Kathryn Markel Fine Arts is thrilled to exhibit Parallel Practice, an exhibition of paintings by Stanley Bielen and constructions by Conny Goelz-Schmitt. The two artists have radically different practices – one reanimates old, used material, and the other paints new from life.

Conny Goelz-Schmitt creates abstract geometric wall sculptures from vintage book covers. The faded color and rich patina from her salvaged materials evoke a sense of history, telling of the many stories these books have covered. The interplay of sizes, shapes, and colors leads her on a search for the perfect placement of her book parts and this pursuit becomes both meditation and ritual. “Through my work, I explore the concepts of deconstruction, reconstruction, and dimensionality, treating each book like a time machine,” she says.

Schmitt has exhibited her work in many national and international galleries and non-profit spaces such as Galerie Biesenbach, Cologne (Germany), the Cultural Association of Rosa Venerini, Viterbo (Italy), The Painting Center, (New York), and The Danforth Art Museum, (Framingham, MA). Stanley Bielen’s paintings often begin with him planting the flower that he intends to capture in paint. He brings clippings from his garden into the studio and combines his intensity of looking with his mastery of paint handling. The objective is to capture the specific interaction between objects, light, and the enveloping atmosphere functioning on a given day. And to do this with the obdurate physicality of paint which, in Bielen's hands, becomes sensuous and rich. The resulting paintings revel both in the joy of nature and the joy of painting.

Stanley Bielen was born in the Podkarpackie region of Poland. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art and is influenced by the long regional realist tradition called the Philadelphia School. He exhibits nationally and is represented in public and private collections including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. Stanley lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Bridgton, Maine.