Kenise Barnes Fine Art is pleased to present a two-person exhibition of wall sculptural installations by Julie Maren (Denver, CO) and contemporary paintings by Janna Watson (Toronto, CA) in our Kent, CT, gallery location.
Artist Julie Maren’s meandering wall sculptures are about the accumulation and repetition of handmade forms, each unique component is itself a discrete work of art. Amassing hundreds of elements together underscores the artist’s act of creation and the amplifies the feeling of abundance found in nature. This exhibition presents two of Maren’s ongoing series: Biophilia and Monsoon. The Biopholia series is made of carefully selected acorn caps that the artist has filled with layers of glittering, handmade paint, and crushed glass or mineral shards. Each cap sits on a copper pin that is installed at a ninety-degrees angel to the wall in varying depths that create clusters of biomorphic patterns suggesting organisms, and the exuberance of new life. Monsoon is a series of drop-shaped porcelain elements, each one hand-cut and hand-painted. The individual elements hang away from the wall on pins creating a poetic rain of color and texture. The shadows cast by the both sculptural installations are as dynamic as the sculptures themselves, inviting the viewer to experience the work from all angles. Maren’s work is often adapted or commissioned to be site-specific and is highly customizable.
Maren earned her BFA from the University of Colorado, Boulder, CO. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States, Spain, and in India. She was artist-in-residence at Weir Farm Art Center, Wilton, CT, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT, The Valley School, International Sculpture Symposium, Bangalore, India and Tareitanga International Sculpture Symposium, Wellington, New Zealand, among others. The artist lives and works in Boulder, CO.
Janna Watson is a young artist who has quickly made an impression on the contemporary art scene. Painting “wild” and embracing “different” have always been a primary focus for this Canadian artist. Her abstract compositions and energetic brushstrokes possess an elegant and powerful vitality. The artist uses various media in her work, layering ink, acrylic paint, oil paint, and oil stick to build active surfaces with every intuitive gesture. Each bold brushstroke can be identified as an individual act, reflecting the physicality of the process and the directness with which Watson paints. A masterful colorist, Watson’s paintings are a carefully balanced orchestra of colors that jostle and vibrate against one another. Her preference for painting on birch wood (rather than canvas) developed from her early experiences with watercolor and paper. Her first layers of washy, thin paint stain the wood and often highlight the woodgrain whose pattern becomes an important compositional element. Her painting process ends with the addition of deliberate scribbles of buttery oil stick -- exclamation marks to finish her statement.
Janna Watson holds an honors degree in Drawing and Painting from the Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto, ON, Canada. Her work has been exhibited extensively across Canada and internationally in more than 20 solo exhibitions. Her paintings are in public collections including TD Bank, CIBC, Telus, the Ritz-Carlton, ONi ONE, the Soho Metropolitan Hotel, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Watson’s work has been featured in publications such as The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, NOW Magazine, and House & Home. She lives and works in Toronto, CA.