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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Painting show reception Sunday at Kehler Liddell Gallery

Kehler Liddell Gallery
873 Whalley Ave., New Haven, (203) 389-9555
Presence: Paintings by Deirdre Schiffer & Lawrence Morelli
May 20-June 27, 2010
Artist Reception: Sun., May 23, 3-6 p.m.

Press release

Kehler Liddell Gallery is very pleased to present Presence, a two-person exhibition of new paintings by Deirdre Schiffer and Lawrence Morelli. This will be Schiffer's debut, and Morelli's third show with the gallery. The artist reception for this show will be held this Sun., May 23, from 3—6 p.m.

Schiffer paints solitary figures in varying states of contemplation. Her models stand or sit, in a series of poses, facing the viewer in gently backlit interiors. She paints with expressive strokes that illuminate the psychological states of mind of her subjects, in a limited palette reminiscent of Morandi. Her play with sources of waning and waxing light imbue a feeling of inner enlightenment that we often associate with the rising or passing of personal inner musings. Schiffer's ability to relate presence is so strong, that even when her compositions are void of figures, the feeling of a person-just-removed looms.

Morelli also makes works that explore the ability of paint to explain mind-body relationships. With a rare combination of gusto and sophistication, he embarks on a painting in the manner of the German Expressionists, laying down bold, uncalculated, loose gests. His finished works resemble underpaintings at times, especially those that exhibit exposed patches of white canvas. But at a sizable 60 x 60 inches, the images hold their own, and the immediacy of their rawness pushes the figure-ground tension into real space. The paintings reach out to the viewer, inviting them to see themselves as a series of moving marks—marks that we have memorized, internalized and used to define ourselves. Their quickness and confidence feel like shorthand-or a stenographer's code for a larger, determined concept that already exists as a rule.

But here, Morelli breaks down these rules to flesh them out. For Morelli, "a painting cannot be intended, but rather must be wanted or hoped for in order to come into being". While the question of identity looms somewhere in his creation process, the exploration of painting's larger possibilities and depth-spiritual, mental and physical, is what really drives this new work.

Deirdre Schiffer has exhibited paintings and prints throughout the eastern U.S., most recently in Particular Places at the Creative Arts Workshop. She received her BFA in Painting and Printmaking from Cooper Union, and upon graduation was honored with two consecutive scholarships to the Provincetown (Massachusetts) Workshop. For nearly 25 years, Schiffer worked as the principal graphic designer at her firm in Branford. During this time, she continued to make art, and earned fellowships at the Vermont Studio Center and Women's Studio Workshop in Rosendale, New York. She has taught Graphic Design at the Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven, and the Paier School of Art. Schiffer lives and works in the greater New Haven area.

Lawrence Morelli received his BA from Michigan State University and went on to study Illustration at the Kendall School of Design in Grand Rapids, MI. He currently lives and works in downtown New Haven, and teaches Intro to Drawing and Figure Drawing at Norwalk Community College.

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Anonymous Artist said...

I wish both artists good luck for their exhibition.

4:55 PM


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