Root Rot CHRIS BARNARD
with works by Michael Angelis
Open now through June 3rd at 1064 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT
Fred Giampietro gallery is pleased to present Root Rot, an exhibition of paintings by Chris Barnard.
In this body of work, Barnard focuses on White Supremacy’s relationship to the privileged spaces he frequents, such as art and educational institutions, and the role of those institutions in the perpetuation of racial violence. For Barnard, the particularities of the present socio-political context prompt an array of questions about painting—its purposes, possibilities, imperfections, and implications. What, for example, is and isn’t being depicted, is and isn’t being seen, in artwork? When wrestling with racial violence, what paths might be forged to illuminate without fetishizing, lay bare without lecturing, own up without self-congratulating? What might taking responsibility for Whiteness in order to renounce it look like, rendered in oil, on cotton cloth, stretched on trees? Is it even possible?
Prolific twitter presence Son of Baldwin recently asked, “Why do these white artists always want to depict black suffering, but never the white malice that causes it?” It’s an important question that Barnard engages in his work, attempting to place the perpetrators of racial violence where they so often are—exonerated, unindicted, in the middle of the frame, up on the pedestal, predators in plain sight.
In many of the compositions, which reference real spaces, Barnard has inserted fictional features that point to potential allegiances, investments, priorities, and unearned-and-yet-protected benefits. The resulting works are representational, but through gesture, color and surface manipulation, Barnard suggests instability, corrosion or decay. These works are the product of imperfect efforts to paint some of the evidence of things “seen” and “not seen” and to situate that evidence in ways that point back to our institutional and personal complicity with racism.
– Lauren Anderson, 2017
Barnard’s work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and San Diego, among other locations. He received his BA from Yale and his MFA from The University of Southern California. He is an Assistant Professor of Art at Connecticut College and lives with his partner in New Haven, CT.
In a recent statement, Michael Angelis wrote, “This new body of work is by no means an apogee, it’s instead an ongoing exploration of process, repetition and iconography. The loose representational imagery is mostly rendered from memory, although some referential work is involved as well. The symbolism of that imagery has personal meaning around themes of value, loss, hierarchy, authenticity and consumption. These themes I feel have always been present in my work, but were expressed more outwardly or perhaps subjectively in earlier pieces . . . Each piece in this ongoing series will, I hope, eventually serve as a kind of hieroglyph in a language that explains my purpose for creating artwork and will continue to evolve through changes in life, imagery, and physical interaction with materials.” 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 in many local exhibits.
MARK YOUR CALENDERS . . .
Our next Sweet Spot Series is Saturday, June 3, 2pm – Artist talk with Chris Barnard & Michael Angelis and a musical performance by Libby Van Cleve
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.