Dolby Chadwick Gallery is pleased to announce Hello/Goodbye, a group exhibition featuring art by Stephen De Staebler, John DiPaolo, Edwige Fouvry, Ann Gale, Hollis Heichemer, Shelley Hoyt, Katina Huston, Alex Kanevsky, Jerome Lagarrigue, Danae Mattes, Joshua Meyer, Ada Sadler, and Kai Samuels-Davis.
Opening in December, a month that marks the close of one year while also signifying the start of another, Hello/Goodbye explores themes of impermanence and transience broadly. What does it mean, for example, to live and die, to experience change, to let go of attachments, to have faith, and to find liberation? While each artist approaches these and other questions differently, they share a common understanding that all life is indelibly linked and constantly changing, nothing ever repeats itself, and each moment is always different than the next.
Several of the artists featured in Hello/Goodbye focus their explorations almost exclusively on the human subject. Not only are Jerome Lagarrigue and Kai Samuels-Davis both known for their tightly-cropped paintings of faces, both also use a technique—one that relies on facets of colors—that reinforces motion and the passage of time. Though Ann Gale and Joshua Meyer also play with discrete brushstrokes to build up faces and bodies, the atomic-like quality of their markings encourages a quivering, as opposed to cinematic, energy. Despite these differences, the works are united by a preoccupation with the liminal: their subjects exist on the edge and in between.
These curiosities are picked up by Stephen De Staebler, whose sculptures directly confront the intermediary states touched upon by much of the art included in the exhibition. His monumental bronze statues of winged figures embody conflicting characteristics: Are they of this world, or another? Human or spirit? Modern or primordial?
Alex Kanevsky and Edwige Fouvry are both noted for their painting of human figures, they are also accomplished landscape painters. Rendered in heightened colors, these uninhabited, atmospheric worlds could just as easily be interpreted as coded explorations of psychological space. Shelley Hoyt’s graphic, ukiyo-e-inspired landscapes and Ada Sadler’s hyper-realistic oil paintings of empty chairs in domestic settings also invoke a certain pathos, though one that is more meditative than somber. The union of the existential and the natural is brought full circle by Danae Mattes’s mixed media artworks, which recall geological phenomena such as cracked riverbeds, marshes, and stalagmites. The organic and prehistoric qualities of her art are visceral reminders of where we come from and where we go.
A hallmark of many of the works is their tendency to straddle naturalism and abstraction. For some of her most recent pieces, Katina Huston works directly from the shadows cast by human skeletons hanging from her studio ceiling. In Christina’s World (2013), the impression of a skeleton lies buried beneath the shadows of a fast-growing spring weed—fennel. The intersecting forms move in and out of coherency thanks to the contrast offered by three strategically-placed swatches of striped fabric.
Hollis Heichemer’s exuberantly painted, synaptic forms encourage a visual- and neural-frenzy that pushes Hello/Goodbye even further toward abstraction, an agenda shared by John DiPaolo. Though deeply inspired by nature, DiPaolo moves beyond the visible world to uncover universals that exist, according to the artist, in the spirit of each painting. By pulling the viewer into an all-encompassing deluge of energy and light, DiPaolo’s paintings exceed the experience of one individual and, in so doing, show us that our joy, suffering, and losses are shared.