Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Two shows open Fri., Nov. 21, at Giampietro Gallery at Erector Square

Giampietro Gallery—Works of Art
315 Peck St., New Haven, (203) 777-7760
Elizabeth Gilfilen: Laid Ledge
Jeremy Chandler: Prone Positions
Nov. 21—Dec. 20, 2014.
Reception: Fri., Nov. 21, 6—8 p.m.

Press release from Giampietro Gallery

FRED.GIAMPIETRO Gallery is pleased to present Laid Ledge, an exhibition of new work by Elizabeth Gilfilen and Prone Positions, an exhibition of new work by Jeremy Chandler. This is Elizabeth's and Jeremy's first solo shows with the gallery.

Elizabeth Gilfilen writes:

The title of this exhibition, Laid Ledge alludes to the painting act, and to locating the physical and perceived edge of uncertainty. With paint, I move fluidly through the work, and I record each misstep. Accumulated marks grow and deviate; torquing forms emerge based on the decisions I make. A kinetic energy can overwhelm, yet I strive for a tension in the marks that is sprung almost as tight as the coils and tendons that create them. It is the alternating recognition of corporeal form and its immediate denial that causes me to revisit the work over many months. Over time, the scaffolding of marks can collapse into overlapping landscapes, defined by risk and just out of reach.

Artwork by Elizabeth Gilfilen

Elizabeth Gilfilen received her BFA from the University of Cincinnati and her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. Awards include: Yaddo, The Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation Space Program, Gallery Aferro Studio Residency, The Bronx Museum's AIM Program, and the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop SIP Fellowship. Exhibitions include: Morgan Lehman Gallery, NY, Reynolds Gallery, Richmond, VA, the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, CT, and the Hunterdon Museum of Art, Clinton, NJ. Her work will be published in New American Paintings; and has been reviewed in Two Coats of Paint, The Boston Globe, The Newark Star-Ledger and The New York Times.

In a recent statement, Jeremy Chandler describes his work:

My art practice has grown out of a desire to express my own personal history; experiences, relationships, and identity through a prolonged engagement with place and a process that emphasizes shared experiences with those I photograph. I create content through a variety of conceptual and formal approaches, such as straight photography, tableaus and documentary and narrative film projects. Throughout, futility, ritual, sublimity, land use and methods of concealment are all recurring themes in my work. My visual language is informed by my own memories, cultural mythology, and depictions of masculine identity through cinema, art history, and popular culture. I am interested in subverting ritualized expressions of masculinity to reveal a more nuanced idea of maleness and how culture and myth can often intertwine to create altered perceptions of space and place.

Jeremy Chandler: "Ghillie Suit (Pine Straw)"

In my most recent photographs, I construct images by repurposing methods utilized by hunting and military culture, turning otherwise weaponized techniques into benign aesthetic devices. I activate spaces that are typically already known to me, through the introduction of people, found and homemade props, and cinematic methods of storytelling.

Jeremy Chandler received his BFA from the University of Florida and his MFA from the University of South Florida. Jeremy's work has been exhibited in many prestigious galleries and museums both nationally and internationally. Chandlre's work will be published in Ellen Mueller's new publication titled, Elements and Principles of 4D Art and Design; and has been reviewed in Oxford American Magazine, The News Herald, and The Daily Loaf. Chandler's work can be found in The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, CO, All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL and other public and private collections.

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Friday, October 31, 2014

Artist reception Sat., Nov. 1, for Occupy New Haven photo show at New Haven Free Public Library

New Haven Free Public Library Art Gallery
133 Elm St., New Haven
$ NOT FREE SPEECH: Photographs of Occupy New Haven by Byron Lembo-Frey Oct. 29—Dec. 3, 2014.
Artist's reception: Sat., Nov. 1, 2—4 p.m.

Press release from Azoth Gallery

Photographer Byron Lembo-Frey's photographs of the Occupy New Haven activist encampment will be on view in the Business/Periodicals Room of the New Haven Free Public Library through Dec. 3. The artist's reception is Sat., Nov. 1, from 2—4 p.m.

Byron Lembo-Frey was born in Nuremburg, West Germany in 1987. Through his childhood, he did drawings that featured a lot of colors, lines and symbols. He received a fellowship to Vermont Studio Center in August 2009 and graduated from Johnson State College in May 2010. His senior college exhibition focused on abstract art. Witnessing poverty, animal abuse, child abuse, alcoholism, domestic violence and arrests in his community, Byron felt a strong empowerment to focus more on social issue art to better his community.

