DECEMBER 5 - JANUARY 9
The Figure Today - Group Show
Jim Byrne, Cathy Hegman, Charles Keiger, Shannon Nyimicz, Roman Palau, Emil Robinson, Mario Soria, Sarah Wolfe, Rimi Yang
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information Contact
Jules Bekker 404.869.0511
The Figure Today – Nine Views
Opens December 5th: Through January 10, 2015
The Figure Today at TEW Galleries features works by nine artists: Cathy Hegman, Charles Keiger, Emil Robinson, Jim Byrne, Mario Soria, Roman Palau, Rimi Yang, Shannon Nyimicz and Sarah Wolfe. (Selected works by several other artists in addition to those featured may hang in the exhibition.)
This exhibition serves to present multiple viewpoints on “Figure.” Some artists have chosen to go the more literal route of exploring the human figure, while others have merely used the work “figure” as a springboard to their own interpretations of what the word, or world they envision, may mean. As a result, the works are both wide ranging in subject and varied in technique. One thing is certain though, this is not a boring show. From a provocative Christ Figure to playful patriotism and subtly psychologically unsettling tableaux; we are faced as always with the realization that art is in the eye of the beholder and the hand of the maker.
Cathy Hegman: A native of Mississippi who still spends much of her time in the rural south, Hegman consistently uses the figure (typically female) as one of the linking characteristics of her work. Her figures exist within a sparely delineated landscape world or in the context of ‘symbol’ objects – a canoe, a fish, a fence post or distant building. The artist’s understanding of shape and color are transformed into complex relationships and subtle interactions without the need for portraiture, indeed, Hegman’s deeply poetic figures are typically embodied shadows.
Charles Keiger: another southern artist, in contrast, presents a series of works that reflect lightly and very perceptively upon human condition. His paintings reflect figural statements played out in a strange and highly staged juxtaposition of elements, landscape, animals, buildings and figures. His paintings are layered with imagery that builds a narrative in a seemingly effortless way. The work is playful and kindly, but not childlike; it encourages the viewer to dig deep to discover personal viewpoints and meaning for the symbols presented. Keiger’s immaculate, tight and restrained technique is both lush and satisfying, creating a tension within the representation that counterbalances the gentle characterization of the figures.
Emil Robinson: Robinson works effectively in both pastel on paper and oil on canvas. His figurative works reflect an entirely contemporary viewpoint and approach to a traditional subject. Slice-of-life vignettes capture women in situations we might all be familiar with in some way; opening mail beside a window in the fading light of evening, a standing nude, her back to the artist, a couple in a passionate embrace. Robinson’s sparsely treated ‘environmental portraits’ such as “A Man with Storage” play with both subject and narrative in a manner that is concise, contemporary and altogether satisfying. His ability to combine bold mark making with areas of tightly rendered detail when working in pastel imbues his work with great energy, while his oils—far more restrained in nature—have a pared down aspect and a timely relevance.
Jim Byrne: The artist explores imagery of figures engaged in uncertain activities, in imagined park-like settings, as they explore the psychological conditions embedded in human relationships. Despite the narrative approach to subject, Byrne has pushed his paintings ever more toward abstraction and has expanded color interactions for emotional effect. His paintings reflect the metaphysical, symbolic and emotional realms, creating a poetic dream space. Recurring imagery of boats and birds along with objects of childhood play, fantasy and escape make themselves felt and are typically depicted along with figures shown in a tableau of relative isolation. These juxtapositions of theme, object, pattern and viewpoint serve as a means for the viewer to ask questions without being given specific answers. The paintings have a sense of time held in suspension, as if, at any second the clock will restart and the story move on to some unknown conclusion.
Mario Soria: A highly respected Spanish artist, Soria has an ongoing interest in the human condition, history, science and biology. His tight technique is incomparable and his works, though typically small in size, are obsessively detailed and highly imaginative. His “Infanta Margarita” combines all these elements of history and fantasy; complete with floating fish, swimming turtles and flying boats. In contrast to his immaculately rendered paintings, his works on paper employ both tight drawing and loose gestural marks. While the subject matter is playful, or at times satirical, the quality of these works leaves the viewer in no doubt of the time and expertise involved.
Roman Palau: Mexican artist Bernardo Roman Palau’s exquisite paintings combine a surrealist aspect with powerful narrative themes. His “Figure of Christ” has a distinctly medieval flavor offset by a passionate and unsettling curtain of red paint, consciously allowed to flow in runs down the face of the painting. This same treatment; part curtain, part veil; this time behind huge lace-shaped stencil motifs hiding the scene, can be found in the painting “Dog with Bowl.” Throughout Palau’s works runs a thread of highly charged but very controlled emotion—his symbolism is gentle but not to be confused with weakness. He looks unwaveringly at nature; the hard and the soft of it, the good and the bad; and expresses these dichotomies with a simplicity and directness that leaves you, as the viewer, aware that life and spirit are one.
Rimi Yang: An accomplished painter, Yang brings vision and energy to her work. Of South Korean/Japanese youth, with her adulthood in America, Yang imparts a cross-cultural sensibility to her works and transitions easily between historical themes of both east and west, often visually flipping our assumptions on their heads. Her paintings are worked in broad strokes and surface is often allowed to override subject to the degree that foreground and background inhabit the same space. These are charming paintings filled with great and fearless energy.
Shannon Nyimicz: An Atlanta artist, Nyimicz has found a way to translate the daily thread of suburban life into her art. Her focus is subjects we can all understand; children, family—things we do. Despite these familiar themes, she is not a placid painter. She brings energy, talent and focus to her work as she tries to get beneath the skin of her visual narrative. Her technique is loose and accomplished, her paintings heavily worked. A true storyteller, she strives to make us understand and to bring us in step with her subject and her vision.
Sarah Wolfe: An accomplished oil painter and draughtsman, Wolfe brings a classical sensibility to her works on paper. In her current series of pastel on paper ‘portraits’ the artist’s imaginings transcend both time and personality to become almost mythically beautiful. Delicately proportioned and exquisitely worked, her pieces make use of subtle texture, line work and shading, to almost romantic effect.