Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Dow, Gunderson show opens Friday at Giampietro Gallery in New Haven

Giampietro Gallery—Works of Art
91 Orange St., New Haven, (203) 777-7760
Cross Currents: Karen Dow and Laurie Gunderson
Oct. 10—Nov. 22, 2014.
Reception: Fri., Oct. 10, 6—8 p.m.

Press release from Giampietro Gallery

Fred Giampietro Gallery is pleased to present new works by Karen Dow and Laurie Gundersen in an exhibition titled Cross Currents. This show will be on view at the 91 Orange St. location in New Haven from Oct. 10 through Nov. 22. There is an opening reception on Fri., Oct. 10, from 6—8 p.m.

Jeff Bergman writes:

Karen Dow makes flat work, yet the architectural and sculptural elements within belie their flatness. The distinct layers in the artist's newest body of work act in surprising ways, exposing forms while ghost images reveal themselves under marble dust gray. Like exposed composite rock segments, striations appear. Stacked and patchworked forms assert themselves as the gray fogs over layered and masked formations. Most of these solid forms are the final layer, completing the balancing act. Within Dow's painting, there is always the possibility of imbalance and irregular shapes ready to topple at the slightest breeze.

Art by Karen Dow

Dow has spent the last few years using printmaking techniques to create unique works on paper. The act of creating these monoprints itself has influenced the artists approach to the painting process. By inking hand cut materials, variable color and texture appear in the print process. Dow has recreated this indeterminacy by masking her canvas laid affixed to board with a hand cut frisket, an opaque vinyl material that adheres to the surface. The hand cut line wobbles, making both the mask another way for the artists hand to come across. By painting over all but these masked areas, the artist creates an "Aha" moment when she excavates the relics left behind. Louise Nevelson's irregular forms, composed of collaged remnants, serve as both an apt comparison as well the artists’ inspiration. Rather than work with collage, the artist builds a thorough world beneath and chooses her own remnants.

"Signal," 2014 is a multi­tiered work, containing several blocks of color. In the upper left, a square is divided black on the left and gray on the right. It appears to be right at the front of the plane, helped some by a red/orange layer behind it. This small area recalls Barnett Newman's zips as well as Pat Steir's large nearly monochromatic diptychs. The red and orange area in the middle left of the plane, also propped on a ledge, is a focal point and causes the eye to draw up to the dark area and then over to the right to view the "flag." The flag is an area with a four segment square. All around the gray midtone, adds a muted field of light. With "Signal," soft, dusty colors recede and bring to mind Giorgio Morandi's Etruscan palate. The dominant colors, autumnal yellow and orange and gauzy sky blue, light the way. Everywhere a counter balance of color is assumed, dispersing weight around the plane.

Laurie Gundersen writes in a recent statement:

I am a utilitarian folk artist: a dyer, spinner, weaver, quilter and basket maker. Primarily self-taught, I have explored these various media by diving into materials close at hand. Fascinated by the creative ways of making folk art from scrap, I make textiles reflecting that spirit and my love for blending contemporary designs with traditional techniques.

This collection of small textiles has helped me reflect and remember the people whose work in textiles have inspired me and provided movement in my life. Annie Albers, Lenore Tawney, Mary Hambridge, Randall Darwall, Hiroko Harada & Yoshiko Wada to name a few. Over the past decades my craft has slowly evolved, eventually leaving the art-to-wear movement behind. However, I have been gathering textiles over the last three decades in hopes of constructing art with it. Here is the new beginning of that process.

Gundersen lives and works in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Her studio/showroom is called Appalachian Piecework and is located at the train depot in Staunton.

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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Kathy Kane painting show reception Sat., June 7, at City Gallery in New Haven

City Gallery
994 State St., New Haven, (203) 782-2489
Kathy Kane: LIFE—LINE
June 5—29, 2014.
Opening Reception: Sat., June 7, 2—5 p.m.