Artist statement:

Occupy New Haven was a very controversial, but insightful movement that should be remembered. The people who really cared about this movement believed in creating a better world: They wanted more awareness of social, political and economic injustices; they wanted equal economic redistribution and political justice; they wanted healthcare for all people; they wanted to see an end to wars and job creation.

I attended an Occupy New Haven meeting to honor my grandmother, whom I promised at her wake that I would make something of myself. The first night I went to Occupy New Haven, I saw two homeless people share a cupcake; still to this day, it breaks me up inside to see how selfless they were and to see how much they reminded me of who I really was. After that experience, I felt an obligation to document Occupy New Haven.

Byron Lembo-Frey: "$ NOT FREE SPEECH—Occupy New Haven"
I graduated from college in 2010 and I struggled with finding a full time job for three years. I found part-time work at a place where I endured and I witnessed much unprofessionalism: supervisors publicly berated me and other employees; managers sabotaged workers; I was assigned embarrassing jobs as mopping the sidewalk; I was intimidated into doing my bosses’ work; supervisors manipulated employees into stopping shoplifters and then disturbingly scared employees to avoid giving them the ‘stopping the shoplifter’ bonus; supervisors made jokes about when guns were aimed at me during a robbery and also made jokes about my grandma passing away.

There was a robbery committed by the store guards. When it happened, a female boss was assaulted and a gun was aimed at her head, and two guns were aimed at my chest by two police officers. I earned little as $16 a week sometimes, so I survived on fruit from clearance sales, from which I had to cut off the molds. The situation made me depressed, ill, furious, feel objectified and devalue myself, but my father’s guidance, my promise to my grandma and seeing the goodness in people at Occupy New Haven, brought out the best in me again.

I also photographed Occupy New Haven because I felt connected with the movement through my experiences, and I want to be a symbol of perseverance for people who are going through same situations that I had endured.

As I documented Occupy New Haven, I watched many social issue movies: "Midnight Cowboy," "A Panic in Needle Park," "The French Connection," "The Harder They Come," "Last Tango in Paris," "Taxi Driver," "The Deer Hunter," "Talk Radio," "Born on the Fourth of July," "Boyz in the Hood," "American History X" and "North Country." "Midnight Cowboy" is my all-time favorite film, because it unflinchingly depicts poverty, depicts a character with traumatic experiences, humanizes homeless people and it is a realistic take on the American Dream; it pushed me to bravely take pictures of my content.

I was also strongly influenced by Soviet Montage Theory directors. Sergei Eisenstein believed a film shot can be crafted to create a metaphorical effect. I used this technique when I photographed Occupy New Haven and the Trayvon Martin protestors together, with the statue behind them. The statue looks down at all of them and it looks sad. Since the statue represents justice, the image is a metaphor of justice being saddened by the verdict.

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Three solo shows open Nov. 9 at Silvermine Art Center

Silvermine Guild Art Center
1037 Silvermine Rd., New Canaan, (203) 966-9700
J Henry Fair: The Hand of Man
Carlos Davila: Neo-Archaism
June Ahrens: What's Left
Nov. 9—Dec. 23, 2014.
Opening Reception: Sun., Nov. 9, 2—4 p.m.

Press release from Silvermine Arts Center

Three new exhibits open at Silvermine Arts Center on Sun., Nov. 9. Three artists explore themes of beauty and ruin, broken landscapes and lost symbols in photography, sculpture and a site-specific work in which video is a predominant element.

J Henry Fair’s stunning abstract compositions are full of organic forms and graphic patterns: plumes, branches, rivulets, as well as grids and softened geometric forms. But in Fair’s large-scale photographs, beauty and horror coexist. Fair’s subject in The Hand of Man is a damaged environment: de-forested landscapes, polluted waterways, hydraulic fracturing sites, and waste from refinery operations and other industrial practices. His goal is to “produce beautiful images that stimulate an aesthetic response, then curiosity, then personal involvement.”

Photo by J Henry Fair

“Flying over these sites is the only way to see things,” Fair has said. “The aerial perspective is inherently intriguing to land-based animals.” It is the aerial view that is his particular angle of vision—the distant view, not of the peaceful blue planet, but of the compromised landscape of a world that even in the digital era is still predominantly industrial.

