Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Monday, November 05, 2012

New shows opening this coming Sunday at Silvermine

Silvermine Guild Art Center
1037 Silvermine Rd., New Canaan, (203) 966-9700
Cecilia Moy Fradet: Dreams of Devotion and Delight
Susan White: Picture Perfect
Guild Group Photography Show: Important Incidentals
Reuben Nakian: Eight Decades of Creation
Nov. 11—Dec. 20, 2012.
Opening Reception: Sun., Nov. 11, 2—4 p.m.

Press release from Silvermine Arts Center

The four new exhibits opening at the Silvermine Arts Center, located in New Canaan, CT on Nov. 11 represent a range of works reflecting dreams; family memories and myths; important incidentals… and continuing our 90th anniversary celebration, an historical exhibition will feature the work of sculptor, Reuben Nakian. All are welcome to the opening reception on Sun., Nov.11, from 2—4 p.m. The exhibits run through Dec. 20.

Cecilia Moy Fradet: "Dance of Bliss"

Weston, CT artist, Cecilia Moy Fradet’s new exhibit Dreams of Devotion and Delight explores the inner landscape of the artists’ dreams, blending the commercial with the spiritual. Ms. Fradet was born in Hong Kong and raised, in the 60s as a Christian, in New York City, the melting pot of American culture. Added with her Buddhist roots, the iconic images from Ms. Fradet’s childhood mingled with her constant companion, Mickey Mouse, who she watched constantly on TV and adored. Delighting in the pop culture of Mickey, the material expression of joy and all things possible, Cecilia melds Mickey and Buddha into one sacred Mandala, thereby blending the commercial with the spiritual.

“My art explores the boundaries between reality and perception. Born in Hong Kong and growing up in New York City, my first influences in these bustling cities was a visual cacophony of sights and colors, from sailing junks to cruise ships, temples to churches, and Chinese operas to Walt Disney and Looney Tunes.” Of her work, Ms. Fradet says, “I find iconic imagery and symbols fascinating as they become larger than life, transcending words. Playing with these images, pushing it beyond the expected, allows me to see the world a bit differently each time.”

The 1950’s are often portrayed to be the ‘perfect decade’ of American history, where everything was ‘right’ and America was at its best. Flush from victory in World War II, proud of being the good guys, America was booming with growth and optimism, but there was often a subtext behind the smiles in photographs of that time period. Susan White’s exhibit Picture Perfect reflects the image of this era with works of oversized graphite drawings of black and white photographs of a ‘picture perfect’ 1950’s family.

Susan White: "Christening of the Last Girl Child"

The works references the unspoken dynamics between the family members and the effects of those dynamics on the wife and children of the family. Discrimination was sanctioned by cultural norms, children were to be seen and not heard, and wives to be obedient. What happened in families behind closed doors was considered nobody’s business, and not to be discussed. Each time a photograph is taken, either the photographer or the subject is choosing to memorialize that particular moment. The photographer has an agenda and subjects choose to participate. For the artist, the act of making “portraits” of these photos, of memorializing them by increasing the scale and investing so many hours in the process of drawing, is a statement as well. It begs the viewer to question the intention of both the photographer and artist, as well as that of the subjects depicted. “The theme that runs through all my work, the idea which intrigues me most, is the passage of time and the resultant effects on people and places. The graphite drawing series show the changes over time in the dynamics of a family, for the positive.”

The Guild Group Photography Show, Important Incidentals features works by Miggs Burroughs, Leigh Leibel, Jeremy Saladyga, Alan Shulik, Majorie Wolfe and Torrance York. Important incidentals can refer to fleeting but significant moments, observations made in passing, or interruptions to an expected norm. The phrase can also relate to a detail whose presence changes the meaning of a whole or to a pointed juxtaposition. Branching out from this concept, the exhibiting photographers connect their aesthetic interests.

