Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Artist reception at New Haven Public Library Saturday

New Haven Free Public Library Art Gallery
133 Elm St., New Haven
Elisa Vegliante: Faith Heels: The Hallelujah Gang
May 23—June 20, 2008
Artist's reception: Sat., May 31, 2:30—4:30 p.m.

Press release

Elisa Vegliante refers to her style of painting as "Mondo Expressionism," which can be roughly translated as "Beyond 'The Scream.'" Reaching for words to describe her massive, iconoclastic body of work, clichés like "poignant", "provocative" and other recycled expletives are impotent and absurd. Even vaguely accurate descriptors "weighty and kinetic," "harrowing yet soulful," "anxious and exuberant" fall short. Each of Vegliante's provocative paintings is a complete narrative statement unto itself. Each piece disavows us of any conventional response, nor does it seek audience approval. Within that enormous milieu of artists that are seeking the critic's eye, Vegliante will not be found, as she courts noone. Instead, she earnestly paints our collective subconscious in every conceivable psycho-social situation, focusing especially on all to which society "turns a blind eye". Elisa paints compulsively, as though by doing so she might neutralize their effects on her psyche.


Therefore, one might ask if Ms. Vegliante's work is intended to enlighten or offend, to educate or ostracize? Is she attacking contemporary society or merely observing it? The explosive vitality of her work seems to draw from a simple, child-like honesty, devoid of the need to judge, mentioning simply that "the Emperor doesn't appear to be wearing any clothes"...

Artist/film-maker Bob Cant ponders further: "Vegliante's bold and shameless paintings bear witness to her confidence in their intrinsic aesthetic value. When no doubt she is someday "discovered," it will be much to her own amazement, because she is well aware that the brutal farce of our impoverished culture is more palatable when embellished than when exposed via her confrontational, haunting narratives of "the other world," that world being all which is cruel, unjust, absurd, and most importantly, unaddressed in this pathologically repressed culture."

There will be an artist's reception for this show on Sat., May 31, from 2:30—4:30 p.m.

Silvermine Guild Architecture Tour fundraiser tickets available

Silvermine Guild Art Center
1037 Silvermine Rd., New Canaan, (203) 966-9700
Architecture and Landscape as Art
Sun., June 29, 2008

Press release

Silvermine Guild Arts Center, located in New Canaan, CT will host its third architecture and landscape tour on Sunday, June 29th, Architecture and Landscape as Art. This unique tour (exteriors only) focuses on architecturally significant houses in New Canaan that demonstrate a symbiotic relationship between architecture, landscape and art.

The six participating properties are mid-twentieth to post-twentieth century modern houses designed by New Canaan architects Richard Bergmann, Marcel Breuer,John Black Lee and Eliot Noyes. Included in the tour are two houses designed by Noyes, (one of New Canaan's famous "Harvard Five'): the Noyes House built in 1954 for his family, and the Weeks House built in 1952. Updated and expanded by Alan Goldberg (Eliot Noyes's partner) in 1988, this house is a fine example of New Canaan's modern movement. Also on the tour are two houses designed by John Black Lee, including the "Systems House" built in 1961, which received the AIA House & Home Better Living Award in 1964, and the first house which Lee built for himself in 1952, high on a rock ledge and built off the ground. Also on the tour is Breuer House No. 1, built in 1948 by another "Harvard Five" member, Marcel Breuer. Recognizable by its American construction and tension cables to hold up the deck, this house caused quite a stir in the community and with architectural circles when it was completed. The sixth site—a contemporary house built in 1968 that appears to be as much a part of its terrain as the surrounding nature—was designed as two pavilions by Richard Bergmann, who apprenticed with Eliot Noyes, and is currently adding an addition to the house.

Participants have the option to attend a pre-tour Symposium at 10 a.m moderated by our co-chair, architect Richard Bergman, FAIA, ASLA (a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and member of the American Society of Landscape Architects) with a panel to include prominent architect Frederick Noyes, FAIA (son of Eliot Noyes), Charles Perry, renowned international sculptor, Brian Carey, Landscape Architect and Designer of AC/BC Associates (and project architect for the Grounds for Sculpture in New Jersey), Christy MacLear, Executive Director of the Philip Johnson Glass House, and architect John Black Lee. Audience participation and conversations are encouraged. An opportunity will be available to Symposium attendees to purchase tickets for 2009 tours of the Philip Johnson Glass House.