Press release from City Gallery

City Gallery presents LIFE—LINE featuring artist Kathy Kane, June 5—29, 2014. The opening reception is Sat., June 7, from 2—5 p.m.

Kathy Kane: "Interstices"

The exploration of line, its delicate nature and ambiguous presence in the landscape bring punctuation and life to Kane's new work.

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Friday, May 23, 2014

William Bailey show opens at Orange St. Giampietro Gallery May 30

Giampietro Gallery—Works of Art
91 Orange St., New Haven, (203) 777-7760
William Bailey: Paintings and Drawings
May 30—July 12, 2014.
Reception: Fri., May 30, 6—8 p.m.

Press release from Giampietro Gallery

Fred Giampietro Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of works by William Bailey. This is his first showing at the gallery. The exhibition includes still life paintings and figure drawings that reflect nearly sixty years of exploration by the artist. Bailey studied under Joseph Albers at the Yale School of Art following his service in the Korean War. He began his studies at the University of Kansas School of Fine Arts and graduated from the Yale School of Art. Bailey has taught widely including at the University of Indiana at Bloomington. He held a long tenure at the Yale School of Art from which he retired in 1995 as the Kingman Brewster Professor Emeritus of Art.

Bailey's still life paintings present seemingly everyday objects, including bowls, pitchers, and cups, in groupings that conjure the familiar world while offering a metaphysical timelessness. Although they focus on a realm that is idealized, the works explore a mnemonic or remembered space where drawing, proportion, measure, and color find voice in Bailey’s expansive ability to capture light...light that illuminates the recognizable world while seeming to belong to an undefined, distant place. In contrast to a Realism of everyday life, Bailey offers us an integrated world of autonomous interiority, stating, "I am trying to paint a world that is not around us."

William Bailey: "Soldier"

Like the poet filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, who viewed art-making as a necessary effort toward perfection in an imperfect world, Bailey's images reflect the history of imaging and clarifications of his craft. His work links us to the past of Piero, Corot, or Hopper yet guides us to a perpetual here and now through his use of color and light. In this way he challenges our notions of both time and space.

The still life paintings suggest an environment grounded in Bailey's imagined world of things. With sustained viewing these images suggest landscape, architecture and groups of figures that seem, subtly, to generate an atmosphere of color giving them both space and breadth. These suggestions allow us to come to terms with the impermanence that defines our need for remembrance.

The works of William Bailey reveal themselves through a complex shifting of time and perception. Bailey's particular focus on drawing allows an unfolding of varied duration within the continuity of space. Attention in the imaginative act is shaped by the appearance and reappearance of forms. The paintings also derive information from his ongoing practice of observing the figure. Just as the pictures seem to sustain the tension of approaching absence, likewise, through the attention to delicate shifts of shadow and light, they seem to breathe with the presence of objects, figures and places.

K. L. Sinanoglu, New Haven, April, 2014

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Friday, May 16, 2014

"Por Oaxaca" opens Satuday, May 24, at Insitute Library

The Institute Library
847 Chapel St., New Haven, (203) 562-5045
Por Oaxaca
May 24—June 21, 2014.
Reception: Sat., May 24, Noon—2 p.m.

Press release from Catalina Barroso-Luque

Por Oaxaca is the end stage of the Postal Art Project organized and curated by the Mexican artist, Catalina Barroso-Luque, who sent a seemingly straightforward photograph taken in Oaxaca, Mexico to a selection of local and international artists in China, Mexico, England and Connecticut and asked them to respond.

The show features works by Phil Lique, Kevin Van Aelst, Isabelle Gressel, Ivan Mendez Vela, Panachai Chaijaratat, Maria Lara Whelpley, Susan McCaslin, Martin Roberts, Justin Rodier, and Sophie Aston.

Artwork by Phil Lique

The responses received were unexpected and varied. The apparent diversity of works stemming from the same image brings out issues of cultural tourism, analog vs. digital technology, image-media mediation over our engagement with reality, cultural aesthetics, and the prevalence of a western hegemony over contemporary artistic production.

