December Group Show
Buster Levi is pleased to present an exhibition by gallery artists along with Jeff Snider. Gallery artists included in the show are John Allen, Vincent Baldassano, Ada Pilar Cruz, Jenne M. Currie, Tim D’Acquisto, Barbara Smith Gioia, Eric Erickson, Grace Kennedy, Bill Kooistra, Martee Levi, Maria Pia Marrella, Ann Provan, Ursula Schneider and Lucille Tortora. This show will highlight works by each artist that exemplify the different directions their work has taken over the last few years.
The diversity of the artists in the Buster Levi gallery is demonstrated in this show with works ranging from representation to abstraction as well as works that exist in the area between both. In addition, the show will include a variety of mediums including sculpture, photography, painting, and collage. Representational artists include Ada Pilar Cruz, whose ceramic sculptures explore symbolism. The title of the work in this show is ‘Seer” and Cruz states; “In folklore and in traditions of shamanic practice, a Seer sees the past, the present and, perhaps, the future. Often, a Seer is considered to be a person whose actions, attitudes and comportment are outside what may be considered "normal" behavior, or rather, "deviant," foreign or "alien." This sculpture holds a mirror at eye level for the viewer to reflect on. Who is the Seer” The paintings of Grace Kennedy exist somewhere in between symbolism and reality. Based on quotidian sources, the use of color and value contrast enhances the emotional impact of the work and links them to the tradition of Albert Pinkam Ryder. Ursula Schneider examines symbolic relationships in a group of Moku Hanga woodcuts of maple, poppy and an aquatic leaves with that the image of a small face on each, connecting nature with humans implying our moment as a leaf in time. While Lucille Tortora’s photography uses some common subject matter, she also uses imagery from her travels that at times include iconic buildings and structures. Tortora’s emphasis on cropping and her manner of assembling images push her photographs toward abstraction.
Abstract artists in the show include Jenne M. Currie’s recent abstract acrylic paintings on paper. In these works, Currie explores the relationship between pigment, texture and shape as she layers color over color to create complex hues and dynamic composition. Barbara Smith Gioia’s work represents a bridge between traditional printmaking techniques and contemporary painting, drawing and collage. Smith Gioia weaves together disparate patterns of line, color, and shape into what she refers to as “reluctant harmonies.” Bill Kooistra’s paintings are also involved with surface and texture. In Kooistra’a work, the textures are derived from surfaces and patterns found in nature such as the bark of a tree or patterns found in shells. Martee Levi uses collaged scraps of painted canvas combined with drawn or painted lines. Levi states: “My works are abstract landscapes though the subject is unimportant as her concern is relationships. As Matisse once said I don't paint things I paint relationships. I love to discover the tensions created by dancing lines that seem to hold earth and sky together in a suggestion of cosmic harmony, of the fundamental unity of spirit and matter. Thus I am less concerned with immediate impact than drawing the viewer into the painting, in which I hope will find the wholeness which has its core a love for this world and the things in it.” The paintings in this show by Maria Pia Marrella have many affinities to her interest in dreams and primitive art. In the search for personal symbols, Marrella revisits some of her past canvases by painting over, scraping color and pulling out shapes from a dark, pictorial space leaving traces of markings from past history. “In the process of reworking, reinvention occurs: creating mysterious and lyrical compositions”. Ann Provan is a painter and sculptor working in a variety of media. Provan uses geometric shapes to explore illusions, transparency, and perspective. In this show, her watercolors explore the ambiguity of looking through a pierced screen to objects farther away and objects that appear to float in the foreground. Jeff Snider’s works are also involved with geometry through his use of a grid. In this exhibition, Snider is showing small intimate paintings where his use of color creates compositional rhythm and movement.
A few of the artists create works that exist between abstraction and representation. John Allen’s sculptures and mixed media objects explore the relationship between reality and metaphor. Common objects are either used, constructed or carved and are often combined with either simplified images or language that suggest a relationship between narrative and expression. Vincent Baldassano’s paintings are small acrylic and mixed media works on birch panel, reconstructed from his imagination inspired by ancient architectural structures. Tim D’Acquisto works in drawing, painting and assemblage. In each, D’Acquisto focuses on the possibilities of texture and shape, while referring to representational sources in varying degrees. Eric Erickson’s paintings combine simplified and expressionist images in painterly fields of color. Structurally, Erickson explores the tension between compositions that appear to fall apart while holding together, using images that are often related to this tension such as bricks that are used to build stable structures but often in Erickson’s works they are apart and in separate places on the canvas.
The opening reception will be on Friday, December 4, 2015, from 6-8pm. The show will run through Sunday, December 27, 2015. The Buster Levi gallery is open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12 pm to 6pm.