Art review from the exhibition "Small is Great!"

January 13, 2019

Written by:

Review featured on the Gallery&Studio Arts Journal Website
Grandeur in Small Sizes.

In a well-known parable, many of us
understand that the tiny mustard seed
grows to spiritual greatness. From this
aphorism, we learn majesty can arise from the
smallest object. So too, in the works recently
seen in “Small is Great” at Jadite Gallery on
Tenth Avenue in New York City, 23 artists
demonstrate their talents in an inspired
outing, with pieces, that although diminutive
in size, convey a boundless creativity and
beauty. Curated by Basha Maryanska, who also
participates in the exhibit, the gallery is filled
with paintings, photographs, collages, prints
and fiber creations expertly realized to warm
the beginnings of winter.



Virginia Donovan makes serious
statements in small acrylic squares, her
layering and scraping of color a salute to the
flags of America and Poland in a palette of
reds, blues and whites. In one painting, black
striations cut the canvas perpendicularly
against deep indigo-purple, thus creating
simultaneous balance and tension across the
picture plane with bursts of energy pulsating
within boundaries of formidable spatial

Jadwiga Iwanska’s petite fiber collages
pay homage to the countryside of Tuscany
along with sewn landscapes. She creates urban
reddened rooftops in one picture, the elements
geometric and bright, contrasting that with
a sensitive fall turning to winter scene where
trees reflect in lacey arrangements, portending
the short bleak days ahead. She conveys a
broad range of emotions through expertly
stitched forms.

In eight small mixed media hanging
sculptures, the series entitled “Amalgam,”
Kathryn Hart confronts the viewer with
constructed pieces made from handmade
paper impregnated with twine and employing
other various elements, among them, ink,
found objects and resin, all incorporated
in organic forms, generating tactile whole
entities. Hart’s signature style underscores her
on-going search for life’s meaning through
diverse themes, which seem to coalesce
allowing the viewer to experience a range of
deep feelings.
Annie Vallamattan has really expanded
her horizons under Basha Maryanska’s tutelage,
in this exhibit producing dynamic abstract
acrylic canvases where the pigments swirl
across the surfaces. The young artist explores
what it means to make art, documenting the
creative impulse, taking pure pleasure in the
creative impulse.



Basha Maryanska foregoes big
brushstrokes on large canvases for smaller
monoprints of saturated primary colors,
the artist’s gestural manipulations of paint
blending splotches of dancing color in
mesmerizing whirlwinds, the resulting
prints alluding to galactic energies. The artist
contrasts these bold pieces with a serene
painted collage of muted colors depicting her
impressions of a modern city.

Chris Neyen’s small photographs are only
so in their physicality as he loads these pieces
with psychological import, the abstract images
being mirror-like. He digitally deforms photos
of industrial spaces where machinery and
textile mills become bold geometrics.

Jeffrey Anzevino’s magnificent aerial
photographs of Navajo country employ his
expertise in cartography and geography to
capture the reservation landscape. Through use
of a Nikon digital camera and the creation of
aluminum prints, he celebrates wind and water
sculpting of this western land and brings the
viewer a poetic understanding of the natural
place, so sacred to native peoples of America.

You Ye Chu is an expressionist painter
trained in Shanghai who has exhibited in Asia,
Europe and the United States. Her piece,
“Autumn Trees,” in bright warm colors, is
lyrically painted with dynamic brushwork and
the entire work sings chromatic songs.

Ania Gilmore’s works on paper use the
Joomchi traditional felting technique where
the handmade paper, through the artist’s
manipulation of media, morphs into lush red
and pristine white forms to drape the gallery
wall. Gilmore teaches this sculpting method,
with its philosophy involving impermanence
and has exhibited her pieces at the Hangaram
Art Museum in Korea, the technique’s country
of origin, along with other places throughout
the world.

Hui Laurine’s tape paintings are startling
in that the canvases in their entireties depict
the frontal nudity of a woman’s body with
phrases about what it means to love a man,
attached to the surfaces of the canvases,
taped at jagged angles, the words slashing the
painterly flesh. The artist feels that a woman
loses her identity in the act of loving and
Review featured on the Gallery&Studio Arts Journal Website
Grandeur in Small Sizes
sees it poetically as a wound that the taped
words on the painted grounds cover –but not
completely– so the pain from the surrender to
love is always hauntingly present.


We enter a child’s sweet world in Bojana
Leznicka’s fiber collages of a penguin, rocks, a
fence and a lovely blue sky. All elements of an
environment of simple wonder, these pieces
are meditations on Leznicka’s process and craft.
Besides working as an accomplished artist, she
is a master teacher of tapestry. She has taught
at The School of Visual Arts and the Newark
Museum, in addition to acting as a professional

Krystyna Malinowska states that she
believes in transgressive activities and the
pictures in this exhibit are exemplars of this by
making political statements about perceptions
of femininity. Here, she deforms the female
body by bunching together disembodied
women’s legs in all types of disjointed
positions, juxtaposing them with ornamental,
patterned backgrounds. The legs become
aggressive, fetishized as hostile projectiles on
the decorative underlying repetitive surfaces.
These pieces could be interpreted as the artist’s
statement that women are not seductive toys to
be trivialized as sex objects, but instead should
be celebrated as full embodiments of the divine
feminine with its natural grace and beauty.

