2017 ANNUAL LANDSCAPE EXHIBITION
WILIAM BACZEK FINE ARTS
William Baczek Fine Arts, in Northampton, Massachusetts, is pleased to announce the opening of the 2017 Annual Landscape Exhibition. The show will be on display from Wednesday, September 6 until Saturday, October 7, 2017. The public is invited to an opening reception with the artists on Saturday, September 9 from five to seven p.m.
This year, nine artists from across the U.S. and Canada who work in a variety of media, have been invited to participate in the exhibition. The annual Landscape Exhibition at William Baczek Fine Arts gathers artists who push the boundaries of what can be described as a landscape. Working in various materials, these artists have been selected to help redefine what the typical notion of a landscape can or should be. Does a landscape need a horizon line? Can a city be a landscape? Can a book be a landscape? A ceramic vessel?
Guy Laramée from Canada sculpts landscapes from old, discarded books, dictionaries and encyclopedia sets. Laramée carves away parts of the actual books and creates incredibly intricate and detailed landscapes. He leaves most of the book intact, but incorporates the landscape into the object so that both the book and landscape maintain their integrity. Part mysticism, part Eastern philosophy and part relic, Laramées’ sculptures invite close scrutiny and reflection.
Marc Civitarese says about his recent landscape paintings: “My paintings, though based in the landscape tradition, are cerebral and visceral explorations of the relationship of ‘man’ and ‘nature’, and thus depart from a pure realist depiction of the world and move towards a more expressive sensibility. By abstracting what I consider to be the elements of realism: shape, form, and light, my work thus becomes and introspective exploration of my feelings and thoughts of man, nature, and spirituality.” Civitarese paints in oil on deeply textured canvas or linen then coats the finished painting in beeswax. In addition, he pours a thick layer of high gloss resin, which when combined with the beeswax surface, enhances the glowing light that the artist desires to achieve.
Jeff Gola from New Jersey paints in egg tempera. Typically, a slow, involved process, egg tempera paintings can look labored and fussy. But Gola’s landscapes, which at first look traditional, have a very modern sensibility. Avoiding the clichés of traditional landscape paintings, he captures a beautiful glow in the late day or evening light. Jeff Gola’s artist statement includes the following insight: “From my earliest memories, I have always been drawn to the rural landscape. Having grown up on a farm, I have always had a strong interest in observing the elements that influence that environment; the cycle of the seasons, the changing skies and the weather it portends, the constant presence of the natural processes of life, decay and rebirth, and the fading remnants of distant history and past lives. Egg tempera painting has a long tradition and its special qualities are uniquely suited to capturing the properties of light and exploring its interplay on texture. I have found that the slow and careful process that tempera requires to achieve its depth and luminosity suits my temperament and vision. The gradual building of form and the patient exploration of every surface nuance that is involved in tempera painting require a meditative and reflective approach, one that I feel enables me to examine personal memories and feelings that these subjects evoke in me.”
Andrew Haines is a Massachusetts painter who focusses on urban landscapes. About his paintings the artist says: “When driving, I have often wondered what it would be like to live with a giant billboard over my house? Or to grow up with one so close by, from a car they often look small? In more general terms the difference between passing through a place and actually living in that place. My own neighborhood does not look so great from the window of a car but I have a deeper understanding of the it from living there so long. The neighborhood was built as one thing then continues to evolve with time going in and out of fashion every 30 years or so.” Haines’ paintings appear like literal depictions of specific locations but they are actually hybrids, part realistic part interpreted. They convey both literal motion and the motion of time and its effects on the streets, buildings and neighborhoods of the city.
Mallory Lake’s pastels of Italy, France, New York City, and more recently, her examination of steam train imagery, are consistently devoted to exploiting the rich chromatic capabilities of her hand-made pastels in order to depict locations that lend themselves to her unique interpretation. About her pastels, Mallory Lake writes: “I seek to evoke a response by my arrangement of light and dark in settings where recognizable objects merge into half-realized forms. To achieve this effect, I employ tonality—value relationships in a scale from light to dark—reserving the use of the lightest and darkest values for accents placed in contrast to the dominant tones. I use softened and variable focus, suppression of details, and a limited palette to enhance tonal unity. Photographer Edward Steichen, a master of tonality, said, ‘The real magician was light itself... with its accompanying shadows rich and full of mystery.’”
Rick Pas from Michigan uses an almost folk-art level of obsessive detail in his nature scenes. Regarding his acrylic on panel paintings, the artist observes: “Creating is an addiction. With all the highs and lows, you would expect. I am interested in the surface textures and creating paintings that portray them in realistic detail. Hopefully, a viewer will feel they can run a hand over the feathers and moss, or grasp an object in the painting. This detail is usually composed in an abstract design. The design can occur naturally or be arranged by me. The subjects of my paintings are usually based on the patterns and textures of nature and human interaction with nature. I have found subjects to paint in remote wilderness areas of the world, local parking lots, and my own backyard.”
Scott Prior will be showing new landscape oil paintings that continue his interest in the subject of light. Whether showing us a snowy, cold winter’s evening at sunset or a group of three cows languishing in a hot, golden summer’s light, what is unchanging in Prior’s work is his uncanny ability to fill the scene with light and air. Painting something as intangible as light and air might seem impossible, but Prior accomplishes just that.
Robert Sweeney, who has been the Chair of the Art Department at Amherst College for over thirty years, makes oil paintings that seem to be as much about the act of painting as the subjects themselves. Whether painting still lifes, figures, or the new landscapes which will be included in this show, Sweeney loads his stiff bristle-brushes and carves out his scenes, giving us, the viewer, the ability to witness the act of seeing and how to convey that in paint.
Jamie Young will be exhibiting both recent oil paintings and watercolors. Her abstracted paintings expand the notion of what a landscape should depict. Her organic forms and natural colors certainly show their origins in landscape, but without using recognizable intimations such as horizon lines.
These nine artists have all used the landscape in very different ways; the intent of the exhibition is not to redefine what a landscape can be, but instead, to try to expand upon that notion in unexpected ways.
Selections from this exhibition and other works by gallery artists can be seen on the gallery’s web site at www.wbfinearts.com. For more information about this or upcoming exhibits please call the gallery at 413-587-9880 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The gallery is located at 36 Main St. in downtown Northampton, Massachusetts and is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 – 5, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 – 7 and Sunday from 12 – 5.
2017 Landscape Exhibition at William Baczek Fine Arts
36 Main St. Northampton MA 01060
Exhibition Dates: September 6 – October 7, 2017
Opening Reception with the artists: Saturday, September 9, 5-7 p.m.
Gallery Phone: 413-587-9880
Gallery Website: www.wbfinearts.com
Gallery email: email@example.com
Additional high-resolution images are available to accompany editorial and may be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org