oil

Painting

Vignette: Margaret Archambault


“The power of what we see and how it alters our ability to find what we consider ‘happiness’ is something I find challenging and worth exploration.” – Margaret Archambault


Archambault's studio

Archambault's studio

In her 6th solo exhibit, In Ten's; A Single Century to Live, which opens on October 6th at Tim Faulkner Gallery, Margaret Archambault examines perception and mortality: “In essence, we measure our lives in 10 decades of experience. Some of us don't reach that 10th decade, but we all see our ‘life-time’ as potentially 100 years. Our personal perspective evolves through these years and our expectations related to happiness and fulfillment either becomes satisfied or we are left perpetually wanting. It is my goal with this new series to demonstrate the fallacy of the world being sold to us and focus on the world we can create within ourselves.”

Illusion versus reality is a frequent theme in art, but does it challenge our sanity to question the perception of our own existence. Archambault posits the opposite, that we are already inured from reality by the insulating cocoon of mass media. Her busy, kinetic compositions emulate in analog fashion the unyielding assault of visual information that we weather on an almost constant basis in our daily lives.

"We Are What We Were" by Margaret Archambault, 60x84in, oil and spray paint on canvas (2017)

"We Are What We Were" by Margaret Archambault, 60x84in, oil and spray paint on canvas (2017)

In “We Are What We Are,” Archambault breaks the pattern of dense collage slightly with the placement of one dominant figure, a 1920’s style woman representative of a pre-digital culture, but in a posture bent under the weight of 10 years of technological development.

“Regardless of our desires and often in direct defiance of our ‘plans’ the revolutions of time and the changes that come with it lead us to the revelations that alter our paths. My newest collection, the Silk Screen Series has a universal message about how our lives are affected by the world around us. More often than not, we make decisions based on what we think is expected of us, or what someone else wants us to do. These decisions often lead to destinations we never expected and only after we have arrived do we recognize the folly.”

Hometown: South Bend, Indiana
Education: BA, Interdisciplinary Humanities with Art Focus, Summa cum Laude, Spalding University, 2007
Gallery Representation: Tim Faulkner Gallery (Louisville)
Website: http://www.archambault-art.com
Instagram: http://instagram.com/margaretarchambault

"A Book of Life" by Margaret Archambault, 60x84in, oil and spray paint on canvas (2017)

"A Book of Life" by Margaret Archambault, 60x84in, oil and spray paint on canvas (2017)

"It's What You See, Not What You're Shown" by Margaret Archambault, 32x23in, oil and spray paint on canvas (2016), $850 |  BUY NOW

"It's What You See, Not What You're Shown" by Margaret Archambault, 32x23in, oil and spray paint on canvas (2016), $850 | BUY NOW

"Celebration" by Margaret Archambault, 60x84in, oil and spray paint on canvas (2017)

"Celebration" by Margaret Archambault, 60x84in, oil and spray paint on canvas (2017)

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Painting

Vignette: Devan Horton


“By questioning and altering our perceptions of beauty, these works open our minds to accept the nontraditional.” – Devan Horton


"Puff Ball Mushrooms" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 |  BUY NOW

"Puff Ball Mushrooms" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 | BUY NOW

The closer we look at nature, the more it can seem alien to us. The word mushroom conjures up a simple shape, earthy in texture and pungent in aroma, with little or no color, yet Devan Horton’s paintings present a range of beauty and organic form far away from that cliché.

“Nature has always inspired my work in both concept and form, therefore the majority of my pieces are environmentally centered and are about naturally occurring phenomena and behaviors. With that said, the direction of my work has seen an evolution. Where the focus was once on live subjects such as swarms of animals, insects, and plants in order to portray an active idea, I slowly transitioned into making work about dead matter and elimination.”

Horton refers to her subject here as “dead matter,” yet there is such vibrant life in these images. However inert the reality, the artist’s viewpoint imbues the organic forms with the same living pulse that she explored in her previous work.

"Orange and Blue Mushroom" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 |  BUY NOW

"Orange and Blue Mushroom" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 | BUY NOW

"Pink and Green Mushrooms" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 |  BUY NOW

"Pink and Green Mushrooms" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 | BUY NOW

“Today, my work discusses themes of rebirth by portraying new life growing from the source of fallen trees. Pulchritudinous is a series of fungi paintings that displays the sheer variety of species and beautiful patterns that hail solely from our local area. Fungus has never been revered for being beautiful, but by taking a closer look at these magnificent recyclers, the viewer is forced to see the intricate patterns and wide spectrum of color that was there all along. Even the word Pulchritudinous is an ugly term at first sight, but quite literally means “something of great physical beauty”. By playing with techniques that make objects appear more attractive, all of my work revolves around a change in perspective by viewing that which we look at negatively in a new light.”

