Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Stunning Saladyga landscapes showing in Fairfield

Art/Place Gallery
11 Unquowa Rd., Fairfield, (203) 292-8328
Gerald Saladyga: Landscapes in Transition
Florence Zolan: Back and Forth
Through Apr. 30, 2011.

Landscapes in Transition is a stunning show of recent paintings by Gerald Saladyga. This show is evidence that his work continues to evolve, becoming ever more complex and rich with symbolism, allusion and social comment.

I have to admit that my initial reaction to these developments in Saladyga's style was to be concerned that perhaps his compositions were becoming too busy. It was a reaction I kept to myself and I'm glad I did because it allowed me time to fully digest these new ideas.

As I've written before, Saladyga is influenced and inspired by star charts, maps of war zones and the view from airplanes.

These are, in fact, meta-landscapes—stylized representations of mountains, starry skies, forests, seas. But the meta part comes in with Saladyga's commentary on the literal and metaphorical wars being waged against the landscape. Oil derricks, submarines, bombers, fighter jets, nuke plants, bulldozers. Comic book-like explosions rend the sky and bulbous plumes of radioactive steam belch from reactor cooling towers.

Against this imagery are arrayed signifiers of the forces of nature in retreat: silhouettes of birds, bears, marine mammals. And, perhaps hinting at our own mad dash toward suicidal extinction, the vision of war in the painting "Everything That Rises" is flanked by silhouettes sauropod and pterodactyl dinosaurs.

The human presence, when it appears at all, is represented by cartoon faces observing the mayhem in frozen, wide-eyed, mouth agape amazement and disbelief.

All this intellectual energy and social commentary is undergirded by superb draftsmanship, complex yet readable design and Saladyga's mastery of his own approach to using latex paints.

Also on display at Art/Place are a series of prints and collages by Florence Zolan called Back and Forth. Although in a separate room from the exhibit of Saladyga's paintings, it's a complementary show. Saladyga's compositions have an almost collage-like aesthetic. A few of Zolan's collages with mixed media include maps and some of the forms in her prints resemble forms found as recurring motifs in Saladyga's paintings.

But where Saladyga's paintings are brash and apocalyptic—albeit engagingly so—Zolan's works are quieter and meditative. According to her artist statement, Zolan enjoys the play of different contrasting elements and it shows in her work.

In "Spaces," "Spaces II," "The Space Within" and "Soft Spaces"—smaller works combining print, collage and pastels—mottled print inks and softly contoured shapes abut solid color cut paper. The collage "Fan Fare" is an energetic work that appears to nod to Dada and Suprematism.

These shows are up through this Saturday.

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"Three Painters" show opens Saturday at River Street Gallery in Fair Haven

River Street Gallery at Fair Haven Furniture
72 Blatchley Ave., New Haven, (203) 776-3099
Three Painters: K. Levni Sinanoglu, John Keefer & Steven DiGiovanni
Apr. 23—June 18, 2011.
Opening reception: Sat., Apr. 23, 5—8 p.m.

Press release

The work of three highly talented figurative painters—Steven DiGiovanni (bottom image), John Keefer (top image) and K. Levni Sinanoglu—is featured in the cleverly titled show Three Painters, opening this Saturday at the River Street Gallery within Fair Haven Furniture.

Artists' statements:

K. Levni Sinanoglu:

K. Levni Sinanoglu's work explores the relationship between intimate and monumental spaces. He is particularly interested in geometry and scale, color and light as these unfold memory and intuition. Still life and landscape provide a primary arena for the focus of sensation and the body, meaning and practice.
John Keefer:

John Keefer is a middling oldish artist who lives in New Haven. He makes mainly oil paintings and drawings of various subjects, including—but not limited to—his siblings, offspring, girlfriend, etc.

Steven DiGiovanni:

Steven DiGiovanni's paintings are quite varied as his desires and interests evolve and, as often, devolve. What makes the painting process compelling at the time? And what subjects are worthy of extended attention and effort? These are the questions the artist often asks himself when embarking on a new project.

Three Painters will be on display through June 18. The opening will be held from 5—8 p.m. this Sat., Apr. 23.

Labels: , , , ,

Two shows open during Creative Cocktail Hour Thursday at Real Art Ways

Real Art Ways
56 Arbor St., Hartford, (860) 232-1006
Andrew Buck: Rockface
Zbigniew Grzyb: New Works: Branch/Sky Series
Apr. 21—June 12, 2011.
Opening reception during Creative Cocktail Hour: Thurs., Apr. 21, 6—8 p.m., $10/$5 Real Art Ways members.

