Those Who Can
Work by Boston University Painting Faculty
April 5 – May 1, 2019
Dana Clancy Lucy Kim
Jill Grimes Hugh O’Donnell
Josephine Halvorson Richard Raiselis
Jaya Howey Richard Ryan
Breehan James Marc Schepens
The Alpha Gallery is very pleased to present an exhibition of work by current faculty members of the painting department at Boston University. Representing a panoply of approaches to painting, these artists have each established unique voices and practices while also working in concert in the context of creating a dynamic teaching environment. As Dana Clancy, Director of the School of Visual Arts at BU, puts it: “There are so many conversations going on. It’s not just the individual voices. It’s greater than the sum of its parts. There is a sense of a greater whole, a sense of practice, a sense of working together while honoring our individuality.”
Dana Clancy explores the constructed environment and the ways in which architecture defines the human experience. Often based on museum sites, Clancy’s visual interplays of interior/exterior, light/shadow and reality/reflection create complex interpretations of these environments.
Jill Grimes’ paintings and works on paper vacillate between the cerebral study of plant forms and the expression of profound desire. She creates a “push-pull” between representation and flatness, between intensely realized objects and their more abstract stand-ins.
The “intimate visual encounter” might best describe the subject matter in Josephine Halvorson’s paintings. Whether portraying objects from nature (or the objects that nature discards) or something as seemingly simple as an old door or window, Halvorson invites us to contemplate them on their own terms.
The lines between word and image, traditional painting and alternative art forms are blurred in the work of Jaya Howey. A course description for a painting class, for example, is rendered in oil on canvas, thus becoming a commentary on what constitutes a painting as well as how to make a better one.
Breehan James draws inspiration from “19th century Nordic landscape painting and American and Canadian artist-adventurers.” Seeking a direct experience of rugged nature, she portrays lone animals, isolated cabins and other subjects that suggest “a psychological state of being both lost and found in nature.”
Working with casts of people, objects and animals, Lucy Kim teases reality from materials such as paint, resin and fiberglass. Inspired by photography’s complicated relationship with representation, Kim creates work that manipulates our sense of truth and authenticity.
Hugh O’Donnell’s gestural abstractions signal an imagined world brought to life through color and rhythm. References to forms from nature draw his paintings back from pure abstraction, while the influence of Zen ink painting lends the work a meditative pulse. O’Donnell’s “In A Folded Leaf” series fuses the painted image with sculptural dimension, like ink paintings made into objects.
Well-known for his urban scenes of Boston, Richard Raiselis often chooses a pigeon’s eye view to dramatic effect. There is serious play here: with painstaking detail, Raiselis renders reflections and refractions that distort our view of the original subject.
Richard Ryan’s brand of realism joins attention to detail with a sense of otherworldliness. Color is chosen for mood, not fidelity to the object portrayed. Space is manipulated to the point of disorientation. Ryan suggests a latent narrative, reluctantly revealed.
Marc Schepens employs a regenerative process in which he cuts and reassembles prints to create unique works. While he nudges at the idea of a grid, he simultaneously tests the grid’s ability to maintain order. There is beauty in imperfection.
This exhibition is presented in conjunction with Boston University’s MFA Thesis Exhibitions
Showing I: Painting
April 5 – 15
Showing II: Painting and Sculpture
April 20 – May 3
At Laconia Gallery
433 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02118