Hollis Taggart Southport presents Unique Expressions, a group exhibition featuring recent paintings by four contemporary artists, Gaby Collins-Fernandez, Gary Petersen, Kelsey Shwetz, and Yorgos Stamkopoulos.
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Curated by Paul Efstathiou, Director of Contemporary Art, Unique Expressions explores each artist’s individual practice showcasing a spectrum of techniques, materials, and approaches. Although their methods and expressions are unique, subtle links emerge. Each painter uses addition and subtraction in their process, visual presentation, and/or theme. Additionally line, space, texture, and/or form are highlighted throughout the works.
Gaby Collins-Fernandez blends digital imagery with painting to create collages that are a hybrid of the digital, physical, and photographic worlds. Extracting intimate gestures of mothers and daughters found in family photographs and digital representations of iconic paintings (such as works by early Renaissance painter, Piero della Francesca), Collins-Fernandez seeks to understand how imagery of tenderness and pain from the past affects our own emotional patterns. A multi-step process, she begins by creating digital montages that are printed on beach towels, generating a diffused and pixelated backdrop. She then stretches the towels and adds oil and acrylic paint, creating tactile and dynamic compositions that blur the lines of abstraction and figuration.
Gary Petersen paints distinctive hard-edge, geometric abstractions that build off the reductive qualities of the minimalist style while referencing architecture, cartoons, and graphic design. Petersen constructs his works in a multi-step process working intuitively without preliminary sketches. He first paints multiple lines and grids which he then obscures with a white wash creating a scaffold. On top of that, he adds vibrant-colored and precariously stacked forms held in place by lines. His rhythmic works allude to a state of vulnerability and uncertainty, but also optimism and playfulness.
Exploring the limits of human adaptation in a post-Anthropocene world, Kelsey Shwetz paints uninhabitable spaces where only relics of the natural world exist. Working from photographs and sketches of constructed environments such as conservatories, botanical gardens, and scientific dioramas, rather than the natural world, she creates alternative and theatrical landscapes where the perspectives, foliage, light, and compositions are beautifully strange and unsettling. Her altered artificial spaces foretell the effects of our current climate crisis.
Working in the subtractive approach of a sculptor, Berlin-based artist, Yorgos Stamkopoulos builds up his canvases with a thick layer of casting material and oil paint, and then strips off the surface to reveal colorful and lyrical imprints. His paintings are the results of his process not deliberate mark making. It is the extraordinary interaction between the material and technique that is the heart of his practice. For Stamkopoulos creation only happens through deconstruction.
Courtesy of Hollis Taggart