Press release

Real Art Ways presents an exhibition of Andrew Buck's black and white photographs of rock faces that capture the abstract patterns that emerge as humans shape the landscape. Rockface, opening Thurs., Apr. 21 at Real Art Ways, is the result of the artist's three-year examination of the exposed and blasted rock created by mining and road development.

An opening reception on Thurs., Apr. 21 from 6—8 p.m. will be held as part of Creative Cocktail Hour, Real Art Ways' monthly third Thursday gathering. Creative Cocktail Hour is from 6—10 p.m.; admission is $10/$5 Real Art Ways members.

Several of the photographs in Rockface were taken at a trap rock quarry in Meriden, Connecticut. There are also images from road cuts in Farmington, Connecticut and Bucksport, Maine.

Andrew Buck's interest in the patterns created by the play of light and shadow on craggy rock face is characteristic of his longtime artistic focus. About his work as a whole, Buck says, "My point of departure is always the landscape, but almost always a landscape we have created, intentionally or inadvertently. It is always with an eye for the abstract."

Andrew Buck has been involved with photography since he was a teenager. First exhibiting in Western Massachusetts and Syracuse, New York, he has continued to exhibit in the Northeast since the early 1970s. He was a member of the founding Board of Directors of Light Work in Syracuse.

To support the Rockface series, Buck was awarded a highly competitive Artist's Resource Trust grant in 2010 from the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.

Since the late 1970s, when he returned to Connecticut, Buck's work has focused primarily on the man-made and man-altered landscape of Connecticut. A recent body of work focused on similar aspects of the landscape of northwestern Ohio.

Also opening on Thursday is Branch/Sky Series, new works by painter Zbigniew Grzyb. This exhibit was curated by Michael Shortell.

Artist statement:
I have not worked toward any preconceived literal content. Every painting creates a new challenge for me; each one is a new mystery I have to solve. Inspiration comes from many places; it is contantly part of my creative process.

The meditative time I spend in nature influences my unconscious. I notice images and let them be absorbed for further interpretation, and they re-emerge when I am in the studio.

Before I begin a painting I do not have a specific goal or idea for the finished work. The ideas flow during the painting process and the image emerges as its own reality. No one part of the painting is important for itself; it is only important as a part of the whole.
Zbigniew Grzyb studied at the Academy of Fine Art in Cracow, Poland, graduating with a master's degree. He left Poland for further study, and traveled through Italy, France and Turkey exhibiting his work. He came to the United States in 1973, and since that time he is focusing on further development of his art.

In 1983 he had his first one-person museum show, at the New Britain Museum of Art. He was included in the Mattatuck Museum's Biennial and most recently had a show at the National Museum in Przemy?l, Poland. In addition to showing his work through New England and New York, he is a recipient Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, and in 2008 received a grant from the Greater Hartford Arts Council.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sunday opening of sculpture and photo show at Kehler Liddell

Kehler Liddell Gallery
873 Whalley Ave., New Haven, (203) 389-9555
Gar Waterman & Marjorie Gillette Wolfe: Coruscations and Cotyledons
Apr. 14—May 15, 2011
Opening Reception: Sun., Apr. 17, 3-6 p.m., Artists' talk: 3:30 p.m.

Press release

Kehler Liddell Gallery is very pleased to present Coruscations and Cotyledons, a two-person exhibition of sculpture by Gar Waterman and photographs by Marjorie Gillette Wolfe. The two visuals at play—coruscations, sudden flashes of light, and cotyledons,leaves of the embryo of a seed plant—engage in conversations about the discrete phenomena that shape our environment and inform our aesthetic experience.

Delicate, close observation on the part of both artists manifests in works that explore the relationship between architecture and science. Watermanʼs magnified cotyledon sculptures investigate the exquisite physicality and intricacies of plant forms and respond to their architectural components—balance, strength, geometry, perfection, pattern, mechanisms of defense and attraction. Wolfeʼs photographs document isolated shots of real places where natural light backlights, screens and mixes with architectural elements—buttresses, plastic siding and weathered glass, in series of environments that read like abstract paintings. Shared appreciations for the structure of nature unites the two distinct bodies of work, both characterized by natural palettes, and allow the viewer to move thoughtfully through moments of soft and hard texture and form.

Watermanʼs sculptures represent a fundamental dialogue between architecture and nature, which is his primary source of inspiration. In addition to wood, Waterman works in stone, bronze, glass and steel. His imagery ranges from plant life, marine forms and insects to imagined figures.

