LUSH: Gary Cruz, Court Lurie, Melanie Parke, Sophie Treppendahl
Kenise Barnes Fine Art
Nov. 16, 2024 - Dec. 22, 2018
For New York artist Gary Cruz, the creative process begins with the camera on his phone. This exhibition focuses on The Wholesalers series and is based on images taken while wandering the garment and flower districts of New York City. The photographs have their origins in the dizzying abundance of offerings spilling over onto sidewalks, crowded into storefronts and overflowing shops, and on the urban landscape reflected in their glass windows. In stark contrast to the immediacy and spontaneity of a camera phone, the work in the studio is a slow and deliberate editing process. Each image is digitally manipulated; its forms and colors are pushed, pulled, fragmented, swirled and swiped using an array of computer programs and applications. Trained as an architect and designer, Cruz has a particular interest in creating and conflating depth within the pictorial plane. The final images compress space; back is front, outside is inside. Past, present and future coexist simultaneously, space is ambiguous. The works embody the duality of contemporary photographic techniques and the tradition of gestural painting. This is Cruz’s first exhibition with the gallery.
Cruz earned a degree in architecture from University of Texas, Austin, TX, attended Bronx Museum of the Arts, AIM Program, Bronx, NY. The artist is a recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Grant and Robert Rauschenberg Change Inc. Grant. A native of Texas, he now lives and works in New York City.
The gallery is thrilled to debut another Texas artist, Court Lurie, in this exhibition. Working large, Lurie’s paintings read as a narrative tableau, a rich visual journey. Each oil painting is an exploration of the painted surface, spatial relations and gestural drawing. The immersive canvases, some as large as 8.5 feet long, invite the viewer to spend time moving from calm swaths of pale paint to energetic patches of soft, geometric activity. Lurie effectively nourishes us visually and emotionally with her engaging and generous work.
Lurie earned a BFA from Savannah College of Art & Design, Savannah, GA. The artist has been featured in many design and lifestyle magazines, on television, in films and in several industry publications. Lurie’s work is in many private and public collections including The Westin Hotel, Austin, TX, The Four Seasons Hotel, Austin, TX. She was awarded artist residencies at Jentel Artist Residencies, Banner, WY, Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, Saratoga, WY, The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, Nebraska, NE and The Rensing Center, Pickins, SC. Court is also a trauma sensitive yin yoga instructor, Reiki Master and spiritual guide. She lives and works in Austin, TX.
Melanie Parke’s lush paintings reflect the idea that objects, flowers, and places bind her to a lifetime of friendships and memories. Pastoral interior settings and tabletop still lifes are suffused with memory, the implication of time’s passing and of longing and comfort. Each painting speaks also of the palpable pleasure of painting itself. Parke paints in broad gestures with textured open brushwork giving way to small moments, marks that seem to alight on the surfaces of patterned vases, picture frames and tablecloths. Birds and flowers populate her paintings, blurring the interior and the bucolic outside world. Parke’s composition exists in a beautiful state of flux, the elements forever deconstructing and recomposing themselves. Evoking the rich art historical tradition of pattern painters such as Bonnard and Vuillard, Parke subverts the notion of surface and ground, subject and object. Each object in her paintings takes turns asserting itself in a visual narrative of love and companionship.
Melanie Parke earned a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL. Parke has been the recipient of numerous residencies including a two-time visiting artist at The American Academy in Rome. Parke’s work has been exhibited widely throughout the United States. She is a respected curator and community arts organizer. Parke is a native of Indiana and now lives in Michigan with her husband who is also an artist.
Sophie Treppendahl’s paintings investigate enchantment in the ordinary, capturing and contemplating unexpected moments of bliss where everyday life is filled with ephemeral perfection. A simple breakfast in Mexico served on colorful pottery and patterned tablecloths, for example, is celebrated and memorialized. Treppendahl’s personal subjects and nostalgia tug on our own heartstrings. In her painting, the viewer recognizes the commonality of experience in the everyday moment. Her masterful paint handling, gestural in its easy confidence, conveys speed and urgency of the artist’s endeavor to capture a fleeting moment to share.
Treppendahl earned a BA in Painting and Printmaking from the College of Charleston. Her paintings have been shown at Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, Charleston, SC, 1019 Gallery and Richard and Dolly Maass Gallery at SUNY Purchase College of Art and Design, Purchase, NY, and the Visual Art Center of Richmond, Richmond, VA. She lives and works in Richmond, VA.
A digital exhibition catalogue is available and a link can be found on our website www.KBFA.com. Please contact our staff with inquires or to arrange a preview of the exhibition.
Image Caption: Gary Cruz, Tulle, 2018