Massey Lyuben Gallery is proud to present NATURE/MADE, a group exhibition featuring works by Ayline Olukman, Stephane Joannes, and Amanda Scuglia.

French artist Ayline Olukman graduated from École Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (ESAD) in Strasbourg, France in 2005.  Olukman, a young artist, works with silkscreen, oil paint, collage and photography. She frequently creates mixed media pieces using her own photographs taken during her travels combined with old photos, mostly from the 1950s, that she finds while traveling.  Olukman’s work is largely inspired by her travels worldwide. She lived in Vancouver for six months, three months in San Francisco and has traveled extensively, including trips to Japan, China, Argentina, Canada, Thailand, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka. Of her travels she shares that “my favorite experience is to drive and stop wherever I want to, take pictures, visit small, traditionally unattractive cities, stay in motels and live my own private movie.” It is this innate, wanderlust freedom, insatiable curiosity and cinematic approach to life that is reflected in her work: each piece is a mixture of autobiography and fiction that emphasizes her fascination with exploration and adventure.  Olukman also turns to filmmakers, such as David Lynch, for inspiration; she draws on his saturated colors, glamorous vintage scenes and creative use of unlikely places. Her work is interesting in its juxtaposition of past and present, new and old, dreams and reality; although her work is vibrant and colorful, it captures certain nostalgia.

Olukman’s bold and colorful works were first on display in well-known French galleries while she was still a student at ESAD; her premiere solo exhibition was in 2005- the same year she graduated. Since 2005, Olukman has shown her work worldwide, including in Shanghai, Glasgow, London, Paris, San Francisco, Istanbul, Basel, and Dubai. Furthermore, she has participated in several prestigious art fairs including Art Shanghai 2008, Scope Basel 2010 and Contemporary Istanbul in 2011 and 2012.  In 2012, Olukman published her first book of photography (Small Eternity, MediaPop). Currently, she is working on a book in which she blends different modes of expression: a mélange of pure photography, collage and narration. She lives and works in Brooklyn. 

French painter, Stéphane Joannes’ large oil on canvas paintings depict solitary cargo ships surrounded by the vast sky and water. The traditional subjects are made contemporary by Joannes’ clean lines, bold delineations of space and hints of abstraction. His collection, entitled “TANKERS”, features large horizontal paintings of cargo ships that border on abstraction.

Born in 1975 in Besançon, France, the painter studied at L’Ecole Superieure des Arts Decoratifs in Strasbourg, France. His first exhibition in 1997 was mainly black and white figurative paintings representing nudes. However, after a visit to Le Havre, a major European harbor and second largest port authority in France, he became fascinated by the large sea ships he saw there and is now most known for his work on this subject.  Joannes’ paintings are typically long, horizontal pieces, sometimes diptychs or triptychs over eight feet long. He breaks his paintings up into three distinct sections: the sea, the sky and the sea vessel on the horizon. The air and water seem vast and are often blocked off with a single, bold color. His ships, on the other hand, are incredibly detailed with each drip of rust and weathering carefully articulated. These orange and brown drops reveal not only the ship’s past but also the painting’s history– they are visible evidence of the painter’s brushstrokes and artistic process. The busy, overlapping vertical streaks provide an interesting contrast to the otherwise clean, precise lines the artist uses.

Amanda Scuglia was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Edinboro University of PA. She received her MFA in 2013 from the New York Academy of Art, where she was awarded the David Kratz & Gregory Unis scholarship of merit. During her first year at the Academy, she was selected for an artist residency at the Terra Foundation of American Art in Europe located in Giverny, France. Following graduation, she was awarded an artist-in-residence position at Altos de Chavon, Dominican Republic, where she taught an intensive oil painting workshop. In the spring of 2015, she was a visiting artist/teacher for the Eric Fischl Teaching Residency at West Nottingham Academy in Maryland. She teaches in the Fine Arts department as an adjunct professor at Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY.  She lives and works in New York City.

Please join us on Thursday, May 26th from 6pm-8pm for the opening reception.  The show will run until June 25th. 

For inquiries, please email info@masseylyuben.com.

To see more, visit our Artsy page: NATURE/MADE