Waterman grew up in New Jersey and Maine, with a formative year in Tahiti at age 10, where his father, underwater filmmaker Stan Waterman, shot and produced a documentary for National Geographic. After graduating from Dartmouth College, Waterman moved to Pietrasanta Italy, where he studied for seven years to become a master stone carver. Waterman currently lives and works in New Haven, Connecticut and Sargentville, Maine.

Wolfeʼs photographs investigate the abstraction of real space and ephemeral elements. For this show she will focus on the way diptychs, triptychs and larger series of photographs inform one another. In addition to her abstract series, Wolfe will present traditional landscapes that confound perspective and facilitate the viewerʼs reconsideration of a well-worn subject.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday night opening at Gallery 360 in New haven high rise

Gallery 360
360 State St., New Haven
Emilia Dubicki and Jonathan Waters: State of the Moment
Through July, 2011.
Opening Reception: Fri., Apr. 15, 6—8 p.m.

Press release

Gallery 360, New Haven, is pleased to present State of the Moment, in the expansive, light filled lobby gallery space of New Haven’s newest residential high rise. The exhibition pairs the New Haven area artists Emilia Dubicki and Jonathan Waters for their first show as a duo.

Comprised of paintings by Dubicki, sculptures and collages by Waters, along with five collaborative mixed medium works by the two, the exhibition focuses on being in the moment while making and viewing the artwork. The paintings and sculpture are big and bold while the collages and collaborations are small and intimate. Scale, perception, and personal interpretation interest both artists.

Nature often serves as a starting point for Emilia Dubicki’s paintings that then traverse the imagery and structures of external landscapes—rocks, piers, water, sky, shadows, light—fused with journeys into a more internal landscape of the spirit. The resulting paintings are made in the studio. Compilations of memories, emotions and visuals are interpreted and expressed in the moment of painting where there is no distance between vision, feelings and the brush.

In his current work, Jonathan Waters incorporates elements of earlier wall pieces and sculptures (drawing in space) with some more recent reductionist work. His sculptures elicit a variety of experiences as one moves around them: what is hidden, what is revealed? His Mill House Series of collages, completed during a 2011 stay at a 1780’s plantation house in the St. Lucy parish of Barbados, elicit architectural references, as well as more sinister and spiritual elements that inform the work generated by spaces they were created in.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Punk rock pix exhibit opens Thursday night at Fairfield University

Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery at Fairfield University
Quick Center for the Arts, Fairfield University, 1073 N. Benson Rd., Fairfield, (203) 254-4242
The Flowering of Punk Rock: Photographs by Tom Hearn
Apr. 14—May 27, 2011.
Opening reception: Thurs., Apr. 14, 5:30—7:30 p.m.
Special Event: Punk Out Loud, Sat., Apr. 16, 6:30—7:30 p.m.

Press release

The Flowering of Punk Rock features photographs taken by Cheshire, CT native during the seminal punk rock years of 1976—1979. Hearn was a longtime friend of Tom HearnJohn Holmstrom and Legs McNeil, founders of Punk Magazine, an irreverent zine that chronicled the musicians, scenesters and attitude that made New York City the center of the underground pop universe.

Hearn’s pictures are resonant with the scent of stale beer and cigarette smoke, visions of black leather jackets and torn jeans and the oceanic electric wave roar of aggro vocals and buzzsaw guitar chords.

Photos were taken at legendary venues like CBGB and Max's Kansas City in New York City as well as Willimantic's Shaboo Inn, New Haven's Toad's Place and the Arcadia Ballroom. Regularly featured in magazines such as Punk, Rolling Stone and Shindig, Hearn's photographs truly capture a scene at the very peak of its power and energy.

There will be an opening tomorrow, Thurs., Apr. 14, from 5:30—7:30 p.m. On Sat. evening, Apr. 16, from 6:30—7:30 p.m., Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain will read from their acclaimed book Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk, with musical accompaniment by Billy Hough.

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, April 11, 2011

Questions of scale

A-Space Gallery at West Cove Studios
30 Elm St., West Haven, (203) 966-9700
Scale Factor
Through May 15, 2011.

I didn't spend much time taking notes at Saturday's Scale Factor opening at A-Space Gallery, located in West Cove Studios in West Haven. So this post's textual element will be fragmentary. The show features primarily paintings, the loose theme concerned with elements of scale.

On facing walls are both a series of miniature paintings by Emilia Dubicki and a large-scale work, "You Remember the Sky." Dubicki's paintings often reference real landscapes. "You Remember the Sky," according to Dubicki, is a work of the imagination untethered to any particular real world locale; the title comes from a poetic fragment inscribed in the bottom left of the work. Still, the sense of landscape is embedded within its gestural sweep of bold colors: elemental, fragrant with wind and sea brine. Dubicki's paintings on the facing wall, probably little more than 5" by 5", are more intimate, as if she is concentrating on just one element in a larger gestalt.

