Artwork: Martin Pearce: Grimaldi’s Trees I, oil, encaustic on canvas, 20 x 24" (detail)
Felice Koenig: Tingling and Swelling, acrylic on polystyrene, 36 x 36 x 7” (detail)
Oct 17 – Nov 17, 2013
Reception: Sat, Oct 19, 2-5pm *new date!
The notion of self-similarity (from mathematics, the property of having a substructure analogous or identical to an overall structure) surfaces in the work of Felice Koenig and Martin Pearce. In Koenig’s work this is seen in the use of the circle – a symbol of no beginning and no end. The substructures are sculpted biomorphic circular forms while the overall structure is an evolution of layered imperfect circles of paint. In Pearce’s work the materials layer up to create the overall structure – an organic field of substance. The incisions through this field create marks whose gesture is a continuation of that expansive field. Both sets of work use variety and repetition along with pointed explorations of materiality to create mesmerizing surfaces that unveil deeper content as the work is viewed over time.
From a distance the work in this show presents overall seductive surfaces that are connected through their mutual, but divergent, references to realism and abstraction. Koenig’s work is pure abstract painting, but it becomes real through the physicality of the sculpted form and the literal build-up of paint into tiny mountains. Pearce’s work has a solid basis in realism as its references landscape (through photography) in open and abstract layered fields of material. The works are in dialogue and contrast with each other; on the one hand, surfaces of built up layers that palpably project and create a reality of physicality that references the act of painting, on the other a scratching through of layers that literally indents, but remains as representation through marks that refer to real images.
Martin Pearce graduated from the Royal College of Art with an MA in 1985. His work deals with the relationship of drawing to mechanically produced and projected images (in this case images of trees made by Giovanni Franceso Grimaldi, here scratched into an encaustic ground). His work has been exhibited widely in Canada, the USA and the UK. He teaches painting and drawing at the University of Guelph.
Felice Koenig graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with an MFA in 2003. Her work is a meditation on obsessive gesture. Each piece is made from more than a hundred layers of paint, producing seductive, tactile surfaces that despite their artificial nature achieve a sense of organic growth. Her work has been shown widely in the USA and internationally in Germany, China, and Canada. Three of her works were recently purchased by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. She teaches painting and drawing at Daemen College.
Felice Koenig: Pharmakon II (Food), acrylic on polystyrene, 24 x 24 x 4” (full + detail)
Martin Pearce: Grimaldi’s Trees VII, oil, encaustic on canvas, 20 x 24" (detail)
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