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Friday, October 31, 2014

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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