2024, 2023

I'm giving a talk on my work at Brooklyn College MFA CUNY - join via zoom link here xo

Topic: Ada Friedman Artist Talk
Time: May 3, 2024 05:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
https://brooklyn-cuny-edu.zoom.us/j/86971017387?pwd=K2U3U2RtRFl0TkJNK0dVZEtwWkMxUT09
Meeting ID: 869 7101 7387
Passcode: 965865

Ada Friedman, "Everyday Drawing, April-Sept. 2020 Calendar,” 2020, Gouache, watercolor, colored pencil crayon, sharpie, marker, cardboard, paper printout, photocopies, tape, lighting gel, flower magazine cutouts, pencil, ink on paper, 36 x 12 in.

Saturday November 18,  1-5PM, ongoing


In conjunction with the current series of exhibitions and in collaboration with exhibiting artist Ada Friendman, the Yeh Art Gallery presents an ongoing calendar-making workshop for the last month of the exhibition. Starting November 9th, walk into the gallery anytime the exhibitions open and gallery staff will share the process of making your own calendar based on the template and instructions booklet created by Ada Friedman. 


Shows run through Dec. 9, 2023 Cecilia Caldiera, Ada Friedman, Brandon Morris/ Kit-Yin Snyder and Richard Haas. Cevallos Brothers/Ezra Wube:Five Animations

Cecilia Caldiera, Ada Friedman, Brandon Morris presents three artists working across painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture and performance—all radically engaged with the power of daily ritual and the transformative potential of everyday activities or materials to speak to the cosmic, the mythological and the phantasmagoric. Often incorporating found objects or traces of found objects and artifacts from ephemeral activities or performances, the artworks included address the ultimate paradox of the artist working in the palimpsest of New York City: to digest, contend with and reflect on the current moment amidst the perpetual exposure to residual energies of the past and the expansive possibilities of the future.

Ada Friedman’s “Everyday Drawings” and “Performance Proposals” incorporate her habitual actions in the studio and provide access points into the holistic world of her energetic workspace. Checkmarks or tallies record time spent working and writing communicates her self-reflexive questioning, and is a direct extension of a stream of consciousness while working. Color and form delineate territory of the studio space itself or possible movements/performances yet to be determined. Every decision is intentional and indexical and together they form a type of multi-dimensional journaling project that sits deeply rooted in the present moment. While forever tethered to mark-making from all of history from cave-painting to current and modern abstraction and everything between or after. Friedman’s “Wing and Wheel” works extend from a performance Helen Rides V, a play she wrote, staged and directed at All Saints Church in midtown Manhattan in 2019. This performance is part of an ongoing series of works connected to the ballad poet Helen Adam. The “wings” reference the Blue Moths featured in Adam’s story the “Riders To Blokula”—symbolizing, as Friedman states, “the slippage between overlapping worlds or different concurrent realities.”

Through a process of collecting, cataloging and rebuilding, Cecilia Caldiera makes assemblage sculptures with found industrial metals, plastics, masonry and other materials, often utilizing familiar objects such as an abandoned shopping cart, rebar and cardboard. Caldiera forges an equilibrium between the precarious ecology of materials discarded throughout the city and an activist drive to engage directly with the immediate concerns of public spaces and local histories. In her works Icarus Was Hereand We Have Been Here Before, Part One, found objects and imprints of materials sway together in a fragile choreography that calls attention to the cycles of renewal, transformation and displacement that perpetually upend the urban landscape.


Over the past year and a half, in an ongoing series, Brandon Morris has been working with found Victorian-era teapots to construct sculptures which are covered in leather. Each teapot is sheathed in leather that has been molded, sutured, appended and sometimes dyed, mapping the contours of the object, with the occasional handle or spout protruding out like a limb. Morris anthropomorphizes each teapot transforming them into unflinchingly necessary objects, fusing design and fashion histories from the Victorian and Gothic to Japanese Anime and horror. Morris works the teapot into an archetypal form that exudes a sense of narrative and delirium, conjuring allusions to the everyday rituals of tea and adornment—and the subcultures that form amidst the collision of aesthetic value systems.


Cecilia Caldiera, Ada Friedman, and Brandon Morris is organized by Max Warsh, Director of the Yeh Art Gallery, St. John’s University. 

Essex Flowers is a cooperative gallery 100% operated, curated, and supported by artists. The gallery was founded in 2013 by nine artists in the basement of the eponymous flower shop at Essex and Grand street at the invitation of Bill Frazer, a local businessman and owner of the flower shop. At the time, some of the founding members were involved with the Occupy Wall Street movement and interested in exploring alter-native gallery models.


In 2015, the gallery moved around the corner to Ludlow Street for a brief stint before relocating in 2016 to its current address, 19 Monroe Street. The 700-square-foot space located in Chinatown was formerly used as offices for a small construction company.

Since its inception the gallery has continued to evolve, adapt, contract and expand in response to the rapidly changing economic, social and political climate of New York City. Each amalgamation of participating artists has created unique alchemical collaborations and formations over the course of the last decade.

Essex Flowers currently operates with 13 members and has shown the work of hundreds of artists with a focus on emerging and underrepresented artists, experimental programming, and supporting the immediate community.

To celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Essex Flowers, we invited current and former members to display their work. Welcome to our world!

Artist Talk in conjunction with faculty exhibition at the Housatonic Museum of Art, Bridgeport, CT 

Gestalt | An Invitational Exhibition of Regional Art Faculty
Thursday, March 9, 2023 - Thursday, April 13, 2023
Burt Chernow Galleries, Housatonic Museum of Art


Opening reception on Thursday, March 9 from 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


Gestalt: "Something such as a structure or experience that, when considered as a whole, has qualities that are more than the total of all its parts." (Cambridge Dictionary)

The annual art faculty exhibition at the Housatonic Museum of Art (HMA) includes a select group of faculty members from all twelve campuses of Connecticut State Community College (CT State). The exhibition includes a range of visual media, including digital video, graphic design, and installations. The HMA is thrilled to highlight the artwork of over twenty faculty members from across Connecticut.

The exhibition is curated by Janet Hayes and John Favret of Housatonic Community College.



2019 - 2022

Essex Flowers Pop-up Shop Holidays 2022

Listen. I know that internet/youth culture is all about the woowoo at the moment. Witchery, manifesting, reality shifting, tarot, horoscopes are everywhere, seeming to provide mass respite from crumbling political and climate realities the world over. But! Ada Friedman’s Painting in Pisces is a dreamlike exhibition, wherein the fluidity and ritual for which her sign is known combine into thoroughly considered, agile paintings. So, I want to have some fun musing about attitude-as-cosmic assignment versus attitude-as-aesthetic-posture, as a means of parsing her dense and subtle works.


Friedman’s sign is said to be mutable and shape-shifting, represented by a wandering fish. Those born under Pisces are said to be highly sensitive, very present in any given environment without melting into it. Friedman’s paintings are double-sided, each one living on the reverse of another. Their shapes are irregular and incongruent, while they are anatomical relatives. Here, you’ll see pieces from a body of paintings all shaped like relaxing isosceles triangles. And although they are composed in similar form, height, and width, they are entirely distinct from one another. In terms of color, works sharing one of Friedman’s odd structures might seem to be complete strangers meeting for the first time. Yet an inextricable physical relationship with the painting on its backside (frontside? topside? underbelly?) harmonizes the full work by forcing chance interactions and compatibilities between the two. Her works are firm in their adaptability. Repetitive in a refusing way. Fish flip, decisions are final/reversible, light shimmers.


The condition of fish, incidentally, is also William James’ preferred metaphor** for the use and misuses of abstraction. A misused abstraction is one imposed upon the world. A point of view inconsiderate of finer, relevant aspects of a thing for the sake of ease or control; a harmful distortion of reality. Useful abstraction, however, is in line with its originary sensibility: a verb describing the attempt to make the unfathomable ingestible, yes, but by way of curiosity rather than knowing. An attempt to understand rather than expound. Like a good tarot reading.


In service to this end, Ada’s prima materia is paper, for its broad range of use. Yet the artist also fully integrates intermittently collected and discreetly organized materials into a painting’s whole. These items tend to be fragile and/or translucent, demanding delicate, intentional handling. Importantly, Friedman does not adhere them to already-painted surfaces; these works are not collages. Instead, lighting gel or a found doily serve as integral structural components of the entire plane on which any two paintings live, further coordinating works which share all of their material elements to differently composed ends. They swim together, wherever and however they want. Friedman manipulates each component with precisely the same physical gestures she uses to oil paint, resulting in unified, motley, elegant paintings.


Kendra Jayne Patrick
Schanzeneckstrasse 3
3012, Bern Switzerland
Photo: Cary Whittier


**Now let the water represent the world of sensible facts, and let the air above it represent the world of abstract ideas…. We are like fishes swimming in the sea of sense, bounded above by the superior element, but unable to breathe it pure or penetrate it. We get our oxygen from it, however, we touch it incessantly, … in this part, now in that, and every time we touch it, we are reflected back into the water with our course redetermined and reenergized. The abstract ideas of which the air consists are indispensable for life, but irrespirable by themselves, as it were, and only active in their redirecting function.


William James. "The One and the Many". Lecture 4 in Pragmatism: A new name for some old ways of thinking. New York: Longman Green and Co (1907): 49-63

Benefit for The Brigid Alliance

Ernestine’s first show presents the work of Ada Friedman, Tatiana Kronberg, Saira McLaren, and Bobbie Oliver, four artists who are linked by their concerns with movement, process, and abstraction. An afterimage is defined as “an impression of a vivid sensation (especially a visual image) retained after the stimulus has ceased.” The traces of these artists' processes becomes the image in their poetic abstractions.

Oliver has painted abstractly since her student days. She often works on the floor, moving her canvases around to shift and scrape pools of paint; their imprint-like residues seep into the canvas, often from the edges, defining voids and presences. She restricts the palette of each painting, frequently working within one color range per canvas. There is a hint of a scientific experiment- as if zooming in to view a color’s tonal range microscopically to get at the core of the emotions it evokes.

