Viridian Artists is pleased to present an exhibition of outstanding art by six artists who are part of Viridian Artists' Affiliate program. The art of Viridian’s January Affiliates’ all display a complexity derived from both a political impulse as well as a creative impulse. All these artists create with the aim of going beyond the simplicity of pretty pictures, using their art to make visual statements in reaction to the various realities of today’s world. Some art speaks about the abuse of sexuality or uses the female form as the starting point while others abstract the realities of their experiences. The show extends from JANUARY 2ND TO 26th with an opening reception on Thursday, January 10, 6-8PM with a performance by N’Cognita at 7PM.
Juliette Gordon was a trailblazer, an important member of the feminist art movement in New York and a respected artist in the inner-circle of radical anti-war politics in the early 70’s. She suffered a stroke in 2001, but still would undoubtedly have taken her rightful place among more well known feminist contemporaries had her life not been drastically changed in 2003 by a disastrous fire in which she was seriously burned and nearly died. The artist, now 84, has been living in rehabilitation and nursing facilities since, but her spirit is not diminished. For the past 6 years she has been nurtured through bouts of self-doubt to continue creating by the artist Sharon Wybrants who continuously encourages her and visits her weekly. Dr. Andrew Hottle, who is an art historian and a specialist in feminist art of the 70’s, has created an inventory of Gordon’s oeuvre with the hopes there will be a retrospective one day of her work. Viridian is pleased to be showing collages in this exhibit that are a part of her body of work.
Joshua Greenberg uses photo-based imagery to create abstract art. In The Secret Life of Leaves, he draws abstraction from everyday objects and events, in this case autumn leaves. The leaves are transformed through reflections and highlights into abstraction, and begin to organize themselves into new compositions. Shades of various colors, shadows and textures highlight movement and provide the framework to view the busy and secret life of leaves. His work in this series illustrates how photo-based imagery may help extend the use of less explored dimensions of photography to create contemporary art.
Because Rosemary Lyons was so shocked and appalled at the stories of the #me too movement and having had her own harassment experiences, a creative response seemed imperative to her. She states, “My own talents include being a good listener and a painter who specializes in egg tempera paintings of the exquisite flowers from my garden. Flowers seem to be a wonderful metaphor for what women are expected to do: be strong and beautiful through all storms and drought. I know that this work is important...the only sadness is that there are so many stories.” The works shown in this exhibit are her response.
Michael Reck, though primarily an abstract artist, uses NYC and urban living for his inspiration in this new series of drawings/ paintings. In almost Haiku like phrasing, the artist states the following about the urban imagery that stimulated his visual response and was the foundation for these works: “The graffiti covered subways I grew up riding. The stripes of painted crosswalks underfoot. The constant sight of buildings coming down and rising. All of this has found it's way into my recent work.”
Artist and former chair of the art department at Southeastern Missouri University, Sarah Riley, is a printmaker who incorporates many different techniques into her work. The original inspiration for DeCode/ReCode was one of her own life drawings, transformed into a series of twenty-five limited edition prints. The head of the figure and other photos were scanned, digitally manipulated and layered. She sees the process of allowing the image and successive variations to build and change spontaneously and organically with each added layer “to mimic the human condition, one woman/many women, issues of identity and history, especially women’s history.”
Meredeth Turshen creates intriguing oil paintings on paper that can be interpreted as summery landscapes or read as abstract works. Starting with drawings of live models, Turshen explores the use of the female figure as the basis of layered work. Her gestural abstractions use colors that are rich and subtle, giving the work tension and depth.
Studies began at age ten at the Art Students League in New York with Saturday classes for children and continued, after majoring in studio art at Oberlin College, in workshops at Pratt, the Printmaking Council of NJ, the Rutgers Center for Innovative Printmaking, the CT Center for Graphic Arts, and for the past ten years at Vermont Studio Center. Turshen joined Viridian in 2007. She is a member of the National Association of Women Artists.