Polyglot Gallery has been on a 6 month hiatus as gallery owner, Melanie, has been working on a public art’s project in Houston for the Hermann Park Centennial Celebrations alongside Weingarten Art Group. Exhibitions will resume as of May 2014. Meanwhile, please schedule an appointment to view our permanent collection of great national and international artist – firstname.lastname@example.org
Paintings by Jésica López, curation by Adrian Aguilera
Opening: Saturday, October 5, 2013 – Closing: November 30, 2013
(Austin, Texas); Polyglot Gallery invites the public to a special exhibition by Monterrey, Mexico artist Jésica López at their new South Austin pop-up gallery space on Saturday, October 5 with an opening reception from 6 to 8 PM with the artist.
The exhibition titled, Everyone is a Potential Provocateur, is an exhibition of twenty-five portraits of famous artists painted on Post-It® notes. The series includes portraits of artists chosen by curator Adrian Aguilera such as Cy Twombly, Marina Abramovic, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Andy Warhol – all artists who, according to López, through their craft have and continue to “provoke” change.
“I originally began this project 10 years ago circumstantially. All I had on hand to begin a project was Post-It® notes, brushes, magazines and some acrylic paint”, explains López.
Portrait painting is characteristic of Jésica López’s work, which often employs portrait painting to explore the relationship between representation vs. identity, posture vs. fame. Her work is often executed in a rapid hyperrealistic style. The series of Post-It® notes initiated ten years ago includes a whole sub-series of pop icons, politicians, and actors, each inspired in part by pop art, as well as by artists such as Lichtenstein, or more recent artists such as Karen Kilimnik. The portraits paintings reveal their origins in photography and memory.
Jésica López is represented in Mexico by Galería Enrique Guerrero where her most recent solo exhibit in August 2013, El Retrato, involved her doing live portraits of the patrons at the gallery. She also shows at Alternativa Once Galería in Garza García and Centro de las Artes II in Monterrey as well as at the Mexican Institute in Paris, France. In 2012 she exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in Moscow with an exhibition titled, Saludos a Gagarin: la popularidad es algo irreparable (Salute to Gagarin: Popularity is somewhat irreparable). López show at Polyglot Gallery in Austin is her first US solo exhibition.
WEST Austin Studio Tour Pop-Up Featuring Brooke Mackenzie, Yuliya Lanina, Sarah Davis & Nick Schnitzer
Polyglot Gallery is happy to announce that it will be opening up its by appointment only space as a pop-up gallery for the WEST Austin studio tour which takes place Saturday and Sunday April 27 -28 and May 4-5, where they will be showcasing artwork by Austin-based artists Brooke Mackenzie, Yuliya Lanina and Nick Schnitzer and New York City artist, Sarah Davis.
COME HAVE A COCKTAIL & MEET THE ARTISTS SATURDAY, APRIL 27 FROM 3-5 PM.
Brooke Mackenzie graduated from UT with a BFA and then went on to receive her MFA at the Edinburgh College of Art. Her artwork is characterized by its intricacy and attention to detail that often lends her work the illusion of an airy tapestry. A common theme in her body of work is the passage of time, which she illustrates by imbedding images of clock gears and illustrations of the budding, flowering and wilting of a flower, amongst other subtle images. Drawn with delicate lines and a subtle palette, Mackenzie beckons her spectator to slow down and pay attention to the details which slowly reveal themselves.
Yuliya Lanina is a Russian- born American multimedia artist who paints on canvas and paper, makes animations and animatronic sculptures which portray alternate realities that fuse fantasy, femininity, and humor. On exhibit will be her fantastical paintings and video of her signature grotesque yet beautiful imagery work that simultaneously elicit feelings of uneasiness and empathy.
Sarah Davis is a New York based artist whose work has been featured worldwide on subjects ranging from boisterous celebrity culture to tranquil urban and rural landscapes. On exhibit at Polyglot is a selection of her pastel works on paper from the series “Stars and Cars”. Work from this series has been shown in Switzerland, London, Houston and now Austin and has received rave reviews.
Nick Schnitzer was Polyglot’s first artist to be showcased in January in Austin. Return to see his meditative photo reactive and sometime kinetic wall sculptures and paintings come to life with a new led light box installation.
