
Town Hall in Queens, New York. Ms. Yerman chose the
paintings of Lucy Fradkin, the sculpture of Eliot Lable, and the photography of Mary Teresa Giancoli to represent this dynamic creative community. The Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts organized an overview of the historical evolution of the artisan in Long Island City as a parallel exhibit.

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Long Island City – The Creative Path
showcases three artists who create their work in the environs of Long Island City. With distinctly different stylistic approaches, they each engage the theme of the relationship between the individual and society.

Lucy Fradkin creates figurative paintings in both oil and gouache on
paper, often incorporating elements of collage. Through her observations, she addresses issues about presenting one’s self to the world. At first viewing, her art can be read as a commentary on the role of women in society, with an emphasis on body image and appearance.

However, equally important is Fradkin’s acute consciousness of composition, and her use of color and pattern to evoke a visceral response. Fradkin is inspired by influences as varied as ancient frescoes and mosaics, the cultures of the Etruscans and the Byzantines, images observed during her travels, and the catalogues from which she draws upon to comprise her collage vocabulary. With painstaking detail, Fradkin develops intricate designs and motifs, creating a depth that draws the observer into the intimate world of each painting. The work has a narrative quality that lends itself to psychological interpretation, but the emotional references remain personal and private.

Eliot Lable deals with philosophical questions through welded steel. His sensibility is that of an artist unafraid to tackle difficult issues. Rather, he feels compelled to explore them. He challenges the viewer to join him on his journey of examination, and to reflect upon a world filled with inequities. His work can be seen as referencing particular current events.

In essence, it is a larger reflection upon the dark side of humanity. Cruel acts are addressed in individual constructions that focus on devices of torture and violence. Yet aside from its specificity, the sculptures also stand as a metaphor for the injustices that continue through time…despite the “advancement” of civilization. Beyond the coldness of the metal, there is a recurring theme of hopefulness in Lable’s shapes and forms. Astral spheres rest atop hands and feet. Fragments of anatomy reach out to stake their claim on the glass half full. Through these powerful icons, Lable communicates to us as shaman and prophet.

Mary Teresa Giancoli takes as her theme and subject matter how cultural values are transformed and adapted from a land of origin, to a new country and environment. With an insider’s eye she comments on what it means to be of Mexican descent, to be a woman, and to be living in the urban setting of New York City. Using a manual medium-format camera and available light, she captures how traditions are simultaneously preserved and changed.

Recording specific moments through a series of visual details, her photographs present an investigation of rituals and traditions with insight - while maintaining respect for the relationship of the subject to the image. Mary Teresa Giancoli deepens our awareness of how each person’s journey in life is shaped by the inheritance of his or her distinctive heritage.

— Marcia G. Yerman © 2005



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