Marlon Mullen: P, Organized By John Zurier • Puzzle: Kim Miskowicz • Sylvia Fragoso at NIAD Art Center through April 28 //

Marlon Mullen makes high-voltage and fine-tuned paintings with absolute authority and conviction.

He uses thick opaque acrylic paint like butter cream frosting to create interlocking forms that looks as if they were licked into shape with his brush.

His paintings have their source in an image from a magazine or book found in the Art Center’s studio. Once he selects an image Mullen transforms what he sees into idiosyncratic patterns of great complexity and ambiguity.

The “P” in the exhibition title just hangs there like an unanswered question, and like the unexplained shapes and letters that populate Marlon Mullen’s paintings. It might stand for painting, pages, photographs, paradox, patience, or poetry. It’s in fact, the letter placed by NIAD before the number that designates every “Untitled” painting by Marlon Mullen. Like the letters, words, and bits of text that Mullen often includes in his painting, it’s not spelled out completely. Words in Mullen’s painting seem to act as things in themselves, for themselves, and in relation to the internal dynamics of each painting. In Marlon Mullen’s paintings, isolated words — sometimes misspelled or incomplete — become poetry.

“Marlon Mullen: P,” organized by John Zurier, is Mullen’s second solo at NIAD Art Center and runs concurrent with his second solo exhibition at JTT gallery in New York.

John Zurier is a painter who lives and works in Berkeley, California. Zurier makes spare abstract paintings that consist of thin monochrome washes of oil paint or glue-size tempera in pale muted colors. He has exhibited widely in the US and Europe. His work is represented by Anglim Gilbert Gallery San Francisco, Peter Blum Gallery, NY, Lawrence Markey Gallery, San Antonio, and Nordenhake Gallery, Berlin & Stockholm.

Puzzle: Kim Miskowicz

Oakland artist Kim Miskowicz’s landscape paintings are painstakingly created with layers of found oscilloscope recording papers from the Black Hole Surplus (a large thrift store from the collections of a former Los Alamos National Labs machinist) in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Due to the nature of how she renders natural formations — cutting, tearing and gluing each layer to add depth and texture — Miskowicz’s process is slow and labor-intensive. The materials and images interweave becoming a sort of cartography of the mind.

Kim Miskowicz is a visual artist based in Oakland, CA. Her work has been exhibited at numerous Bay Area venues including Artists’ Television Access, Headlands Center for the Arts, San Francisco Cinematheque, Southern Exposure and Krowswork. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts at the University of New Mexico and did post graduate study in painting and experimental film at the San Francisco Art Institute and has been an artist in residence at Kala Art Institute and Project 387. This is her first solo exhibition at NIAD Art Center.

Sylvia Fragoso

In January, Sylvia Fragoso had a solo exhibition of her ceramic structures at The Good Luck Gallery in Los Angeles. We’ll be showing a selection of her recent clay efforts related to that show. This is Sylvia’s second solo exhibition at the Art Center.