For a PDF catalog please e-mail email@example.com
As an artist who searches for the divine in every aspect of his daily interactions with others, in the natural systems of the Universe and in anything manmade, it is appropriate that the artwork of Nick Schnitzer is a meditation device to help us to connect to that voice that softly whispers but that so few take the time to quiet the mind to hear. There are subtle and less subtle referrences to native american, hindi, buddhist and even jewish ritualistic practice in his incorporation of geometry and symbolism associated with these various religions as he re-interprets the color palettes associated with the original intent. The artist’s utilization of photoreactive paints heightens the Contemporary conversation of the work, giving them a dynamic life in different lighting situations. As the spectrum of L.E.D. colors flicker on and off around the work, the pieces appear to come to life and pulsate and any spectator cannot help but become entranced.
On exhibit this month at Polyglot is a collective of work by Sarah Davis, Zoe Siegel, Adrian Guerrero & Michelangelo Bastiani. As a follow-up from the gallery’s recent involvement in International Art Fairs, the exhibit titled “Talking points” contemplates the projected image each artist actively pursues through the themes of their artwork when it is destined for an international, multi-cultural public in a globalized art market.
For a PDF catalog of the exhibit, please request at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If while walking into the gallery you feel as if you have been sucked into a vortex in the space time continuum, then congratulations, you have stumbled across the most entertaining and creative show of the year, Anomalies, by Gordon and Maureen Morris.
Maureen and Gordon Morris met in college where they both graduated from the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. Gordon started out on a career in graphic design back when the work was all done by airbrush but he soon found himself on the cusp of the early use of computers to produce these images. He was able to adapt his style to the computer and soon became adept at using a tablet and monitor to draw and paint images. Because of Gordon’s ability to lead the curve of the new technology he was offered jobs in exotic locations and so he and Maureen lived in Hong Kong, China, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles where each of their creativity was guided by their experiences and surroundings. Maureen’s love of ceramics has also taken her to Lill Street Studios in Chicago, Santa Monica College in Los Angeles and other studios along the way. Studios are shared work spaces where ideas and techniques are exchanged between the various artists. It was an opportunity for Maureen to learn and to teach and to truly grow professionally.
Gordon’s trip back to fine art came to real fruition after their move to Mexico once he was able to apply his creative talents towards his own, non-commercial creations. Gordon uses Photoshop to plan out the paintings and develop the characters and subject of his work. If a new idea develops he can then scan the painting into the computer and try out the idea before committing it to the canvas which he does by hand. Maureen also began exploring her medium to the maximum in Mexico creating geometric and organic ceramic forms (cacti, insects, hearts & functional art) influenced by her environment while incorporating the traditional firing methods in gas and electric kilns as well as pit firing, raku and naked raku techniques.
Gordon’s work is highly detailed and usually bizarre in subject. He uses sculptural elements, usually on highly complicated frames, which help to develop further the ideas in the main image. There is usually some kind of story being told by an interesting nearly literary character. A highly colloquial adjective that can describe the work is simply “cool”. A sense of playful fun exudes from the work. It is interesting how this same playfulness is also exuded by Maureen’s work. The ceramic medium because of its more rigorous production demands lends itself to more austere expressions, yet Maureen’s work shares Gordon’s language of the light-hearted and the non-conformist. It only takes a visit to their home and studio to understand some of the influences that help to form their current common language: vintage toys, robots, and other playful paraphernalia found from their travels around the world – items that contest to their status of children at heart and true admirers of both high and low art.
Come be transported to another world and meet the artists this Saturday, August 4 from 6 to 9 PM at POLYGLOT Gallery. Exhibition will be on display through August 29. For a PDF catalog of the show please e-mail email@example.com.
Peter Leventhal is a storyteller. Having had the fortune to be born and raised in New York City with all of its stimulation and access to the greatest artwork of the Western World, Leventhal soaked in every opportunity he was given to learn from the old masters and to mingle with the new. Primarily a self-taught artist, Leventhal credits the hours he spent in the New York Public Library, which houses drawings of some of the world’s greatest masters where he would copy and learn from their every mark, for the basis of his art’s education.
One of the early painters who peaked Leventhal’s interest was Raoul Dufy, a French Fauvist painter. It has been nearly 40 years since Leventhal has been inspired by and has conversely interpreted some of Dufy’s philosophies into his own work. Most recently, he finds that as his physical ability to hold a paintbrush in his dominant hand is no longer an option due to the Parkinson’s, he is now able to more fully embrace Dufy’s concept of allowing color to override the edge and follow into the adjoining figure and not be confined to a spatial context. This has created more dynamic activity in his newest body of work, which is markedly more abstract than anything Leventhal has previously painted. This marked evolution also includes broader brush strokes and a generalization of the light/dark contrast of the composition as well as a particularization of the color. The outcome is a series of vivid paintings that reference common Leventhal themes – love, lust, envy, exhibitionism, artistry – and characters – the sculptor, etcher, dice player and accordionist – while offering the viewer a new glimpse into the evolution of his work.