The previous two architecture and landscape tours were both sold out. Enid Munroe, a Silvermine Guild Artist member and garden writer, and Richard Bergmann, FAIA, ASLA, who conceived and organized the past tours, are once again co-chairs for this fundraising event. Installations of contemporary sculpture by Guild Artist members at the various sites will be curated by Silvermine Guild Artists Rain Kiernan and Diana Moore, both residents of Norwalk.

A special feature this year will be the location for a boxed lunch, the Gores Pavilion Lawn in Irwin Park. The Pavilion is a modern guest and pool house on the estate of Jack Irwin by Landis Gores, another member of the "Harvard Five." Gores was Philip Johnson's associate during the design and building of the Glass House as well as the garden at New York's Museum of Modern Art.

New to the format this year will be guided tours to each site by van transportation to start from the Silvermine Guild Arts Center at 11:30 a.m. (just after the Symposium) and return to the arts center at the end of the day, at about 4 p.m. All are welcome to attend a reception in the Silvermine Galleries from 4 p.m.—7 p.m.

Proceeds from "Architecture and Landscape as Art" will go to the Silvermine Guild Arts Center and its many programs. The guided tour of the six sites is $175 per person and includes van transportation, a box lunch and the post event reception (self guided, individual cars will not be allowed on the tour). Tickets for admission to the Symposium are an additional $75 per person, including continental breakfast. Advance reservations are needed for both the Symposium and Tour. For more information or to make reservations, call 203-966-9700, ext. 14 or visit our website at www.silverminart.org.

Closing reception at Picture Framer in Cheshire

The Picture Framer Artshack Gallery
96 Elm St., Hartford, (203) 272-2500
Fran Bolton
May., 2008
Closing reception: Sat., May. 31, 3—5 p.m.

Press release

During the month of May the Picture Framer's Artshack Gallery will feature the artwork of Cheshire resident, Fran Bolton.

The exhibit features a wide variety of mediums and styles, all very professionally executed. Bolton says she was "marinated" in the arts as a young child by her mother, an accomplished artist, who has sold and exhibited internationally. Fran decided to take her own painting to the next level when she moved to Cheshire eight years ago. Since then, she has been studying under many local artists. Her subject matter runs the full spectrum of landscapes, architecture, seascapes, portraits, wildlife, pets, birds and still-life. She describes her style as "representational with bold colors."

Born in Uganda, East Africa to British parents, she traveled extensively with her family throughout East Africa and grew to love the people and the wildlife they discovered in sometimes remote areas. Her family eventually settled in Australia.

Many years later, bitten by the travel bug she traveled around the world visiting more African countries, Asia and Europe. Bolton captures her travels and moments of interest with her camera. Many of those subjects, a radiant sunset, a close-up of wildlife or an intriguing face serve as reference for her paintings.

An artist reception is planned for the show's closing date, Sat., May 31, from 3—5. This reception is free and open to the public.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Call For Artists

Art on Groton Bank will hold three events this summer on June 21, July 19 and August 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Bill Memorial Library, located at 240 Monument Street in the City of Groton. Students and alumni of Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts and Rhode Island School of Design are among those who have already been selected to show their artwork at this new outdoor festival. For artists, AOGB will provide a good chance to meet other artists, network, and sell your work. For collectors, plenty of reasonably-priced work by recent grads will be available. According to The Wall Street Journal, small art shows like this one are among the last places left to find unexpected art treasures at student prices. If you would like to participate, get an application here, or call 860-449-0825. Art on Groton Bank is being funded by the State of Connecticut, Groton Utilities, and other generous businesses and individuals.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tom Doyle and Jane Doyle at La Motta Fine Art in Hartford



La Motta Fine Art
11 Whitney Street
Hartford, CT
Jane Doyle--Weaving
Tom Doyle--Sculpture
May 30–June 28, 2008
Opening reception: Fri., May 30, 6–8 p.m.

