Elisa Contemporary Art exhibit, Facing Abstraction, opens on February 2 at our Riverdale NY gallery. It will run through April 20. This group show features a combination of Figurative artwork and Abstract paintings from US artists from Coast to Coast.

Featured artists include Texas Pop Artist Mitch McGee, San Francisco Minimalist Jeffrey Palladini, Brooklyn Artist Krzysztof Pastuszka, California Flow artist Kimber Berry and Vermont Expressionist Rose Umerlik.

Kimber Berry is a Los Angeles artist, who is part of the "Flow Movement," a term coined by Art Critic (and curator) Peter Frank. Her artwork is vibrant and dynamic mixed media combining acrylics, resins and digitally altered photographs of her paint-strokes. As a native of LA, Kimber loves to blur the line between what is real and what is illusion. She has received a lot of positive attention from art critics and curators on the West Coast and has been featured in solo and group shows in New York, LA and Atlanta. She has been part of exhibits at the Riverside Museum and the Huntington Beach Art Center in California. Kimber was recently featured in the magazines Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, Ocean Home and Flaunt. In 2013, she created an installation at Terminal 3 at LAX and has had recent shows in New York, London and California. Her work is in private and public collections worldwide.

The influences for Texas artist Mitch McGee came from the style of Pop Art legend, Roy Lichtenstein. According to McGee, "Lichtenstein with a Red Bow was the first piece that started me down this rabbit hole. In an almost tongue-in-cheek fashion I wondered how I could take one of his pieces and recreate it in another medium." From that start, McGee began to create his own style and establish his unique voice. Today, his creativity exists in that space between painting and sculpture. In his Birch series, McGee uses pieces of wood, each illustrated, hand cut and stained or painted to create dimensional pieces. Each painting is filled with thick layers and subtle shadows. There is a warmth created by the imperfection of the birch and its grain that creates an emotional connection. Each painting is a labor of love, taking 40 to 50 hours or more to complete. His work is public and private collections throughout the world including TV journalist Serena Altschul, Pamela Ford, and the Feld Family (Ringling Bros).

Kris Pastuszka is a dynamic, emerging artist and recent graduate (2008) of School of Visual Arts. He currently lives in Brooklyn. His work starts with an idea, a "curiosity", a word. He then turns them into definitions, and maps out the process. Through books, old magazines, image searches, journalizing ideas he research topics and his images and compositions begin to take shape. He is part mad scientist, inventor, astronaut and all artist. According to Kris: "For me, art is a way of life, an adventure of those moments when something happens, connections are made and everything seems to make sense. My art revolves around the highs and lows of discovery, adventure, and chance. I am inspired by the ridiculous, the whimsical world of invention, nonsense, and complex machines in a playful atmosphere - to create an adventure of the unknown." Kris has exhibited throughout New York.

Jeffrey Palladini’s unconventional portraits evoke feelings of sensuality and euphoria. While the San Francisco-based artist studied at California State University, it was in Florence that his true creative spirit was pulled forth from the beauty that surrounded him. Now his modern figure paintings breathe life with vibrant colors and flowing brushstrokes. Unlike many portrait paintings, Jeffrey minimizes the amount of detail and information allowing the viewer to gain intense suggestions of emotions in an instant. The simplicity is reminiscent of Alex Katz. Palladini’s works have been exhibited in galleries across the United States and internationally, and is in public and private collections worldwide. In 2012, Asterisk SF Magazine's Art & Design Issue named him one of San Francisco's top 20 artists. In 2013, one of his paintings was added to the art collection of the Four Seasons in Hawaii.

Rose Umerlik received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, with strong influences from Stephen Zaima who impressed upon her the importance of one’s ability to self-evaluate, and the “work method.” The backbone of her studio practice is based on a strong work ethic and dedication to being present and honest with her work. Umerlik extracts the intangible emotional moments that live in our collective human psyche and interprets them abstractly through form, line and color so that they may also exist outside of ourselves. She has had thirteen solo exhibitions in New England and has been included in numerous group exhibitions across the country and internationally. Her work has been reviewed in Art New England and Artscope. She has also published two books, Intimacy of Forms and Histories. Among other awards, she has received a grant from the NH State Council on the Arts to participate in the Takt Kunstprojektraum Residency in Berlin, Germany, a fellowship for the Golden Foundation Residency Program, and the Clowes Award from the Vermont Studio Center. In 2018, She was named a VT Artist to Watch!