Friday, November 2, 2012

Stephanie Danforth: Amalgation

Nestled in the Copley Society’s Red Room is a solo exhibition by mixed media artist Stephanie Danforth. She works in a variety of media, including oil, gold leaf, metal and paper to create highly detailed compositions. The show comprises two distinct series: precisely painted over life-sized  fruit and vegetables, and cut-out metal angels overtop simple yet elegant patterned backgrounds. 
Integrity, 18 x18, oil, etched metal and gold leaf on panel
The paintings of juicy, luscious vegetation stem from her devotion to her garden.  Danforth chooses to paint all of her fruit larger than life, as she enjoys pushing the limits of the form. Each object is blown-up, made to be as big as they can be, and invite the viewer to examine the common object as something more. especially in the roundness of the cherries that she has painted multiple times. Danforth's hyper-realist cherries, as seen in Life Is... explores the saturation of the color and the bulbous form of the fruit. A recurring theme in her work, cherries appeal to her in both form and color, as she claims that if she "could be one color, (she) would be red."
Life Is...., 18 x18, oil and gold leaf on panel

As much as Stephanie enjoys the process of creating her art, she loves that it also allows her to change lives. In 2000, Danforth embarked on a safari to Kenya that dramatically changed the course of her life.  During her trip she visited a village school, and was greatly affected by the children and their educational needs. After her trip she made a vow that any money she made from her art would go to helping those children, and she donates all of the proceeds from her sold works to the school. The welfare of children has always been a large part of her life, as she had worked as a pediatric nurse practitioner for nearly twenty-five years before returning to painting full time.

French Radishes, 36 x 24, oil and collage on panel
Similar to her life, Danforth takes risks with her art, and she refuses to be repetitive. While the subject matter stays relatively the same, each work carries its own personality and style.Stop by the Copley Society of Art to see this charming and unique exhibtion by a fascinating artist. Amalgamation will be on display in the Red Room gallery until November 8th. 

View Stephanie Danforth's Artist Talk Video

Friday, October 19, 2012

Co|So Exhibitions :: Oana Lauric - Reflective Radiance

The Copley Society of Art is pleased to announce a solo show by artist member Oana Lauric, entitled Reflective Radiance.  A native of Romania, Lauric spent a decade in Paris where she studied and worked as an architect before moving to Boston.  In 2001 she gave up architecture to pursue her passion of painting full-time.  Lauric states, “working as an artist gives me the creative freedom I desired, while my architectural background, as well as personal experiences and the places I’ve lived, inform my art.”

Corso, 42 x 42, acrylic

Lauric’s careful use of abstracted architecture as a visual tool is prominent in her work.  In Corso, she frames the scene with buildings that border the figures, and draw the eye in and towards the road ahead.  The quiet street comes alive with the illusion of movement, as sparkling lights blur and faces rush past.   The glow from the store windows illuminate the street, while towering buildings wrap around the viewer, pushing him further into the space.

Parisians I, 42 x 42, acrylic

In Parisians I, Lauric once again utilizes a background of architecture to make the work more dynamic.  Instead of drawing the eye back into the scene, like Corso, the buildings create a barrier and force the viewer into the foreground, which is presided by a well-lit corner café. The contrast of lights from the café against the dark of the street and night sky, propels the viewer into the bustle of the corner eatery. Lauric invites the viewer to participate in her work, to become part of the unfolding metropolis.

The Paramount, 24 x 24, acrylic

Unlike the majority of the exhibition, The Paramount gives the viewer a fresh perspective on the city via a bird's eye view. The viewer becomes not an active participant in the life of the city, but a voyeur able to experience the world detached and from above. The familiar details of office buildings and sky scrapers are abstracted into lines and blocks of color, distorting the typical cityscape.  The illumination from the sun turns the otherwise cold blue steel into a varying collection of reds and yellows.