Note: An interview with Tom Doyle is featured in the current issue of The Brooklyn Rail. "Rail: Is there a reason why you have been so reluctant to show your work for so long? Doyle: Well. A while ago I told a dealer that, 'You know, I felt like a girl who quit the whorehouse when she found out the others were getting paid...I mean I only did it for love.'" (While you're at The Rail's website, make sure to check out my review of the Tomma Abts painting show currently on view at The New Museum of Contemporary Art.)

Press release

LA MOTTA Fine Art is pleased to announce the presentation of a two-person exhibition featuring the bronze and wood sculptures of Tom Doyle and the weavings of Jane Doyle. An opening reception will take place on Friday, May 30th from 6-8 pm. The reception is free and open to the public.

Husband and wife, Tom and Jane Doyle have been working separately together for over thirty years. This exhibition counterpoints the gesture of Tom Doyle’s sculptures with the geometric patterning of Jane Doyle’s weavings.

Tom Doyle began his career in the 1960’s. His early years included his first marriage to the artist Eva Hesse, and a series of exhibitions throughout Germany that resulted from a 15 month residency in Berlin at the invitation of a German industrialist / art collector. For over 40 years, Doyle has been creating dynamic sculptures carved from beams of cherry, oak, butternut and sassafras woods, and exhibiting steadily in group and one-person exhibitions throughout the country and abroad. Influenced by the paintings of Abstract Expressionist, Franz Kline and the American and European bridge builders of the 19th Century, Doyle’s sculptures transform gesture into three-dimensional space, and integrate elements of balance, weight, cantilever and tension. In works titled after Celtic locales, Doyle’s sculptures have an impact that is visual and visceral. This exhibition will feature a recently completed 4’ x 6’ x 11’ floor sculpture in wood, along with two site-specific wall pieces, in addition to a group of new small bronzes cast from wood.

“...the way Doyle lofts all this bulky material into the air is quite marvelous, but the real excitement of the piece(s) comes from the sense of strain and reach in its overall gesture.” – Robert Taplin / New York Times

Jane Doyle is a self-taught weaver and began making rag rugs more than 25 years ago. She discovered a traditional, though little used rag rug technique called Taquete or Summer and Winter on Opposites, that allowed her to incorporate new contemporary designs in a traditional manner. Because of the durability resulting from her technique, the rugs are intended for practical use, however, their distinctive designs lend themselves as wall hangings, which is how they will be displayed in this exhibition.

Jane Doyle has exhibited her weavings throughout New England and New York. She was born in New York City and is the daughter of American playwright, Arthur Miller. She and her husband, Tom Doyle live and work in Western Connecticut.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

KNOW FUN Saturday night at Hello My Name is Gallery

Hello My Name Is Gallery
838 Whalley Ave., Apt. 4, New Haven
KNOW FUN
May 17—June 15, 2008.
Opening reception: Sat., May 17, 7—10 p.m.

Press release

On May 17, Hello My Name is Gallery will present KNOW FUN, an exhibition of new work by Meridith Passabet and Jamie Powell. The work in KNOW FUN ranges from abstract painting to photography to sculpture. Both Passabet and Powell make work that, through use of color, scale, and materials, simultaneously evokes fun and the inevitable disappointment that frequently follows the pursuit of pleasure.

Meridith Passabet will show new paintings that merge the formal concerns of contemporary abstract painting with moody atmospherics and areas of bright, pastel color. Passabet's work explores the symbiotic relationship of pleasure and disappointment. In one painting on view, "Wasteland" (Oil on canvas, 2007), Passabet presents an abstracted landscape of heaped gray forms sprinkled with dots and blobs of pastel colors. "Wasteland" evokes a city street littered with post-parade confetti, or Times Square on New Year's Day.

Jamie Powell will show a series of new photographs, silkscreen prints, paintings and sculptures. Powell's work mines abstract painting, kitsch craft and pop culture, resulting in a diverse body of work that is at once bright, accessible and abject. In "Altered State" (silkscreen and airbrush on paper, 2007) lurid hues of purple, green and pink combine, recalling the internal space experienced during a moment of pleasure. The euphoria depicted in "Altered State" is one of cheap thrills—the high experienced after eating fast food, watching bad 80's movies, or drinking too much cheap beer.

