Poem From Home

ART EXHIBITION 
Poem from Home 
by Rema Ghuloum 

May 14, 2020
721 Hampton Dr., Venice 
Through June 14, 2020 

online only show including artists

Zarouhie Abdalian
Nick Aguayo
Joshua Aster
Leslie Baum
Michelle Blade
Claire Colette
Daniel Cummings
Tomory Dodge
Amir H. Fallah
Iva Gueorguiva
Stephanie Guerrero
Alexander Kroll
Molly Larkey
Nick Lowe
Jacob Melchi
Sandeep Mukherjee
Sarah Thibault
Shanna Waddell
Suné Woods

Arcadia: Visions and Prophecies

ART EXHIBITION 
Arcadia: Visions and Prophecies 
Curated by Ty Pownall and Sean Noyce 

June 29, 2019 
1206 Maple Ave., Los Angeles 
Through July 27, 2019

Durden and Ray presents Arcadia: Visions and Prophecies​, an interdisciplinary show that represents society’s attempts at utopia.
While the idyllic Greek province of Arcadia has been a creative wellspring since antiquity, California has been viewed as a place where utopia could thrive especially by some religious, co-operative, socialistic, Theosophical and Marxian communities. Their origins can be traced to the Brook Farm Unitarian colony in Massachusetts, Oneida Community in New York, and New Harmony Lutheran settlement in Indiana.

Other artists reference an attempt at idealism that ultimately went awry, like Lawrence Gipe’s photorealist painting of a newly-opened housing project from Cold War-era East Berlin; Jackie Rines’ garish, hand-wrought ceramic sculpture that references a McMansion living room and the distorted realities of American perfectionism; Nina Sarnelle’s lyrical video that wavers between pleasing, ASMR-inspired vignettes and bleak, unsettling scenes from the Southland; Shanna Waddell’s dark paintings that reference the cults and communes of California; Emma Stern’s 3D-rendered avatars that reflect society’s obsession with body culture; and Carolina Montejo’s fictionalized sci-fi journal that provides a vision of humanity’s existence outside of Earth.

Visions of utopia act as a reset button, where we can plot a world free from the trappings of nationalism, racism, global warming and other catastrophes that plague our society; conversely, dystopic prophecies are a manifestation of a world devoid of self-reflection, where we become the worst version of ourselves. Works from ​Arcadia​ provide a roadmap to help untangle ourselves from the conditions of today and give us a direction toward tomorrow.

"And I'll have a pepper shaker in my cave, so laugh"

ART EXHIBITION 
And I'll have a pepper shaker in my cave, so laugh
Curated by Kate Eringer 

February 12 2019 
1119 S. La Brea Ave, Los Angeles 
Through March 30 2019

Join us to celebrate the opening of "and I'll have a pepper-shaker in my cave, so laugh." A group exhibition grapping with the precariousness of art objects, presenting work by international artists; Margaret Haines, Nova Jiang, Linnea Kniaz, Hannah Lees, Lila de Magalhaes, Ariana Papademetropolous, Tenant of Culture, Marian Tubbs, Shanna Waddell, Alice Wang and Faye Wei Wei. Concering itself with tangibility, artists explore the tensions of preciousness and delicacy. Curated by Kate Eringer, Pepper Shaker raises questions regarding fragility and value by playing with emotional and physical treatment of artworks. With accompanying text by Evie Ward.

Other Places Art Fair: Hoofprint

Other Places Art Fair: Hoofprint
ART EXHIBITION 
Other Places Art Fair: Hoofprint 

March 14, 2020 
San Pedro, CA
Through April 5, 2020 

Tiger Strikes Asteroid Los Angeles is pleased to present Hoofprint, a group show of works in painting, photography, sculpture, and film, explores the meaning of presence through its afterimage, the trace. Emerging with the latency of a heavy heel, the pressure of a knee, a smudge, a wrapper, or a rind, traces are among the most unselfconscious and revealing forms of marks. Tied together through the Japanese concept of mono-no-aware—roughly, sensitivity to ephemera—these works, by artists Laura Letinsky, Shanna Waddell, Zach Trow, Theresa Sterner, and J. Makary, share an attunement to what is left behind. 

Drawing on Southern California beach culture, painter Waddell uses the traces of sun-worshipping bodies on towels to leave an enduring, dark record of the obsessions, addictions, and frivolities that play out on the sand. Her works from this series strike at the heart of our ambivalence to nature—our own, and the wild, deep reaches of the Pacific creeping at the shore. In Makary’s film assemblage for this show, the artist shares her discovery of the burned books of Irish author Brian Moore, pages of which were found blowing on the beach in front of his former home after the catastrophic Woolsey Fire in November 2018.

