For VOLTA New York 2022, JONATHAN FERRAR GALLERY presents a dual artist exhibition of female painters Ruth Owens and Lisa Sanditz. The conversation between these three artists work begins with their focus on the natural environment, and more specifically human involvement therein.
In Owens' work, Black and Brown bodies venture into the outdoors which have been historically an uninviting or dangerous space for people of color. The Great American Outdoors and the Arian alpine landscape have taken on meaning as a place for spiritual, physical, and psychological growth that does not include Black people; examining both the healing power and the dangers faced by Black people in these spaces.
Sanditz's most recent work investigates not only what is visible to the human eye in terms of the construction of nature, but also to consider elements of human impact that lies beneath the surface; a painterly language that brings these interior and exterior aspects of landscape together.
RUTH OWENS was born in 1959 to a young German woman and a Black serviceman from Georgia. The nomadic military lifestyle of her childhood was complicated by restrictions to mixed families in many communities and laid the basis for the formation of her cultural identity and therefore, her artistic practice.
Owens graduated in 2018 with an MFA from the University of New Orleans after leaving her medical practice of 25 years. She is represented by the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, and belongs to the artist collective, “The Front,” both in New Orleans. Owens’ work is concerned with contributing to and preserving the black archive, and she uses personal super-8 film references in her painting and video art. Artist residencies include the Joan Mitchell Center, the Addison Gallery of American Art, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Studios at MASS MoCA. She is slotted to attend the International Studio and Curatorial Program in NY in 2023. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Ackland Art Museum at UNC-Chapel Hill, the Addison Gallery of American Art, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Dale Center for the Study of War and Society, and 21c Museum.
LISA SANDITZ was born 1973 in St. Louis, MO. In 1994 she studied at the Studio Art Center International in Florence, Italy. In 1995 she received her BA from Macalester College, St. Paul, MN and in 2001 graduated with an MFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. In 2005 she was selected by Creative Time and United Technologies to participate in an outdoor mural project where three commissioned artists, also including Alex Katz and Gary Hume, have painted site-specific paintings to be repainted on billboards in lower Manhattan. She is a 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship Recipient and currently lives and works in New York.
AMANDA JOY BROWN is a visual artist and educator based in the Bay Area. After studying Art and French at Harding University in Arkansas, Brown earned her MFA in the painting program at the Savannah College of Art and Design. She completed a month long residency at the Vermont Studio Center before moving to Nashville, TN where she found a studio community at Ground Foor Gallery+ Studios, and continued to exhibit in around the US as well as southern France. She now resides in California with her husband and 14 month old daughter, working out of her home studio and doing plein air excursions to paint the beautiful landscape of the East Bay every chance she gets. Her work is exhibited and collected internationally.