KNOW FUN opens on May 17th, with an opening reception from 7 to 10pm. We'll also have performances downstairs by Bludrum, a live music experience to behold incorporating drums, guitar, voice, video, digital sound and audience participation. You've never seen anything like it, you can't deny the bludrum!

You'll also have a chance to enter the first-ever Hello My Name Is Gallery ARFFLE (that's not a typo), featuring one work each by Meridith Passabet, Jaime Powell, John Bent and Jemma Williams. The winners will be announced at 9 p.m.

As always, our events are BYOB/Potluck, and yes, there will be cake!

Three openings at Real Art Ways' Creative Cocktail Hour Thursday night

Real Art Ways
56 Arbor St., Hartford, (860) 232-1006
Creative Cocktail Hour
Thurs., May 15, 6—10 p.m.

Press release

Real Art Ways' Third Thursday event features the openings of three new solo exhibitions. There is a $10 Cover for Creative Cocktail Hour, $5 for Members (FREE to Members who joined before 9/20/07).

In the Real Room, Sam Gibbons' candy-colored, symmetrical cartoon-like paintings come on with the subtlety of Yosemite Sam, but look closer and the abstract details emerge.

In the main gallery, we present solo exhibitions by two of our GO! Open Call selectees: Gautam Kansara and WonJung Choi. Kansara's videos focus on changing hierarchies and role reversals within a family; to the opposite effect, Choi's installation illustrates her need for structure and stability.

Sam Gibbons' paintings are fascinating renderings of cartoons perversely entwined in spasms of death and candy-colored imitations of sex. Gibbons' work is a painterly convergence of figuration and abstraction; resembling a Rorschach test, one side of the canvas mirrors the other, lending symmetry and precision to fluid and spontaneous bursts of color and form. Employing imagery that was originally intended to entertain and pacify, Gibbons' paintings are at war within themselves. The typical role of the cartoon is subverted; these benchmarks of inexperience are engaged in violent and sexual acts. Acting as allegories for the loss of innocence, Sam Gibbons' paintings exist as a complex and beautiful mimicry of the human condition.

Gautam Kansara's videos focus on his own family dynamic. Using candid footage of his family, and centering on their conversations, he offers an intimate look at their private lives, especially as their hierarchies change and roles reverse because of aging and caretaking needs.

WonJung Choi's installation reflects an ongoing search for certainty and stability as she adapts from Eastern to Western culture, from childhood to adulthood. Her images of bones are metaphorical for the structure and form she seeks.

"I am caught between transparency and depth," says Choi, "always shifting and changing like shadow and light."

Artspace opening Thursday night

Artspace
50 Orange St, New Haven, (203) 772-2709
Summer exhibition series
Through Aug. 9, 2008
Opening Reception: Thurs., May 15, 6—8 p.m., preceded by an artist talk at 5 p.m.

Press release

Artspace is pleased to announce our summer exhibitions on view from May 15 through August 9, 2008. The opening reception will be held Thursday, May 15, 2008 from 6—8 p.m., following an artist talk at 5 p.m.

Pretty Things: Confronting Sensuousness

This exhibition explores the role of sensuousness in contemporary art. Ten artists employ diverse materials in innovative ways to entice us with artworks that project a seductive allure. While exploring the potential of rich colors, patterns, and surfaces, these works also promote unexpected encounters with subject matter that ranges from the attractions of consumer products to the realms of biography, science, and geopolitics. In Gallery 1, view the work of Kelly Bigelow Becerra (Web), Phyllis Bramson (Web), Mia Brownell, Oliver Herring, Grant Lincoln Johnston (Web), Joyce Kozloff, Christi Rinklin (Web), Ben Weiner (Web). In Gallery 2 view the work of Jane Rainwater and Cheryl Yun.

