Color plays a vitally important role in the world in which we live. It can sway thinking, cause reactions and stir emotions at first glance. Carrie Haddad Gallery is pleased to present an exhibit showcasing Summer Color in a group show of four gallery artists including Stephen Walling, Vincent Pomilio, Marion Vinot and Anne Francey. Whether various techniques are used to create compositions of ethereal flora, playful portraits, or abstracted relationships of line, shadow and design, these artists communicate powerful statements through select color schemes. The exhibit will be on view July 13th through August 28th with an artist reception on Sunday, July 17th from 2-4pm. All are welcome to attend.
Stephen Walling demonstrates a trained eye with wall relief sculptures of colorfully painted wood strips and blocks, intricately carved and composed into graphic arrangements. After a long career as an award winning art director at Conde Nast Publications, approaching such a tactile material came naturally to an artist with experience in handmade furniture and design. A look inside Walling’s creative lair reveals piles of sawdust that blanket the floor while towers of mixed paint containers find their home next to scraps of wood destined for a new piece. The traces of his artistic process suggest there is rarely a dull moment in this workshop.
Although Walling’s sculptures are crafted around a dedication to color and shape, his newest body of works reveals a shift in inspiration and evolution in studio process. In earlier work, the artist took his cues from nature; representational forms based on the shapes of trees, slopes of the Catskill mountains and even aerial views were most prevalent. He also experimented with photo-collage, pasting images of back lit forests on varying heights of wood. More recently, Walling has found increasing comfort in the possibilities of abstraction. Walling now follows a kind of ‘mind-map’, influenced by almost anything and everything, when creating a new sculpture. The premeditated image leads Walling to the selection of all colors, shapes, and arrangements. Recent work demonstrates a fascination with light and shadow. Individual pieces of intricately carved wood unite to create various shadows that work to create a dazzling optical illusion. Ranging depths of wood are often enhanced with color painted on different sides of each block. This hint of color encourages the viewer’s eye to travel throughout Walling’s surfaces as perspective reveals transitions in palette and shadow.
The most beautiful and optimistic side of humanity is at the heart of Marion Vinot’s paintings. With a concentration on the figure and its environs, her portraits are executed typically in rich pastel or oil in a romantic, yet earthy style that brings to mind the painters of French Nabis. The warm palette and pleasing expressions on her subjects’ faces offer portals by which to experience a true feeling of bliss and enchantment. Marion Vinot was born in Paris, France. Completely self taught in the skill of painting and drawing, Vinot studied literature, film and art history at the University of Texas in Austin. After bouts of living in Mexico and working in New York City as a ceramist and painter, Vinot moved to the island of Saint Barthelemy in the French West Indies. For the next ten years, the artist would experience an awakening of her conscious mind as her unique style appealed to an international crowd of vacationing collectors. Eventually, the birth of her two children prompted a move to upstate New York. Memories of sun and sand would bubble up on days spent inside during northeast snowstorms and freezing temperatures in her new home. So Marion Vinot kept painting, embracing the complexities of life to fuel her art; each painting became a safe place in which to nest her soul. People, places and tropical colors continue to fill her canvases as she yields to the evolving energy that channels through her mind and body. This 2016 exhibit will focus on two ‘families’ of work from different periods of the artist’s career and will include works in pastel and oil on canvas and paper.
Vincent Pomilio is the artist who can do just about anything: abstraction, figuration, or making sheet-rock look like marble. A visit to his studio in the bustling neighborhood of Manhattan’s Greenwich Village offers a unique insight into the artist’s process of his own art making. The right brain dominates here; skillful use of color, shape, line and scale are discovered via intuition, experimentation and quarter turns of the canvas. Pomilio has occupied this bohemian artist’s pad since his school days ended at New York University in 1978 and it is here that he continues to paint to this day. Abstractions of color explosions are harmoniously composed using a combination of acrylic, wax, pigmented plaster and marble dust to build up surfaces and introduce texture. “In the end, the challenge is to know when to stop,” says Pomilio. The result is a stunningly complex and layered composition of color that one could interpret as an aerial landscape view or motifs that resemble woven baskets. When it comes to abstractions, the artist rationalizes, “If you see it, it is there.” At one point in his career, Pomilio felt he was struggling to successfully produce small paintings using the scaled patterns that was common in his work. This prompted a new series - the Big-Little series – which encompasses a study of big images on a small scale. By introducing a degree of ‘minimalism’ he could explore color relationships while magnifying techniques used on larger canvases. The effect this project had on his work flow was one of renewed energy and confidence. He could complete a painting much quicker than with the larger canvases, allowing him to try various solutions and expel creative energy in a focused way. Earlier this year, he completed the 100th 12 x 12 inch painting in the series. This exhibit will feature #100 (as well as #99 and #98), highlighting other selections from this series in addition to select medium and larger paintings on canvas.
Swiss born artist, Anne Francey, returns to the gallery exhibiting selections from both past and current work. Trained as a painter, Francey added ceramic to her studio practice after developing a love and fascination for the ceramic tiles and infinite design that adorn houses and interiors in Tunisia, spending a year at the National Center of Ceramics of Tunis. Arabesques, this endless flow of lines inspired by vegetal forms typical of Islamic art, has translated onto her recent work in the form of simply choreographed lines resembling seed pods, bramble, and flowering buds. In her 1988 Flower series, the artist captures the delicate essence of her natural model through vivid movements of paint and animated marks of red and black charcoal on paper and canvas. So simple in their approach, these seemingly effortless designs owe their appearance to the liberated approach Francey takes with the application of her medium. In more recent work, Francey continues the free-hand aesthetic with her work on paper series entitled, Seismography. Opaque black ink creates the impression of a solid space activated by an almost calligraphic inscription of thin white lines. The dramatic lines seek to record their realistic counterparts but are inevitably abstracted by the unpredictable nature of the artist’s hand.