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.