• Shara Mercado Poole

Form is Emptiness & Collaborations

Updated: Mar 26, 2018


William Ishmael (left)

Betsy Kendall (right)


The shows this month at neighboring galleries Tim Collom Gallery and b. sakata garo couldn't seem more different, yet both artists have made very careful material decisions that lend themselves to the complexities of their work. Tim Collom is hosting an exhibit by William Ishmael, titled Form is Emptiness/Emptiness is Form: Meditations on the Heart Sutra. This collection of work is a mix of 3-dimentional sculpture, 2-dimensional wall pieces and various installation works. The exhibit at b. sakata garo, Collaborations, features the works of Betsy Kendall, a collection of gouache paintings mixed with small elements of collage. Aside from obvious differences in media, sculptural installation vs. painting, the exhibiting artists clearly have different influences driving their work. William Ishmael explores the possibilities and limitations of raw materials while Betsy Kendall explores the complexities of quick gestural figure painting.


Ishmael's work speaks to the time and patience that comes with lengthy artistic process. In addition to the slowness of this type of art making, there is also a lack of control in the final product, making this type of work an exercise in the releasing of control and being open to variation in results.

"Therefore, in the Emptiness there are no Forms, No Feelings, Perceptions, Volitions or Consciousness... Until we come to no realm of Consciousness." -The Heart Sutra

William Ishmael, Form is Emptiness/Emptiness is Form

patina on steel plates (back), ceramic (front)


William Ishmael, Form is Emptiness Plexiglas


Kendall's work speaks more to immediacy. Her strokes are rapid and gestural. By working in gouache, she has not only selected a media that dries quickly, but offers the opacity necessary to layer multiple passes of the brush, build an image up from the bottom.

"I love the accidents and improvisations triggered by the need to seize the moment in paint." -Betsy Kendall

Betsy Kendall, All Fall Down

gouache on paper


All Fall Down (detail)


Ishmael's work will be on display through April 5, 2018 and Kendall's work will be on display though March 31, 2018. For more information about these artists, please visit their websites: I Am Ishmael and Betsy Kendall.


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