Horton currently has solo exhibition at Perennial Gallery, 625 Madison Ave, Covington, Kentucky, through August 20, 2017

Age: 23
Hometown: Covington, Kentucky
Education: BFA, Painting, Northern Kentucky University, 2016; while in school participated in a study abroad to Rome and Florence Italy.
Website: http://www.devanhorton.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hortondevan/

"Split Gill Mushroom" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 |  BUY NOW

"Split Gill Mushroom" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 | BUY NOW

"Turkey Mushroom" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 |  BUY NOW

"Turkey Mushroom" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 | BUY NOW

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Painting

Q&A: Quappi Projects


“We have more knowledge than at any time in human history, yet not only do we not seem comforted or buoyed by that knowledge, we have - or some of us have, I suppose - begun to openly reject knowledge, experience and even commonly agreed-upon facts.“ – John Brooks


Artist, John Brooks

Artist, John Brooks

Q&A with John Brooks about Quappi Projects

‘Quappi’ was the nickname of Mathilde von Kaulbach, who was married to German New Objectivist painter Max Beckmann (1884-1950). It was derived from the similarity of her surname to the German word Kaulquappe, meaning ‘tadpole’.

It is a singular phrase with no other formal meaning, which seems to delight Louisville artist John Brooks, and so he chose it as the moniker of his new exhibition initiative, Quappi Projects. Occupying most of his current studio space at 1520 B Lytle Street in the Portland neighborhood, the mission is to showcase four artists each year from in and outside of Louisville. The inaugural show will be work of Adam Chuck, a Cleveland, Ohio native, now living and making work in Brooklyn, New York.

What motivated you to devote some of your studio space to exhibition space for other artists?

"Diogo In Pink" by Adam Chuck, 5x7in, oil on mylar

"Diogo In Pink" by Adam Chuck, 5x7in, oil on mylar

Running a gallery is an endeavor I've long been interested in, but it was difficult to imagine a way in which I could maintain a studio practice, run a gallery, and afford to do both. I was between studios in 2015 and spent the summer in Berlin. Part of that time was spent studying under the German artist Norbert Bisky, whose work I've admired for a long time.  We discussed a lot of things, including lamenting the difficulty of finding avenues to show and share work. He advised that I (or anyone!) should just "start my own thing;" so I've had this bee in my bonnet for a couple of years. Since January 2016 I've shared my Lytle Street studio space with another artist, and when he decided to move out I knew that this was my opportunity. The space is perfect - clean, bright, white, and with enough room to allow me to continue my studio practice and to exhibit others' work in a proper way.

As an artist, I know how difficult it can be to find arenas in which to show your work, and I am thrilled by the idea that I can provide that opportunity to other artists. Also, I've been fortunate to live in both London and Chicago, and have traveled the United States and Europe fairly extensively, so I feel like I have a broad range of art-related experiences and knowledge that I can rely on to help inform the direction of the gallery's platform.

"Baptism" by Adam Chuck, 4x7.35in, oil on mylar

"Baptism" by Adam Chuck, 4x7.35in, oil on mylar

How did you become aware of Adam Chuck's work?

"Hand Palm" by Adam Chuckn, 5.5x7in, oil on mylar

"Hand Palm" by Adam Chuckn, 5.5x7in, oil on mylar

Adam Chuck paints primarily images from social media; fittingly, we "met" quite randomly through Instagram a few years ago. Though we've never yet met in person, we have developed what I consider to be a real friendship, which speaks both to the power and possibilities of social media but also the power and purity of his work. When it became clear that Quappi Projects was really going to happen, I knew I wanted to inaugurate the gallery with a show of Adam's work and happily he said yes. I'm a fan (and a collector) of his work and am so excited to be able to share it with the Louisville art community and the city at large. At first glance, Adam's work might seem to border on the salacious, but I think it creeps up to that line and then walks back. Most of the work is tiny, phone-screen-sized, owing its existence to social media platforms such as Instagram. The work is intimate, sensual and extremely honest. Each work is an exposure, really; it is essentially about reaching out, about the deep desire to connect, and represents an attempt to know and be known. In an age of terror and big fears, Adam's work seems infused with knowledge of those fears, but speaks more to the fundamental needs and basic human fears of need: to be desired, to be loved, to be seen, to be considered.

Tell me about the term "quappi"? I know the Beckman story, but what does it mean to you?

