Abby Goldstein (b. Chicago, IL ) received a BFA from Pratt Institute, NY and a MFA from the School of Visual Arts, NY. Ms. Goldstein is an Associate Professor of Art and heads the Graphic Design concentration at Fordham University,NY. She is the collaborator and co-designer of Revival Type with Paul Shaw and the award winning book, "Helvetica and the New York City Subway System". Ms. Goldstein has exhibited her art in the US and abroad. She has received fellowships to Vermont Studio Center, Yaddo, Hambidge Center for Creative Arts & Science, and Brush Creek Artist Residency, Wallapa Bay Artist fellowship. Public commissions include: murals for the Manhattan Bridge bicycle path, NYC Department of Transportation, and for the St. George Ferry Terminal, Staten Island, NY. Ms Goldstein lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
“Signs form a language, but not the one you think you know.” ― Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
My background and experience in graphic design and typography heavily influences how I see the world around me. Hence, I am drawn to maps for how they encapsulate a complex site in a language that is graphic and easy to decipher. I am fascinated with the inherent reliance on maps to describe, where we are, where we are going and where we have been. I use ancient maps of cities, local, hand drawn and well-worn maps of places I have visited as backgrounds and a source of inspiration and guidance.
I am fascinated with stories about exploration and discovery. Italo Calvino’s, Invisible Cities, Primo Levi, Periodic Table, Rebecca Solnit’s, A Field Guide to Getting Lost, Bruce Chatwin’s On Patagonia and recently Robert Moore’s book On Trails are a few of the books that I turn to spur my imagination, give me insight and alternative view points.
In my work I use meandering and intertwining marks to traverse a two-dimensional space. Clusters of circular and organic shapes in subtle hues combine with repeated rectangles and lines in contrasting colors to evoke movement and the disparity between built and natural environments. My process is a journey through a geographical space that often references a specific location. Fundamental to my methodology is the organic unfolding of each piece. By obscuring and redrawing I let the process remain visible with overlays of color washes, markers and opaque paint suggesting evolutionary change. While I work preconceived ideas are rejected and a response to the unexpected is embraced. A visual system, alluding to cartography emerges based on symbology, disruption and transformation.
In my recent work, Re Imagining Brooklyn, I respond to the momentous building and sweeping changes that are occurring in the area of Brooklyn where I have lived and worked for more than twenty-five years. Maps give me a sense of solace to the dystopian urban landscape that is on the rise. I have chosen a few historic Brooklyn maps and printed each out on archival paper. I draw and paint on top in a process of abandon. I heedlessly break boundaries, trespass, reclaim, reorganize and establish new path-ways, the work becomes a meditation on intervention and acknowledgement that change is inevitable.