Friedman’s work is similarly physical and spiritual. She sifts between made and found accumulated objects, papers, and drawings, working on several pieces at once. Calendars and lists scatter among non-objective shapes in often flat table-top-like space. Quick gestural marks heighten a sense of speeding time in her paintings. The circle, referencing a clock, an eye, and the moon, among other things, holds particular significance in this work, as many pieces count and explore time. Particularly her ideas and experience of it as non-linear. For instance, matter of factly, while she was 29 years old, she created 29 “Timekeeper” paintings on found gloves. Each with 29 radiating stacked oil lines.

McLaren’s work encompasses painting, ceramics and fiber arts. Her compositions losely reference landscape, often the sky as its celestial orbs and weather appear to move across our field of vision. Tufts of wool, like wisps of clouds, mirror painted brush strokes as she mines the juncture of painting with the traditionally craft-based medium of wool-working. Wavering unstretched surfaces amplify the physical presence of her work. Saturated colors, that McLaren dyes herself, heighten the sense of rhythm and movement in her compositions.

Kronberg’s photographs are made from folding and unfolding photo paper while she moves her body and objects across a light-sensitive surface in her darkened studio. The element of chance is central to these dark encounters. Deep color and juxtapositions of partial images with abstraction heighten the mystery and sensuality of her images.

A Rose Goes: Performance Event & Book Release
University of TN Knoxville (UTK) Downtown Gallery Show
A Rose Goes features works by Amanda Friedman and Lynne Marinelli Ghenov in conversation with works from the Ewing Gallery Permanent Collection.

Artist Talk - Thurs. 4/7/22 @ 7:30 pm @ UT's School of Art in room 109. To join via Zoom & for more info, register/go here -- tiny.utk.edu/amanda_friedman

Images: (Left) Amanda Friedman, Untitled (Studio Guardian Tree #6), 2022, India ink, gauche, colored pencil, and graphite on paper

(Right) Lynne Marinelli Ghenov, (Detail) Window 2 - wild goose chase - so utterly under the surface of the river, 2022, graphite, colored pencil, and India ink on paper

A Rose Goes features works by Amanda Friedman and Lynne Marinelli Ghenov in conversation with works from the Ewing Gallery Permanent Collection.

Friedman and Ghenov are comfortable with ghosts in the studio. Ghenov uses family ledgers and documents found while cleaning out her childhood home. Friedman combines unexpected materials such as crayons, reference book photocopies, and lighting gels. Both artists use the act of drawing to try to capture the present moment, while their materials are envoys of the past. These technical and physical modes of working underscore their mutual interest in the foggy lines between different chapters in a human lifetime and realms of presence.

As Friedman and Ghenov simultaneously tease out and further obscure the boundaries between past and present, drawing and accumulated materials, their work is put into conversation with artists from the University of Tennessee’s permanent collection such as Joseph Delaney, Claes Oldenburg, Mira Schor, and Nancy Spero. The dialogue that ensues explores the blurred lines between drawing as practice and performance, between studies and finished works, and between art-making and living.

In conjunction with this exhibition, an artist book catalog (published by the Ewing Gallery and the Fire Escape Cafe) will be released at an event Friday, April 22 at 6-8 pm at the UT Downtown Gallery.

Freewheeling interviews with contemporary artists about their processes and inspirations. Hosted by artist Jennifer Sullivan.

Check out other great artist interviews in the "It's a Process" series on Jen's site here or on the show's Apple Podcast link!

NADA House at Governors Island
Turn Onz, Detroit
5/8 - 8/1/2021 

Everyday Drawings and Pyramids at Grifter

75 East Broadway, Unit 221 NY, NY

9/11- 10/31/20

Cloud Memories
Curated by Adrianne Rubenstein
White Columns Online
Online, 3/23 - 4/23/20

Exhibition on the White Columns website, here!

Lazzis and Two One Acts 
at All Saints Church
230 E60th St. NY, NY
7 PM 12/14/19

Lazzis and Two Acts, a revue produced by Vivien Theatre Video, the cooperative experimental theatre company I recently founded with Irina Jasnowski Pascual, Tyler Berrier, David Kirshoff, and Josh Brand will be staged at All Saints Church on Sat. Dec 14th. The night hinges together: a surgical theatre opera (Irina and Tyler), lazzis puppetry fashion show (David), videos (Josh), and my new play, Helen Rides V. My piece is built around/makes a world for the ceramic light castle towers/paintings I've been making. Estimated runtime, an hour 15min.
Please see below for a series of posters for the evening. 

Family Show
at Safe Gallery

1004 Metropolitan Ave.
Brooklyn, NY
10/11 - 12/15/19

Safe Gallery presents:
The Burn Show
Curated by Blair Blumberg & Jonny Campolo
Folly Tree Arboretum
741 Springs Fireplace Rd.
East Hampton, NY
7/20/19 

Artist Talk
w/ other UArk artists-in-residence Dan Gunn & Adam Milner 
6 PM 6/13/19
Pryor Center
Fayetteville, AR

Summer Residency
at the University of Arkansas 

I am an artist-in-residence at the Clay Break residency in the Ceramics Dept. at UArk, June-July 2019. 

Helen Rides IV