With an experimental spirit, educator and painter Shanna Waddell looks to visionaries and aspirational communities as research for her artistic practice. Waddell’s pursuit of beauty and utopic possibilities has resulted in bodies of work that memorialize fallen public figures and religious cults and their leaders, such as Heaven’s Gate, Satan, and superstars Kurt Cobain and River Phoenix. In her current work, Waddell looks to female forms to embody utopic visions of what art making can be within diverse artistic practices. Her solo and two-person exhibitions include Thomas Erben Gallery, New York; Galerie La Croix at Art Center College of Design, in Pasadena, CA; Ms. Barbers, Los Angeles; and the University of the Arts, Philadelphia. Noted group exhibitions include Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA; Itd los angeles; and QUEENS LA. Waddell holds an MFA from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia.  

Mixed Media 
SONY, 2018. Oil, sand, plaster, paper, spray paint, cigarettes, and flowers on canvas. 

Look at the bird. Look at the nest. Look at the rainbow. Look at the the grass

CURATE EVENT 
Look at the bird. Look at the nest. Look at the rainbow. Look at the the grass. 

May 12, 2018
2601 Pasadena Ave, Los Angeles 
Through June 9, 2018 

A group show featuring work by Patrick Michael Ballard, Nick Lowe, Kylen McMorran, Shanna Waddell and Connie Wong.

Torrance Art Museum: Solar Flare

ART EXHIBITION
Torrance Art Museum: Solar Flare
By Manuael History Machines 

January 20, 2018 
3320 CIvic Center Dr., Torrance, CA 
Through March 10, 2018 

Solar Flare: a sudden flash of increased Sun’s brightness. According to NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, this past September seven solar flares were reported in a row - the strongest in over a decade. As a result, intense, high-frequency radio blackouts and navigation disruption was reported.
 
Manual History Machines presents Solar Flare; an exhibition featuring artists, Sofía Córdova, Daniel Gibson, Elizabeth Folk, Paul Pescador, Heather Rasmussen, and Shanna Waddell in Gallery Two and The  Dark Room of the Torrance Art Museum. The artists in this exhibition each respond to their environment, and their life through a unique lens of recollection and mediation. They reconstruct experiences that reflect the personal, the psychological and the subjective. Their practices begin with an examination of the self; whether it be the physical body, personal memory, or a significant place. Through distinct processes, these reflections become reconstructed and removed from the artist to address larger issues that are more environmental, global, political, or existential. These larger themes become subverted and masked behind playful sensibilities; a crude, Guston-like touch of the hand, expressive or seemingly casual processes, or visibly awkward moments captured on camera- all to allow for reflection and transformation. Paul Pescador’s films locate a vulnerable version of self based on investigations of “home”. Objects and images perform relatable feelings through his humorous vignettes. Heather Rasmussen brings a video component to the exhibition as well as photos and objects that all derive their sense of tableau from the the body as a sculptural form. Conversely, Shanna Waddell’s paintings and sculptures are devoid of the body, but graft human-scaled found objects into assemblages that, like Rasmussen’s tableaus, bring in an entropic message about life, death, corrosion and reinvention. Daniel Gibson’s paintings reconstruct specific memories or fictionalized stereotypes based on his personal experiences, place and the characters therein. A constructed and critical voice makes its way into the exhibition through the explorations of the subjective experiences in Sofía Córdova’s video piece as well as through the sculptural work of Elizabeth Folk. Solar Flare serves to honor each of the artists and reinforces the crucial role of the subjective experience as a central core - which everything orbits.

Solar Flare was organized by the LA-based curatorial collective, Manual History Machines, comprised of Los Angeles-based artists Bessie Kunath, Daniela Campins, Rema Ghuloum and Tessie Salcido Whitmore. Manual History Machines formed to exhibit and support underrepresented artists through exhibitions, events and community engagement.

SPF15 13

SPF15 13
ARTWORK 
SPF 15 13 
by Anna Breininger 

August 20, 2017 
San Diego, CA 

Annna Brieninger, Jamie Fleton, Shanna Waddell at SPF15

ACLU Benefit: Amplify Compassion

ART BENEFIT 
ACLU Benfit: Amplify Compassion 
By Mark McKnight 

January 21, 2017
356 Mission Rd, Los Angeles 

An Art Sale to Benefit the ACLU

With: 

