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September 11 - October 31, 2009

Two exhibitions of abstract painting explore landscape and geometric forms.

SQUARED OFF: WORKS ON PAPER BY ELIZABETH GOLDMAN is a solo exhibition of abstract artworks that are a hybrid of painting and drawing. It is also the first exhibit to take place in the Art Center's renovated gallery. Paintings/drawings of geometric shapes and lines, composed of layers of charcoal, graphite, acrylic and oil, allude to the gestural surface marks and materials of Abstract Expressionism and the analytical strategies of Minimalism and Process Art. By working in layers, Ms. Goldman allows the work to evolve, creating an almost invisible history with marks and materials. The tension on the canvas comes not from what is seen but what is not seen.

SAME RIVER TWICE: NEW PAINTINGS BY BRADLEY FESMIRE, LAUREN PORTADA AND JOSH WILLIS is a group exhibition of abstract paintings. The title of the show is derived from a saying attributed to Heraclitus, “you could not step twice into the same river, for other waters are ever flowing on to you,” and also the Native American aphorism, “you can never enter the same river twice.”  It appears as the title of a collection of essays by Alice Walker, which she describes as a “lingering look backward at a dangerous crossroad in one’s life.” For this group of artists, it is the discovery that although the process of making art often involves reiterations or elaborations on what they have done before, the elements are always changing. Inspired by water and nature, and by the individual’s place in the landscape, the artists use the materiality of paint to elicit an emotional response.

 Josh Willis’s miniature paintings can be viewed as either discrete works or part of a larger series of paintings. Developed from the outside-in, the artist first establishes how many canvases, and what size and shape they will take. Imagery is characterized by an impression of a figure in the landscape, as a reference to the “figure in a landscape” as represented in landscape painting and as a connection to the artist’s place of origin.  Lauren Portada describes her paintings as recordings focused on the intimacy of the landscape. Inspired by travel, observation, and nature photography, they reflect her concern with the natural world and the expansion of historical landscape painting, deciphering the connection between the landscape and history, viewer and object, chronicled events and time.  Bradley Fesmire’s process involves wooden panels that are carved, most often with a router, to allow for a direct relation with the material and experience. The router acts as paintbrush, eraser and in the artist’s words, a metaphor for time, ingraining his ideas into the surface of the work, with a tinge of melancholy.

Download the press release.