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Fly'n Gypsy Arts & Graphics

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Painting and painterly effects in mixed media at Artropolis

A variety of techniques referencing painting were on display at this year’s Artropolis.


Shin-Young An, “Limb Series: Unblinking”, oil on prepared newspaper, 30 X 30 inches. Image courtesy of Patrajdas website.


At Molesworth Gallery of Dublin, Ireland, the abstract shapes of photorealist Patrick Redmond’s Untitled (Bubble series) glowed with the dynamic hues of the rainbow. Within the Focus Projects space, kasia kay projects gallery presented the large oil painted figures of Rim Lee. Across from their booth, in the main hall, Patrajdas arranged a selection of Shin-Young An’s Limb Series, oil paintings of delicately rendered figures and limbs exploring the impact of current issues represented by a prepared ground of newspaper articles.

At Contemporary Works Lisa Holden’s large format mixed media works explore identity through a combined process involving photography, painting, and layering with digital tools. At Chosun Gallery of Seoul, Korea presented traditional Dak paste paper works by Soon-ok Hahm that expand on the painted form to express actively in three dimensions the nature and possibilities of paper. A lesser known member of Abstraction Creation, R. Leroy Turner was highlighted at Richard Norton Gallery, where his intimately sized works revealed a strong sense of composition and uniquely activated painted surfaces in gouache and oil. A unique example of contemporary photography from the Focus Photography series, Deborah Orapallo’s Head Nurse was on display at Turner Caroll Gallery.

Exhibiting within the NEXT exhibit, the Molesworth Gallery is one of Ireland's leading contemporary art galleries. Hosting an average of ten exhibitions annually, Molesworth Gallery is located at 16 Molesworth Street, in Dublin, Ireland. The gallery covers the ground and first floors of a large Georgian house in Dublin's city center with additional work by gallery artists in the upstairs exhibition space. In addition, they collaborate with arts centers and museums to present shows for their artists and promote them at international art fairs such as Artropolis.
Born in Dublin in 1976, artist Patrick Redmond has worked for a long time in oil. Until recently, his work involved photorealistic portraits that give insight into both subject and painter, due to their introspective and non-sentimental approach. His technical approach and mastery of the medium may be influenced by his education, which includes studying at Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art’s Design and Technology department.

Revealed at this year’s NEXT, Redmond’s Untitled (Bubble series) display the vibrant depth of hue typical to oil and soap bubbles. His choice of unique concentric presentation, placing his bubbles on circular canvases creates a tension via the sphere within a sphere. This current series is a transition from the artist’s “almost forensic” photorealistic portraits of people in states of isolated emotion, and occasional still-life’s and landscapes. Redmond described his “aesthetic project” with those portrait works, as shown in the exhibit TRAUM, as the attempt to “describe the sentimental without sentimentality.” The distinctly unsentimental renderings of bubbles in this latest series perhaps travel back to Redmond’s earlier inspection of the uncanny, albeit in an everyday object. His focus and textures draw in the eye and create the illusion of dimension, as if these bubbles were sculpture or ready to burst from their canvas confines. (Quotes are from from Aodhan Floyd's introduction to the TRAUM exhibit.) For more on this gallery and the artist, see the website: http://www.molesworthgallery.com/

kasia kay art projects gallery is located at 215 N. Aberdeen Street in Chicago, Illinois. The gallery shared the work of one of their international artists, Rim Lee, in the Focus Projects space, floor center of the NEXT show. With Lee’s unique perspective, she brings the viewer into her own phantasmal world via the action of seeing and applying brush to canvas. With oversized canvases, the artist confronts the viewer with larger than life photorealist portraits and figures that delve into the muck of emotion via physicality and expressive gesture mediated by literal matter upon the portrayed. For example, with the Mess of Emotion No. 12, Lee’s female subject liberally applies a paint or mud mask to her face. The subject is obscuring and revealing herself in the gesture and expression.

This work also comments upon the commonality of certain sensations, expressions and the feeling of being of the same mind. In his artist statement, Lee states: “I believe that one admits the difference and similarity of each creature through interacting with each other.” Born in 1982, the artist earned her B.F.A. in 2007 and studied painting in 2010, at Sookmyung Women’s University, in Seoul, South Korea. Her work is in various private collections in Australia, UAE, Korea, the UK, and Europe. For more on this artist and the gallery, visit the website: http://www.kasiakaygallery.com/

