The Architecture of Memory

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What at first appears to be an intricate painting but upon close examination slowly reveals itself to be finely cut slivers of paper and wood veneer, hand painted and then laboriously collaged together to create fields of grass, multifaceted rocky cliffs or lush botanical growth.  The architectural structures often incised directly onto wood panels and inserted into these wild landscapes.  In Molnar’s most recent body of work, she continues to construct her paintings with an engineer’s sensibility and rigor, but the architectural structures come from the world of leisure and recreation—and of memory.  The structures and patterns seem borrowed from an earlier generation, and yet also inspired by autobiography.  Her paintings collapse both geography and time.

The artist’s process begins with documentation: Molnar photographs locations newly traveled and well-known and loved.  These photographs are digitally stitched together, combining landscapes with structures from various “memories.” This is the way we experience memories: we confuse the place and time, the structures bleed together, places patched together in our minds the way Molnar collages photographs, like concretized memories.  These are the improbable landscapes of our memory, given physical shape.

On view for “The Architecture of Memory” will be recent collaged paintings on panel as well as small-scale editioned work that reveal much of the early stages of her process, much like “sketches” but done through photographs and digital manipulation.  Opens Sunday, January 27 with a reception from 3-5pm and on view through February 22, 2019, by appointment only.

About the Artist
Cheryl Molnar’s work has been exhibited nationally, including solo exhibitions at Smack Mellon in New York, The University of Arizona, The Islip Art Museum on Long Island and the General Electric Headquarters in CT.  She recently completed a permanent ceramic tile instillation for PS19Q in Queens, a commission from Percent for Art and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Currently a member artist at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, her other art residencies include the Winter Workspace program at Wave Hill, Smack Mellon, Weir Farm Art Center and Cooper Union. Cheryl received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from Pratt Institute.  She is a longtime resident of Greenpoint, Brooklyn where she resides with her husband, baby daughter and infamous cat.

About the Flat Files
Begun in 2018, the Flat Files Program represents a diverse and curated roster of emerging and mid-career artists whose works are available for viewing in our space during public hours or by appointment, as well as on our website (  The artists’ works on paper, photographs, prints and collages represent their core practice–or a departure from their usual studio practice.  Areté periodically highlights artists through individual or selected group exhibitions at the space.  To find out more about upcoming events, performances and open calls, please to subscribe to the mailing list via the website:

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