Stephane Villafane paints pleasing abstract landscapes. For the last several years, his pieces have been titled simply by the date on which they were composed, a habit of refreshing frankness and good sense for art in this genre.
27.03.2017. Acrylic and Spray Paint on Canvas. 13.8 H x 9.4 W x 0.2 in
In these two, quite recent, pieces, there is little sense of it being any sort of landscape (as indeed they may not be). However, the colors: green, brown, blue, overlaying each other in broad strokes of paint over the canvas, present pleasing and earthy textures that while decorative, are neither gaudy nor pretentious; one can admire them as one might admire the grain of a wooden beam.
28.03.2017. Acrylic and Spray Paint on Canvas. 13.8 H x 9.4 W x 0.2 in
Coming and Going #1. Acrylic on Canvas. 27.6 H x 11.8 W x 0.7 in
In this colorful series of acrylic paintings by Margit Platny, we see figures traverse an abstract landscape defined in minimal fashion by brightly colored, highly textured horizontal planes.
Coming and Going #2. Acrylic on Canvas. 19.7 H x 19.7 W x 0.7 in
The figures are painted, for the most part, like colorful shadows, contrasting with, but not entirely separated from their contexts. We see here that this is a man, but that is a woman. We see that that one is running, and the other walking up stairs.
Coming and Going #3. Acrylic on Canvas. 15.7 H x 19.7 W x 0.7 in
We only see the features that their outlines might reveal. The details are irrelevant, as the figures are used decoratively, participant in, rather than focus of, the artwork’s aesthetic.
Coming and Going #4. Acrylic on Canvas. 19.7 H x 19.7 W x 0.7 in
fan(flashlight). Oil on Canvas. 18 H x 16 W x 1.3 in
In this painting by United States artist Charlotte Evans, a dark figure, seen only in outline, walks along a shoreline carrying a flashlight, the beam of which is differentially refracted into a rainbow of various colors. Tall, brightly colored, slender, vertical trees stand between the figure and the observer. Although the painting ostensibly depicts a three-dimensional space, that space lacks any real feeling of depth. Instead, the artist draws our attention to how the canvas has been divided up by the curve of the shoreline, and the vertical lines of the trees. However, our attention is drawn most immediately to the prismatic beam of light.
In this painting by Carlos Martín, three children race across a beach on a foggy day, the beach a silvery reflection of pretty lavender sky. The title of the piece Last Day, suggests that the children depicted are making the greatest use of their last day of vacation.
White Thread. Oil on Canvas. 39.4 H x 43.3 W x 0.8 in
In this landscape painting by Anastasiia Kraineva from Ukraine, we see an empty field in early or late winter. Patches of snow sit on dead colorless grass. The bare, stark branches of leafless trees stand in the foreground. In the distance we something that might either be a fence, or perhaps a long line of block apartments buildings. The landscape is painted almost entirely in bleak browns, blacks, and dirty yellows, with the one exception that in the distance, a deeply blue sky can be glimpsed pehind wisps of dark clouds, offering hope for a warmer season’s return.
Traces. Mixed Media. 31.5 H x 23.6 W x 0.5 in
There are few places as personal, and as potential a source of embarrassment as a person’s bed. In this Traces, by artist Melinda Matyaswe see an unmade bed, strewn with sheets, blankets, pillows and clothes. Items of indeterminate identification lay on the floor beside the bed. The mattress itself is askew, as if to reinforce the obvious impression that whatever else might be going on in the person’s life whose bed this is, the state of their room is not a priority (and we might wonder why). The artist herself suggests that this piece is a “metaphor of the hidden traces of life issues.” Yet, for many of us, who find that our own bedrooms are the last to receive our attention after all of our other more urgent responsibilities to children, work, and community have been attended to, this scene is only too familiar.
The painting is roughly composed into three radiating regions: two walls, and the bed and floor. One effect this has is to draw our interest to the head of the bed, where a bright blue sheet or blanket or sheet sits. The articles atop the bed are painted as angular regions. The painting as a whole has the pleasing aspect we might find in abstracts.
Terrasse. Oil on Canvas. 31.9 H x 21.3 W x 0.8 in
In Terrasse by painter Annie Puybareau, we see two women seated at an outdoor cafe, conversing, as might be glimpsed from a terrace. The light is bright, but low; long shadows extend along the ground from the furniture. The colors are cool and pleasant. Much of the visual interest in the painting derives from the angle of perspective, and the interplay of light and shadow.
Winter Impression 18. Oil on Linen. 10.6 H x 13 W x 0.4 in
In Marta Zamarska’s pleasing series of paintings, Winter Impressions, we see various snowy winter landscapes, often featuring figures in various outdoor activities: children sledding in the snow, climbers make their way up snowy peaks, cross country skiers treading along a path. In these, the figures are painted as the merest impressions, as if seen some distance off through a haze of wind blown snow. The features of the landscape, captured as soft variations in color and shadow.
Winter Impression 19. Oil on Linen. 39.4 H x 47.2 W x 1 in
In others, any figures that might have been present, are lost from view in their entirety. For example in Winter Impression 20, a burst of sunlight is scattered in an airborne cloud of snow, an unlooked for hazy explosion of warm red and yellow. It is as if, the view were too dazzling to see clearly.
Winter Impression 15. Oil on Linen. 10.6 H x 13 W x 0.8 in
Winter Impression 20. Oil on Linen. 19.7 H x 23.6 W x 0.4 in
Nude in Ball on Floor. Oil on Wood. 14 H x 14 W x 1 in
The art of Ingrid Capozzoli Flinn focuses on the female form in nude, usually posed in subdued interior spaces. Unlike many paintings of women in the nude, the chosen poses, while often innovative, seem deliberately neutral; the artist is exploring the female form through color and light, but the intent seems neither to entice nor to repel; instead, it is an invitation to observe. In this respect, her work is refreshing.
In these two works, the model faces away from the painter. In one case, the figure is on the floor huddled in a ball, the arch of her back brightly lit by the studio lamps. In the other, the model sits in a butterfly pose on a stool. In contrast to many of her other works, these paintings utilize richer, earthier color tones, both in the depiction of the model, but in the depiction of the interior spaces.
Nude in Butterfly Pose. Oil on Canvas. 10 H x 10 W x 1 in
Milky Way II. Acrylic and Oil on Canvas. 47.2 H x 31.5 W x 0.8 in
In these two dramatic works by artist Grażyna Smalej, the Milky Way, the galaxy of stars of which our own solar system is part, is shown as a colorful plume extending up from the horizon to tower overhead, resembling a roiling forest conflagration. The artist uses the the vertically oriented canvas to give the night sky, and the arch of the Milky Way, its towering aspect, while her use of color enhances the contrast between the the darkness of empty space with the luminous galactic cloud.
Milky Way I. Acrylic and Oil on Canvas. 47.2 H x 31.5 W x 0.8 in