Nick Aguayo, Becca Albee, Brody Albert, Mark Allen, Brandon Andrew, Jonathan Apgar, Kevin Appel, Joshua Aster, Lisa Anne Auerbach, Tauba Auerbach (Diagonal Press), Lindsay August-Salazar, Trisha Baga, Dicky Bahto, Seth Bogart, Andrea Marie Breiling, Tanya Brodsky, Heather Brown, John Burtle, Kristin Calabrese, Joshua Callaghan, Andrew Cameron, Nicole Capps, Juan Capistran, Milano Chow, Susan Cianciolo, Sara Clendening, Barnett Cohen, Matt Connors, Eduardo Consuegra, Alika Cooper, Bjorn Copeland, Beatriz Cortez, Akina Cox, Cameron Crone, Zoe Crosher, Nikki Darling, Michael Decker, Lecia Dole-Recio, Michael Dopp, Shannon Ebner in collaboration with Mark Owens, George Egerton-Warbuton, Buck Ellison, Alyse Emdur, Ken Erlich, Gabrielle Ferrer, R. Flagg, Jesse Fleming, Brendan Fowler, Erik Frydenborg, Victoria Fu in collaboration with Matt Rich, Rema Ghuloum, David Gilbert, Jules Gimbrone, Rochele Gomez, Hannah Greely, Justin John Greene, Matt Greene, Mark Grotjahn, Julia Haft-Candell, Yaron Hakim, Trulee Hall, Zach Harris, Asher Hartman, Richard Hawkins, Roger Herman, Julian Hoeber, Matt Hotaling, Pearl C. Hsiung, Alex Hubbard, Whitney Hubbs, Bettina Hubby, Melissa Huddleston, Jibade-Khalil Huffman, Dave Hughes, Malisa Humphrey, Daniel Ingroff, Jim Isermann, Patrick Jackson, Ian James, Shaun Johnson, Barry Johnston, Pam Jorden, Kara Joslyn, Emily Joyce, Stanya Kahn, Raffi Kalenderian, Dawn Kasper, Wayne Koestenbaum, Becky Kolsrud, Greg Kozaki, Nick Kramer, Jason Kunke, Joel Kyack, Graham Lambkin, Molly Larkey, Brandon Lattu, Maggie Lee, Margaret Lee, Sophie Lee, Zach Leener, Julia M. Leonard, Spencer Russell Lewis, Candice Lin, Matt Lipps, Jasmine Little, Caitlin Lonegan, Andrea Longacre-White, Jake Longstreth, Nick Lowe, Nancy Lupo, Keaton Macon, Monica Majoli, Elana Mann, Josh Mannis, Emily Marchand, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Max Maslansky, Rachel Mason, Anna Mayer, John McAllister, Amanda McGough, Mark McKnight, Rodney McMillian, Meatwreck, Matt Merkel Hess, Adam Miller, Allison Miller, Simone Montemurno, Jennifer Moon, Rebecca Morris, Erin Morrison, Kate Mosher-Hall, Ragen Moss, Shahryar Nashat, Davida Nemeroff, Rubi Neri, Claire Nereim, Amir Nikravan, Allie Noel, Adam Novak, Laurie Nye, Devin Oder, Eamon Ore-Giron, Gina Osterloh, Laura Owens, Tyler Matthew Oyer, Michael Parker, Sojourner Truth Parsons, Adrian Paules, Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs, Paul Pescador, Jon Pestoni, Megan Plunkett, Antonio Adriano Puleo, Isaac Reskinoff, Nora Riggs, Ry Rocklen, Mark A. Rodriguez, Rachel Roske, Amanda Ross-Ho, Samantha Roth, Conrad Ruiz, Connie Samaras, Amy Sarkisian, Jimena Sarno, Rachelle Sawatsky, Asha Schechter, John Seal, Carter Seddon, Betsy Seder, Katie Shapiro, Brian Sharp, Nora Shields, Trevor Shimizu, Fran Siegel, Lisa Sitko, Nancy Stella Soto, Cammie Staros, A.L. Steiner, Conor Thompson, Cody Trepte, Kerry Tribe, Tran Truong, Valerie Veator, Mark Verabioff, Tyler Vlahovich, Ben Vida, Ariane Vielmetter, Erika Vogt, Shanna Waddell, Jennifer West, Jessica Williams, Suné Woods, Mary Woronov, Rosha Yagmai, and Samira Yamin

Women on the Fence

WOMEN'S FESTIVAL 
Women on the Fence 
Curated by Hayley Barker and Andrea Marie Breilling 

November 5, 2016 
Desert Hot Springs, CA 
One night only 

WOMEN ON THE FENCE: This one-day art show will feature the work of over 30 feminist women artists from Los Angeles. Works will be hung outdoors on the chain link fence that demarcates the interior space of the MOTHERSHIP festival.
MOTHERSHIP is a three-day outdoor festival for women that features feminist and queer-friendly music, workshops, camping, and community.

Artists in 
WOTF include: Lilly Aldriedge, Shaga Ariannia, Sarah Awad, Hayley Barker, Andrea Marie Breilling, Anna Breininger, Tanya Brodsky, Virginia Broersma, Sally Bruno, Sara Chao, Sara Clendening, Carrie Cook, Alika Cooper, Akina Cox, Nikki Darling,Yasmine Diaz, Sarita Dougherty, Catherine Fairbanks, Nikita Gale, Rema Ghuloum, Sarah Gilbert, Meghan Gordan, Trulee Grace Hall, Kyla Hansen, Melissa Huddleston, Angie Jennings, Kara Joslyn, Molly Larkey, Sophie Lee, Clare Little, Tiffany Livingston, Kristy Luck, Annelie McKenzie, Erin Morrison, Megan Mueller, Erika Ostrander, Lauren Quin, Rachel Roske, Nancy Stella Soto, Shanna Waddell, Julie Weitz, Suné Woods, Lindsay Preston Zappas.