In Case of Loss Please Return to Paradise: An installation by Fredo Conde

On view in Gallery 3, Conde combines painting, drawing and sculpture to collectively form a narrative. The work is the product of Conde's disillusionment with the excesses of consumerism and subsequent regression into escapism. Conde's mixed media installation chronicles a fabricated utopia guarded from the advances of consumption and its susceptibility to inevitable fragmentation.

Put Together

Last fall Jeffrey Walkowiak, Director of the Sara Meltzer Gallery in New York, visited over 400 artist studios during Artspace's City-Wide Open Studios Festival 2007. His selection of five artists articulate concurrent and relevant issues in today's art world. In Galleries 4, 5 and 7 view the work of: Brian Huff, Phil Lique, Kari Britta Lorensen, Drew Nemetz, and Dorothy Powers.

Things I've Seen

Student Curator Simeon Durham, of the Hyde Leadership Academy, selected the work of two artists from the Artspace Flatfile, Robert Knight (Web) and Andrew Hogan, for his exhibition, Things I've Seen, on view in Gallery 6. Robert Knight's colorful photographs playfully expose the personal space of the bedroom. Andrew Hogan pushes the standards of lighting practices in documentary photography in his series, 12 Images of New Haven at Dusk and After.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Kehler Liddell Friday opening—two painters

Kehler Liddell Gallery
873 Whalley Ave., New Haven, (203) 389-9555
Paintings by Jason Buening and Jay Noble
May 1—June 1, 2008
Opening Reception: Fri., May 9, 6—9 p.m.

Press release

Kehler Liddell Gallery is eagerly awaiting the hanging of May's installment, featuring the vibrant paintings of member artist Jason Buening and guest artist Jay Noble. The former American University MFA classmates will be reunited in their first official exhibition in New Haven. The show will be on view at Kehler Liddell Gallery from May 1 to June 1, 2008.

Both painters are deeply and refreshingly engaged with the language of painting, on several levels. Their work includes rich symbolism as well as meaning derived from careful formal composition. While their subject matter varies from animals battling humans to mythologized professional athletes, each artist strives to interrelate color, structure, rhythm and space in concert with the underlying subject matter.

In his paintings, Jason Buening says that he is interested in creating "modern medieval space," a compressed space with an often skewed perspectival organization. He has compared the evolution of his canvases to that of medieval cathedrals, which go through many stages before completion as a unity of competing layers and ideas. He combines attention to form and volume with a rich, color-soaked palette. He brings these strengths to bear on a variety of subject matter, from closely observed landscapes and interiors, to wholly fabricated, collaged constructions.

Buening, a resident of New Haven, is a long time art teacher of students of all ages. He currently teaches Art History and Color Theory at the University of New Haven and Quinnipiac University.

Jay Noble's recent work portrays dramatic and fantastical moments of confrontation between animals and humans. While the subject matter is provocative, for Noble it is secondary to the strictly visual forces in the work. Using a rich, highly saturated palate, Noble's paintings are built from planes of color and have a structural integrity verging on the sculptural.

Noble lives in Lancaster, PA, where he is an adjunct professor of Art at York College of Pennsylvania, and Pennsylvania College of Art and Design. In the summers, both Noble and Buening teach at the Putney Summer Programs, in Putney VT.

In advance of Westville's Art Walk weekend on May 10, there will be an open artist reception on Friday May 9, from 6—9 p.m. at the Kehler Liddell Gallery, located in Westville Village at 873 Whalley Avenue (203-389-9555). There is no admission fee for the gallery or reception. Hours of operation are Thursday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment. Further information on the gallery, Jason Buening, and other artists represented by Kehler Liddell can be seen online at www.kehlerliddell.com.

Friday night photo show opening at Guilford Art Center

Guilford Art Center
411 Church St., Guilford, (203) 453-5947
Documenting "The Other": Photographs of China, Myanmar and India by Larry Snider
May 9—June 19, 2008
Opening reception, Fri., May 9, 5—7 p.m.

Press release

Compelling images of people and places captured during Asian travels will be featured in the Guilford Art Center's exhibition Documenting "The Other": Photographs of China, Myanmar and India by Larry Snider. This solo exhibition features works by Snider, a Chicago-based photographer, who has traveled extensively over the past 30 years, documenting the people and cultures he has encountered. The exhibition is on view May 9 through June 19 in the Center's Mill Gallery.