Lauric's metropolis is thriving, offering a vivid and dynamic escape into the cosmopolitan space. While her streets are filled with movement, the edifices frame and stabilize the scene, inviting the viewer into the space. Lauric will be present at the Copley Society to talk about her work on Saturday, October 27th from 1:00 – 3:00 pm.  Reflective Radiance will be on view until November8th.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Co|So Exhibitions :: Summer Members’ Show "New England Perceived"

Co|So’s summer exhibition New England Perceived, features work by a selected group of artist members that explore and celebrate New England.  Juried by Jonathan Fairbanks, (Director of the Fuller Craft Museum and former curator of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) the show includes a wide variety of media, including oil, pastel, watercolor, graphite, photography and wood carving. The works are tied together through their evocation of the spirit of New England in the summer months and beyond.
Perfect Pairing by Ann Trainor Domingue depicts the iconic New England lobster meal.  Sun pours in through an adjacent window, gently illuminating the feast of lobster and white wine. Domingue’s prominent use of reds and blues produces a contrast in temperature, creating the impression of cool shade at the end of a hot summer’s day.  The overall effect is the feeling of leisure and relaxation, two ideals that are synonymous with summer in New England.
Steven Simpson’s The Other Side of the Tracks is the 2nd place prize winner of the Summer Members’ Show: New England Perceived. This work depicts a view from the Charles River with the Boston University Bridge in the foreground and the Boston cityscape receding into the background. A B.U. sailboat shares the focus of the painting with the bridge as other boats are shown behind it on the water. The Other Side of the Tracks is a common image for many during the summer as they walk or run along Memorial Drive and look across the River to Boston. 
Claudia Kaufman’s Jar of Limons is an innovative and refreshing take on fruit still lifes. Assorted lemons and limes are packed within a traditional mason jar, presumably to garnish a summer dish or drink. One cannot help but imagine the tart citrus flavor of these fruits when observing the saturated green and yellow pulp. The dark background highlights the subject and creates the focal point of the hyper-realist depiction of the mason jar and its ripened contents. Jar of Limons is a stunning display of Kaufman’s talent as a still life painter, and is a perfect summer work.

With thirty-six works in all, New England Perceived presents a diverse array of artists and styles and is sure to feel as much like summer as lively Newbury Street outside.  New England Perceived will be on view through August 22, 2012. Stop by the gallery for a taste of summer in Boston!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Co|So :: Intern Day!

On Thursday, July 19th, the Copley Society celebrated our fabulous summer interns with a trip to Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art.  The primary exhibit currently on display is Josiah McElheny’s Some Pictures of the Infinite, in which McElheny challenges the viewer to contemplate the vastness of the universe and the enormity of the celestial bodies that surround us. McElheny’s work is introduced with the basics: his glass making expertise that is the foundation for his oeuvre. From linked goblets to tear-collecting bottles, the variety of objects displayed at the entrance to Some Pictures of the Infinite showcase his talent and incredible mastery.

The show continues with surfaces made reflective that force the viewer to observe themselves while they are observing the work.  In the first rooms at the ICA , the reflective surfaces develop into mirrored landscapes that oddly do not reflect the viewer, and entreat the viewer to think about his/her place in relation to the art. The intricacy of the creations grow more complex as the show progresses towards McElheny’s materialization of the Big Bang theory, which asks the viewer to ponder his/her place not just in relation to the art, but in relation to the universe.

Island Universe by Josiah McElheny, on display at the Institute for Contemporary Art/Boston. 

Island Universe is the centerpiece of McElheny’s exhibit, featuring mirrored glass chandelier orbs hung from the ceiling. These “island universes” are celestial pieces that act as an homage to the Big Bang theory.  Each orb is covered in mirrored-glass rods that end in either a small blown glass ball or a light bulb, creating an effect that mimics stars. The orbs seem to be exploding and expanding outward, a galaxy contained in glass. Viewers are able to move into the space of each chandelier, interacting with the orb as a sculptural element invading his/her space and as a larger, celestial object. The mirrored central orbs of the ‘islands’ reflect the image of the viewer, which allows him/her to reflect not only literally, but provokes the viewer to think of the colossal nature of our universe and its infinite expansion in space and time.

Summer interns Divya, Maureen, Ellen and Meaghan (from left.)