Figure as Form

BLOG 
Figure as Form 
Curated by Katie Brode 

Auguest 28, 2016 
Itd Los Angeles, Hollywood Hills House 
Through October 2, 2016 

Artists: Ashley Armitage, Cheryl Bentley, Tatiana Berg, BFGF, Loren Britton, Courtney Cone, Aimee Goguen, Andrea Joyce Heimer, Roger Herman, Nicole Lesser, Max Maslansky, Laurie Nye, Anja Salonen, Ellen Schafer, Chanel Von Habsburg-Lothringen, Shanna Waddell, Bari Ziperstein

The depiction of the human body in art history is a field littered with problematic tropes: the heroic male, the objectified female, the exotic native. These pervasive images stem from traditions of art and beauty that were developed from a strictly white, European, male, and heteronormative perspective. Feminine bodies in western culture have almost always been viewed as objects of display, not to mention non-white or queer bodies, which are likewise consigned to be fetishitic oddities if they are included at all. The artists in this exhibition 

Both Shanna Waddell and Bari Ziperstein promote new visions of feminine strength and power, celebrating girly aesthetics along with athleticism and aggression respectively. Alternately, Andrea Joyce Heimer’s representations of unselfconscious female nudes are evocative in their universally legible suburban weirdness. Laurie Nye’s confidently assertive sci-fi figure blends nature and technology into an empowered hybrid form. Also forward thinking are the silicone sculptures of Ellen Schafer which consider bioengineering and the future of the body as commodity. Nicole Lesser explores the commodities themselves, and the ways that the clothing and accessories with which we adorn our bodies are cultural and aesthetic signifiers.

Taken in total these works give voice to different possibilities, agency to marginalized positions and resist dominant understandings of gender, race, and sexuality. The body may be a battleground but it is also the essential humanity that unites us all. Shouldn’t our art and culture represent and celebrate the multiplicity of voices it contains, rather than glorify a timeworn singular definition?

End of Summer Summer Show

ART SHOW 
End of Summer Summer Show 

September 3, 2016
Malibu, CA 
Through September 4 2016 

Featuring work by Rema Ghuloum, Shanna Waddell, Margaux Oden, Trulee Hall, Matthew Page Greene, Matthew Lax, Anna Breininger, Lauren Quin, Erin Morrison, Dustin Metz, Paul W Waddell, Young Joon Kwak, Lili de Magalhaes, Elizabeth Ferry.

Ice Box: Begin Where You Are At

ART EXHIBITION 
Ice Box: Begin Where You Are At
Curated by Anna Neighbor, Ryan McCarthy, and Timothy Belkap Philadelphia, PA 

August 14, 2014 
Philedelphia, PA 
Through September 13, 2014 

Begin Where You Are presents a broad range of artists living in Philadelphia, each with distinct modes of working, yet connected by an earnest vitality representative of the city itself. The integrity of each artist’s practice, combined with unique conversations across works throughout the show creates a complicated and contemplative dialogue. A renewed appreciation for the breadth and complexity of our common place is forged through these new relationships.

Exhibition Artisist: Eric Abaka, Stefan Abrams, Anthony Campuzano, Micah Danges, Christopher Davison, Dechemia, Tim Eads, Kevin Finklea, Sarah Gamble, Tyler Kline, Kocot and Hatton Patrick Maguire, Virgil Marti, Quentin Morris, Eileen Neff, Karyn Olivier, Daniel Petraitis, Shelley Spector, Becky Suss, Paul Swenbeck, Shanna Waddell, Linda Yun, Marc Zajack

Eight Young Figurative Philadelphia Painters

Eight Young Figurative Philadelphia Painters
ART GALLERY 
Eight Young Figurative Philadelphia Painters
Curated by Dona Nelson

2419 Frankford Ave, Philedelphia 
Through November 29, 2014
Eight Young Figurative Artists Who Live in Philadelphia at Fjord, a Kensington gallery and artist collective, brings together some of the brightest young talents within the Philadelphia art community working in a figurative field. The primarily painting-based exhibit varies from portraiture to near-abstraction, with a highly modern flair.

Shanna Waddell's “Bob (Satan),” hanging near “Cowgirl,” is dramatic and surreal, something between a Dali and a Twombly; Waddell executes the work in oil, spray paint, and gift-wrapping paper, offering a variety of textures and shapes. The use of unique media is important when conveying certain moods or senses, and Waddell’s deliberate use of varying elements is no exception. Though not particularly challenging to a traditional sense of figurative art, both Meyers and Waddell explore unique subject matter and enticing material elements to distinguish their pieces.

