Waxing Poetic Opening

Pelham Art Center

Sep. 14, 2018, 06:30 pm

155 Fifth Avenue
PHONE 914.738.2525


WAXING POETIC, Curated by Katharine Dufault
September 14-October 27, 2018

Opening Reception Friday, September 14, 6:30-8:00 pm
At 5:30 – 6:30 pm there will be an opening of a new sculpture installation in our courtyard by Sui Park Free and Open to All

To Wax Poetic is to grow more expansive or expressive lyrically. Growth and transformation is inherent in the verb to wax, and within the creative or poetic process itself. Each of the six New York based artists in this exhibition has created a symbolic language, or aesthetic, using encaustic paint. Encaustic is the ancient medium of beeswax, resin and pigment, applied while molten. The medium is highly adaptable and each artist has works selected to show the possibilities of the medium and the breadth of their vision.

Cecile Chong builds up multiple smooth layers of clear/natural wax and transparent colors to create ambiguous landscape spaces. She inhabits them with diminutive figures finely etched into the wax – a woman in traditional Asian garb and a western child in 1940’s style outfit. Her “work address ideas of cultural interaction and interpretation.” She “is interested in how we acquire and share culture, and how world cultures overlap.”

Michael David embeds found objects in the encaustic to create large, powerfully physical paintings with narrative abstraction and spiritual metaphors. He” loves the immediacy of the encaustic process, the physicality” and feels it is “a perfect actualization of himself through painting.” Renowned art critic Donald Kuspit has described Michael David as possibly “the most innovative master of immediate surface since the Abstract Expressionists.”

Katharine Dufault applies the molten wax like paint to create brightly saturated images. In her recent work, areas of color in abstracted natural forms recall plants or flowers. She layers and scrapes to achieve the right balance of color and shape in her compositions. “I want the work to attract the viewer with beauty and simultaneously prompt curiosity. I attempt a modern rendering of the ancient form.”

Gene Kiegel builds up a highly textured surface in his monochromatic works. He “aims to showcase the beauty of simple organic reactions, which are present all around us but often overlooked in our fast-paced and hyper-stimulated world.” He employs a dry brush technique, allowing wax to generate its own organic forms.

Melissa Rubin builds up layers of colored wax, transfers and fine etching to create the lyrical and ancient looking works of her ’Fragments’ series. The “series is directly inspired by the shards of ceramics and pottery” found washed up on the beach near her Rockaway Beach studio.

Deborah Winiarski uses fabric and pigmented wax to create raised and textured surfaces which undulate across the surface of the substrate. Beginning with encaustic monotype directly onto the fabric, she then composes the colored strips across the surface to create richly colored works. “The torn and folded strips provide dimension and color, their edges create line.”

Pelham Art Center

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