Artist Reception is on Saturday, April 1st, 6-8pm
Artist Talk is on Saturday, April 29th, 2pm
Celia Johnson has stated about her process; “I began to find my way only when I realized that the subject of my work can in fact be the work in progress itself: its evolving shapes, forms and colors accumulating to articulate a document of myself at a given moment in time.”
Her encaustic on wood pieces are born of curiosity and an engaging of an apolitically motivated aesthetic exploration of the space that they inhabit. Each of Johnson’s pieces is a record of the experience in making, a self reflection and captured moment represented in opaque fields of color edging, butting, overlapping and interacting within the finite space of the wood panel. Celia Johnson studied at the California College of the Arts and ITP, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. She has exhibited her work internationally and lives and works in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Donald Martiny is an Artist who’s work is designed with immediacy in mind. Martiny dismissed the conventional rectangular painting format in favor of unique, piece specific sculptural form. The goal of this system is to directly engage the viewer, to remove the window usually used as an entry to visually consumed Art in favor of work that approaches the onlooker. Through a process of trial and error Martiny has developed a unique pigment rich polymer with which he constructs his paintings, physically entering them during their formation, relating large bold form of brushstroke and the limits of his reach and constraints of his movement. In an interview with The Woven Tale Press in 2016, Martiny expressed “…let me make clear that these works are actual brushstrokes. Many people mistake them for sculptures or molds. They are not forms that have been painted, they are pure paint through and through that I make with large brushes or directly with my hands. Brushstrokes are human, personal, and intimate.” Donald Martiny has exhibited his work with the FWMoA, Courtauld Institute of Art, Alden B Dow Museum of Art, Falmouth Museum, and the Cameron Art Museum. Martiny’s work is also permanently installed in the lobby of One World Trade Center in New York City. He lives and works in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Mark your calendars for Thursday, March 30th, 6-8pm! The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County and Silvermine Arts Center announce a series of conversations and events around the theme of Cultivating Collectors. Fred Giampietro, Fernando Luis Alvarez, Isabella Garrucho, and Amy Simon make up the panel for the “State of the Union” discussion, a review of the state of the business of art collecting and art sales locally and nationally. The panel will be moderated by Martha Willette Lewis. For more information please follow this link: Cultivating Collectors
Thank you to everyone who attended the second installment of the FRED.GIAMPIETRO Gallery’s Sweet Spot Series on March 11th, which featured a breathtaking improvised musical performance with Taylor Ho Bynum and Carl Testa and engaging Artist talk with Zachary Keeting and Daniel John Gadd. If you missed out on attending this past installment, keep your schedule open for our third installment on June 3rd at 2pm featuring acclaimed musician Libby Van Cleve as well as an Artist talk with Chris Barnard and Michael Angelis. For more information on the upcoming Sweet Spot Series event, please visit our Future Exhibition page at Future Exhibitions at FRED.GIAMPIETRO Gallery.
FRED.GIAMPIETRO Gallery’s current exhibition; what a simple thing it seemed, that vast yellow light sailing slowly: Zachary Keeting and Daniel John Gadd
February 25, 2017 – March 25, 2017
Zackary Keeting is a documenter and painter, whose work is an amalgam of loose gestural technique layered with refined tight lines, cracked and dissolving fields against deconstructed natural and invented forms and pattern. His human scale works on canvas and paper challenge interpretation with their battling assertions of both spontaneous and intentional structures in cohabitation. Keeting’s pieces can be both examples of the technical limits of his chosen medium and also symbolic representations of the recognizable and relatable, offering a viewer entry points marked with overt resistance.
Daniel John Gadd is a Brooklyn based Artist who works with a plethora of materials and tools, both traditional and unexpected to create large scale mixed media constructions. His wall sculptures are representational of nature and personal experience, offering access by means of media and execution choices such as shattered mirrors and atypical non-symmetrical form paired with illustrative titles. Gadd’s work embraces an intentionally skewed geometry challenging notions of perfection while relating organic and human qualities.
Join us at FRED.GIAMPIETRO Gallery, 1064 Chapel Street, for the second edition of the Sweet Spot Series on Saturday, March 11th at 2p.m. for an Artists talk with Zachary Keeting and Daniel John Gadd, paired with live music by Taylor Ho Bynum and Carl Testa.