Painting
Bob (Satan), 2013. Oil, spray paint and gifr wrap on canvas. 

Whitney Houston Biennial: I am every Woman

ART SHOW 
Whiteney Housten Biennial: I am every Woman
Curated by Christine Finley 
 
March 9,2014 
20 Jay Street, Brooklyn 
One night only 

The Whitney Houston Biennial Serenades New York City Art Scene, 75 Female Voices Create Their Greatest Love of All

The 2014 Whitney Houston Biennial: I’m Every Woman is a feast for the eyes and a celebration of female voices. The biennial comes as a response to the continuing minimal representation of women artists in major museums and galleries. To bring some balance to the art institutions in New York this season, curator and artist Christine Finley will host more than fifty female artists from a varied range of geographic and cultural backgrounds, disciplines, methodologies, and generations. The artists studio will be transformed into an inviting, living space, a salon filled with work from artists including Mickalene Thomas, Guerilla Girls, Swoon, Sienna Shields, and Annie Sprinkle & Beth Stephens.
The aim of bringing together so many creative voices is to sing a collective song that celebrates the contributions of pioneer female artists and marks a moment in our communal trajectory. The show’s title not only playfully addresses the traditional (and concurrent) exhibit held at the Whitney Museum, but also honors a strong and brilliant lady, two years since her untimely passing.

Artists involved: Swoon, Guerrilla Girls, Linda Montano, Annie Sprinkle & Beth Stephens, The Institute for Art and Olfaction, Michelle Rogers, Silvia Prada, Howdoyousayyaminafrican?, Sara Magenheimer, Micol Hebron, Sienna Shields, Kathryn Garcia, Maya Erdelyi, Marissa Bluestone, Lia Halloran, Jean Robison, Pooneh Maghazehe, Maghen Brown, Orrie King, Andrea Tese, Tamara Weber, Kristin Jai Klosterman, Angel Favorite, Megan Hays, Gaby Collins Fernandez, Liz Ainslie, Dominika Ksel, Kathleen Vance, Kiran Chandra, Beatrice Anderson , Annie Ewaskio, Desiree Leary, Molly Larkey, Rachel Schragis, Eddy Segal, C. Finley, Haley Hughes, Ana Rodriguez, Daphne Fitzpatrick, Suzanne Wright, Mitch McEwen, Maureen St. Vincent, Rachael Warner, Sophie Grant, Natalee Cayton, Seung Huh, Christa Bell, Dachi Cole & Candice Williams, Regine Schumann, Tracy Molis, Shanna Waddell, Katie Rubright, Maya Jeffereis, Miatta Kawinzi, Heather Powell, Caitlin Cherry, April Friges, Patricia Domínguez, Seung-Min Lee, Margie Schnibbe, Jennifer Myers, Ashley Garrett, Jordan Rathus, Emily MK, Elaine Hargrove, NARCISSISTER, Elizabeth Bick, Oskar Tarplee, Alyssa Dennis, Maureen Catbagan, SUPERCONCHA, Emilie Lemakis, Simone Meltesen, Stella Haze, Bea Fremderman, Anna Rosen, Kelsey Shwetz, Joelle Shefts

Manual History Machines

TUMBLR 
SHANNA WADDELL 
 

Review of Three in Doubles Group Show

Review of Three in Doubles Group Show
BLOG 
Mixed doubles at Fjord - Donna Nelson, Kelly McRaven and Shanna Waddell 

April 25, 2013 
Shanna Waddell, who was asked by Fjord to organize a show and invited Nelson and McRaven’s participation, continues her investigation of the dark and light impulses of humankind.  Waddell, whose work sometimes focuses on the effects of cults, here shows two large works with fallen angels — Satan and Kurt Cobain.

Amidst the fiery, cosmic-evoking background of “Satan” (2013) Waddell positions a positively Madonna-like face, head looking down, wings raised but arms crossed in a posture of submission.

This is the good angel gone bad who may still be feeling regret for what he did.  In “Kurt Donald Cobain” (2013) the artist gave the central figure a sympathetic long-suffering, translucent face, whose otherworldliness conveys a sense of holiness.  Kurt is an angel in an energy field that positively vibrates with teen spirit.

Paintings
1) Satan, 2013. Oil on Canvas, 68 x 90 in. 
2) Kurt Donald Cobain, 2013. Oil on Canvas, 45 x 67 in. 

Studio Visit: Title Magazine

Studio Visit: Title Magazine
INTERVIEW 
SHANNA WADDELL 
Studio Visit: Shanna Waddell 

May 16, 2013 

Shanna Waddell lives and works in Philadelphia and is represented by Thomas Erben Gallery in New York. She makes large-scale, visionary oil paintings that engage cubism, abstraction, 90’s grunge, cult worship and false utopias. After an interplanetary visit to her studio, we conducted the following question and answer session in April 2013 by email.  