Patrajdas Contemporary Art and Consulting is located at 2021 W. Fulton in suite K219, in Chicago, Illinois. Presenting the work of Shin-Young An, among other artists, Patrajdas regularly attends art fairs around the country. An’s Limb Series, pictured above, features richly memorial faces, hands and candles depicted in oil on a backdrop of prepared newspaper. This activated surface of contemporary issues lies beneath crisp or diffused imagery. “The artist is Korean born, and currently resides in New York,” explained a Gallery Representative at Art Chicago. Shin-Young An states that her work involves “explorations of the unfortunate reality of our present world, and [her] response to social and environmental issues.” In the gallery flyer for Artropolis, Shin-Young’s Limb Series is described as “[juxtaposing] the visual interaction of limbs and portraits against a backdrop of current exceptional and often disturbing news articles.” It is the power of social circumstance that imbues these works with a sense of the memorial, cued by the artist’s own emotional response and sense of helplessness to change these circumstances. An states “I can no longer ignore the effect that outside events are having on me.” She navigates the fraught social sphere through “attempting to do paintings that convey [her] emotional response to…the unfortunate reality of our present world.” Of the work, Shin-Young An explains: “I depict these reactions through the visual interaction of limbs, portraits and flowers painted against a backdrop of current news articles that have touched me. The limb series of my work juxtapose ordinary routine tasks with exceptional and often disturbing events.” For more of the artist’s works visit her page at: http://www.patrajdas.com/artists/AnSY/an.html . For more about Patrajdas, please visit their site: http://www.patrajdas.com/

The partnership of Contemporary Works and Vintage Works merges offerings of photography that cover the spectrum of 19th and 20th century works into the realm of emerging works. The gallery, open by appointment only, is located at 258 Inverness Circle, Chalfont, Pennsylvania. The Vintage Works branch “specializes in vintage master images printed close to the time the original photograph was created.” Representing work from American, French, English and Eastern European master photographers, and anonymous work, the two divisions are run by Alex Novak. Novak has over thirty five years’ experience in the field of photography sales and collecting. Novak also writes and publishes the E-Photo Newsletter. Contemporary Works/Vintage Works offers a range of services to collectors. For more information about the galleries two branches visit their websites at: http://www.contemporaryworks.net & http://www.vintageworks.net/

The Contemporary Works branch deals specifically in contemporary art photography, which according to the gallery mission “[includes] mixed-media pieces, large-scale color photographs, black and white contemporary photography, and contemporary daguerreotypes and other alternative processes.” Currently representing some 14 contemporary artists, the stable includes mixed media artist Lisa Holden, who was represented with a grouping of works in Art Chicago.

Lisa Holden was born in Britain and currently lives and works in Amsterdam, in the Netherlands. Her chromogenic prints on Fugi crystal are a combination of photographic and mixed media techniques. These monumental works with their dreamlike deep spaces, close figures and collaged layers of digital imagery draw the eye and intrigue the mind. The varying distance of subject and landscape elements references the artist’s dream world and a place of subjectivity. With rich color and dynamic figural poses these works reflect a dialogue of emergence.

Holden has explored identity and self via the concept of multiplicity and the navigation of relationships. Utilizing photography, digital imaging, painting, performance art, drawing and video, the artist crafts self-portraits and archetypal references to mythic identities as she responds to the speed of contemporary society. Holden’s personal vision is influenced by technology, the fracturing of cultural and personal identities and attendant displacement common for so many individuals in our fraught global social sphere. Through her mixed media approach, the artist appropriates all the tools at her disposal to expand on the successes of photography in the past and bring new aspects into being. Her methods involve still or video images captured and recombined in a process that collages moments into epic combinations. By printing out the works during the process, Holden introduces hand crafted elements of drawing and painting, before returning to digital manipulation to continue the development. Some of this final stage involves use of selected portions of Victorian or classical paintings, and the interpretation of myths and poetry. In their final form, Holden’s works contain as many as forty layers. The resulting prints, ranging in size from thirty by forty inches on paper to several meter spans on Diasec or aluminum mounts with ultraviolet laminates, present dramatic staging of persona and place.

With works like her Constructed Landscapes series, the artist presents “dreamscapes she recalls on waking… [the]instinctual wishes of a body and mind desiring to get out.” In her latest series, Holden explores the myth of Lilith. For the artist, this character represents “the beautiful bearer of disease and death, Adam’s first wife”...or the “Lamia, seductress [and] stealer of children. In today's turbulent times, the myth of Lilith seems an apt starting point.” Exploring the duality of famous mythological figures presents concepts of “beauty and destruction, the flesh and the spirit, order and chaos” that resonate with the tensions of our times. Anneke Bokern, in her 2007 article for Eyemazing magazine, compares Holden’s work to the elongated formats of Edward Burne-Jones or Gustav Klimt, while N. Elizabeth Schlatter’s 2007 article for Focus magazine draws corollaries to the art of Cindy Sherman, Pipilotti Rist and Tracey Moffat. These art historical and contemporary comparisons bridge the long range of influences visible in the artist’s oeuvre.