I believe very much in the transformative power of art. I have experienced this enough times in my own life to understand and value its merit, and I firmly believe that the highest function of art is to allow human beings to know ourselves more deeply. My own work has been concerned with the emotional resonance of particular experiences and what Max Beckmann described as "the deepest feeling about the mystery of being." Quappi Projects' goal is to exhibit contemporary art reflecting the zeitgeist, and the zeitgeist is mighty strange. Perhaps all times are strange, but I don't think there's any arguing that we are living in very strange times.

"Bildnis Quappi" by Max Beckmann

"Bildnis Quappi" by Max Beckmann

We have more knowledge than at any time in human history, yet not only do we not seem comforted or buoyed by that knowledge, we have - or some of us have, I suppose - begun to openly reject knowledge, experience and even commonly agreed-upon facts. I find that very worrying. I think the experiences of 20th Century German artists like Max Beckmann (and others) are relevant to us today.  Beckmann didn't consider himself a political person, yet his entire life was thrown into upheaval because of politics. He considered political concerns to be secondary to the concerns of the spiritual or metaphysical. Although I am a political person (and have a BA in Political Science) I agree with him and certainly find most explicitly political work too narrowly focused. At the same time, I think the best art reflects the times in which it was created, so it must have some element of the political. Take Velazquez' "Las Meninas," for example - artistically, it is a masterpiece, but it also tells us so much about the Spanish Court and what was going on at the time. I find that balance fascinating, and hopefully we can show work that is interesting in the same way. Even if we fall just a little short of "Las Meninas," we'll be very successful!

I plan to alternate non-Louisville-based and Louisville-based artists have a great series of artists lined up: Baghdad, Iraq-born artist Vian Sora, who now lives and works in Louisville; Louisville native Whit Forrester, who lives in Chicago and just graduated with an MFA from Columbia College; wood artisan Michael James Moran, a central Kentucky native who now lives and works in the Hudson Valley; and photographer Ryan Tassi.

"Raven Wings" by Adam Chuck, 5.5x7.25in, oil on mylar

"Raven Wings" by Adam Chuck, 5.5x7.25in, oil on mylar

Beckmann credited Quappi with keeping him going, keeping him on task and inspired. I think we're living in times when we must keep going, be on task, and be inspired. It's very easy to want to give into the notion of being quiet and comfortable, but I think we must resist that. We must be open, communicate, and connect. I'm hoping the spirit of Quappi can help me do that.

Adam Chuck / Instant Gratification

August 18 – September 29
Opening: Friday, August 18 / 5:00-9:00pm

Quappi Projects
1520 B Lytle Street
Gallery open by appointment only
www.quappiprojects.com

"Portrait of Les" by Adam Chuckn, 3.25x4in, oil on mylar

"Portrait of Les" by Adam Chuckn, 3.25x4in, oil on mylar

Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Photography

Vignette: Julius Friedman (1943-2017)

"Peony" by Julius Friedman, photography

"Peony" by Julius Friedman, photography

Artist, Julius Friedman. Photograph by Sarah Davis.

Artist, Julius Friedman. Photograph by Sarah Davis.

Once when Julius Friedman was delivering an informal lecture for Louisville Visual Art, he noted how the cover of his most recent book at the time, “Images & Ideas”, was a shot of the condensation on his shower door, and how he had once waited 2 hours for a car to move off a particularly fascinating oil and water puddle in a parking lot so he could photograph it.

Friedman’s images are characteristically so expertly constructed and expressive of a stringent graphic discipline that the randomness at the root of this anecdote seems surprising, but I think the lesson is that an artist does indeed see the world differently; at all times observing their environment on a fundamentally different level than the average citizen.

Art is communication, so if the ability to share that point-of-view is the most important measure of an artist, then Friedman must be counted as a Modern Master. His commercial work, most notably the posters that made him famous in the 1970’s, are brilliant in capturing the appeal of art in terms so vivid as to command the attention of all levels of society. In effect, he established a brand for the arts in Louisville, designing iconic images for so many important arts organizations: The Speed Museum, Louisville Visual Art, the Louisville Ballet, the Louisville Orchestra…the list goes on and on.

"Erica de La O 1" by Julius Friedman, 20x30in, photography printed on aluminum (2010)

"Erica de La O 1" by Julius Friedman, 20x30in, photography printed on aluminum (2010)

He did no less in his personal work, exploring technique on an esoteric level that always translated to fun and fascination for the viewer. He photographed Louisville Ballet dancer Eric De La O exhaustively but never exhausted the subject, producing dozens of potent images over several years. He photographed flowers, a prosaic and common subject that in Friedman’s hands become an astonishing example of his own relationship with nature. The same observation applies to his Becoming Wisteria series, images of model Alli Wiles positioned among the wisteria on his 200-acre farm.