J Henry Fair’s photography has been the subject of solo exhibitions throughout the U.S. and in Norway, Germany, and the Netherlands. Fair has been a member of the SIlvermine Guild of Artists since 2011.

In Neo-Archaism, Carlos Davila creates a visual landscape that abstracts the symbols and forms of ancient cultures and combines them with those of advanced technology and modern industry. He explores the relationship between the modern, highly mechanized age that we live in and a totemic, stylized symbolism of a variety of ancient cultures from Egypt, South America, and Africa.

Carlos Davila: "Medusa"

Davila abstracts line, form, and color to create sculptures, three-dimensional wall pieces, and large-scale diptychs and triptychs. His mechanical and industrial elements coalesce into a layered, three-dimensional geometry that is textural and drenched in brilliant color. His is a figurative landscape at once familiar and alien.

After earning his MFA, Davila participated in the reconstruction of the ancient city of Chan Chan, Peru. His work at this Pre-Columbian archaeological dig led to a fascination with ancient and lost cultures, and the experience profoundly affected the course of his work. Carlos Davila’s art has been the subject of solo exhibitions from Lima, Santiago, and Bogota to New York, Boston, and Miami. Born and educated in Lima, Peru, he lived for many years in New York City. He currently lives in Ridgefield, Connecticut, and maintains a studio in a loft in Bridgeport. He has been a member of the Silvermine Guild of Artists since 2012.

In her recent work, June Ahrens has explored repurposed and broken glass as material and metaphor. What’s Left is a new turn for Ahrens—a unified environment made up of a video surrounded by blue walls that are layered with dried pigment mixed with salt. This site-dependent piece, created for the Hays Gallery at the Silvermine Arts Center, evokes loss and fragility while channeling light through a landscape of broken glass.

The video serves as the primary element in the composition and contains many of the materials used in her environment. The integration of materials and images (including images of a human face and hands) invites the viewer to explore and embrace the residue of lives. Salt and glass enhance the imperfections of the walls, which become a metaphor for the imperfections in each of us. The surface partially hides some of the scarring but salt and pigment reveal it in a new way. Repurposed broken glass (clear or blue) is also part of the installation—random patterns of fallen shards will pool and reflect danger, pain, and vulnerability. Ahrens calls the work “a map of awareness.

June Ahrens: Still from video

June Ahrens’s work has been exhibited at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City; at the Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland; in Strong Women Artists, a group exhibit in Matera, Italy; and in many other exhibitions throughout the U.S. She lives in New Canaan, Connecticut, and has been a member of the Silvermine Guild since 1993.

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Thursday, October 09, 2014

Dow, Gunderson show opens Friday at Giampietro Gallery in New Haven

Giampietro Gallery—Works of Art
91 Orange St., New Haven, (203) 777-7760
Cross Currents: Karen Dow and Laurie Gunderson
Oct. 10—Nov. 22, 2014.
Reception: Fri., Oct. 10, 6—8 p.m.

Press release from Giampietro Gallery

Fred Giampietro Gallery is pleased to present new works by Karen Dow and Laurie Gundersen in an exhibition titled Cross Currents. This show will be on view at the 91 Orange St. location in New Haven from Oct. 10 through Nov. 22. There is an opening reception on Fri., Oct. 10, from 6—8 p.m.

Jeff Bergman writes:

Karen Dow makes flat work, yet the architectural and sculptural elements within belie their flatness. The distinct layers in the artist's newest body of work act in surprising ways, exposing forms while ghost images reveal themselves under marble dust gray. Like exposed composite rock segments, striations appear. Stacked and patchworked forms assert themselves as the gray fogs over layered and masked formations. Most of these solid forms are the final layer, completing the balancing act. Within Dow's painting, there is always the possibility of imbalance and irregular shapes ready to topple at the slightest breeze.

Art by Karen Dow

Dow has spent the last few years using printmaking techniques to create unique works on paper. The act of creating these monoprints itself has influenced the artists approach to the painting process. By inking hand cut materials, variable color and texture appear in the print process. Dow has recreated this indeterminacy by masking her canvas laid affixed to board with a hand cut frisket, an opaque vinyl material that adheres to the surface. The hand cut line wobbles, making both the mask another way for the artists hand to come across. By painting over all but these masked areas, the artist creates an "Aha" moment when she excavates the relics left behind. Louise Nevelson's irregular forms, composed of collaged remnants, serve as both an apt comparison as well the artists’ inspiration. Rather than work with collage, the artist builds a thorough world beneath and chooses her own remnants.