Christopher Davison: The gestural flurry of your paintings teeters between cosmic bursts of energy and more fixed representations of objective reality. Can you talk about how you find your balance between abstraction and representation?

Shanna Waddell: Recently, I have been dealing with Cubism as a formal structure to house gesture and subject within my paintings.  As I do have interests in abstraction, I want to feel out where abstract expressionist painters were coming from, and as most of them were coming out of cubism, I am using these languages as a springboard to place gesture within a structured framework of sorts.  As for representation, it lies in affinities: winged people and angels, applied to such people as River Phoenix, Satan, and Kurt Cobain, who serve as a type of flying resurrection.

CD: Do you start most paintings with a specific representation already in mind, or do they begin with more abstract formal concerns?  

SW: Usually, I will start with the subject or idea, for example: Kurt Cobain’s head. Then I think of what I want him doing, like flying or wearing a crazy leopard sweater or funky jeans. I often have in mind whether or not I will be including hands or feet. Then I work out the space and how I will be painting the piece.  Color considerations run alongside the planning. The planning for my paintings is done in my head and usually takes three to five days of flipping around content, structure, and color.  I know when there is a good cycle of painting coming up when I start cleaning the house and going to the grocery store, and then flying to the studio in a fury to translate the ideas into work.

CD:  That’s nice to hear you say because I really believe there is something to that pre-work cleaning, cleansing phase. On the outside it might look like procrastination but before a heavy phase of production it seems to be essential. I love the visual of you flying into the studio “in a fury.” Can you talk a bit about the relation between the physical act of painting and the scale and materials you work with?

SW:  I work mostly on large-scale paintings: around 69 x 96 to 96 x108 inch canvases. Since moving my studio to Amber Street Studios, I have been working on large-scale drop cloths as well. I choose the size of the canvas then go into the idea.  When I paint the canvas almost disappears. It becomes about translating.  Lately, I have been into making my work look as if it is otherworldly and explosive.  Once I feel I have accomplished the idea, I tend to want to move on.   As for materials, I work with oil on canvas about 98% of the time.  There is a skin like quality that you get in oils that is hard to achieve in acrylic.  I also like that there are different drying times, as well as getting wet into wet qualities, surface build up, etc.

CD: Is there a relationship in your work between the soaring, otherworldly aesthetics and the all too worldly fate of cults and other false utopias? Do the paintings reveal what can only truly exist in imagination?

SW: I was listening to NPR the other day. They had a guy explaining that if you are over the age of 18, get along with others, and are in good physical standing, you can take a spacecraft to Mars. The only catch is that you can’t come back.  You live on mars with the other people who decide to live on the planet as well.  He also went further to explain how the early settlers who went out to sea on a ship didn’t know whether there was land to settle on or not.  I am interested in how people aspire toward a utopia and continually find what underlies the opposite of their aspirations a delusive contentment.   In the Heaven’s Gate cult, a subject that I have worked with in the past, the followers got engrossed with the idea of taking their lives to ride an alien space craft that followed Comet Hale Bopp to the “Next Level.” an uncertain afterlife. I wish for my paintings to reveal the process of aspiration that the Heaven’s Gate members strove for.  When one looks at my work, I hope to direct the viewer with a slow revelation of the initial allure and intrigue, with color and energetic gesture, then with what lies behind: people with shrouds over their bodies hoping to ultimately arrive at the “Next Level.” I am not against aspiration. I am fascinated by the process of hope and how humanity and this world too often get in the way.

Title Magazine - Review by Ryan McCartney

Title Magazine - Review by Ryan McCartney
MAGAZINE
The Search for Dispravoslaviye: Shana Waddel and Rob Matthews  
By Ryan McCartney 

Through January 27, 2013

Arriving at Tiger Stikes Asteroid for The Search for Dispravosláviye: Shanna Wadell & Rob Matthews, I already know a few things about the show. Prior to the opening, the gallery posted an extensive discussion between curator Rubens Ghenov, Matthews, and Waddell concerning the show’s focus around cults. Still, I’m not really sure what I expected. Cults are as diverse as they are many, but I was surprised by these works and how their sense of empathy differed from what I had imagined. Leaving the gallery, and thinking more now, I am left considering the nature of compassion.

When I think of what I have known of Shanna Waddell’s work, what strikes me most is one thing: a full-on speechless, psychic paroxysm, an utter heaving forth of un-named meaning. When this occurs with Waddells’s work, it is only after I allow the effect to pass that I fully see images. Sometimes that does not happen, and the work remains in a realm that I mostly associate with painters like Paul Thek and Forrest Best – it is more a question of sensing the work than seeing it, and that sense, in turn, becomes a separate sort of image.