Dubicki's miniatures invite, almost demand, that the viewer inspect them closely. Cham Hendon's "Equal Justice Under Law," hung to their right, is a massive acrylic painting that paradoxically thrusts a viewer back to take it all in while pulling you in to absorb the painterly details. The "big picture" is of the imposing facade of an official court building. But by fusing his colors with a gel medium, Hendon creates swirls of colored abstraction within the overall representational aesthetic, as can be seen in the images below.

Jonathan Waters' (Web) works strike me as engaging more with perspective factor than scale factor. Although many of them are quite large—primarily painted panels inhabiting both the realms of painting and sculpture—they pique the interest particularly by considering them from different angles. One large work, when viewed directly, appears to be a series of several wood panels painted black and abutted against each other. But the edges of some of the panels are painted white. Viewed from the side, the white edges are visible and merge with the white wall on which the work is hung, creating the illusion that there are three separate black panels hung in close proximity.

Other works in the show:

Two Gerald Saladyga (Web) works from 1997, "Monoliths (Installation)" and "Monolith (Blue)":

Larry Morelli's (Web) "The Ghost in the Machine":

Chris Joy's (Web) Untitled (acrylic on wood):

Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Bicycle-themed art show opens this Saturday at Gallery 305K in Bridgeport

Gallery 305K
305 Knowlton St., Bridgeport, (203) 814-6856
Fresh Frames
Apr. 9—30, 2011.
Opening reception: Sat., Apr. 9, 3—30—6:30 p.m.

Press release

Gallery 305K is proud to present Fresh Frames, a show celebrating the enduring and inspiring bicycle. In this show bicycles have been designed, redesigned, reappropriated, deconstructed and customized. We will display a wide variety of Customized, Lowrider, motorized, antique, and unique style bicycles.

The show will consist of rare bicycles and some visual art that deals with the bicycle.

The bicycles that roam the streets of Bridgeport are as unique as the city itself. There are chromed out lowriders, tricked out BMX bikes, motorized cruisers, muscle bikes mountain bike and choppers. All will be featured at Fresh Frames.

Bridgeport bicycle culture is a much about the places to ride as the bikes. We will be showcasing Bridgeport’s bicycle friendliness with maps for self guided tours leaving from the gallery. There will also be guided theme rides leaving from 305K every Saturday at 2 p.m. Check Facebook for detailed information on these. We will wrap up the show with an Alley Cat race on April 29, leaving from the gallery and ending at the Nest Art Space Spring Arts Fest.

There will also be visual art that celebrates and explores the bicycle and it’s form.

The show will feature bicycles created by Chris Mandell, owner of Spoke-n-Wheel since 1984. Spoke is the most unique bicycle store in Fairfield County. A true hidden gem on E Main St in Bridgeport. Mandell is most known for being an incredible mechanic and having the largest supply of vintage bikes anywhere. As far as being a mechanic, he can handle anything from fixing a flat to a complete restoration.

We will also have a selection of custom motorized bicycles from Steve Richardson and antique and collectible bikes from private collections.

Visual Artists included will be Joe Quint, Michelle Beaulieu, Mark Derosa, Janet Habansky, Jason Streater, Eric Hup, Max Weiner, Liz Squillace, Mariza Ferrari and Charlie Walsh.

As part of the celebration of bikes, we will be sponsoring bike rides each Saturday from the Gallery. This Saturday, Apr. 9 at 2 p.m., join in the opening by coming on a tour of Bridgeport led by John Wilkins: Group ride at 305K Gallery located at 305 Knowlton Street, Bridgeport CT. Come see the Parks City's waterfront parks. Family friendly ride for older children or children in tow. 12 miles total plenty of stops 2—3 hours.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Susan Nally still life paintings show reception this Sunday at Da Silva Gallery

Da Silva Gallery
899 Whalley Ave., New Haven, (203) 387-2539
Susan Nally: The Art of Everyday
Apr. 5—May 1, 2011.
Opening reception: Sun., Apr. 10, 1—4 p.m.

Press release

The Da Silva Gallery in Westville will host The Art of Everyday, an exhibit of still life paintings by Susan Nally (Web), through May 1. An artist's reception for the show is scheduled for this Sunday from 1—4 p.m.

Labels: , ,

Artists' reception at Hagaman Library in East Haven on Saturday

Hagaman Memorial Library Gallery
227 Main St., East Haven, (203) 468-3890
Edwards Street Artists' Collective
Apr. 5—30, 2011.
Opening reception: Sat., Apr. 9, 5:30—8 p.m.