"Signal," 2014 is a multi­tiered work, containing several blocks of color. In the upper left, a square is divided black on the left and gray on the right. It appears to be right at the front of the plane, helped some by a red/orange layer behind it. This small area recalls Barnett Newman's zips as well as Pat Steir's large nearly monochromatic diptychs. The red and orange area in the middle left of the plane, also propped on a ledge, is a focal point and causes the eye to draw up to the dark area and then over to the right to view the "flag." The flag is an area with a four segment square. All around the gray midtone, adds a muted field of light. With "Signal," soft, dusty colors recede and bring to mind Giorgio Morandi's Etruscan palate. The dominant colors, autumnal yellow and orange and gauzy sky blue, light the way. Everywhere a counter balance of color is assumed, dispersing weight around the plane.

Laurie Gundersen writes in a recent statement:

I am a utilitarian folk artist: a dyer, spinner, weaver, quilter and basket maker. Primarily self-taught, I have explored these various media by diving into materials close at hand. Fascinated by the creative ways of making folk art from scrap, I make textiles reflecting that spirit and my love for blending contemporary designs with traditional techniques.

This collection of small textiles has helped me reflect and remember the people whose work in textiles have inspired me and provided movement in my life. Annie Albers, Lenore Tawney, Mary Hambridge, Randall Darwall, Hiroko Harada & Yoshiko Wada to name a few. Over the past decades my craft has slowly evolved, eventually leaving the art-to-wear movement behind. However, I have been gathering textiles over the last three decades in hopes of constructing art with it. Here is the new beginning of that process.

Gundersen lives and works in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Her studio/showroom is called Appalachian Piecework and is located at the train depot in Staunton.

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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Kathy Kane painting show reception Sat., June 7, at City Gallery in New Haven

City Gallery
994 State St., New Haven, (203) 782-2489
Kathy Kane: LIFE—LINE
June 5—29, 2014.
Opening Reception: Sat., June 7, 2—5 p.m.

Press release from City Gallery

City Gallery presents LIFE—LINE featuring artist Kathy Kane, June 5—29, 2014. The opening reception is Sat., June 7, from 2—5 p.m.

Kathy Kane: "Interstices"

The exploration of line, its delicate nature and ambiguous presence in the landscape bring punctuation and life to Kane's new work.

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Friday, May 23, 2014

William Bailey show opens at Orange St. Giampietro Gallery May 30

Giampietro Gallery—Works of Art
91 Orange St., New Haven, (203) 777-7760
William Bailey: Paintings and Drawings
May 30—July 12, 2014.
Reception: Fri., May 30, 6—8 p.m.

Press release from Giampietro Gallery

Fred Giampietro Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of works by William Bailey. This is his first showing at the gallery. The exhibition includes still life paintings and figure drawings that reflect nearly sixty years of exploration by the artist. Bailey studied under Joseph Albers at the Yale School of Art following his service in the Korean War. He began his studies at the University of Kansas School of Fine Arts and graduated from the Yale School of Art. Bailey has taught widely including at the University of Indiana at Bloomington. He held a long tenure at the Yale School of Art from which he retired in 1995 as the Kingman Brewster Professor Emeritus of Art.

Bailey's still life paintings present seemingly everyday objects, including bowls, pitchers, and cups, in groupings that conjure the familiar world while offering a metaphysical timelessness. Although they focus on a realm that is idealized, the works explore a mnemonic or remembered space where drawing, proportion, measure, and color find voice in Bailey’s expansive ability to capture light...light that illuminates the recognizable world while seeming to belong to an undefined, distant place. In contrast to a Realism of everyday life, Bailey offers us an integrated world of autonomous interiority, stating, "I am trying to paint a world that is not around us."

William Bailey: "Soldier"

Like the poet filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, who viewed art-making as a necessary effort toward perfection in an imperfect world, Bailey's images reflect the history of imaging and clarifications of his craft. His work links us to the past of Piero, Corot, or Hopper yet guides us to a perpetual here and now through his use of color and light. In this way he challenges our notions of both time and space.

