Debora + Jason Bernagozzi
Ross Bleckner, Dome, 2017, Archival pigment inks on Crane Museo, 37 x 34 inches
Courtesy Maune Contemporary
I am delighted to present the first issue of The Art Section for 2024. TAS has been publishing for almost 17 years – the first issue in May of 2007.
The artists and writers in this issue share connections and ties to Atlanta, Georgia where this Journal is based. I believe that connections of time and place are important in understanding how we can all think about art in a global society. Atlanta is often thought of as a place to change planes at the busiest airport in the world, but I propose that its coordinates of longitude and latitude pinpoint a creative place where many artists have been born, go to school, live and work, leave and return. Connections to Atlanta have a tentacle-like reach beyond what is called “The Perimeter,” the not-so-loving name given to Interstate 285, which encircles the city.
Last November, I asked art historian Michaël Amy to have a dialogue with London-based artist Ghislaine Leung. Ghislaine was recently shortlisted for the Tate Britain Prize; an exhibition of her work opened at The Renaissance Society in Chicago on January 20, 2024, where it is on view until April 14, 2024. Anna Leung, Ghislaine’s mother, wrote for TAS from 2008 to 2015 on many subjects ranging from Agnes Martin to the Futurists. Anna was introduced to TAS by curator and writer Jane Bickerton, who lived in Atlanta for many years before returning home to the UK. Amy’s dialogue with Ghislaine Leung is as complex and layered as her work, which embodies close observations of the objects she uses to make her art, objects that evoke complex histories and meanings. Ghislaine’s uses of ready-mades forge connections themselves, as the works take over the gallery space and create new meanings there.
Over ten years ago, Debora and Jason Bernagozzi created Signal Culture, an organization for experimental media artists now based in Loveland, Colorado. My first interaction with Debora was at the Atlanta College of Art in the late 90s when she was in the drawing class I taught there. Even then, I found her to be a provocative student. Her mentor at ACA was Sara Hornbacher, a pioneer of digital and single-channel video works. What I find fascinating about Bernagozzi is not only her media art, but also her textile works for which she makes lace and spins wool. She brings together the old and the new, pursuing threads and making connections that ultimately weave together traditional craft and the digital. Jason Bernagozzi also studied at ACA at the tail-end of the school’s existence (the school was founded in 1905 and closed in 2006 when it was absorbed into the Savannah College of Art and Design). These artists explore movement and sound which is mapped onto live, real-time geometry.
Fiction writer and poet Lauren K. Watel and artist Amber Boardman met while both were living in Atlanta. Boardman studied painting at Georgia State University; her lush, painterly surfaces depict a slew of objects. I met Boardman when she was a young painter working at a gallery in Atlanta. Her enthusiasm for art exuded from the very way she spoke about the gallery artists. Boardman currently lives in Sydney, Australia, and Watel divides her time between Decatur, Georgia and Brooklyn, New York. Their conversations continue in a dialogue that bridges time and place.
The Art Section
Deanna Sirlin photo: Marie Thomas
Deanna Sirlin is an artist and writer from Brooklyn, New York currently living and working outside of Atlanta, Georgia.