"Toe On Egg" by Julius Friedman

"Toe On Egg" by Julius Friedman

In 2016, Frazier Museum in Louisville hosted a vital retrospective of Friedman’s work, showing more than 200 posters and also incorporating The Book, a project in which he deconstructed a collection of discarded books and which was his last published work. There was also a dazzling installation of color photographs on aluminum that, in and of itself was impressive enough to represent his creative vision, but what most excited the artist was an immersive screening of his most recent film work, flowing, abstract images of water in nature.

It was just water running in a stream – or it was simply peonies, or a painter’s palette, or an old book, but Julius Friedman always made us see the commonplace in a new light.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Website: http://www.imagesol.com

Nathan Felde, Fred DeSanto, and Julius Friedman (c.1970) outside Images studio. Photographer unknown, courtesy Tad DeSanto.

Nathan Felde, Fred DeSanto, and Julius Friedman (c.1970) outside Images studio. Photographer unknown, courtesy Tad DeSanto.

"Untitled #10" by Julius Friedman, 20x30in, photograph printed directly on raw aluminum (2015)

"Untitled #10" by Julius Friedman, 20x30in, photograph printed directly on raw aluminum (2015)

Book cover for "Images & Ideas" by Julius Friedman

Book cover for "Images & Ideas" by Julius Friedman

"Fresh Paint" by Julius Friedman, photography

"Fresh Paint" by Julius Friedman, photography

Artist, Julius Friedman. Photo courtesy of John Nation.

Artist, Julius Friedman. Photo courtesy of John Nation.

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. 

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Painting

Vignette: William Pichette


What portions of our self do we edit, manipulate, and hide from view for the greater good of likes and followers? – William Pichette


"Under Control" by William Pichette, 8x20in, acrylic on printed canvas (2016), $210 |  BUY NOW

"Under Control" by William Pichette, 8x20in, acrylic on printed canvas (2016), $210 | BUY NOW

William Pichette is a painter who sees the inherent qualities of his medium as integral to expressing the themes in the imagery. In his own words: “The thrill of the acrylic paint medium comes from how quick you must work to create. The paint dries very fast but each attempt at progress easily hides the previous attempts. Hiding ourselves proves more difficult. Once we reveal our truths through action and speech, it is not so easily undone. In a world where compliance and filtering our daily expression is the norm, muting the brilliance of our emotion is preferred, and it would be an outrageous offense to demonstrate weakness, vulnerability, honesty—humanity—I cherish in sight of visibility.”

Pichette often sets his figures against patterned backgrounds, the human a silhouette initiating a conversation with negative space, full of emotional suggestion, signs and portents.

“My pieces are inspired both by how we see and how we are seen. How do we see ourselves behind closed doors, looking in vanity mirrors, and through the lenses of our Instagram and Snapchat feed? What portions of our self do we edit, manipulate, and hide from view for the greater good of likes and followers? Those raw bits; the understanding of ourselves we hold so true that we would hate for others to see. Those nuances draw my focus; typically not blemishes and physical flaws of our outward appearance, but parts of our body none-the-less. They are the fights with mental illness and turmoil of thought, our agitation and need for direction, the imprints of the souls of others and the scars of love lost.”

Pichette just participated in 2017 Group Exhibition, Queer Voices, at Open Community Arts Center, Louisville, KY.

Age: 25
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Education: Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Ethnic Studies (Asian-American Studies), University of Texas
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Shquiggles/

"Impressionable Young Minds - Christine" by William Pichette, 8x10in, acrylic and ink on canvas (2016), $140 |  BUY NOW

"Impressionable Young Minds - Christine" by William Pichette, 8x10in, acrylic and ink on canvas (2016), $140 | BUY NOW

"Wanderlust" by William Pichette, 8x10in, acrylic and ink on canvas (2016), $140 |  BUY NOW

"Wanderlust" by William Pichette, 8x10in, acrylic and ink on canvas (2016), $140 | BUY NOW

"Impressionable Young Minds - Will" by William Pichette, 8x10in, acrylic and ink on canvas (2016), $140 |  BUY NOW

"Impressionable Young Minds - Will" by William Pichette, 8x10in, acrylic and ink on canvas (2016), $140 | BUY NOW

"See and Be Seen" by William Pichette, 8x10in, acrylic and ink on canvas (2015), $110 |  BUY NOW

"See and Be Seen" by William Pichette, 8x10in, acrylic and ink on canvas (2015), $110 | BUY NOW

"Turbulent Thought" by William Pichette, 18x18in, acrylic on wood board (2016), $375 |    BUY NOW

"Turbulent Thought" by William Pichette, 18x18in, acrylic on wood board (2016), $375 | BUY NOW

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. 

Are you interested in being on Artebella?  Click here  to learn more.

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