The Dryansky Gallery is proud to present In the Footsteps of the Masters, a group exhibition celebrating the human figure with works by three emerging artists. The exhibition features oil paintings by LA-based artist Sarah Awad, spray paintings on paper by Bangkok-based artist Daniel Sewell and etchings by French artist Mija. In the Footsteps of the Masters will be on view from February 12 through March 18, 2016 with an opening reception on Friday, February 12 from 7–9 PM. Artist Sarah Awad will be in attendance.
In the Footsteps of the Masters is about seeking connection and renewing a conversation with the past. What can history teach us? What can we draw from the past? As New York art writer David Gibson said so succinctly, "History presents us not only with knowledge but with mysteries that it is our role to unravel." By investigating the ideas behind the Cubists, Symbolists, Fauves and Neo-Expressionists, these three artists, through their astute study, are able to infuse a familiar language into their own new and unique practices, creating works that evoke a sense of serenity and a clear emotional range.
While each of these three artists maintain distinct voices and perspectives, the artworks in the exhibition share the human body as a common theme. Sarah Awad's masterful, large-scale female nudes deal with formal aspects of space, shape and color that are in dialogue with Color Field Abstraction and Neo-Expressionism of the 80s, while weaving an unusual Fauve-inspired color palette through her figures. Daniel Sewell's spray paintings on paper draw heavily from the theories and conceptual ideas of Analytic Cubism. Using human body part cutout stencils to create his spray paintings, Sewell builds mysterious figurative scenes that harken back to the caves of Lascaux, with refined modern elegance and playful humor. Mija's works evoke classic etching and reveal her formal training and her influences, such as the Symbolists and the Nabis movement, while bringing elements of the body’s natural earthly beauty and the relationship of love in its simplest form.
Gallery Co-Director and Curator Jilian Adi Monribot explains:
We chose to exhibit these three emerging artists for the first time in San Francisco for the reverence and homage they pay to art history. Their work is an acknowledgement of historical references that are still relevant and that constantly need to be developed and reevaluated. There is an element of excitement in seeing an artistic language, that is no longer being spoken, be brought back to life in its own right, afresh.
Sarah Awad, born in 1981, received her BFA from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA in 2007 and an MFA from UCLA in 2011. Recent solo exhibitions include Gate Paintings (2015) and The Women (2013) at Diane Rosenstein, Los Angeles, CA. Awad exhibited in important group shows including: Rogue Wave '13 (15 Artists from Los Angeles), L.A. Louver Gallery, Venice, CA; Angels with Dirty Faces (curated by Artra Curatorial), Hilger Contemporary, Vienna, Austria; and At First You Don't Succeed (curated by Robert Wechsler), CCS Gallery, UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA. Sarah Awad lives and works in Los Angeles, California.
Daniel Sewell, born in 1978 in Rochester, New York, is a painter and sculptor, as well as a musician and composer based in Bangkok, Thailand. He received his BFA from University of Pennsylvania in 2002. His most ambitious projects integrate both art and music involving stencils, traditional shadow puppets, music and video. He recently completed a residency at Jack Straw Cultural Center in Seattle, Washington in 2015 and has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in Bangkok, Thailand and New York.
Mija, born in 1953 in the French town of Clamart, lives and works outside of Paris. In 1973, she began her formal training in the studio of painter Jean Marie Creuzeau. Her visual arts practice followed the tenets of modern art theorists André Lhote and Maurice Denis. Her work began with the theme of the body in motion. In the 2000s, landscape began entering her work which brought about an element of fluidity and abstraction. Nowadays, these two themes cohabit her practice. In the hope of transmitting her passion, Mija also teaches engraving, painting and drawing in France.