Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Saturday artists' reception at Behnke Doherty Gallery in Washington Depot

The Behnke Doherty Gallery
6 Green Hill Rd., Washington Depot, (860) 868-1655
The Space Between: Paintings and Works on Paper by Charles Cajori, Bronzes and Wood Sculpture by Tom Doyle
June 29—Aug. 5, 2012.
Artists' Reception: Sat., June 30, 4—7 p.m.

Press release

The Behnke Doherty Gallery is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition: The Space Between, featuring internationally acclaimed artists Charles Cajori and Tom Doyle. The exhibition will run from June 29 through August 5. There is an artist reception on Sat., June 30, from 4—7 p.m.

This exhibition unites two old friends, painter Charles Cajori and sculptor Tom Doyle. Cajori was a founding member of the Tanager Gallery and an associate of the 10th Street School. The works represented here span more than fifty years, from the early 1950’s through 2006, and include oil paintings, drawings, mixed media works and monotypes. Doyle’s signature monumental wood sculptures are here rendered in small bronzes.

Cajori’s paintings represent a gestural response to reality. Long fascinated with the female body, his figures seem to float in space, hovering effervescently between configuration and chaos. They are so much a part of the space they exist in as to be inseparable from it. The viewer’s eye perceives one image, only to have it dissolve and reassert itself into something completely different. Permanence is transitory, infusing his works with immense energy. Flux and resolution amicably co-exist.

The dialogue between space, process and figure is just as fresh and vital today as it was when he first began its exploration in the late 1940’s. Over the last sixty years, he has proven himself to be at once a brilliant draftsman and an extraordinary colorist. Line and color constitute the means through which Cajori’s figures transform themselves. While his vision has evolved and deepened, the core of what he is seeking has remained constant.

For Cajori, the space between his figures is as important as the delineation of the figures themselves. This imbues his paintings with tension and vitality, expressed in a unique worldview. In his own words, he aims to capture ‘the point just before something happens”. While his works are thoroughly a part of Abstract Expressionism, they remain ultimately grounded by the figure.

Tom Doyle’s goal is to cantilever form into space, allowing mass to "float and defy gravity." Balanced on his signature three points, his works share with Cajori both an abstract expressionist sensibility and a fascination with negative space. To look at one of his pieces is to marvel at how an object exists in its surroundings and how the atmosphere itself is unalterably transformed by its presence.

Doyle began his career in the 1960’s and has focused his energies on dynamic sculpture carved from massive beams of cherry, oak and sassafras. His works simultaneously pay homage to the relative weights of the woods they are made from and belie that weight as they cantilever into thin air. They transform gesture into three-dimensional object, in the process integrating weight, balance and lyricism. His small bronzes meticulously cast from actual wood and colored to identify the underlying species capture all of their larger cousin’s grace, elegance and force.

The aesthetic roots of both artists lie with the Abstract Expressionists. Throughout their long careers, both have focused on the energy and tension created when a solid object—figure in one case, solid mass in the other—is placed into context. Each is ultimately concerned with the space that lies between. In two dimensions and three, these friends have explored the possibilities that spring from the ensuing dynamism for a combined 100 years. Seeing their work together reveals just how complex that journey has been, and how infinite are its possibilities.

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