Holden has work in museums such as the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affiars, and the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. Her work is in corporate collections and is represented at many international fairs. Contemporary Works has a wide selection of the artist’s work available for viewing on their website at: http://www.contemporaryworks.net/artists/artist_imgs.php/1/4205

Chosun Art Gallery is located at suite 2F 110 in the COEX Convention Center at 159 Samsung-Dong, Kangnam-Gu, in Seoul, 135-100, Korea. Representing Soon-ok Hahm, the gallery displays a variety of works on paper. In Hahm’s selected works, the artist explores the use of traditional Dak paste paper, relief effects achieved through sculpting, and the painted image upon paper. Deeply rooted in traditional Korean art, the use of Dak paste paper is a metaphor for the nation’s character and an activated field for expression. The artist’s statement on the gallery website states: “The pure white of the paper suggests [our] soft, clean and warm ethnic character, while the roughness suggests our national strength. ...this pure white is accented by the shadows of the relief. Traditional Korean paper is no longer just [an] empty place waiting to be painted. It becomes an active expression itself, the means of a thousand expressions.” The work, covered in painted butterflies on built paper that structurally references both the pages of a book and the strength of a building’s construction.

Hahm earned an M.F. A. at the Graduate School of Ewha Woman’s University. Among the fourteen solo exhibitions she has participated in were presentations at the Insa Art Center, Seoul Arts Center, Kumho Museum, Garam Gallery, and the Seoul City Art Center. The artist has been part of twenty-four international exhibitions including those located in China, Japan, Australia, France, Russia and the United States of America. . In addition, she has been in over sixty domestic and international group exhibitions. For more about Soon-ok Hahm: http://www.chosunartgallery.com/artfair/2011koreaartshow/artfair_2011koreaartshow.htm
For more information about the gallery: http://www.chosunartgallery.com/

Richard Norton Gallery is located at 612 Merchandise Mart Plaza, in Chicago, Illinois. Richard Norton Gallery specializes in Impressionist and Modern paintings, drawings, and sculpture from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The gallery offers a wide range of services including consultation, appraisal, consignment, and purchase of artwork. For more about the gallery visit: http://www.richardnortongallery.com/

Born in Sherwood North Dakota, painter R. Leroy Turner studied under Cameron Booth and Edmund Kinziner at the University of Minnesota before continuing his studies in Europe. A member of Abstraction Creation, Turner participated in the group’s exhibits in Paris and Poland in 1936. Turner was an educator, instructing at the Art Students League of New York, the St. Paul School of Art, in Art and Architecture at the University of Minnesota, and the Stillwater Art Colony. For two years, Turner was the Assistant Director of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis Minnesota. During this same period he completed a WPA mural at Two Harbors High School. His final seven years were spent teaching art at Hamline University, in St. Paul Minnesota.

Turner Carroll Gallery and art advisors is located at 725 Canyon Road, in Santa Fe, New Mexico and deal specifically in “international contemporary art by established, museum-track artists.” With physical exhibition spaces in Dallas, Texas and in Santa Fe, New Mexico in the United States of America, and international curated spaces in Punta Mita, Mexico at two local hotels: the Four Seasons Punta Mita, and the St. Regis Punta Mita. The gallery was established in 1991 by partners Tonya Turner Carroll and Michael Carroll. Tapping into the current movements in art around the globe, recent contemporary exhibitions have featured cutting edge work from Romania, Ireland, France, Russia and Mexico. Drawing strongly upon education in the history of art, the owners position the work of their artists within a variety of exposure opportunities including museum and gallery exhibits, published catalogs and international art fairs. For more information about the gallery: http://www.turnercarrolgallery.com/

At Artropolis, I spoke with representative Stephen Buxton, in general about the gallery and the event, but specifically about artist Deborah Oropallo. The artist’s cutting edge digital photography utilizes a paint stroke application for unique presentations of pigment on canvas prints. Oropallo’s Head Nurse was exhibited as a part of the Focus Photography series, an Art Chicago and Next presentation featuring floor-wide exhibitions. This series includes “exemplary works surveying contemporary and vintage photography.” The eye-catching colors and large format of Deborah Oropallo’s Head Nurse drew me in, where I could examine the subtle layers of the revealed photographic content. Her unusual process applies a painterly stroke to the digital photographs she takes, combines and appropriates. Deborah Oropallo was born in 1954 in Hackensack, New Jersey. She studied at Alfred University, in Alfred, New York where she earned her B.F.A., in 1979. She continued her education with, in 1982, a M.A., and in 1983 M.F.A., both from the University of California, Berkeley, California. Her work is included in numerous public collections including museums in Maryland, California, Idaho, Hawaii, Wisconsin and Massachusetts. For more information on Oropallo, see the Turner Carroll Gallery website: www.turnercarrolgallery.com

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