The “Y” in lyfe
Walking into “The Joi of Lyfe” exhibit is much like stepping into the mindcastle of a kindergartener — the images he would draw could cleanly convey his beaming impressions of the world. Or, should I say, the images *they* would draw, for the underlying theme of the work of Caroline Wells Chandler, the exhibit’s featured artist, is separation from socially constructed definitions such as gender and “queerness as the normative state.” But, if that is too nebulous an explanation, in the artist’s own words, this collection explores “the triumphant return of Ongo: the voyager of this tale. Ongo is a halfling born of a trumpa lumpa and a rose queen. In this chapter he has returned to the village of the Ivory Fortress accompanied with friends, helpers, guides and most importantly S.C.O.T.T.’s to spread good, good, good, good vibrations.”
I think that story snippet accurately describes his display. Walking in, I felt inclined to think in spurts, or exclamations, or any communication which skips the filter of socially constructed mandatory mental processing. Chandler’s collection is comprised of large crocheted smiling people-blobs engaging energetically with each other. Each shape is distinctly human, but the vibrant colors and basic shapes — like a child drawing the parts they know compose the human form rather than drawing what they see directly from reality — make it so the gender, ethnicity, age or really any specific quality is impossible to identify. This does not mean the people look all the same. It’s the emotion in each person-blob, inspired by people from Chandler’s life, which differentiates them and allows them to carry unique charm. Chandler highlights their individuality by naming each personality.
“Chris” smiles on one wall, his lower eyelids raised halfway as if fighting back a well of excited tears; he runs in socks along the path of his gaze which is locked with the eyes of “Tamara” who is landing from flight, cape fluttering, feet socked and with her upper eyelids drooped in an expression of drunken, blind love for “Chris.” The adjoining walls display a spectrum of love varying from the playfulness of the many jumping “B.E.R.T.’s” to the purposeful comradery which accompanies “Jennifer,” “Travis” and “Rachel’s” drum circle.
I was struck then, by the more somber tone of Larry Lewis’s collages in the second half of the room. His art featured similar pop colors to Chandler’s work, but both the texture and tone present in his pieces felt more staring and accusatory. While Chandler’s people-blobs leaping from the walls with their soft, bumpy, yarny surfaces felt freed from social expectation, Lewis’s pieced-together forms, crinkled from drying glue, felt bound by it. Made of advertisements, labels and other bits of consumer culture literally plastered into place, the people in his art are built by the propaganda of their surroundings.
In one larger piece, a simply depicted woman dons a neon heart over her chest, it reads: “Hearts of the World.” Near the hem of her long solid red dress is a clipping in matching neon and large clear font advertising the “Roche Electric Hygiene Machine” which promises to miraculously heal you from a wide assortment of diseases, ranging from prostate gland trouble to varicose veins, traipsing far and wide across any need someone might have, mocking the consumerism that expanded throughout the course of Lewis’s life in the late 20th century and which persists in modern day America. It seems to address the pains of life and the human draw to a cure-all, providing well-being and persistent happiness, while casting doubt through the blank stares of his figures on whether consumption is the proper means to an end.
Paired together, these collections as one exhibit showcase the unity of what it means to be human, the timeworn question of how nature and nurture play together. Chandler’s work reminds the viewer of each person’s individuality and potential for love, and Lewis’s brings you to pause and consider how and why that individual has been morphed, broken and reassembled as they move forward through life. It is a two-part exhibit which, if you will, explores the “i” in joi and the “why” in lyfe.
Sorry for the delay! Here are some images from the opening reception of, “The Joi of Lyfe” featuring the work of Caroline Wells Chandler and Larry Lewis. In the project space, are works by Loren Britton. This exhibition is guaranteed to brighten your day at FRED.GIAMPIETRO Gallery,1064 Chapel Street in New Haven, now through February 18th.
FRED.GIAMPIETRO Gallery’s Annual Holiday Exhibition
November 25 – December 23, 2016
Opening Reception is Thursday, December 1st, 6-8pm
Find your special someone a gift that will be forever treasured! We will be offering an incredible selection of works priced for the holiday gift giving season.
Michael Angelis • Chris Barnard • John Benicewicz • Power Boothe • Bernard Chaet • Emilia Dubicki • Cham Hendon • Danny Huff • Blinn Jacobs • Celia Johnson • Clint Jukkala • Zachary Keeting • Elisa Lendvay • Becca Lowry • Will Lustenader • Richard Lytle • Jane Miller • Loren Myhre • Jeremiah Palececk • Jana Paleckova • Steven Powers • Peter Ramon • Enrico Riley • Jonathan Waters • Becky Yazdan
Aspasia Anos • Jeremy Chandler • William Georgenes • Bob Gregson • Meg Hitchcock • Barbara Coyle Holt • Sol LeWitt • Adam Lovitz • Tizzie Mills • Gerald Saladyga • Kurt Steger • Robert Taplin • Amy Vensel • Don Voisine • Joan Zagrobelny
and a selection of small gifts and folk art
Tomorrow, Novemebr 19th, is your last chance to view new paintings by Power Boothe and sculptures by Elisa Lendvay. Read a wonderful review of the exhibition below by Tiana Wang for the Yale Daily News.
