Art in the City: Four Artists Find Each Other

The US4 collaborative, made up of local women artists, brings boundary-crossing artwork to Bethesda’s Gallery B. 

Katty Biglari, Nora Maccoby, Grazia Montalto and Yolaine Brochard, the US4 artist collective

One of the primary moments of intersection in the new US4 group show at Gallery B is the turbulent political climate. Each of the four artists showing has been focused for about two years now on these particular works.

“We’re grappling with what is real, what is fake, what do we know, what is truth?” said Nora Maccoby, one of the US4 artists at an artists talk last Saturday. She went on to say that getting organic materials in your hands is a way to find some sanity.

The group show is a collaborative of four DC-area artists, and is running now through March 3 at Gallery B in Bethesda. It features paintings, sculptures, drawings and even virtual reality.

Maccoby, a multimedia artist, has work displayed at the show in the form of traditional paintings (oil on canvas, pens and marker on paper), liquid paintings in video and virtual reality. Through technology, the paintings become multidimensional light sculptures the viewer can actually interact with.

This art, fusing technology with the tangible, can provide a different avenue of thinking and perhaps, a new point of view.

“Art can experiment with new technology, with many ideas, and accidentally find new ways of understanding things,” Maccoby said.

And different viewpoints are precisely what all four of the artists in US4 have in common — each artist comes from a different culture (France, Iran, Italy and the US) and works in different mediums, but their art is united because “we found we were intersecting through different modalities of form and culture,” said Maccoby.

Katty Biglari, originally from Iran, has always considered painting a mission. After getting her master’s degree from George Washington University and years of abstract oil painting under her belt, she recently decided she was finished painting when her two daughters grew up and moved away. A recent empty-nester, she got rid of her supplies and moved to an apartment. She couldn’t ignore the urge to create, though, and is working again, this time in acrylics. This is her first gallery show.

Italian-born graphic designer Grazia Montalto is currently working in line and form with pen and marker images of different cities, all centered around the word “resist.” As Maccoby noted at the artist talk, “resistance in these times is your own spiritual fortitude.”

Yolaine Brochard, of France, is a professional photographer who only recently started sculpting. She uses found items in nature (twigs, tree bark) and incorporates them with sculptures she makes.

The show’s tagline is, “In the intersection of lines, waves, earth, sky, matter, and light itself, we find each other.”

Indeed, this seems to be the case. As Biglari puts it, “we each have our own strength, but together, we found our voice.”

The US4 show runs through March 3, 2018 at Gallery B, 7700 Wisconsin Ave #E, Bethesda, MD 20814

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