Nagle and Peterson show reception Thursday, Aug. 22, at UConn Stamford
The UConn Stamford Art Gallery
One University Pl., Stamford, (203) 251-8400
Two Heads Are Better Than One: Elizabeth Nagle and Mary Elizabeth Peterson
Aug. 19—Oct. 1, 2013.
Artists' reception: Thurs., Aug. 22, 5—7:30 p.m.
Artists' Talk: Thurs., Sept. 19, 5 p.m.
Press release from Mary Elizabeth Peterson
Fairfield county artists Elizabeth Nagle (New Canaan) and Mary Elizabeth Peterson (Westport) will exhibit new work in a show called Two Heads are Better Than One at the UConn Stamford Art Gallery. The exhibit is available for viewing from Aug. 19 to Oct. 1, 2013. An Artists' Reception is scheduled for Thurs., Aug. 22 from 5—7. There will also be a gallery talk with the artists on at Thurs., Sept. 19 at 5 pm.
This exhibit will feature painting and collage by these two artists, who, working alone and in tandem over the past two years, have created a significant assortment of deeply unsettling, playfully odd, and unavoidably memorable works. The exhibit ranges from the intricately finished large canvases back to the irreverent "sketch" paintings and mixed media collages where their ideas are born. It features all manner of hybrid materials such as woven plastic grass seed bags, millinery ribbons and rusty bottle caps. It includes art works that typically start with one object or idea and then evolve in all directions and sometimes back upon themselves.
The sketch pieces are hung in the gallery where the viewer can watch as the ideas start to take shape. These starter pieces gain one level more of elaboration in the nearly wall-sized works on canvas where the artists go back and forth adding weird tidbits until the upset is complete. Like a dog with its pink tongue hanging down or a wonky line suggesting a tree. Here the collaborative nature of their working is most apparent. It is as if Nagle and Peterson’s paintings talk to each other: sometimes reaching out and sometimes holding back—either way they are friends. A song, a whisper, a secret, a giggle can be heard in the room.
|Elizabeth Nagle and Mary Elizabeth Peterson: sneak peek of upcoming show|
In all the various types of work exhibited, the often mundane familiarity of the object is "tweaked" by the artists painterly interventions, resulting in a world where time is stopped and a story is unfolding. These "not-quite-right" forms are much more exciting than the logical or photo version would be. You will wonder if you are inside or out, flying or falling, right side up or upside down. Like a bad disco song from the 1970s, these works stick in your head and some may haunt your quiet moments for a long time to come!
The work in this exhibit stands out also from what is trending in galleries, from what their contemporaries are making, from what people expect them to make. It shows Nagle and Peterson pursuing their own interests without the pressures of committing to a particular style, without the demands of making "concept" work. And while the overall mood of the show is fun, these artists always manage to rein in the insanity and conceptually push things just far enough. There are no extraneous elements in the works; everything is as it should be!