Also on view, in the Main Reading Room, is a display of Postales Mestizas, by Catalina Barroso-Luque. The artist has fashioned these small-scale works out of collaged, collected post-cards and other found images, and her own discarded photo-prints. They are an intuitive recycling of the artist's physical and mental imagery that aims to bring into question the boundaries between personal and collective memory.

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Friday, May 09, 2014

Ramon, Angelis shows open at Giampietro Gallery May 16

Giampietro Gallery—Works of Art
315 Peck St., New Haven, (203) 777-7760
Peter Ramon: Inherent Collisions
Michael Angelis: Collective Memories
May 16—June 11, 2014.
Reception: Fri., May 16, 6—8 p.m.

Press release from Giampietro Gallery

Fred Giampietro Gallery is pleased to present new works by Peter Ramon and Michael Angelis. Inherent Collisions is Ramon’s second solo show at the gallery and Collective Memories is Angelis’s first. These solo exhibitions run from May 16 through June 11, 2014.

Peter Ramon has always been captivated by the constant changing of the positive, negative, and colorful shapes casted in nature by sunlight. Each of Ramon’s compositions embodies the intention to document his responses to these brief moments, sideways glances, and fleeting thoughts. Those experiences are expressed through a beautiful and complex handling of layers, colors, textures, and shapes.

Peter Ramon: "Out Under the Sun"

Peter Ramon lives and works in Branford, CT. Ramon received his MFA from Indiana University and his BFA from the University of Hartford, Hartford Art School. His work has been included in numerous exhibits, including the Moody Art Gallery at the University of Alabama and The New Britain Museum of American Art. His work can be found in many private collections.

In a recent artist statement, Michael Angelis explains that his on-site paintings of the urban landscapes in and around New Haven have dominated the focus of his work over the past 5 years. The series began as a study of the street level experience underneath the overpasses of Route 91. Working directly in the environment influences the aesthetics in a much richer way than if the work were to be completed in the comfort of a studio setting, where it may simply imitate the photographs being used for reference. The paintings in the series often focus on environments in flux, whether they are actively changing or less obviously changing.

Michael Angelis: "Earth"

Michael Angelis lives and works in New Haven, CT. Angelis received an MEA from the Teachers College at Columbia and his BFA from SUNY Purchase. His work has been included many local exhibits.

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Monday, May 05, 2014

Two shows open Saturday, May 10, at Artspace in New Haven

50 Orange St, New Haven, (203) 772-2709
Forced Collaboration
David Politzer: Hyper Democratic Landscapes
May 10—June 28, 2014.
Opening: Sat., May 10, 5—8 p.m.

Artspace press release

Two shows open at Artspace Sat. night, May 10: the group show Forced Collaboration and David Politzer's Hyper Democratic Landscapes. The opening reception will occur from 5—8 p.m.

Forced Collaboration pairs 12 artists (6 collaborations) with wildly different practices. The artists are strangers to each other; selected by the curator (Jacob Rhodes) to exchange a finished work and to re-create that work by forcing themselves on it in any way they please. No preconceptions stain their attempts; no obligations of friendship or acquaintance constrain what they can or cannot do.

"Forced Collaboration"

In the highly competitive contemporary art world, both success and failure are continually on display and are often signaled by proximity to known successes or failures. A single group show with a known success can make a career. An unfortunate collaboration can break it.

Our novel form of interaction raises questions about the nature of collaboration and competition, success and failure. Is competition inherent in collaboration? Will the artists move toward unity and resolution, merging opposed disciplines, practices, and aesthetic sensibilities, or will they subjugate and corrupt the other artist’s work? And which would be best for each artist? Should they trust the other artist to treat their work in a collaborative way or should they forcibly impose their vision of how the other artist’s work ought to be?

Featured artists are Chris Bors, Daniel Bozhkov, Ilana Harris-Babou, Kerry Cox, Oliver Herring, David Humphrey, Bridget Mullen, Mariah Robertson, Mandolyn Wilson Rosen, Jen Schwarting, Mark Starling, J.R. Uretsky.