For Marjorie Gillette Wolfe, a simple visual incident becomes her subject and is abstracted as a series of variations are presented side by side. For Leigh Leibel, in the large-scale photograph, "Self Portrait #9," the figure of the artist as a metaphorical Odysseus intersects the peaceful horizon of a rooftop infinity pool and the city skyline in the distance. For Miggs Burroughs in his “Newds” series of lenticular images, the incident is an experience the viewer shares with the person depicted who becomes nude while viewing paintings of nudes in a museum setting. For Torrance York and Alan Shulik, the incident captured articulates their respective subjects. For Shulik, a remarkable landscape showing mesquite trees on the edge of a field of sand dunes is made exceptional as a ray of white light peeks through the storm clouds overhead and illuminates the scene. In Torrance York’s images from the series "Refractions," the child subject is seen through a reflection or otherwise mediated element such as a glass of water on the dining table, an optically challenging perspective that asks us to create our own understanding. Finally, Jeremy Saladyga, using an unexpected perspective from ground level captures a moment in the chaos of everyday life—whether a pedestrian filled street intersection in New York City, or a rural carnival scene. Within that environment we find relationships among the participants in the scene, imposing our own meaning on the story. For some of the photographers the important incident becomes the subject and for others it is a method for sharing their insights.

Of his work in the group show, Miggs Burroughs, a resident of Westport, CT, states, “I am intrigued by all the journeys, large and small, that are part of our daily lives; through time, space and emotions. From here to there and back again, lenticular imagery allows me to explore each experience in a fresh and somewhat cinematic way.”

In her new work, "Self Portrait #9," New York City artist Leigh Leibel, was influenced by the early twentieth century poem “Ithaka” by Constantine Cavafy. Her photograph references the familiar story of “The Odyssey” as metaphor for the journey of life and the discovery of many new harbors.

For Jeremy Keats Saladyga, of New Milford, CT, his works in “Balance” ask driving questions. “With the world’s attention on the human impact on the earth, is it not relevant to directly include the human form in contemporary landscape photography? If the earth’s ultimate existence now relies on human intervention to prevent it from becoming a lifeless world, shouldn’t today’s artists reflect that thought? Has the relationship between the environment and human nature in terms of existence changed in the course of the past one or two centuries or even the past few generations? My hope is that by including the human form in this new body of work, it gives the viewer an additional visual tool to project themselves and thoughts into the images.”

As a landscape photographer, Alan Shulik is often drawn to a particular image because of an incidental or unexpected aspect of a scene that presents itself. One of his photographs in the group show, “Fallen Mesquite Trees,” is an image of Mesquite trees that are located on the edge of a field of sand dunes near Stovepipe Wells in Death Valley, California. Of the image, Shulik says, “A storm was passing through the valley, and there were dark, foreboding clouds covering the dunes. A tiny speck of white light appeared in the clouds for only an instant just above the trees. While its round shape could have been mistaken for the silhouette of the sun or the moon, it was actually just a momentarily illuminated cloud struck by an isolated ray of sunlight. This incidental interplay of light and shadow, a transitional moment that was momentary and ephemeral, was the incidental element that added the special interest to this image.”

A New Haven, CT native, Marjorie Gillette Wolfe’s contribution to the group show, “Coruscation,” means a sudden gleam or flash of light. Her approach to her subject matter is simple and direct, by creating abstract images that reveal something previously hidden. Land and architecture are approached with her peculiar sense of the world. “With my slightly skewed observation of reality, I enter the space. The viewer of my photographs might perceive the image as an unexpected natural occurrence that only my eye has 'miraculously' perceived. Eye to camera, coruscation. I release the shutter,” is how Ms. Wolfe describes her work.

Of her photography, New Canaan, CT artist Torrance York says, “On the surface photography realistically captures what we see, but what happens when we add the dimension of extended time? What is the effect of an obstacle between the camera and subject? At that point, photography can capture what we cannot see with our own eyes in a single glance. During the times in between the activities of our family routine, I find visual juxtapositions that capture my attention. The resulting images, often showing reflections, distortions or accumulated light through time, illuminate the experience of these vernacular moments. Often solitary in nature, as in an Edward Hopper painting in which none of the people depicted are visually interacting, my children enter a world of their own. I wonder what that world is like. In these images from a new series 'Refractions,' I find my clues.”

Continuing with the 90th celebration of the Silvermine Arts Center, the historic exhibit features Reuben Nakian: Eight Decades of Creation, showcasing his small sculptures and works on paper. His assistant, Derek Uhlman, a Silvermine Guild Artist member, provides insights into his work. Reuben Nakian, born August 10, 1897 in College Point, New York enjoyed a long and distinguished career, maintaining his innovative spirit and creativity over more than seventy years.

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