On exhibit for June are some of the favorite works from the past few months. Come see gouaches by Polly Stark, cut paper by Margarita Fick, photography by Barbara Levine, paper mache sculptures by Edward Swift, ceramic sculptures by Adrian Guerrero, Maureen Gordon, Rodolfo Calva, and Rodrigo Lara, assemblage by Claude Mathey and Zoë Siegel, etching by Luis Carlos Rodriguez Ojeda and a fantastic wall relief by Angelina Perez Ibargüen.
CHUCK RIGG – PORTRAITS AND NUDES
Rigg’s work combines his love for figurative painting with his appreciation of the male figure. He is a skilled draughtsman as demonstrated by the numerous drawing awards he has won during his career and as is visible in the line of his paintings. Also visible are the deliberate brushstrokes that are pervasive throughout his body of work. The expressed influence of Caravaggio, Velasquez, Degas, Matisse, and Richard Diebenkorn come through in many subtle and not so subtle ways. Many of the backgrounds of his paintings look as if Diebenkorn himself may have painted them during his Ocean Park phase.
Rigg expresses a comfort level with the male form as he feels an intimacy with and an attraction to it that creates a stimulating environment in the studio – sometimes erotic, sometimes fraternal. Many of his handsome models are from San Miguel and are painted live while posing in the natural light in Rigg’s top floor painting studio. As a gay male artist painting naked men, he feels he is making some kind of a political and cultural statement which he finds adds another dimension to the choice of subject matter, “growing up gay I always felt outside the mainstream, so painting something which won’t be accepted by everyone just feels normal.”
written by: Kahren Jones Arbitman
Frequent travelers to and the citizens of Mexico will recognize them all: the wizened crone holding wilting calabaza flowers, the one-legged woman plunking her ukulele, the insistent man hawking rubber maps, the costumed ladies selling beribboned dolls. These peddlers and panhandlers fill the city’s alcoves, stoops, and walkways, their places staked out by habit, or more likely, by inviolate street rules. But who are these familiar yet frequently anonymous people who form such an integral part of the culture? Dirk Bakker, professional photographer and director of photography at the Detroit Institute of Arts, wants to discover if life-sized, color photographs can reveal the personalities of Mexico’s street people.
To help overcome his subjects’ understandable reticence to his proposal, Bakker hires a driver and translator, buys hearty food, and creates a comfortable environment in his studio. Using natural light, a backdrop of gritty white plaster, and simple floor tiles, he fashions a slightly elevated, non-threatening stage for the self-revealing portraits he hopes to coax from his subjects. Quietly asking about their lives and families, Bakker waits for each to settle into a pose. What results are startlingly intimate performances played out in front of the camera: some clown, some stand defiantly, others retreat into a shell.
Then, in what must have been mystifying to his sitters, Bakker lies on the floor and aims his camera directly at their hands. The choice of focus is quite deliberate; hands are the consistent point of interaction between street people and those who occasionally drop “a little something” into their upturned palms. By altering the expected focus on faces, Bakker allows his sitters’ hands to lead the storytelling. And what stories they tell. Invariably work-worn and often gnarled and arthritic, hands become welcoming, withdrawn, defensive, content.
Another important artistic consideration is Bakker’s lowered vantage point which literally and figuratively elevates his subjects. In an insightful turnabout, viewers are now confronted by people who loom above them, no longer content to sit with bowed heads awaiting the generosity of strangers. A similarly important consideration is Bakker’s decision to set aside a telephoto portrait lens that tends to flatten and in many ways flatter the sitter in favor of a “normal” lens that conforms to the angle of human vision. He is looking for verisimilitude.
While the photographs’ technical virtuosity is undeniable, Bakker does not want digital wizardry or artistic license to overshadow an honest presentation of his sitters. Fortunately, documentation and artistry can happily coexist in a single photograph. Simultaneous with documenting a life, these images also present a riot of mismatched color, pattern upon pattern, ruffles, fringes, buttons, makeshift belts, and other picturesque details that dazzle the viewer like a well-painted abstraction. Equally arresting are the piercing expressions of many of the life-sized figures that could easily find prototypes in Diego Velazquez’s haunting, solitary misfits. Despite the artist’s intent to capture only what his sitters give him, viewers cannot help but mentally embellish the individual stories. For this writer, one telling detail is an elderly gentleman’s hemmed cuffs that touchingly speak of an attentive caregiver. It’s nice to know he’s not alone.