LOCKWOOD GALLERY - MARCH 2020
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Fred Smilde’s background is in classical music. He has a Masters in piano performance from Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. He has recorded a CD, taught numerous classes in Music Theory and given many concerts. While in the Doctoral program at Peabody Conservatory, he decided it was in his best interest to leave. In October of 2008 after roughly 10 years of creative inactivity, he began to paint. In the process he has found the challenges and problems one faces in the two mediums (music and painting) are very similar though the technical means are different. One is faced with the utilization of space (time) to make a comprehensible whole. Structure in time becomes structure in space.
About: Thomas Sarrantonio studied Painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia where his teachers included Wil Barnet and Sidney Goodman. He also holds degrees in Biology and English. His paintings have been exhibited widely and he is the recipient of numerous honors including a Pollock-Krasner Award, a Visiting Artist Residency in Normandy, France and an Artist Residency Fellowship at the Ballinglen Arts Foundation in Ballycastle Ireland. He taught Art and Art History at SUNY New Paltz for over thirty years and he maintains a studio in Rosendale, New York where he lives with his wife and children. PAINTINGS: The paintings of Thomas Sarrantonio seek to mediate between realms of external perception and internal reflection. They present themselves as meditations on nature and self. Choosing humble, often overlooked subject matter, such as the overgrown grasses at the edge of a field, he attempts to translate the dynamic processes of Nature into the stasis of physical matter on a painted surface. Small works are produced directly from Nature while large paintings are studio productions that utilize memory, experience, imagination and conceptual ideas to negotiate the terrain of contemporary painting. The paintings are offered to the viewer as templates to provoke active participation in the process of seeing and quiet contemplation of the mysteries of consciousness.
The "Components of Passage" were not pre-conceived. Only upon seeing them emerge and seek definition ... disquieting ... not easy to accommodate ... was I reminded that existence is the medium through which every aspect of $elf is transformed. Only upon seeing them did I learn that_ they're about the tenuousness of material existence, the transitory nature of form, the dichotomy between our physical and spiritual aspects, and fate, the fall of the fabric. Both the process and the subject matter involve fate. Only upon seeing them did I understand that they're about transition, transformation, presence/absence, timelessness/immediacy, what is found, lost, extant, relinquished - as we pass along the way.
Kat Howard was born in Rochester, New York in 1984. She earned a BA in Creative Writing from Brandeis University in 2006, and worked at the Whitney Museum of American Art until 2010, when she left the museum world to pursue an MFA in Book Art & Creative Writing, which she received from Mills College in 2013. Since graduating, she has been working as an independent artist exhibiting her work across the country, and abroad. She also teaches book art and weaving workshops. Kat started her creative practice as a poet, but soon sought physical means to represent the fabric of her writing. She founded Book Meat Studio in 2009. Kat lives and works in Kingston, New York at the foothills of the Catskill Mountains set deep in the Hudson Valley.
There’s a saying, “Clay is the life, plaster is the death, bronze is the resurrection”*. *This saying has been handed down by sculptors for generations and refers to the principal stages involved in making a sculpture. Possibly Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux “In everything there are three sides, the black, the white, and the truth.” “I painted the black to this sculpture with no intension. Sometimes it feels like vandalism. I still try to understand it. Maybe adding it black allowed me to make it personal… something about a moment in my life. Sculpture constantly transforms in its context. Perhaps the addition of the black gave it the visual energy necessary to the third side to bring it to life, … the truth.”
I make work with a hefty measure of the abject combined, by contrast, with something funny and/or poignant in my sculptures’ gestures. The body parts and mutations speak to preoccupations with human misbehavior, death and environmental degradation, as do the sculptures’ abraded surfaces and extremes of black and white. The semi-figurative “Dolls” (It’s a Boy; Plump Lady) evolved from body parts (Heart #1; Him), animal mutations (Plump Form #2) and useless “utilitarian” objects (not included in this exhibit). With their aluminum mesh armatures plumped up with plaster bandages, papier maché, and layers of wax, the dolls take on human personalities. Note, however, they are missing arms, heads, feet and half their torsos. All these abstracted forms and gestures reflect fears, revulsions, and acceptance.
Sydney Cash is a sculptor, painter and jeweler. His work is in collections worldwide, including MoMA in NYC, and Le Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts.
* This original statement applies to Eugene's metal pieces only.