Monday, January 28, 2013

Play @Panza

Play @ Panza

I loved Tim Fabian's statement about his curatorial intentions for the Play exhibit:
"In one way or another each of the people in this show evidence play in their work. I think of this show as my loose group of playmates."
His caliber of playmates is extraordinary. There is a lot of good work in the Play exhibit, and some artists used this opportunity to step out and present work that is new and exploratory.

Bill Wade
Bill Wade at Panza

Bill Wade had several abstract pieces, focused on vibrant color and pure shape. The works are created on photographic paper, using objects and light. Although Mr. Wade is best known for his documentary style of work, it is obvious that these works are something that he has been exploring for awhile.

Jean McClung
Jean McClung

Oh now, this was just a wonderful piece. Ms. McClung has been blending transparencies and light into small sculptures for several years. This permutation of the idea is wonderfully freash, and does embody the concept of play quite well. FYI, Jean McClung is in an upcoming exhibit in April at ModernFormations.

David Grim
David Grim

Okay, so this was like striptease meets art. David Grim's work usually draws a lot from distorted images and surreal concepts. For Play, Mr. Grim covered his work with small photos. The artist was selling each of these small photos for one thin sawbuck, gradually unveiling the work that was actually what he was presenting. When I was at the opening, the above was all that you could see of the collage underneath. Here's the final reveal.

George Kollar
George Kollar

The works presented by George Kollar were so very expressive. At first glance, I assumed that they were traditional drawing materials. But these works were created directly on photographic paper. The non-traditional format made the works even more compelling. Photographic paper, worked with the chemicals used in darkroom work lend the pieces some interesting qualities.

The exhibit is up through February 16 and is well worth the trip over to Millvale. While you're there, stop by Pamela's Diner, right around the corner from Panza. If it's good enough for our First Lady... Honestly, it's great diner food.

Jan. 19, to Feb. 16, 2013.
Panza's image album
Panza Gallery

gallery hours:
wd.thur.fri 10-5
& sat 10-3

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Laurie Trok: Words for Poems

Laurie Trok
Laurie Trok (photo credit to Garret Jones)
Laurie Trok's Words for Poems is romantic and seductive. The gallery was dim, with most of the light coming from small flashlights playing over the pieces. The opening was very active, with guests interacting with the works by playing light over the installed cut paper pieces. The delicate shadows distended and contracted across the walls, imbuing the space with subtle movement.

The scale of the works ranged from intimate to grand. One section of the gallery was installed with dozens of tiny pieces scattered across the wall. The interplay between light and shadow was fascinating in this installation. Shadows cast across the individual pieces seemed in the act of reaching but not quite touching, creating a tension of desire.

Each of the paper cut pieces are complex and delicate, curved and suspended, with an illusion of floating. The artist suggests that the viewing of the exhibit is best at night, but each permutation of light will emphasize different aspects of the exhibit. The paper cut pieces themselves are marvelously detailed, and in a more uniform light, the works will tangle in your eye.

Words for Poems is a very short run exhibit. The doors opened on Saturday and the show closes on Friday, January 25. Laurie will be sitting the gallery Tuesday and Wednesday to extend the gallery hours, and Fe Gallery has regular hours on Thursday and Friday. It's well worth the effort to get to the exhibit while there is an opportunity.

Additional images available

More info about this exhibit

FeGALLERY | 4012 Butler Street, Pittsburgh PA 15201 | 412-254-4038
Thu - Fri: 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Sat: 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Sun: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Box Heart Gallery's Art Inter/National

Kuzana Ogg Tulsi
Kuzana Ogg Tulsi

In an exhibit of exceptional works, there are always a few that really stand out. Frankly, this is more a matter of personal preference than it is an objective opinion. Since I am a painter myself, I am drawn towards this media.

The Art Inter/National at Box Heart has several very good painters represented on the gallery walls. I was particularly struck by Kuzana Ogg's work (pictured above) and I am thrilled that she was selected for a focus exhibit in February for Box Heart's Artist of the Year. Both of the paintings have a beautiful surface appeal, with glazes of color superimposed over a base of uniform marks. The final work seems highly polished, with a subtle gleam. The works seem to play on the themes of uniformity and randomness, reconciling their duality by exploring their complex relationship. I very much look forward to seeing the presentation of her exhibit in February.