The still life paintings suggest an environment grounded in Bailey's imagined world of things. With sustained viewing these images suggest landscape, architecture and groups of figures that seem, subtly, to generate an atmosphere of color giving them both space and breadth. These suggestions allow us to come to terms with the impermanence that defines our need for remembrance.

The works of William Bailey reveal themselves through a complex shifting of time and perception. Bailey's particular focus on drawing allows an unfolding of varied duration within the continuity of space. Attention in the imaginative act is shaped by the appearance and reappearance of forms. The paintings also derive information from his ongoing practice of observing the figure. Just as the pictures seem to sustain the tension of approaching absence, likewise, through the attention to delicate shifts of shadow and light, they seem to breathe with the presence of objects, figures and places.

K. L. Sinanoglu, New Haven, April, 2014

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Friday, May 16, 2014

"Por Oaxaca" opens Satuday, May 24, at Insitute Library

The Institute Library
847 Chapel St., New Haven, (203) 562-5045
Por Oaxaca
May 24—June 21, 2014.
Reception: Sat., May 24, Noon—2 p.m.

Press release from Catalina Barroso-Luque

Por Oaxaca is the end stage of the Postal Art Project organized and curated by the Mexican artist, Catalina Barroso-Luque, who sent a seemingly straightforward photograph taken in Oaxaca, Mexico to a selection of local and international artists in China, Mexico, England and Connecticut and asked them to respond.

The show features works by Phil Lique, Kevin Van Aelst, Isabelle Gressel, Ivan Mendez Vela, Panachai Chaijaratat, Maria Lara Whelpley, Susan McCaslin, Martin Roberts, Justin Rodier, and Sophie Aston.

Artwork by Phil Lique

The responses received were unexpected and varied. The apparent diversity of works stemming from the same image brings out issues of cultural tourism, analog vs. digital technology, image-media mediation over our engagement with reality, cultural aesthetics, and the prevalence of a western hegemony over contemporary artistic production.

Also on view, in the Main Reading Room, is a display of Postales Mestizas, by Catalina Barroso-Luque. The artist has fashioned these small-scale works out of collaged, collected post-cards and other found images, and her own discarded photo-prints. They are an intuitive recycling of the artist's physical and mental imagery that aims to bring into question the boundaries between personal and collective memory.

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Friday, May 09, 2014

Ramon, Angelis shows open at Giampietro Gallery May 16

Giampietro Gallery—Works of Art
315 Peck St., New Haven, (203) 777-7760
Peter Ramon: Inherent Collisions
Michael Angelis: Collective Memories
May 16—June 11, 2014.
Reception: Fri., May 16, 6—8 p.m.

Press release from Giampietro Gallery

Fred Giampietro Gallery is pleased to present new works by Peter Ramon and Michael Angelis. Inherent Collisions is Ramon’s second solo show at the gallery and Collective Memories is Angelis’s first. These solo exhibitions run from May 16 through June 11, 2014.

Peter Ramon has always been captivated by the constant changing of the positive, negative, and colorful shapes casted in nature by sunlight. Each of Ramon’s compositions embodies the intention to document his responses to these brief moments, sideways glances, and fleeting thoughts. Those experiences are expressed through a beautiful and complex handling of layers, colors, textures, and shapes.

Peter Ramon: "Out Under the Sun"

Peter Ramon lives and works in Branford, CT. Ramon received his MFA from Indiana University and his BFA from the University of Hartford, Hartford Art School. His work has been included in numerous exhibits, including the Moody Art Gallery at the University of Alabama and The New Britain Museum of American Art. His work can be found in many private collections.

In a recent artist statement, Michael Angelis explains that his on-site paintings of the urban landscapes in and around New Haven have dominated the focus of his work over the past 5 years. The series began as a study of the street level experience underneath the overpasses of Route 91. Working directly in the environment influences the aesthetics in a much richer way than if the work were to be completed in the comfort of a studio setting, where it may simply imitate the photographs being used for reference. The paintings in the series often focus on environments in flux, whether they are actively changing or less obviously changing.

Michael Angelis: "Earth"

Michael Angelis lives and works in New Haven, CT. Angelis received an MEA from the Teachers College at Columbia and his BFA from SUNY Purchase. His work has been included many local exhibits.

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