In this show, there is a focus on imagery as icon, and some of Waddell’s energy seems more directed inward towards the syntax of the pieces. In “River Phoenix”, the eponymous subject’s pants seemed imbued with a presence more concrete than the rest of the painted material. Phoenix’s portrait head, by contrast, seems distant, spectral, as do the wings and the written name “River”. The acid pop colors and the air in the brush marks – paint at times runny, at times dry, and frequently very thin – seem to speak of a place like California, or at least a notion of it, and the combination of these painterly elements seems to point to a very American mythology of sex as a power encompassed in jeans. “Medicine Cabinet Altarpiece” seems to involve similar elements, but rather than putting forth an icon or collection of icons, the entire painting becomes the presentation of an iconic space, in which a seemingly complete universe is contained. A drug reference seems inescapable, but it quickly becomes too obvious and too superficial. This painting is actually too psychedelic for such a reading, as it presents the permeability of spaces and their inter-related significance, their interdependence, and at the same time points outward, to where you stand as a viewer yourself. There is a familiarity in these works, and yet cults remain as subject matter, explored with sensitivity and a certain sympathy, presented as the Arcane American experience.

Paintings 
1) River Phoenix, 2012. Oil and acrylic on canvas. 
2) Medicine Cabinet Altarpiece 

Theartblog

Theartblog
BLOG REVIEW 
 The Search for Dispravosláviye – Rob Matthews and Shanna Waddell tackle the idea of the cult at Tiger

January 19, 2013 

In The Search for Dispravosláviye at Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Shanna Waddell and Rob Matthews are thinking about belief systems. Waddell’s works are focused on sixties’ counter culture and cult groups that exploited the cultural revolution. For Rob Matthews, it’s a questioning of dogmatic beliefs and skepticism toward certain religious practices. The show curated by TSA member Rubens Ghenov is on view until January 27.

Shanna Waddell draws inspiration from sixties’ psychedelia. In her Medicine Cabinet Altarpiece series, she uses a jarring, fluorescent palette to represent the radical counter culture and its utopian promise. In the two works from the series on view, Waddell creates abstracted compositions that incorporate the symmetry and basic geometry of altarpieces. In addition to these altarpiece backgrounds, she also adds floating symbols and shapes that become points of fixation. The overall effect of each painting is a hallucinogenic trance or vision. With their incorporation of symbols and religious references, the works represent the period’s desire for a mind-altering experience and a new model for living.

In 
People Peering into Floating Medicine Cabinet Altarpiece, this imagery appears again. In this work, however, the altarpiece resembles a hovering portal. The pastel background behind suggests a utopian landscape and the promise of escape.

Waddell’s interest in symbols is also apparent in her work 
Self Portrait, which includes a tie-dye background that also references the hippie movement. Despite the work’s title, the painting isn’t a realistic depiction of the artist. Instead, a bottomless triangle serves as a stand-in. With the artist’s interest in cults, this can be seen as a loss of personal identity to serve a cause.

River Phoenix is a memorial portrait to the deceased star whose untimely death made him an even greater figure of fascination. While the cult connection could be seen in the vein of celebrity worship, the star spent his early childhood in the Children of God cult until his family was able to escape. For Waddell, River Phoenix’s unusual upbringing makes him an embodiment of hippie idealism.

Paintings
1) Medicine Cabinet Alterpiece, 2012. Oil and glitter on canvas, 18 x 30 in. Courtesy of Tiger Strikes Asteroid 
2) People Peering into Floating Medicine Cabinet Alterpiece, 2012. Oil, acrylic, and nail polish on canvas, 44 x 66 in. 
3) Self Portair, 2010. Oil on canvas, 15 x 16 in. 
4) River Pheonix, 2012. Oil and acrylic on canvas, 44 x 66 in. 

"15 Years Thomas Erben Gallery"

"15 Years Thomas Erben Gallery"
EXHIBITION 
15 Years Thomas Erben Gallery 

May 6, 2011 
Thomas Erben Gallery 
526 West 26rh Street
Through June 4, 2011 

A trajectory of the gallery's gistort, seen through pivital works fro our solo shows with: 
Helena Almeida, Lyle Ashton HarrisOladélé BamgboyéPreston Scott CohenAla DehghanSeth EdenbaumFang LijunChitra GaneshVincent GeyskensBarbad GolshiriBlalla HallmannJutta KoetherMatthias MüllerYamini NayarDona NelsonSenga NengudiLorraine O'GradyAdrian PiperRaha RaissniaSarah RossiterHubert SchmalixJenny ScobelTejal ShahShanna WaddellTom WoodRose Wylie & Haeri Yoo

Painting 
Marital Bed, 2010. Oil on canvas, 84 x 72 in. 
 

Solo Exhibition - Thomas Erben Gallery

Solo Exhibition - Thomas Erben Gallery
EXHIBITION 
Mishapen Chaos of Well-seeming Formal Collection

February 17, 2011 
Thomas Erben Gallery 
526 West 26th Street 
Through March 19, 2011 

Thomas Erben is pleased to present the first solo show of American painter Shanna Waddell. “Misshapen Chaos of Well-seeming Forms” titles a group of new paintings the artist created after receiving her MFA from Tyler School of Art, May 2010.

