COLE STERNBERG

the nature of breathing in salt

1/30/16 - 3/07/16

 

QRB: What is your distance?
CS: My distance is a bit less than twenty meters to sea level; then another eight meters along the wake.

QRC: What is your true bearing?
CS: My true bearing is one hundred and sixty degrees to the horizon; not accounting for thirty degree rolls.

QRD: Where are you bound for?
CS: I am bound for a destination that continually changes; depending on the weather, fuel consumption and the charterer.

QRF: Where are you bound from?
CS: I am bound from an enclosed cabin, from the deck and from the water.

QRJ: How many words have you to send?
CS: I have many words to send in many formats.

QRG: What line do you belong to?
CS: I belong to the curved line of the horizon.

QRH: What is your wavelength?
CS: My wavelength is twelve meters.

Over the course of 22 days, Cole Sternberg braved the open sea aboard a liner ship bound from the Japanese port of Shin Kasado to Portland, Oregon. The ship carried no cargo, it merely tested its own endurance on the waters en route to its first shipment load-in. Sternberg arrived with linen, watercolor, graphite, ink, and a hearty crew of three enlisted to document the adventure.

MAMA Gallery is proud to present Cole Sternberg’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, the nature of breathing in salt. The body of work in this exhibition was created while aboard the maiden voyage of the bulk shipping vessel, the Ultra Letizia.

Sternberg led a momentary sailor’s life composed of traversing the grand ship from hull to port and stern to bow, testing linen and paint to their limits in the unforgiving environmental conditions of the ocean’s world. A painting methodology of movement, memory, and observation, like the cogs that pushed the vessel full steam ahead. 1) paint, 2) submerge in water, and 3) leave the flag to fly in the wind and wait another day to see what remains of the original sign. This process was knotted within days spent steeped in nervous joy and disoriented bearings alongside men who spend half their lives at sea.

Sternberg’s body of work from the voyage aboard this massive vessel, the log books of his endeavor, find final mooring at MAMA Gallery. The paintings that once ebbed and waved now lay flat, like the horizon line, and are now the landmark of a geometry of perspective.

At sea, what intersects earth and sky? The navigation homeward is calculated through abstractions, circles, arcs, and angles. These paintings, like the crew of Ultra Letizia, hung on for dear life, on an adventure over another planet - the Pacific Ocean - propelled by the promise of the miracles of home.


*International Q Code interview with Cole Sternberg


Installation View


Installation View


Installation View


Installation View


Installation View


Installation View


Installation View


a search for the miraculous on another ocean, 2015  acrylic, watercolor and saltwater on linen  72 x 96 inches (184 cm x 246 cm)


Installation View


Installation View


Installation View


Installation View


Installation View


a search for the miraculous on another ocean, 2015  acrylic, watercolor and saltwater on linen  72 x 96 inches (184 cm x 246 cm)

once we had two sundays in a row, 2015  acrylic, watercolor, graphite and saltwater on linen  72 x 96 inches (184 cm x 246 cm)


following a storm, a peaceful storm, 2015  acrylic, watercolor and saltwater on linen  96 x 72 inches (246 cm x 184 cm)


adventure is worthwhile in itself, 2015  acrylic, watercolor, ink and saltwater on linen  68 x 48 inches (174 x 123 cm)

wind cracks, 2015  acrylic, watercolor, ink and saltwater on linen  48 x 68 inches (174 x 123 cm)

circular movements beneath linear movements beneath circular movements, 2015  acrylic, watercolor, graphite and saltwater on linen  48 x 68 inches (174 x 123 cm)


stowaways emerge joyously after three days at sea, 2015  acrylic, watercolor, ink and saltwater on linen  48 x 68 inches (174 x 123 cm)

a long rope can be used to dangle things into the sea, 2015  acrylic, watercolor, ink and saltwater on linen  48 x 68 inches (174 x 123 cm)


patterns can be deceiving, even if consistent, 2015  acrylic, watercolor, ink and saltwater on linen  48 x 68 inches (174 x 123 cm)


I heard a mermaid is a manatee dressed up as a woman, 2015  acrylic, enamel, watercolor and saltwater on linen  48 x 68 inches (174 x 123 cm)


one glimpse into a twenty degree roll, 2015  acrylic, watercolor, ink and saltwater on linen  14 x 16 in (35.56 x 40.64 cm)

plank owners, 2015  acrylic, watercolor, ink and saltwater on linen  68 x 48 inches (174 x 123 cm)

drop to the sea, 2015  acrylic, ink and thermal transfer on wood panel  40 x 30 in (102 x 75 cm)

stowaways, 2015  acrylic, ink and thermal transfer on wood panel  40 x 30 in (102 x 75 cm)

bird eating bird, 2015  acrylic, ink and thermal transfer on wood panel  40 x 30 in (102 x 75 cm)


deck lightning storm, 2015  black and white integral instant film for Polaroid  4.2 x 3.5 in (10.67 x 8.89 cm); Image 3.1 x 3.1 in (7.87 x 7.87 cm)


periscope, 2015  black and white integral instant film for Polaroid  4.2 x 3.5 in (10.67 x 8.89 cm); Image 3.1 x 3.1 in (7.87 x 7.87 cm)


cloud breach, 2015  black and white integral instant film for Polaroid  4.2 x 3.5 in (10.67 x 8.89 cm); Image 3.1 x 3.1 in (7.87 x 7.87 cm)


deck celebratory dance, 2015  black and white integral instant film for Polaroid  4.2 x 3.5 in (10.67 x 8.89 cm); Image 3.1 x 3.1 in (7.87 x 7.87 cm)


deep sea spectrum, 2015  black and white integral instant film for Polaroid  4.2 x 3.5 in (10.67 x 8.89 cm); Image 3.1 x 3.1 in (7.87 x 7.87 cm)


dream hallway, 2015  black and white integral instant film for Polaroid  4.2 x 3.5 in (10.67 x 8.89 cm); Image 3.1 x 3.1 in (7.87 x 7.87 cm)


leaving the islands, 2015  black and white integral instant film for Polaroid  4.2 x 3.5 in (10.67 x 8.89 cm); Image 3.1 x 3.1 in (7.87 x 7.87 cm)


mess hall, 2015  black and white integral instant film for Polaroid  4.2 x 3.5 in (10.67 x 8.89 cm); Image 3.1 x 3.1 in (7.87 x 7.87 cm)


port flag collection, 2015  black and white integral instant film for Polaroid  4.2 x 3.5 in (10.67 x 8.89 cm); Image 3.1 x 3.1 in (7.87 x 7.87 cm)


storm views, 2015  black and white integral instant film for Polaroid  4.2 x 3.5 in (10.67 x 8.89 cm); Image 3.1 x 3.1 in (7.87 x 7.87 cm)


structural cloud balance, 2015  black and white integral instant film for Polaroid  4.2 x 3.5 in (10.67 x 8.89 cm); Image 3.1 x 3.1 in (7.87 x 7.87 cm)


sunspots, 2015  black and white integral instant film for Polaroid  4.2 x 3.5 in (10.67 x 8.89 cm); Image 3.1 x 3.1 in (7.87 x 7.87 cm)