FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Still + Life: Paintings by Stephen Pentak and Sydney Licht
Two New York Artists passionately interested in the relationship between paint, form, and image
Dates: October 16 – November 14
Opening Reception for the artists: Friday, October 16, 6:00-8:00 pm
Thomas Deans Fine Art, 690 Miami Circle NE #905, Atlanta, GA 30324
Gallery Hours: Monday - Saturday, 11-5
The exhibition Still + Life, which opens at Thomas Deans Fine Art in Atlanta, Georgia, on October 16 presents paintings by Stephen Pentak and Sydney Licht, two highly regarded painters whose work explores the relationship between paint, form, and image. Both painters are thoroughly contemporary; both have developed unique and recognizable styles and have earned significant reputations; yet both work with traditional media, using established genres as a springboard to personal exploration.
Stephen Pentak’s highly stylized “landscapes” have been likened to Zen riddles, paradoxically exemplifying both complete calm and surface tension. The balance is found in his paintings’ broad intersecting areas of carefully modulated and contrasted color. Pentak has written, “It’s really important to me that the person seeing the painting is simultaneously aware of the landscape and the marks that went into making it. By noticing each mark, they recognize this is a construction, not a window into another world.” Professor emeritus of art at Ohio State University, Pentak is co-author of the widely used textbook, Design Basics. As painter Richard Roth has written, Pentak’s paintings “may appear effortless; they are in fact the result of arduous investigation and passionate commitment,” and he has learned “from the examples of abstraction, minimalism, and conceptual art. “
The New Yorker magazine has written that in Sydney Licht’s intimate still-lifes, “the domestic marries the architectonic.” Like Pentak, Licht creates work that is paradoxical--intimate in scale and yet monumental in conception. Licht updates the conventions of still-life, incorporating into her paintings remnants from our consumer culture. Her “table tops” become resting places for boxes and other detritus of daily life waiting to be sorted or discarded. Licht loves the sensual quality of paint, contrasting a stringent surface with a buttery one. Her unexpected color combinations and compositions, tipped and unbalanced or viewed from an extreme angle, contribute to the air of monumentality despite their small size. For Licht, the abstraction of the painted surface is an integral part of the actual subject matter. As the New York Observer summed it up, “Boy, does Sydney Licht have the touch.” A profile of Sydney Licht will appear in the November 2015 issue of Elle Décor.
The exhibition opens with a public reception for both artists on Friday 16 October, 6-8 pm. The exhibition continues through 14 November.