Hyper Democratic Landscapes is a 3-channel video installation of constantly changing, surreal landscape imagery. Politzer culled the images from Flickr using targeted searches for specific tags plus the word "landscape." For the Artspace Project Room installation, each channel is divided thematically based on those tags. The left channel is comprised of searches for "harsh," "rugged" or "barren," the middle channel "tallest," "biggest" and "highest," and the right channel "sublime," "heavenly" and "inspiring."

Politzer (ab)uses the HDR (High Dynamic Range) function in Photoshop to create composite images from several of the appropriated Flickr images, which he selects at random. Typically the HDR function is used to combine several images of the same scene taken from the same vantage point to make an enhanced, single photograph with an extremely wide tonal range. Rather, he creates a hybrid of 3-5 images of different scenes. The results are psychedelic compositions of saturated color that have multiple horizon lines and light sources. The status of each image changes from an authentic index to a fabricated digital artifact.

David Politzer: "Hyper Democratic Landscapes Video Still 7"

By misusing software, Politzer pushes the images beyond their intentions for realism, nostalgia, memory. These over-worked, conglomerate mashups resist the preciousness of an individual image, but create a new sense of romance for a fantastical place. The project also negotiates the impossibility of there being a simple one to one relationship between an image (sign) and a word (signifier). This realization suggests that imperfect fitting, choice and multiplicity are at the heart of what makes possible the notion of democracy.

For their debut at Artspace, Politzer has decided to install the videos above eye-level to suggest their position as stained glass windows inside of a cathedral. Their position up high in a darkened room encourages the viewer to enter more slowly, wait for his/her eyes to adjust to the light, and be open to the calm. The atypical shape of the rounded screens adds to their feeling as historic architectural elements or objects—emulating the frames of turn of the century illustrations, photographs and stereograms.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

"Self Ease" reception at Perspectives Gallery Sat., May 10

Perspectives: The Gallery at Whitney Center
200 Leeder Hill Rd., Hamden, (203) 772-2788
Self Ease: Contemporary Portraiture
Through Jun. 17, 2014.
Artists' Reception: Sat., May 10, 3—5 p.m.

Press release from the Arts Council of Greater New Haven

The Arts Council of Greater New Haven presents a new twist on the "selfies" trend. Organized by Debbie Hesse, Self Ease: Contemporary Portraiture brings together seven artists who work within the tradition of portraiture. The exhibition features artwork by Eileen Carey, Steven DiGiovanni, Megan Marden, Larry Morelli, Katro Storm, Erika Van Natta, and Jeff Wrench. The exhibition is on view now at the Perspectives Gallery at Whitney Center, 200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, Connecticut. Gallery hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4—7 p.m. Join us for a special public reception on May 10, 2014 from 3—5 p.m.

Self Ease focuses on the psychological nuances regarding how we see ourselves and how we choose to be seen, commemorated, and remembered. Eileen Carey paints colorful portraits of people she knows in great detail as well as faceless crowds that explore the interaction of people in a fast paced culture. Jeff Wrench sketches faces of strangers on paint swatches and wallpaper samples creating casual portraits that are both specific and mysterious. Steven DiGiovanni puts people into ambiguous settings, using the surrounding objects as props to draw out meaning. Katro Storm, Megan Marden and Larry Morelli rely on personal, gestural and painterly mark making to create ambiance and psychological tension. Erika Van Natta creates a video portrait, via a self-designed kaleidoscope of herself singing original lyrics that finds cohesiveness thru geometric fragmentation.

Artwork by Eileen Carey

In addition, digital portraits or selfies emailed in from the general public will create a collective tapestry of how we see ourselves in a rapidly changing technological world. These fleeting digital captures offer a counterpart to the paintings and video in the exhibition, framing a dialogue about the history and future of this artistic genre. To participate, send digital selfies to Selections will also be included in an online exhibit at

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