Category Archives: Judy Ferrara Gallery blog

Elizabeth Coyne

By Alessandra Stamper

everything

Everything

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Stepping Out Into the Blue

Coyne’s linear abstract paintings are dark in tone, but her ability to depict light and create depth is striking. Her composition of lines throughout her paintings represents symbols that she constructs based on what she observes in the natural world, the connections she makes, and her relationship with her materials and her craft. Coyne sees her paintings as an amalgamation of all these things, as well as a synthesis of both her imagination and her perception. Furthermore, her work is about the nexus between our mind, our body, and the universe around us.

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Swimming in the Forest

Painting serves as a meditative process for Coyne; as something that is so integral to her life and being. It is how she approaches life and moves through it. She describes her work as:

My paintings offer contemplation into life and into possibilities of existence. For me making art is about not only seeing and looking at the world around me- but also knowing that world and absorbing it.

Coyne is from Minnesota but has lived in New York since the early 80s. She received her MFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology and her B.A. from Purdue University. Coyne taught art at Williams College and worked with Thomas Krens who studied at Williams College and directed the Williams College Museum of Art before going on to serve as Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York City. She has also taught at the Chicago Art Institute. She has exhibited her work in New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Massachusetts, Vermont, Ohio, Germany, and Canada. Coyne has received awards from Architectural Digest and the Chicago Tribune, and her work is collected in public and private collections.

Tomo Mori

By Alessandra Stamper 

Japanese artist Tomo Mori has lived all over the world after leaving her hometown of Osaka, Japan, including the Caribbean, Latin America, and West Africa. She now lives in New York City where she exhibits her work prolifically. Mori’s works at the Judy Ferrara Gallery are from her Internal Fluidity series, which draws its inspiration from the multitude of feelings that we have no choice but to go through, confront, and resolve one way or another; feelings like happiness, which results in laughter, sadness, which results in crying, and everything in between. Also at the gallery are works from her Sakura Sanctuary series, based on her memories of Sakura trees growing up as a child in Japan. Sakura trees, or cherry blossoms, are a symbol of peace in Japan.

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In addition to these inherent emotions serving as the basis of this series is her interest in the individual parts that make up the larger whole, no matter how big or small they may be. This curiosity prevails in all of her work and stems from the complexity of organic structures that make up the human body, a society that is a collective of the people within it, wonders of nature that are comprised of millions of cells, etc.

This fascination with the parts that make up the whole is represented in her work by the hundreds and thousands of small painted pieces of canvas that she then pastes onto a large stretched canvas. The color palettes of these mixed media works range from dark blue edges that explode in bursts of light blues and greens in the center, to multicolored bursts of color on one side that fade to neutral matte hues on the other side, and neutral matte hues on the edges that form almost a tornado-like surge of small multicolored canvas pieces in the center, all overlapping one another, fighting for attention. Despite the vivacious nature of these works, there is a relaxing, meditative quality about them that makes you wonder about the meaning of the complex arrangement of the tiny canvas pieces collaged together. Once you know Mori’s inspiration for her art, you know they mean to exude all the minute individual elements forging together; resulting in everything that there is in the world.

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Regeneration #2

Mori was recently featured on “Prudential’s Masterpiece of Love – Regeneration” as she creates a work in the memory of a young widow’s husband. In the episode, Mori talks about loss and the way in which she can relate to the young woman because while she has not lost a husband, she did have a miscarriage and remarks that she felt like part of herself died at that moment. For her, painting was an act of therapy and an attempt at recovery after the devastating event. Mori also expresses the soul’s need and will to recover, if only we allow it to do so. All of this comes to the forefront in her work, Regeneration.

Arturo Mallmann’s Abstract Landscapes

By Alessandra Stamper 

Arturo Mallmann’s abstract landscapes radiate a shiny gloss that makes them appear as glass canvases, but they are not in fact glass. Mallmann’s process includes a complicated approach of layering coat after coat of clear epoxy resin with acrylic colors between each layer that are translucent, allowing the colors to permeate through each layer as they build upon one another.

A PLACE TO EXPLORE # 3

Mallmann’s landscapes do not afford the viewer entry into them to make you feel like you are part of the space. Rather, he depicts his subject matter from a faraway vantage point, forcing you to be a voyeur peering in on the scene taking place. The scene is typically comprised of a few people with an almost nomadic appearance walking across an uneven terrain whose destination is unclear. Perhaps this is intentional on Mallmann’s part to give the viewer the opportunity to imagine and create the subjects’ end points.

EXPEDITION

Mallmann does not incorporate people as subjects in all of his paintings, like A Place to Explore #1, for example. This painting illuminates the meeting point between water and the land that rests above, which blends seamlessly with the sky in which it resides. The colors are vibrant and the combination of greens and blues representing land and sky fuse together in such a way that results in an ephemeral effect.

A PLACE TO EXPLORE # 1

A Place to Explore #1

Some of his paintings also depict tropical environments, which pay homage to his childhood in Uruguay and Argentina. These paintings, like the one below, give the viewer a sense of tranquility that transport you to a state of serenity.

UNDER THE WIND

Sherry Giryotas and Philip Shore

By Alessandra Stamper 

Husband and wife Phillip Shore and Sherry Giryotas will soon have an exhibition at the gallery, with the opening on May 27, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. complete with the famous Blu drink!

Sherry Giryotas

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Sherry Giryotas’s abstract paintings are full of vibrant colors that elicit a journey of sorts, particularly those that are predominately blue and green with pops of red overlaid throughout. The journey she takes her viewers on harkens back to her extensive travels in various continents. The deep blues amidst the bright reds draw your eye into the painting, and as your eye follows the blues throughout, you are taken on this journey that Giryotas is aiming for. One could imagine each color representing one of the many places Giryotas has lived in around the world, and the mixing of colors together signifying the influence that each of those places has had on her being and consciousness.

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Her abstracts that are more subdued in tone are reminiscent of Paul Klee’s paintings with orange hues and geometrical shapes. Some of Giryotas’s abstract paintings in this tone almost take on the look of a landscape. Every year Giryotas takes a repose in the country, which inspires her more realistic landscapes. These landscapes are grey in tone and she makes a point to include real natural artifacts in these paintings, such as fern stems. She then paints over the stems to embed them into the painting. When looking at her body of work as a whole, one gets a sense of a migration process from place to place, which reflects her life, past and present.

 

Phillip Shore

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Taking a look at Phillip Shore’s mixed media sculptures you may glean an organic vision. This is because Shore is very much influenced by and connected to the natural world that surrounds us. The inspiration he finds in nature is not as bystander, but rather as an active participant within nature. He spends a great deal of time gardening and collecting things such as firewood, leaves, dead insects, etc. when he is out in the wilderness, all of which are later incorporated into his art. This process does not happen intentionally though, meaning he does not see something in nature, or several objects, and immediately know how to combine them. It is a more of a stream of consciousness process where he begins working with a particular object and allows it to evolve into a piece of art as he works with it.

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Shore’s emphasis on the natural world not only fulfills a passion of his, but he also means to say something about how interconnected the developed world and undeveloped world are; that is, constructed civilization and nature. Contrary to what most might assume, he is of the opinion that they very much work in unison. Organic forms are central to his sculptural works, as insects, branches, and twigs are a recurring theme in many of his works. Also common in his works are arms outstretched to the air with hands either grasping something or open-faced and reaching upward, perhaps symbolizing man reaching out to nature.

 

They will also both be exhibited at the Wichita Falls Museum of Art at Midwestern State University February 3 – April 8, with an opening on February 3, 6:30 p.m. 8:00 p.m.

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Deanna Krueger’s Shards Series

By Alessandra Stamper 

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Deanna Krueger’s Shards series catches the viewer’s eye with a glimmering, glistening effect. Mostly square or rectangular in shape, it is not immediately apparent what the material is when looking at them afar. As one gets closer, one might guess or assume that they are fine glass shards placed together, one overlapping another. Discovering a little bit more about them, one learns that they are not glass, but actually pieces of recycled X-Ray film layered with acrylic monotype prints and stapled together. When I say stapled, I mean thousands of staples. The X-Ray film serves as a comment on the digital age and the act of recording, which is what X-Rays do. These pieces of X-ray film and acrylic monotype prints stapled together do not allow the whole piece to lie firmly, evenly against the wall. Rather, the whole piece can be moved, shaped, and molded to one’s desire. And then reshaped and remolded as one wishes. It could look like a different work of art everyday. In this way, the works take on a kind of interactive quality between the work and the viewer.

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Some are solid colors of blue, yellow, and gray hues, while others are gradients of green and blue hues, darker at the top that gradually get lighter towards the bottom, and others lighter at the top that get darker towards the bottom. At about 60” x 60”, Krueger’s Shards pieces make a statement and command a presence. The warm hues, especially of the gradient pieces, have an ephemeral quality that catches you off guard when you first see them, but stays with you long after you’ve taken them in as they stand before you.