Between lovely lines
To take notes on graph paper is to resist the temptation to doodle. But Power Boothe has succumbed; he succumbed nearly 40 years ago. Since 1971, Boothe has been exploring the interplay between structure and chaos in his grid-based abstract paintings.
The concept of grid-based abstract paintings seems, at first, to be inherently contradictory. Abstract art brings to mind paint splatters, solid colors and unconstrained emotion. Grids are regular in their consistency, a neat framework meant to control and guard against disorder. In his paintings, Boothe does not focus on the opposition between the two so much as how each works with the other. The dichotomies seem irreconcilable in theory, but there is little tension on the canvas — colors and lines merge organically above pencil-sketched squares.
The first two pieces of the exhibit, “Transient” and “Long Tale,” introduce the techniques and motifs that emerge over and over again in Boothe’s pieces. From far away they look like clean lines and solid colors, but up close they become impressions without certainty. The lines smudge and bleed into bright areas of color, creating ombre effects that suggest melting boundaries. White space is concentrated in the middle of the composition, but concentrated is a strong word — the patches of white loosely form a meandering path not unlike the mazes in elementary school workbooks.
Boothe’s work is not just playful in its maze-like layouts, but also in the shape of the lines and color choices. Most pieces — “Recursion,” “Findings,” “Ellipses #12,” for example — combine muted, soothing shades of pastel with the boldness of intense primary colors. In paint, Boothe traces straight lines that follow the grid before unexpectedly swaying into s-curves and rounded corners. Sometimes they hesitate and continue into dots and dashes. The lines also run into geometrically-inspired areas of colors. When intentional smears make a line occupy a space beyond its usual narrow stretch, is it still a line?
Each abstract painting is like a game of connect the dots, played with different rules. Sometimes the dots are connected, and other times not, as in “Heraclitean Fire,” where the randomness of lines speaks to the illogical nature of passion and anger. “Quiet Fury #5” sends a similar message, but the anger is simultaneously suppressed by the calming cobalt background, into which lines seem to sink. Blue takes on a different meaning in “Fracture,” however, serving to enhance a sense of disruption and removal. Even as the change in hues constructs the disconnectedness between parts, the color blue ironically unites the piece. “Surfacing” is also blue and white, but the story it tells is one of fabrication in progress, not deconstruction. Captured mid-action, the lines will not fully surface, and the question of whether they will assemble into a larger, more complete picture remains unanswered.
Boothe’s art often defies the clear-cut, tending towards being intentionally messy, overlapping and blending together. “Beginnings” is a creative take on cave paintings, rich with graceful transitions in multicolored lines that stand out on a beige, cave-like background. In “Entangle,” different designs rest on top of one another, making harmonious patterns from pieces that shouldn’t fit together. The little islands of vibrant color that stand out in a sea of white seem to be at the brink of change, and the piece itself appears to be unsure, deciding between whether to reflect the process of destruction or discovery.
Interspersed throughout the gallery, sculptures by Elisa Lendvay echo and expand on themes of discovery and reveal. A pun on the word “archangel,” “Archangle” places common household items in an unconventional setting. Metal lids, crushed aluminum cans and pie tins are strung together like a strange skewer splashed with color. Lendvay incorporates materials unassociated in daily life into one structure and makes it seem natural, the artifact of an alternative world. Through this curious collaboration, Lendvay juxtaposes barrenness and exposure with cover — “Nest,” “Curve/Rednet” — and practical use with elaborate and fanciful design — “Deadwood,” “Ruffle.”
Abstract art gets a bad rep. It’s “artsy” without substance, some people say, or perhaps muddled with too much substance to have a concrete focus. Too confusing, too foreign. But when I walked into the Fred Giampietro Gallery and first saw the works of Power Boothe and Elisa Lendvay, I felt like I had returned to my childhood home. Once again I was sitting at my desk with crayons, piles of maze worksheets and board games in front of me and pie tins laid out on the kitchen countertop, ready to be repurposed. Once again, there was space to color outside the lines.