Playing impasto against splattered veils and contrasting urban colors with a new age palette, these works distort material flatness into a warped spatiality and combine figuration with abstract symbols and uninhibited brushwork, holding together a spectrum of sensibilities that precipitates early American modernism into an apocalyptic, prophetic hyperbole and personal vision. 

Woman peering into Atomic Nuclear Illusionistic Space portrays a female figure, tube socked, with goggles and dressed in a period costume in the midst of a brushy, post nuclear air. Rectangular boxes, coffins in the artist’s iconography, fall out of a pink, atmospheric sky whose expanse is made visible through volumetric lines. The geometry is redeemed by a continuously looping, floating shape while anchored by muddy coloration and wide variations in brushwork which is the very ground the solitary woman stands upon.

Harold Camping – false Prophet presents to us a half figure with a hollowed-out face, on-stage, behind a see-through pulpit, flanked by curtains and cheerfully colored balloons. His rib cage, intestines and pelvic bone, rendered as a loosely brushed organic mulch, pushes figuration into a partially ornamental abstraction. The subject of the religious leader – Titian’s half-veiled Pope in the Philadelphia Museum of Art served as a historical reference for Waddell, as it was Velazquez’s pope for Bacon – is presented here, uncovered and in its undisguised manifestation.

One of the most recently completed works, Transcient Exit, is part of a series that houses abstraction within references to domestic space such as the bath room with its tub, medicine cabinet, faucet and mini blinds. Waddell likens these fixtures to conduits for transcient experiences, which she renders through hyper-saturated color and mobilizing brushwork – placeholders for encompassing mental states.

Painting 
1) Woman peering into Atomic Nuclear Illusionistic Space, 2010. Oil on canvas, 60 x 78 in.  
2) Harold Camping - false Prophet
, 2010. Oil on canvas, 76 x 96 in. 
3) Transceint Exit, 2011. Oil on canvas, 96 x 72 in. 
 

Hand Shakes - Thomas Erben Gallery

Hand Shakes - Thomas Erben Gallery
EXHIBITION 
Elaine Stocki, Whitney Clafin & Ian Campbell. project space: Shanna Waddell.

September 9, 2010 
Thomas Erben Gallery 
526 W 26th Street
Through October 9, 2010

Thomas Erben is pleased to present an exhibition of works by three emerging New York-based artists who are tied by bonds of age, friendship, alma mater, attitude towards art making and artistic sensibility. From a position of proficiency, they cross-fertilize, mix and stretch media ranging from painting, photography, film, performance to music, plays and poetry. This press release – written at the end of July – witnesses the artists in a state of fertile production and thus, rather than describing the objects which will be encountered at the gallery in September, comments on their current explorations and methodologies.


In the project space, Shanna Waddell (b. 1981, Long Beach, CA) will present to us a recent canvas, whose deft and fluent paint handling and light-filled colors belie a rather dramatic autobiographical event, which paralleled the events surrounding the Heaven's Gate Cult in California.

Painting 
The Raft of Medusa, 2010. Acyrilic on canvas 77x 105 in. 

New York Times - Review

New York Times - Review
ART IN REVIEW
SHANNA WADDELL
By Karen Rosenberg

March 10, 2011
Thomas Erben Gallery
526 West 26th Street
Chelsea
Through March 19

In her first solo gallery show Shanna Waddell, a recent graduate of the Tyler School of Art’s M.F.A. program, forges a confident style best described as post-apocalyptic and post-Expressionism. Its hallmarks are radioactive colors, corrupted sterile and spiritual imagery, and sheer painterly bravura.
In the strongest painting, “Harold Camping — False Prophet,” a skeletal figure at a podium is flanked by colorful stripes and balloons: Francis Bacon’s pope at a child’s birthday party. (According to the news release Titian’s half-veiled cardinal, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is the actual and less obvious source of inspiration.)
The museum’s excellent collection of early American modernism also seems to have made an impact on Ms. Waddell. In several smaller canvases, she paints open medicine cabinets with the jagged striations often seen in landscapes by Milton Avery, Arthur Dove, and Marsden Hartley.
Another bathroom element, the sink, appears in the larger and looser “Transient Exit”; it spews blood and emits a phosphorescent yellow-and-green halo. In the equally ominous “Woman Peering Into Atomic Nuclear Illusionistic Space,” a heroine wearing goggles and a full skirt bravely approaches a cubelike mushroom cloud.
There’s a twitchy, unsettled quality to Ms. Waddell’s painting, which lends itself well to the subjects in this show but makes you wonder what’s next for her.

Paintings
1) Harold Camping - false Prophet, 2010. Oil on canvas, 76 x 96 in.
2) Transient Exit, 2011. Oil on canvas, 96 x 72 in. 
3) Woman Peering into Atomic Nuclear Illusionistic Space, 2010. Oil on canvas, 60 x 78 in.