Juanita Oosthuizen, of South Africa,
creates tiny black and white worlds by placing
miniature playful figurines and pictures in
box frames. The artist provides humorous
commentary on modern life with subjects
such as a crenulated photo of Picasso, and
a representation of banking as a somewhat
unworthy endeavor that was particularly
enjoyable. The satirical microcosms
Oosthuizen makes of our human condition
provide timely social value.
Joanna Owidzka is a textile artist
who weaves poetically. Her small works
in this exhibit are fiber sketches of minute
observations of her environment, where she
concentrates on individual elements of her
world, the results being charming pictures in
harmonious arrangements that bring happiness
to her viewing audience.




New England based artist, Janet Parker,
honors nature in her serene paintings of birds’
nests. They were originally done to soothe her
feelings about her daughter’s leaving for college
and seeing a group of them in this gallery
space brings a sense of natural beauty and
comfort to this viewer.

The pieces by Neela Pushparaj take a turn
different from her glorious floral renderings,
demonstrating another delightful aspect to
her prodigious talents. She painted detailed
watercolor studies of butterflies in her garden
and exquisite specimens, such as the Southern
Bud Wing and Buddha’s Peacock, as they
gently alight on sensitive blooms. These tiny
regal jewels emanate from this artist’s powers
of observation and love of nature.

Cynthia McCusker, a certified New York
State Art Teacher, adds to her important role
as educator by becoming a great champion
of the environment, painting these small
works —using a strong saturated palette—
to celebrate the earth’s mysterious creative
forces. She shows relationships of animals and
plants to humanity in kaleidoscopic whirls of
colors, combined with semi-realistic subjects,
compelling the viewer to respect our planet’s
awe-inspiring generative powers.

The understated, elegant abstract acrylic,
gouache and ink paintings on linen canvases
by Anne Plaisance embody strong underlying
emotions contained in economies of space.
Her pieces might seem superficially calm in
their somewhat minimalist compositions, but
are contrasted by the artist’s expressive title
choices and applications of warm reds, deep
roses, and cool blues amid curving golds,
in entangled pipe forms. They subliminally
remind this viewer of sensuous entwining

Arlene Seymour-Robin is newly
arrived at abstraction and her work here, of
strong gestural brights, grasps a full range of
feelings in new dizzying hot vibrant orange
expressions. This painter is unafraid to wrestle
her creative energies to the picture plane
bringing her feelings front and center, thus
giving the small pieces a sense of expansive



Kamila Wojciechowicz-Krauze is an
accomplished illustrator currently working
on a children’s book. In this exhibit, mythic
miniatures of cherubs, angels and beasts skip
lightly or strut powerfully in the small spaced
frames, with colors gleaming from the surfaces
of Hahnemuehle German etching paper. I find
hypnotic her sepia-toned print “Nauki, Forest
Nymphs,” where the fairies of the dark woods
evoke mysterious teachers.

Along with her studies for her sublime
costumes, Eva Lachur is also an accomplished
painter showing a very observant piece about
winter. Her stark depiction of a bare tree, in
the throes of a snowstorm’s brutal winds, is
contrasted with a happy study of a proud perky
rooster announcing sunrise in bright morning

Ilona Wojciechowska exhibits
atmospheric semi-abstract images of the city at
different times of day and night. She sensitively
paints this environment in rich shades of
purple, blue and green –with the shadows
cast among the buildings becoming strong
geometrics that at the same time hold ethereal
qualities because of the color choices. The
artist makes magical lines and spaces on the
canvases where painted elements harmonize
and contrast with each other.



Keeping his observant lens open to the
frenetic movements of cars, people, buildings
and lights, Mietko Rudek’s manipulations
of city scenes, through the technique he
calls “photo/graphy,” transform the real
documentation of the metropolitan landscape
into dramatic abstract visions of constant
motion. Through digital alchemy, Rudek
creates an alternate world where urban images
of fast-paced living become almost tangible.
The miniscule mustard seed becomes a
giant tree where magnitude of form and spirit
come from an unlikely and what is perceived
as an inconsequential source.


Jadite Gallery, 660 Tenth Avenue, in Manhattan, is a small
space in a huge city. Its sturdy brick walls hold
works that are only physically slight. This little
gem of a venue provides strong support for an
art exhibit of inspiration and splendor and I’m
glad I had the opportunity to see it.

—Anne Rudder



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