MEHRDAD KHATAEI: Iran. Lost at the Pigsty no. 3
Mehrdad Khataei
Lost at the Pigsty no. 3
Heather Kanazawa Reflect
Heather Kanazawa

The exhibit is nicely balanced between nonobjective abstractions and representational works. For instance, Mehrdad Khataei (above, left) has two drawings that are at the other end of the spectrum from Ms. Ogg's work. The works are bold, expressive, and have an incredible energy. I have a love of confident marks, I think that's why I find this work so very engaging.

As I have said, I am drawn to painting. I found Heather Kanazawa's work (above, right) rather interesting, for its color as well as its hand. The contrast of value plays very well against the orchestration of muted color that dominates the small work. There's a lot of information packed into such a small work. But the marks are completely in proportion to the scale of the work.

These are just a few highlights from an exceptional show that includes ceramics, video, drawing, painting and encaustic works. The selections come from around the globe, and around the US. Make a point to get there over the next week, before the show comes down. I am sure you'll find something to love as much as I did.

The 12th Annual Art Inter/National Exhibition... here and abroad
Box Heart Gallery
January 8 - February 2, 2013
View artwork

Urbane - Paintings by Box Heart's 2013 Artist of the Year
February 5 - March 2, 2013
Public Reception: Saturday, February 9th: 5-8pm

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What I'm doing this weekend

Play @Panza Gallery Words for Poems @Fe Gallery Looking @U

It's so nice when the universe aligns and so many good things happen at one time. Granted, there are plenty of weekends, weekdays and holidays when good things happen. Universal alignment is when they are all happening in proximity to where I live.

Play promises to be a really great show, because I am pretty familiar with most of the artists. Since it's also curated by Tim Fabian, I am more than sure the exhibit will be a good one. The list of artists, in case you are curious:

Sue Abramson, Ruth Drescher, David Grim, Tom Gigliotti, George Kollar, Jean McClung, Mark Panza, Michael Sahaida, William D. Wade

Now, isn't your curiosity piqued?

Please please try to make it to Fe for Words for Poems. I am familiar with Laurie Trok's work and it is exceptional. But the show has a VERY short run and will be gone before you know it. If you happen to be in Larryville during Fe's extended hours for the show, venture down to Espresso A Mano. It's just a few blocks away from Fe, serves great coffee, and currently is hosting David Grim's work on it's walls.
David Grim: Looking @U
More information about this show
Espresso A Mano
3623 Butler St

Play, opening January 19, 2013
More information about this exhibit
Panza Gallery
115 Sedgwick Street
Millvale Pa 15209

Words for Poems, opening January 19 2013 at Fe Gallery
More info about this exhibit
FeGALLERY | 4012 Butler Street, Pittsburgh PA 15201 | 412-254-4038
Thu - Fri: 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Sat: 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Sun: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Beautiful Dreamers: Paintings by Sonja Sweterlitsch

Sonja Sweterlitsch
Sonja Sweterlitsch Heather
 As a painter myself, I am specifically interested in what other brush plyers are doing pursuing in their work. There's always something that you can learn from another painter, from color to handling the media. I definitely took a lot away from Ms. Sweterlitsch's work.

Sonja Sweterlitsch
Sonja Sweterlitsch
In Beautiful Dreamers, Sonja Sweterlitsch presents an extensive series of contemporary portraits. The works are finely painted, with subtle color grades and painterly texture. The models are classically poised, but wear contemporary clothing ranging from formal to casual. With the backgrounds left relatively simple, the figure stands out. But the grounds are not without nuance and in some cases feature a metallic pigment or an ornamental pattern.

As an exhibit, the show is remarkable in its serenity, and in the beauty of the portrayed women. Without exception, the women are slim, beautiful and young. I suppose that is why the portraits seem so idealized, painted as they are with a sense of reverence. Each portrait is accompanied by a short story, outlining the artist's relationship with the model.

The exhibit is in place for a couple more weeks. In these early days of the year, with all the grey weather that we are having, this would be a great destination for a visit.  

Beautiful Dreamers: Paintings by Sonja Sweterlitsch
Show dates: December 7, 2012 - January 12, 2013
4012 Butler Street, Pittsburgh PA 15201
Thu - Fri: 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Sat: 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Sun: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm