Wednesday, January 18, 2012

PRESS RELEASE: Natural Wonders at BigTown Gallery in Rochester

At BigTown Gallery, 99 North Main in Rochester, Vermont

Natural Wonders
Main Gallery: John Udvardy and Marcy Hermansader
Center Gallery: Anda Dubinskis

January 18 - March 19, 2012
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 21, 5-7 pm

This exhibition brings together the work of three singularly distinctive artists: Marcy Hermansader, Anda Dubinskis, and John Udvardy—a grouping that serves as a study in juxtaposition, of energetic contrasts and potent evocations of spirit inhabiting nature, here expressed in painting and sculpture.

Marcy Hermansader has characterized her work as a response to a pervasive “mystification,” an ongoing self-inquiry that asks: How does meaning emerge from art? Hermansader’s deeply personal, richly imagined drawings emerge from the provocations of real-life stimuli, be it literary or musical, from travel, out of memory, or fantasy; the trigger can be personal circumstance, or a social setting, it might even be political. The works are composed by combining mixed media—pencil, acrylic, foils, fabrics, thread, sequins—diverse materials that disappear into the exquisite figurative abstraction. Rachel Rosenfield Lafo, Senior Curater of the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA, said of this suite of drawings when it was exhibited there in 1990, under the title Belief in the Underground: The Art of Marcy Hermansader: "They [the drawings] should be seen as imaginary maps of states of being, or feeling, in which objects from daily life assume magical properties."

John Udvardy's sculptural assemblages of found wood, paper, metal, plaster, and parts peer directly into a face-to-face encounter with Nature, and especially into its intersection with Time. His deft reappropriations and repurposing of selected natural materials confer a meaningful and expressive afterlife as Art, on what otherwise had been discarded, post-function. Udvardy’s work exudes a precision of balance and proportion that seems of a piece with the near boundless elaboration of organic forms found in Nature, but it argues its aesthetic, and seats any claim for meaning, strictly within the particular and specific; Udvardy works from a physical sense of merging with the heft of his objects, so to discover how things, in sculpture, find each other. The balance objects seek—in weight and form, and in color—when they are brought into proximity, placed in combination, is the initiating principle animating his work.

Anda Dubinskis’s work for this exhibition is selected from three of her series in gouache: Flora and Fauna, Little Poems, and Let’s Talk. The graphic and design elements, as well as the aspects and attributes of the figuration, combine into set-like stagings that insert the highly-charged immediacy of acute psychological states into the structures and confines of an enduring, natural world. An omniscient clarity suffuses each piece, as with an Audobon-like precision, Dubinskis transforms space into habitable environment by sparely (never sparsely) furnishing detail—salient, succinct, personalized—fit to that figure's life, be it animal’s, plant’s, or person’s.

Marcy Hermansader, Putney, VT; Anda Dubinskis, Philadelphia, PA; and John Udvardy, Bristol, RI; have widely exhibited throughout the northeast. Both Hermansader and Dubinskis have shown at the Fleisher-Ollman Gallery in Philadelphia. Dubinskis has taught at Swarthmore, the University of Pennsylvania, Moore College of Art, Arcadia University and Tyler School of Art, and is currently on the Visual Arts faculty of Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design. Udvardy is retired from a long teaching career at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Marcy Hermansader, After, 1988, colored pencil, acrylic, spray-paint, and foil on paper, 20.25" x 20"
John Udvardy, Spiritwalker / Muse, 2011, glazed earthware, painted cardboard, wood, 25" x 8" x 10"
Anda Dubinskis, Civita, 2010, gouache on rice printed rice paper, 26" x 19"