Snider discovered the Far East and Asia as an undergraduate, in the late 1950s. "The 'foreign-ness' and the thoughtfulness of the culture totally captivated me," he says. Snider's techniques are influenced by documentary photographers such as August Sander and Irving Penn. His portraits are not studio shots, but images captured in the different places his subjects live and go about their business: villages, homes, workplaces, shops, temples. There are images of parents and children, couples, laborers, monks, in everyday dress as well as ceremonial garb.

Often drawn to remote areas, Snider's photos attempt to portray indigenous cultures relatively untouched by modernity, and which are in danger of soon disappearing. Frequently the settings are as revealing—and as much a part of a portrait—as the people themselves. "For me, what I photograph is instinctive," Snider explains. "I am always just looking, although the vast majority of photographs have been portraits. People are certainly the most fascinating."

The artist tries to "break the ice" with his subject, despite a language barrier, with body language and a smile, and by showing them photos he took on another trip. He also frequently creates an interesting sort of "contract" with his subjects, using a camera that enables him to take a Polaroid photo and give it to them while taking the photo for himself, thus "giving them something in return for what I am 'taking,'" Snider says.

Snider's photographs have been exhibited widely, and are included in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

At the exhibition's opening reception, Snider will be interviewed by Corey Postigilone, an artist, writer and professor at Columbia College, Chicago. Postiglione has written a text to accompany the exhibition, placing Snider's work within the context of travel photography and the experience of photographing "the other."

The opening reception for Documenting "The Other": Photographs of China, Myanmar and India by Larry Snider is May 9 from 5 to 7 p.m. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday noon to 6, Saturday noon to 5. Admission is free. Docent-led tours can be scheduled by appointment.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Artspace SPECTACULAR! Benefit Auction! Saturday evening

Artspace
50 Orange St, New Haven, (203) 772-2709
Spectacular! Benefit Auction
Sat., May 3, 2008, 5:30—8 p.m.

Press release

Don't Miss the Main Event this Saturday, May 3: The 2008 Artspace SPECTACULAR! Benefit Auction!

Join us for an exciting evening of art, cocktails and bidding at our annual Spectacular! Benefit Auction taking place from 5:30—8 p.m.

The evening begins at Artspace at 5:30, with our silent auction featuring over 100 works by local and national artists. Bid against others on your favorite pieces while enjoying scrumptious hors d'oeuvres and cocktails from 116 Crown, New Haven's newest small plate bistro, rated "excellent" by the New York Times.

At 6:45, the Silent Auction portion of the evening will close, and guests are invited to make their way over to our Live Auction space, this year at 868 Chapel Street, the former Woolworth's storefront. Here you will enjoy coffee and dessert while perusing our Special Silent Auction at the Live Space. This special collection of lots include unique art experiences such as gift certificates and a private home Chamber concert by the Vinca Quartet, as well as unique artist-made housewares from Sideways Studios and Artwares with pieces by Kiki Smith, Jeff Koons and many more.

At 7:15, the Live Auction begins as dashing Guy Bennett of Christie's takes to the stage to oversee the festivities. On the auction block this year are works by acclaimed artists Steve DiGiovanni, Maira Kalman, Zachary Keeting, Nathan Lewis, Liz Markus, Edward Steichen, and Chuck Webster. Also bid on unique art experiences including a custom portrait by Tim Nikiforuk, a special art, interior and landscape design consultation package; original artworks by Clint Jukkala, Chris Mir, and Kammy Roulner accompanied by a case of boutique wine from Nicholls Wine; and many more items, all available to preview on our website: www.artspacenh.org/auction.

Discounted tickets are available online through Friday, May 2nd by visiting our auction site, or by calling Laurel Coniglio, Program Director, at 203.772.2709 x12 to purchase over the phone.

City Gallery opening Saturday

City Gallery
994 State St., New Haven, (203) 782-2489
Liz Pagano: Flux
May 3—June 1, 2008.
Opening reception: Sat. May 3, 4—7 p.m.