Overall, Intern Day was filled with personal reflections and thought-provoking art. Thankfully, the ICA has a waterfront deck for a relaxing lunch! The Co|So interns and staff enjoyed great art, great food, great weather, and even greater people.  Thanks for having us ICA, we hope to be back soon!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Co|So Events:: Jeanne Rosier Smith Demonstration

Summer at the Copley Society of Art is characterized by bright, vivid colors, and exemplified in the work of Jeanne Rosier Smith. This Sunday, July 15th, the pure colors in the medium of pastel will be explored by Smith in an artist demonstration from 1-3 pm.  Three of Smith’s works are presently on view as part of the Summer Members’ Show: New England Perceived and Co|So Artists’ Small Works: Juxtapositions. Before switching careers and discovering her love of pastels twelve years ago, Smith lived another life in the written word, receiving both a Master’s and PhD in English.  Of her preferred material she says: “[t]he velvety richness, the pure color, the directness of pastel seduced me.”
Jeanne Rosier Smith, On the Cusp, 24 x 28, pastel
Her mastery of the medium is apparent in her work On the Cusp, which was awarded Juror’s Choice Fourth Place by jurist Jonathan Fairbanks.  The range of saturated cool tones Smith uses to depict a single wave gives the water a gem-like quality, while the cool, white sea foam surrounding the wave enhances the realist quality of the image.  Inspired by time spent on the coast of France in Nice, On the Cusp is part of a series that explores the crashing and curling of waves. Smith submerges us into the wave as it is literally on the cusp – the last moment of calm before it crashes. Her wave is imbued with a sublime quality that presents the viewer with the immenseness of nature. Her expert draftsmanship realistically captures the turbulent water as it crests and falls. The roughness of the water depicted directly contrasts with the soft smoothness of the pastels used to create it. Smith explains this complexity: “The feeling of motion and sound captured in an image fascinates me.  The splash and spray of wet mist with a dry medium is a continual challenge and delight.” 

Jeanne Rosier Smith, Rosy Red, 11 x 13, pastel 
Smith’s smaller works Pomodori and Rosy Red, which are currently on display in the lower gallery, again expose the viewer to the vibrancy of pastels.  Smith claims to “think in colors,” a fact made apparent in both works.  Rosy Red depicts an apple on a windowsill, the realism of the work highlighted by the texture of the pastel. The intricate details of the apple are emphasized by the nondescript background– this in turn allows the colors in the fruit and its leaves to pop and become the focal point. In Smith’s work Pomodori, she once again employs a rich red pastel to depict the ripe, fresh fruit in a bushel of tomatoes. She utilizes the vibrancy of the medium to emphasize the contrast between light and shadow, thus extracting a full array of colors from the fruit. Pomodori and Rosy Red are so well executed that the viewer can imagine what the subject of each work would taste like, making these paintings good enough to eat!

Jeanne Rosier Smith, Pomodori, 11 x 13, pastel
Join us on Sunday, July 15th from 1-3 pm at 158 Newbury Street when Smith gives insight into her process during her demonstration of pastel. This event is free and open to the public!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Artist Spotlight :: Doron Putka

Copley artist, Doron Putka currently has work featured in both our Summer Member’s Show: New England Perceived and also in theCo|So Artist’s Small Works: Juxtapositions. 

Originally from Israel, Doron began her artistic career as an illustrator.  She is always inspired to reinvent her work.  Claiming that she was born with a pencil in her hand, she describes her art as, “constantly evolving.”  What she creates today is unlike something she painted five years ago.  Inspired the most by people, the unique colors and expressions that are particular to each person’s face is what is most enchanting to Doron.  She loves color and the unique ways in which she can incorporate it into her landscapes, still lifes and portraits.  

Doron Putka, Star Magnolia, 12 x 15, oil on paper
Doron’s work is representational of its subject matter.  Star Magnolia, winner of the Jurors Choice for honorable mention is currently on display in our Summer Members Show: New England Perceived.  The gestural brush strokes hints at the process in which the work was created. Thickness of the paint creates an emphatic piece that brings inanimate objects to life. The feather-soft white magnolia flowers pop from the subdued, impressionistic background; and intermittent dabs of bright orange and lime green give Star Magnolia depth as well as substance. 

