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
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.
Giraffe. Acrylic and Oil on Canvas. 59.1 H x 43.3 W x 0.8 in
Although artist Grażyna Smalej’s work can be described as figurative, typically, the figures in her work are small, and situated in environments of overwhelming presence, painted boldly in a profusion of color. Such is the case in this painting Giraffe. Here, we see a person and giraffe standing opposite each other across a fence, the giraffe’s long neck stretching over toward the person. In the distance, we see a field of grass and a stand of dark green trees beyond them, and above it all, a vibrantly blue blue sky, which stretches high above them all.
Indeed, we are used to thinking of just how tall giraffe’s are; their height, and their extraordinary long necks, are, in our eyes, their defining features, and yet here, the artist playfully downplays that feature, drawing our interest instead to the wide expanse of sky that looms over head.
Untitled. Acrylic on Canvas. 36 H x 30 W x 0.8 in
A woman wearing a bright red shirt, sits, her legs tucked and crossed beneath her in this figurative abstract painting by Iranian Canadian painter Majid Eskandari. The details of the woman’s face has been replaced by non-representational overlapping strokes of vibrant color. The intense red color of her shirt, and the tone of her flesh is set against a sedate and more uniformly painted background: a light blue wall, and grey floor.
By obscuring the woman’s face, the artist frustrates our natural tendency to read the face to inform our interpretation of the mood of a figurative painting (a technique that seems quite popular among a number of contemporary artists, Hanna Ilczyszyn to take just one example). Instead, we rely on the cheerful colors, and the apparent youth and beauty of the figure’s form.
Dame lo. Oil on Canvas. 78.7 H x 82.7 W x 0.8 in
Diana Roig paints richly textured gestural paintings. In Dame lo, the artist has created a piece that has all the colorful complexity of marbled clay, but the grittiness of a cross-sectional slide of scar tissue. The artist says that some people say that it feels like a landscape, and that others say it reminds them of water lilies.
Harvest Season. Oil on Canvas. 60 H x 40 W x 1 in
In Harvest Season by Iraqi-American painter Qais Al-Sindy a man and a woman present their harvest of dates. The man, clothed in white, stands behind the woman, clothed in red and black and holding a bowl, as if to invite the observer to taste the fruit of their labor. Their colorful garb contrasts with the more sedate colors in the background. In describing the painting, the artist recalls visiting Southern Iraq and watching palm date farmers climbing trees to harvest the dates. The painting, indeed, presents itself as an amalgamation of memories recalled with the vibrancy of youth.