Press release

City Gallery announces the opening of its May exhibition entitled Flux featuring new work by member artist Liz Pagano. The show runs from May 3, to June 1, 2008. An opening reception will be held on May 3 from 4-7pm and is free and open to the public.

In her artist statement, Pagano writes, "My work is about change, transformation, transition, fluctuation and evolution. I am exploring the flux that is our lives."

"I am a printmaker, mixed media construction and installation artist. My process, whatever the medium, is about exploring interactions of chance, control, coincidence and intent," writes Pagano. "I think of my mixed media constructions as layered paintings. They are made primarily of Plexi-glass; some pieces are painted and printed with colored inks while others are sometimes carved. Often the layers include collage in the form of mono-types, encaustic monotypes, Suminigashi (paper marbling), found objects etc. In these constructions as with my printmaking, I assemble the different layers, creating a new interpretation as a whole."

Gallery hours are Thurs-Sun 12—4 p.m. or by appointment.

Exhibit inspired by May, 1968 revolution in France opens at Wesleyan Friday

Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, Wesleyan University
238 Washington Ter., Middletown, (860) 685-3355
Andrea Ray: Desire
Apr. 29—May 25, 2008.
Opening reception: Fri., May 2, 5—7 p.m.

Press release

May 2, 2008 marks the 40th anniversary of the student uprisings in Paris, which began on that day in 1968. Andrea Ray's three-part installation, Desire, re-visits that historic moment to pose a question, longingly and perhaps romantically, about the present: Could the Paris model of community, social and political agency be employed in this country at a time when deepening crisis is coupled with fear and apathy?

Desire reflects on this against a backdrop of the Paris student revolts of 1968, the plays of French writer and activist Marguerite Duras and the dinners she often hosted for artists, writers and political activists.

The exhibition, which runs from April 29 through May 25, 2008, consists of a multi-media installation that uses photography, sculpture and audio. Admission to Andrea Ray: Desire is free. The Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery is located at 283 Washington Terrace in Middletown, Conn. Nina Felshin, Zilkha Gallery's curator of exhibitions, curated the exhibition.

The public is invited to attend the opening reception on Friday, May 2 from 5—7 p.m. with an artist talk at 5:30.

As its title might suggest, Ray's work ruminates on desire, on the state of wanting and lack. A thread that weaves together the parts of Desire is the presence of absence. By evoking human presence through its absence, Ray allows the viewer to project his or her own memories, imagination and longings.

The three components of Desire include "Occupied", a series of soft focus photographs of now empty intersections of Paris streets once blocked by students. The photographs hang on the walls of Zilkha's North Gallery surrounding "The Gift," a sculptural installation consisting of a dinner table embedded with speakers and chairs. At her dinner parties on rue Saint-Benoit, Duras often served a homemade soup. "The Gift," then, is a recorded dinner party. It is the result of an actual dinner party at the artist's home at which she served a "conceptual soup" to honor Duras' memory. The conversations at the dinner party were recorded with a microphone at each seat. They are replayed in "The Gift" on individual speakers at each place setting. "Rehearse," a theatrical space with an audio component of a play rehearsal based on Duras' screenplay for the 1959 film Hiroshima Mon Amour.

Together the three pieces reflect a repetitive search for things seemingly unattainable—a complete understanding of war, an experience of productive social change through protest and an association with an effective community.

The intersection of several experiences and encounters was the inspiration for this work. "I became frustrated with a feeling of a lack of community and a sense of agency as a resident of New York City," comments Ray, adding, "I felt that political protests in the wake of 9/11 had become empty gestures." During a residency in Paris in 2004, she discovered that all she was interested in "was either dead or gone—the intelligentsia, May 1968, important theorists and...my Marguerite Duras." For Ray, Desire was motivated by a desire to "align [herself] with a history, build on it and enliven it to move forward."

Andrea Ray received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), a MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and completed the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program in 1997. She has exhibited in New York at the Sculpture Center, Apex Art, P.S. 1 Clocktower Gallery and White Columns. She is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship and has been awarded residencies at P.S. 1 in Long Island City, NY; Lower Manhattan Cultural Council; Ville de Paris; and the Wanås Foundation in Sweden.