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Three surprising talents shown in California share their emerging talents with the North Texas audience:  Sara Issakharian’s explosive abstract paintings; Channing Hansen’s knitted works that surprisingly read as paintings, and b. chehayeb’s intimate colorful abstractions.

Sara Issakharian received the top-rated “Must-See” recognition in the California Art Review during the Felix Art Fair in Los Angeles held Summer 2021.  Raised in Tehran, the artist left Iran in 2001, and now divides her time between Los Angeles and Berlin.  Her strong, seriously staged canvases present highly charged figurative abstractions.  The large engaging paintings shift between the seen and unseen and darkness and light.  She turns her paintings into a theatrical stage of unsettling conversations between distant friends and family that charge her imagination.  Scattered imagery of ghostly animals is embellished with vibrant colors of green, red, and yellow ochre.  Frustrated outbursts of active scribbling envelope her abstracted figures that might float on a surprisingly pink ground.

Channing Hansen’s high-toned, energetic abstractions, are hand-knitted constructions stretched on bare wooden frames.  As a painter, Hansen picked up knitting ten years ago to preoccupy his restless mind.  He appreciates craft and the staggering wonder of technical advances.  In a highly labor-intensive process, the artist washes, dyes, blends, and spins the wool himself.  Then programmed by computer, he generates his color-ridden fiber works that read as “paintings.”  Abstract organic, amoeba-like forms intermingle with the tendrils of yarn that dart across the surface of the textiles.  The artist discusses his portals of possibility when he states, “Craft solves questions; art asks them.” 

b. chehayeb’s small abstractions present intimate, subtly staged artworks.  Based in New York and showing in California, the artist has a colorful history.  Dallas-born of immigrant Mexican parents, she grew up in small Texas towns, teaching herself Spanish to reclaim her authenticity. Her colorful history can only be imagined in her expressive abstractions.  Small in size, the work addresses bicultural memories and traumas between memory and reality and cueing into nostalgia’s mysterious and transfiguring power.  As a finalist for the Wells Contemporary Art Prize in the UK, b. chehayeb began a 50-piece poetic/painting series.  

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