The Ritual of Construction – Gallery Talks and Opening Reception

May 20, 2017 @ 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm
BYRDCLIFFE Kleinert/James Center for the Arts
36 Tinker Street

Location: Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, 36 Tinker St., Woodstock NY 12498
Exhibition dates: May 19 – July 2, 2017
Artists’ talks with curator Jeanette Fintz: Saturday, May 20, 3:00 pm.
Opening reception: Saturday, May 20, following artists’ talks; reception until 7:00 pm.

Opening on Friday May 19 (reception on May 20), The Ritual of Construction is a group exhibition of artists working in a variety of media, using units of geometric origin to create their work. According to Jeanette Fintz, the painter and independent curator behind the show, artistic construction from repetitive visual units can be understood as a form of ritual: the exhibition proposes that mindful forms of repetition can be linked both to spirituality and to the creative process.

The artists in the show include some illustrious names from both the Upstate and New York City regions. Altoon Sultan, Laura Battle, Benigna Chilla, Ann Feitelson, Anne Francey, Susan Spencer Crowe, and Stephen Westfall all present works that adhere to a specific geometric paradigm. Their pieces display a range of ethnographic and art historical resources, among them Islamic geometry, Medieval Italian floor tiles, the textile patterns and architecture of the Himalayas, American quilt patterns, and the work of early twentieth-century European spiritualists.

The Ritual of Construction also includes several artists who work with repetitive elements that are personalized or free-associative rather than focused on specific geometries. Mona Mark, Lisa Hoke and Emily Berger’s units are subjectively derived and organized but, according to Fintz, can be interpreted as having motives aimed at a kind of spiritual unity. Combined, the works in The Ritual of Construction demonstrate the complex genre of creative dedication behind what, from a purely aesthetic perspective, are magnificent, optically mesmerizing works of art. Fintz points out that for the artists, “the methodical process of doing this type of work. . . is satisfying both on an aesthetic and a spiritual level.” This is certainly true for visitors as well.

The exhibition includes a 28-page color catalogue.

The artists in the show are: Laura Battle, Emily Berger, Benigna Chilla, Susan Spencer Crowe, Ann Feitelson, Anne Francey, Lisa Hoke, Mona Mark, Altoon Sultan, and Stephen Westfall.

About the curator:
Jeanette Fintz is a painter, art educator, art writer, and independent curator. She is the recipient of the Ingram Merrill Foundation Award for painting, the NYFA Fellowship for Works on Paper, the E.D. Foundation Award for painting, and many other prestigious awards. Ms. Fintz is a fellow of the MacDowell Colony for the Arts, NH, the Millay Colony for the Arts, NY. She is an alumna of the Skowhegan School, Boston University SFA, the New York Studio School and Queens College. She has taught at SUNY, Purchase and at Parsons, the New School for Design. She is a founding faculty member of a Parsons affiliate school, CENFAD in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.

Jeanette Fintz will have a solo show at Fox Gallery, New York, in the fall of 2017, concurrent with the publication of a comprehensive book on her work. For more information, visit

The curator will be joined by artists in the exhibition for a panel discussion on Saturday, May 20, at 3:00 pm at the Kleinert/James. A reception follows, until 7:00 pm.