Doron Putka, Galilee Rooftops, 9 1/2 x 7, oil on paper
Putka’s painting Galilee Rooftops received an Award of Merit in this year’s Copley Society’s Small Works Exhibition. Doron’s stylistic approach is apparent once more with gestural marks of thick paint. The autonomous strokes come together on the small 9 ½ x 7 inch canvas to create the sense of looking over rooftops onto a lush landscape. Doron uses light blues, forest greens, and light pinks which provide a tranquil tone throughout the work.

Doron Putka, Ranunculus, 14 x 11, oil on paper
The second work of Doron Putka in the Copley Society’s Small Works Exhibition is Ranunculus. The 14 x 11 inch painting depicts pink Persian Buttercups placed in a vase. Putka’s flowers, the Persian Buttercup, are a protected species of plant in Israel, where she is originally from. These flowers are unique in that they contain more petals than the traditional flower, making this a hearty and aesthetic subject for Ranunculus. Putka juxtaposes the bright pink flowers in front of an unmodulated light green wall that causes the plants to be the undeniable focal point of the painting.  From the detail of the petals on the flowers to the rust on the vase, Doron Putka displays her talent in composition and form.

Doron is inspired by old and new painters.   She loves color and is most inspired by people, although that is not what she typically exhibits at the Copley Society.  She describes her work as ‘representational’ and typically paints still-lifes, portraits and landscapes. 

 “You could say that what I love in painting is the little secrets that I find when colors and shapes are put next to one another, that when you find it, you get a certain vibration of truth and beauty.” – Doron Putka

Both exhibits will be at the Copley Society of Art until August 22nd.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Co|So Exhibitions :: Martha’s Vineyard Artists of the Copley Society

The Copley Society’s newest offsite collaboration brings the works of prominent Co|So artists to the beautiful island of Martha’s Vineyard. Martha’s Vineyard Artists of the Copley Society opens Sunday, July 1st at the Featherstone Center for the Arts and features 12 esteemed Copley Artists influenced by the island. While each artist is linked to the beautiful Massachusetts landmark, the individual inspirations are evidenced through a variety of subjects and mediums. From seascapes to cupcakes, visitors will have the unique opportunity to view a diverse display of works that capture the range of artists represented by the Copley Society. 

Jessica Pisano, Sea Green no. 12, 14, 15,18 x 6 acrylic, oil and gold leaf on wood panel

Artist Jessica Pisano grew up on Martha’s Vineyard and has always been captivated by the breath-taking landscapes that surrounded her. This idyllic scenery can be found at the heart of many of her paintings, such as Sea Green no. 12, 14, 15 (Triptych). In this work, Pisano uses a stippling technique to portray an ocean view in shades of bright blue, aqua, and white. Her incorporation of gold leaf allows light to shimmer and reflect off the canvas in a way that echoes how light interacts with water in nature. Her dynamic triptych transforms with the light, and is certain transport the viewer to his/her preferred seaside escape. 

Ovid Ward, Into the Fog, 43 x 35, acrylic on board

The work of Martha Vineyard resident Ovid Ward is also featured in this exhibition. Living on the water has enhanced his love for all things nautical, which is reflected in his work. Both Into the Fog and Dawn on South Beach explore the subject of the ocean in an exacting, hyper-realist style. Ward utilizes the “clear light” of the island to capture the atmosphere of the Atlantic, and explores the effect of the sun at different times of day.  Into the Fog allows the viewer a glimpse of the sea-faring life of the Vineyard as only a native would experience.
Laurie Brown, Peep Hole Slant, 12.5 x 22 x 1.5, gouache on cut paper
 With a style completely her own, children’s author turned artist Laurie K. Brown creates fine art out of paper. Brown collages together colorful pieces of paper that are manipulated to achieve various textures and shapes, and formed into relief sculptures. Peep Hole Slant features a series of white squares punctuated by colorful circles and crescents. The clear geometric shapes allow the colors to become the focal point of the work. Her intricate pieces are playful, intriguing, and her innovative use of paper to articulate color and shape invites the viewer to look closer and explore each work.

If you find yourself on the Vineyard this July, stop by the Featherstone Center for the Arts to see the range of artists featured at the Copley Society who are influenced by the wonderful Island of Martha’s Vineyard. Martha’s Vineyard Artists of the Copley Society continues through July 18th and is sure to be a great success.