Exhibitions: Current | Upcoming | Past

Exhibitions: Past

Brad Fesmire
Yuri Kobayashi
David Richardson

November 3 – December 15, 2011

Brad Fesmire, Yuri Kobayashi, and David Richardson Brad Fesmire, Yuri Kobayashi, and David Richardson Brad Fesmire, Yuri Kobayashi, and David Richardson Brad Fesmire, Yuri Kobayashi, and David Richardson Brad Fesmire, Yuri Kobayashi, and David Richardson Brad Fesmire, Yuri Kobayashi, and David Richardson Brad Fesmire, Yuri Kobayashi, and David Richardson Brad Fesmire, Yuri Kobayashi, and David Richardson Brad Fesmire, Yuri Kobayashi, and David Richardson Brad Fesmire, Yuri Kobayashi, and David Richardson Brad Fesmire, Yuri Kobayashi, and David Richardson Brad Fesmire, Yuri Kobayashi, and David Richardson Brad Fesmire, Yuri Kobayashi, and David Richardson Brad Fesmire, Yuri Kobayashi, and David Richardson Brad Fesmire, Yuri Kobayashi, and David Richardson

We each have, tucked away in our brains, an archetypal image of a tree. The tree can be young, only a few years old, or sometimes hundreds of years old before it is harvested. Its history and experiences are indelibly scattered throughout its structure. Rings and knots, growth and decay, and density and color are but the most obvious of the cycle of a tree’s life. It is resonant and rich and can be burned as fuel or transformed into some of the most beautiful things on earth. Wood remains alive after it has been cut from the tree, its sap long migrating throughout the grain. It will never not respond to warmth or moisture and will expand or contract accordingly.

Artists have an unlimited palate of media choices at their disposal from which to make art. The artists in our exhibition use wood as their material of choice for making work. Wood is an extraordinary material from which to craft objects. Wood can be sawn, carved, bent and manipulated in extraordinary ways – so much so that the results can sometimes disguise the materials’ origins. Whether they carve into or paint upon, bend or join, or stain and cajole, their choices mark their works with special consideration because they have chosen to work with this living material.

Kathleen Hancock

The Artists

Bradley Fesmire

Personal narrative, history and a sense of place seem to become more important as art and the society and it reflects becomes increasingly disconnected. These narratives may be as personal and trivial as Lionel trains or as a grand as German history (i.e., Anselm Keifer), but are often shared experiences among many people. Bruce Springsteen sang about Americana as it pertained to Asbury Park and New Jersey, but it also resonated with a much larger audience. The work in this series aims to operate in much the same way. These memories and shared experiences are shown through a continued search for meaning in materials and imagery as they convey a sense of place, time and sentiment while mining the cannon of post-modernist painting. As Barnett Newman once said, "For man is one, he is single, he is alone; and yet he belongs, he is part of an other. This conflict is the greatest of our tragedies."

Yuri Kobayashi

One's creations allude to individuality, experience, and empathy. Born and raised in Japan, the essence of Japanese ethics, aesthetics, and culture were imbedded in me before I recognized it. Through these essences, my discipline in woodworking seeks a locus where traditions in craft resonate with contemporary society.

My work is a reflection of my identity, experiences, and empathy. It is a response to my honest perspective on fragments of humanity and life. The fundamental yet complex notion of the sameness of the universe has become my passion to create work. I strive to depict facets of human nature that we all possess and share in particular, growth and emotional entities that accompany us throughout our life. The work refers to forms of furniture, sometimes suggesting utility and other times not. It always celebrates and embraces traditions of craft.

David Richardson

I was a painter in Boston in the 70's and 80's. I worked from nature, like Corot, but my Fontainebleau Forest was in Revere and Winthrop, Massachusetts. Later, I worked from iconic images of nineteenth century Luminist and vernacular painting like the Mississippi River, the Adirondacks and Niagara Falls, traveling and sketching my own versions of these landscapes. I developed some of these images in the studio, trying to find a way to be a contemporary painter. My mentor and teacher, Kaji Aso, was a contemporary Japanese painter who had absorbed traditional Japanese culture (he was designated a "living national treasure" for his calligraphy and sumi painting), but he was also a contemporary artist, developing his own voice in response to the world he lived in. I always had a day job restoring antique furniture and making traditional reproductions. Eventually, inspired by the contemporary craft of the time, I started to find ways to bring my painting ideas into furniture pieces. Furniture is slow. It takes a long time to learn how to make furniture well. Finding an artistic voice using furniture as a medium is even slower.These pieces represent my attempt to bring my concerns as a painter into the medium of contemporary furniture.

My ideal artist is someone who finds his or her own way to be contemporary yet who can address human history and nature – nature is very important – or at least reach back a ways, like Cy Twombly, and photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto, architects Tadao Ando and Arata Izosaki. I also admire the work of Robert Irwin, who stripped western art of most of its elements down to the essential experience of perception, and who has always done it in the most highly crafted way. And Vija Celmins, who can slow time. That may be a lot for a furniture maker to claim as influence, but then, as I said, furniture is slow, and there's always a lot of time to think.


Bradley Fesmire graduated with honors from the Rhode Island School of Design. His MFA is in Painting and also holds a Collegiate Teaching Certificate from Brown University. Currently he is Program Coordinator at the RiverzEdge Arts Project in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. He was a 2008 recipient of a RISCA Education Artist Award of Excellence. Recent exhibitions include Parallel Lines on a Slow Decline, The Providence & Worcester Depot ,Woonsocket, RI; I Heart Art, WORK Gallery, Red Hook, NY; and 5 Paintings, Monkey Gallery, Narragansett, RI.

Yuri Kobayashi was born and raised in Japan, Yuri Kobayashi received her BA degree in architecture design at the Musashino Art University in Tokyo. After training in traditional Japanese woodworking, she moved to the U.S. to pursue an MFA degree in woodworking and furniture design at San Diego State University. Recent exhibitions include RISD 2011 Faculty Biennial, Museum of Art Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI; Steppingstones, Richard & Dolly Maass Gallery, Purchase College, Purchase, NY; Modes of Making: Contemporary Studio Furniture, Society of Art & Craft, Boston, MA; and Celebrating the Studio Fellowship, Messler Gallery, Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, Rockport, ME.

David Richardson graduated from the Rhode island School of Design. He studied and worked with painter Kaji Aso, professor at the Boston Museum School. He then worked from 1974-1986 for the Attwill Furniture Co., Lynn, MA restoring antiques for museums and collectors, and making traditional reproduction furniture. In the 80s, he established David Richardson, Inc. in Fall River, MA later succeeded by Northeast Studio Co, an antique furniture restoration and hand-made furniture Company. Recent exhibition venues include Fine Furnishings Providence, RI; The Furniture Society; the Architectural Digest Home Show and The International Contemporary Furniture Fair, NY and New Bedford Museum of Art Invitational (painting). He is co-founder of FS After Hours, the Furniture Society blog and writes about furniture, craft and art.