A Whiter Shade of Pale: Mary Ellen Bartley, Charles Clary, Lori Field, Joanne Mattera, Lalani Nan : Group exhibition

Kenise Barnes Fine Art will open a new exhibition of art work in various media executed in a narrow range of pale colors, predominately whites, grays and silvers. Pure, quiet, peaceful and beautiful; the exhibition in this reductive palette is a joy to encounter. The pieces in this show range from photography to elegant paintings made with reflective micaceous pigment and delicate silver point drawings. The works represent the best of what Kenise Barnes Fine Art has built a reputation on for almost two decades.

 

Mary Ellen Bartley’s contribution to the exhibition is a series of photographs, actually, re-photographs. The artist is re-photographing images that she has taken on her daily walks on the beach. The new photographs record shadows, folds and sunlight, for example, transforming the original compositions. The essence of each photograph is altered by elements of chance and the passage of light and time. The results are more akin to still lifes than to landscape photography. The almost monochromatic color photographs are abstract minimalist works that are at once vast and intimate.  

 

Charles Clary cuts and layers paper to create a world of fiction that challenges the viewer to suspend disbelief and venture into a fabricated reality. Towers of shaped paper and color jut into the viewer’s space inviting playful interactions between the viewer and this conceived world. Clary’s artwork resembles intriguing land formations and mimics viral colonies and concentric sound waves. These constructions transform more series subjects into something beautiful, whimsical and inviting. Clary has just installed a major permanent installation in the Music City Center in Nashville. He lives and works in Tennessee.

 

Lori Field’s exquisitely odd and obsessive drawings straddle a border between reality and dream, past life and present. The drawings are made with the ancient silverpoint process, just one of the artist’s arcane methods of working. The artist creates human/animal hybrids that retain the physical characteristics of both. The external traits of the animal/human figures suggest internal traits. Animals lack self-consciousness or artifice, so the animal-like figures provide a means for emotive personification, characterizing or exhibiting human motives and foibles. The paintings and drawings are deliberately intimate, while containing fetishistic figures that are emotionally confrontational and exaggerated in their 'otherness'. Field’s studio is in Brooklyn, NY.

 

Lorraine Glessner’s experience as a textile, interior and graphic designer combined with her profound interest in maps and geology has inspired her complex layered encaustic paintings. The artist uses satellite-imaging software to study how the grid organizes, divides, connects and interlaces life. Grid-based patterns and earth marks emerge in the work through the use of processes and materials such as hair, silk and cotton fabric, beeswax, fire, rust and plant staining, all of which speak to and embody life and life cycles. Glessner lives and work in Philadelphia.

 

With this show, Joanne Mattera debuts two paintings from her new Diamond

Life Series. Mattera’s new paintings are grids of elongated diamonds within a diamond-shaped field made with seductive light reflecting and micaceous and encaustic pigments. Light hits the diagonal grain differently and the color appears deeper and more luminous. Formally, the en pointe shape asserts itself, pushing vigorously outward while remaining resolutely poised. The paintings literally shimmer and float. Mattera is a prolific art writer, blogger and is very well known for her expertise in the medium of encaustic paint.

 

Taiwanese artist Lalani Nan’s paintings reflect the passion that she has for fabrics and their topographies. With each work, the artist creates a new visual experience and quiet meditative presence. These white and light grey paintings in A Whiter Shade of Pale are mysterious and tactile. The canvases are elegant references to bedding and table linens with all of their sensual implications. The artist has just re-located from Chattanooga, TN to Woodstock, NY.