Press release

The Edwards Street Artists' Collective presents an exhibition of painting, print-making, sculpture, installations and music. The show will run through Apr. 30, 2011 with an opening reception on Sat., Apr. 9, 5:30-8 p.m. Curated by guest curator Johnes Ruta, the exhibition's featured artists are Claudine Burns-Smith, Phillip Chambers, Roberta Chambers, Francine Curto, Carole Dubielle, Joseph Higgins, Bob Parker, Marilee Pritchard and JodiAnn Strmiska.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday opening at A-Space Gallery in West Haven

A-Space Gallery at West Cove Studios
30 Elm St., West Haven, (203) 966-9700
Scale Factor
Through May 15, 2011.
Opening Reception: Sat., Apr. 9, 4—8 p.m.

Press release

Scale Factor, a group exhibition, is now on view at A-Space Gallery at west Cove Studios. There will be an artists' reception for the show this Saturday, from 4—8 p.m. According to artist Jonathan Waters, "We all deal with scale in our work intuitively—proportions within a work, overall size, smaller elements making up a larger piece, heroic small pieces. I had hoped to create some dialogue around the subject, sort of a stepping-off point…and deliberately kept it loose." The notion of "scale" is the common thread. Waters says the show includes some works from the nineties and more recent works made for the show.

The exhibiting artists are Cat Balco (Web), Sharon Butler (Web), Ethan Boisvert (Web), Emilia Dubicki (Web), Cham Hendon (Web), Chris Joy (Web), Larry Morelli (Web), Jerry Saladyga (Web), Jean Scott, Brian Gill Wendler (Web) and Jonathan Waters.

Open Tues.—Sun., 1—4 p.m., or by appointment: (203) 627-8030.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, April 04, 2011

Parachute Factory show "See Inside" opens Tuesday

Parachute Factory
Erector Square, 319 Peck St., Bldg. 1, New Haven, (203) 772-2788
Out of House and Home
Apr. 5—June 30, 2011.
Artists' reception: Thurs., Apr. 5, 5—7 p.m.

Press release

The Arts Council of Greater New Haven announces the opening of See Inside, a highly collaborative art exhibit that gives incarcerated youth a chance to share their stories. The exhibition will be on display at The Parachute Factory, Erector Square, 319 Peck St., Bldg. 1, New Haven, from Tuesday, April 5 through Thursday, June 30. An artists’ reception is scheduled for Tuesday, Apr. 5, from 5—7 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

The project is presented by the Arts Council of Greater New Haven and the Connecticut Mental Health Center Foundation in collaboration with the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance (CJJA) and the Community Partners in Action (CPA) Prison Arts Program.

CJJA advocates for community programs that prevent delinquency and for fair, effective treatment to help children who do enter the system. The CPA’s Prison Arts Program promotes self-examination and self-esteem in Connecticut inmates through participation in visual arts classes, exhibitions and publications while sharing their contributions with the community at large.

See Inside features visual works, musical pieces and poetry gathered from teens in juvenile justice programs from around the state.

“Kids [have] talked about what an important coping skill making art [has] become for them,” commented CJJA Executive Director Abby Anderson. “Sadly, most of them didn’t have the opportunity to develop their talents in their own schools or communities.”

Jeffrey Greene, CPA’s Program Manager for the Prison Arts Program, says the show “brings together the individual experiences, talents, emotions and ideas from throughout the community to make a constructive difference in the lives of young people….it’s really exciting. It [also] gives the prison staff and the people in the community the chance to see the inmate as more than a number and a crime.” One teen involved feels she has benefited “just by looking at the artwork and finding out people’s feelings toward their problems.”

“Tell Me What You See,” a thirty-five part work made up of a grid of 18” by 24” paintings, is the centerpiece of the CPA’s STD health education program, used in Connecticut’s high schools since 2009. The program relates the experiences of incarcerated youth to high school students through the medium of art. Students are given the opportunity to see how their own choices lead directly to consequences—for better or worse—while the artists are able to consider their own choices and the direction of their lives in the process. According to one student involved, “the program makes me see the regret and fear of STD’s, hepatitis and HIV/AIDS.”

Many of the artists contributing work to See Inside have found ways to creatively address areas of great struggle in their lives. One young poet writes:
Like a monkey I climb, but
I fall like a baby bird.
See Inside also features works from teens through The Connecticut Juvenile Training School, Our Piece of the Pie, FSW, North American Family Institute, Innovation in Education and Children’s Community Programs of Connecticut.

Labels: , ,