Adjacent to Life

Short Films: Michael Sean Edwards

April 4 - May 9, 2014

I used to edit movies for a living. It was a skill I learned in the old school, meaning it was as much a craft of physical construction as it was a conceptual art.

The great thing about editing physical film was that one could stop watching the movie and deal with it over a lightbox as lengths of colorful acetate. (Something lost in the transition to video tape editing and then to the nonlinear methods). I knew a foot of fiilm was 2/3 of a second on screen, I could tell a pan or a zoom or a dolly by how the shapes moved across the strip as I wound the film over a light table. Eventually I could even judge the pacing of them to a reasonable degree. I got used to seeing little bits of the stuff stuck here and there all over the place. The lamp over my work table was festooned with little trims of film, for instance, and I developed an uncanny ability to find the bit I might want to add back in the course of refining the edit. These series of individual pictures narrowly and in a sense arbitrarily separated by the frame line became fascinating to me without my really knowing it.

As I slowly became more of a photographer than a filmmaker this fascination persisted, once again without my really knowing it. When I started taking pictures I would get my chromes back cut and mounted:each one its own thing. The film editor in me soon rebelled, and I started asking the lab to just give me back the roll, uncut. I was intrigued by little narratives (short films for sure) but I was also in thrall to the odd collisions and juxtapositions that took place between the lines. Another kind of short film.

These works are some of the result.

                                                                        - Michael Sean Edwards

Short Films by Michael Sean Edwards resides at the Adjacent to Life pop-up gallery housed in Ninth Street Espresso (341 E. 10th Street at Ave B).

image: by Michael Sean Edwards, Easter Sunday, Grand Central Station, 16.5” x 60”

Curated by Mark Roth


In Retrospect: Paintings by Mark Roth

March 3 – April 4, 2014

Picasso is said to have explained that he’d sometimes leave a painting unfinished in the corner of the studio. Weeks, months or even years later, he’d unearth that canvas to discover it magically resolved, as if on its own.


The paintings displayed here reflect a similar dynamic. While I’ve always considered them resolved, a critical transformation has occurred during the many years since they were archived in my studio.


This aesthetic alchemy is driven by a multi-fold mechanism. Partly, the works stand as irreproducible relics of an aspirant artist in the thrall of the New York School painters. The doors to that former self now closed, they also retroactively connect-the-dots to subsequent evolution. I’m glad to have this opportunity to share them with you.


Picasso might have considered this art of recovery the aesthetics of self-compassion - increased self-acceptance on the part of the painter leads to a tempered critical eye. Could Picasso’s tale have been a wink and nod to the retrospective gaze as another tool at the artist’s disposal?


                                                                                       - Mark Roth

In Retrospect resides at the Adjacent to Life pop-up gallery housed in Ninth Street Espresso (341 E. 10th Street at Ave B).

image: Mark Roth, Fibonacci, 48” x 40” oil on canvas


In Queens: Paintings by Richard Schaad

January 24 – February 28

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January 24 - February 28, 2014


I consider all of the traditional aspects of painting as necessary parts of something to include or reject. It has always been easier for me to think about these aspects in the same way a composer might think about musical notes. So I consider that the amount of realism or abstraction that I allow to be part of the painting or the amount of paint I use, or the color, mark and shape relationships, as something necessary to serve a primary idea. It is often difficult to recognize and stay with context because the idea is most likely fluid. Realism becomes a problem of historic references and conceptual banality. Abstraction becomes a problem of historic references and can easily become a decorative wasteland.

The people I paint are usually in a public setting but in a condition of privacy, so I think that makes the experience somewhat voyeuristic. The Paintings from Queens come from one of the recent annual Colombian Festivals. I am from Illinois and my wife is from Bogota, Colombia. We have shared the beauty of cultural differences for the past several years.  The paintings that originated in Queens are for me, part of that sharing.

                                                                                       - Richard Schaad

In Queens resides at the Adjacent to Life pop-up gallery housed in Ninth Street Espresso (341 E. 10th Street at Ave B).   

image: Richard Schaad, 20” x 28” oil on canvas

Curated by Mark Roth


Chicken Portraits: Drawings by Nina Glikshtern

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December 6 – January 24, 2014


With meditative focus, Nina Glikshtern confers upon the under-recognized chicken an honor historically reserved for political leaders, royalty and other figures of status. She draws upon her training as a medical illustrator to craft intricate, accurate portraits of heritage breed chickens.

It’s a sign of respect appropriate for a creature that is heir to the dinosaurs and integral to the development and functioning of civilization.

Nina is a native of San Francisco and a graduate of NYU. Currently, she lives and works in Brooklyn.

Curated by Mark Roth    

Chicken Portraits resides at the Adjacent to Life pop-up gallery housed in Ninth Street Espresso (341 E. 10th Street at Ave B).   

image: Old English Game Bantam, 30” x 22” ink on paper