Every Thursday, we welcome a batch of new artists and artwork to UGallery. This series of blog posts highlights each week’s new artists. Our new artist this week is Lynne Pell. Read on below to learn more about her. Leave a nice comment on her profile page to welcome her to UGallery!
Just like a floral arrangement, a good painting comes from an artist with a nurturing hand and a keen eye. Lynne Pell paints her abstracted florals and figures with both. Her intuition orchestrates pieces that are balanced between impressionistic and expressionistic aesthetics. Lynne’s paintings are fresh and colorful bouquets built on color and care.
Whoa! It was a fast week. But it’s new art time. Every Thursday, we welcome a batch of new artists and artwork to UGallery. This series of blog posts highlights each week’s new artists, sharing a bit about their work and highlighting one of their pieces. The three this week maintain a sense of peace and calm even with a heavy urban backdrop.
Katherine Akey is the epitome of Generation Y. She is an avid blogger and wily world traveler with a distinct urban flair. Her photographs expose the nostalgia seeping through New York City. Despite the digitizing of our world, Katherine works strictly with film. By printing in a dark room, she chooses an unforgiving process that forges a deeper connection between her and her art. Analog photography may be in vogue, but the photographs made by Katherine’s hands are statements that will never fade.
New York City can be a lonely place. Adam Garelick captures the solitude of Manhattan despite its crowded corridors. How? He finds refuge in the wee hours of the morning. His photos are eerie yet recognizable. Whether at the Brooklyn Bridge or Central Park, Adam finds moments of complete emptiness in NYC’s most iconic sites.
Corey breathes a sense of calm into his simple, crocheted works of art. By overlapping straight lines in grid-like formations, Corey masters an aesthetic rooted in Zen meditation. After creating several maquettes, Corey taps into the intensive process required to create an illusion of woven fabric. According to Corey, his formalist abstraction “adds to the balance and harmony of a room.”
We are tackling a doozy of a topic today: abstract art! This sort of thing requires more than just table talk! We recruited Jenny Gray, UGallery’s abstract aficionado, to help us define this artistic style. We got right to the point…
Me: What is abstract art?
Jenny Gray: Non representational, not trying to clearly reproduce the true look of an object or scene. Even though you might recognize the object, the artist was adding or subtracting and not trying to truly represent what the eye sees.
Jenny Gray’s paintings are a perfect example of adding and subtracting. Check out her painting Test Strip above. Even though her abstractions have recognizable shapes, her paintings are more than meets the eye. What Jenny says reiterates what Pablo Picasso said, ”There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.” So I asked Jenny and the team what they thought about Picasso’s definition.
Me: Do you agree with Pablo Picasso?
Jenny Gray: I agree that I usually start with something, it might be an emotion, a memory or a landscape. But I am not sure that is true for all artists and I don’t think you have to remove all traces of reality.
Samantha: Abstract art is really difficult to define. I agree with Picasso in the sense that every artist has to begin with something, and then abstract upon it. I think that constitutes part of the definition of abstract art.
Me: What are the important things to know about abstract art?
Jenny Gray: When looking at abstract art, go with your gut. Try to pick up on the emotions that you might feel from it. Trying to figure out “what it is” can be fun, but try to feel it, too. I like my paintings to keep giving more information the more you look at them. There are layers of marks and meaning.
No wonder abstract art is so popular. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving! And it takes a leap of courage and commitment to contemplate it. If you like abstract art, you are not alone:
Annie: I feel that abstract art is one of the most unique forms of art as it taps into an individual’s soul and can be transcribed in an infinite number of ways.
Stephen: Abstract art really allows the viewer’s imagination to be set free. Many abstract works can derive different meanings for each individual. It’s fun to view and discuss various works.
Maybe we should worry less about defining abstract art and just feel it! I’m going with Alex on the final “definition” of abstract art.
Alex:Drips, scribbles, strokes, spills, lines, blobs, splotches, shapes, expression, meditation, personal interpretation, and a few other things.
Noteworthy Abstract Artists:
Who are the AAF 12? They are the dozen artists joining us at the Affordable Art Fair 2012.
On the third day leading up to AAF, my UGal gave to me: Debra Corbett
1. Have you been to New York City? Yes, I have been to NYC many times. Having grown up in northern New Jersey, it was always an exciting destination.
2. Have you been in an art show before? I presume you meant “art fair”? two years ago I attended Art Chicago. Very cool and a real opportunity to see so many galleries and art all under one roof. Actually, I had visual brain freeze at the end of the day!
3. Have you shown at AAF in previous years? No, this is my first year
4. Do you plan on attending AAF? Still on the fence. I am co-chair of our community Arts Festival which is the following weekend and there is so much to do for that.
5. How many pieces do you have going to the fair? 6 paintings
6. What is one word to describe your art? Tactile
7. What piece of art will be the hardest to part with if it is sold? The painting called “Summer in the Garden”. This is one of the first ones I did that incorporates graphite mark making and this element is an additional layer of interest to the finished surface. I am also attracted to the warmth of the colors.
8. What’s your favorite NYC museum? MOMA no doubt but the Met has a glorious collection, too.
9. Do you have a favorite NYC restaurant? Don’t know the name but there is a fantastic organic vegetarian one in SoHo I went to and loved.
10. Upper East Side or Financial District? Upper East Side
11. What’s your favorite NYC tourist destination? For me the season of Christmas at Rockerfeller Plaza is so gorgeous and magical.
12. Manhattan or Brooklyn? Brooklyn
Browse the Affordable Art Fair 2012 collection and you can snag Debra Corbett’s tangible beauts before they are picked up at the fair.
Abstract painting, sometimes called non-figurative painting, generally relies on colors, lines, and shapes instead of recognizable images or symbols for its compositional elements.
Here are some examples from our collection:
UGALLERY artist Saule Piktys is a Lithuanian transplant living and working in Southern California. She started her artistic career painting movie sets and has since transitioned to become a successful abstract painter. She has created commissioned work for houses up and down the California coast, participated in prestigious exhibitions juried by top-tier curators, and been featured in all sorts of press - everything from Lithuanian magazines to ABC TV. For more on Saule and her work, enjoy this “Artist in Focus” interview:
Can you tell us more about your name?
Saule means “sun” in Lithuanian and Piktys - my husband’s last name - means “anger”.
What’s your earliest art memory?
When I was 6-10 years old. I loved making big portraits of people I knew and showing something in their character.
You are from Lithuania originally. What was it like studying and practicing art there?
I retain great affection for my life in Lithuania. I studied at the Art Academy in Vilnius. There were only 7 to 10 students in each class and we had very close relationships with the teachers. Everyone in the school sculpted, drafted, they did everything - it was like artists during the Renaissance.
After graduation I got my fist job in architecture and 6 months later moved to Los Angeles. Ultimately, I didn’t practice much architecture.
I hear you worked in Hollywood for many years creating set backdrops. Can you tell us about the work? What was your favorite set to create? Have any interesting stories?
Every day we did a different job we had never done before on a very limited budget. I found that creating scenery is more about texture than it is about paint, you have to be very good at creating wood, marble, stone and other finishes. You work as a group but in the end it has to look uniform, like one person did it all.
I had the most fun working on “Ten Commandments.” The decorations came from France and had to be adjusted and fitted into the Kodak Theater. It involved lots of sculpting and applying texture to gold - making it look rusty to kill the shine.
“Malibu Fare” The canvas that ended up face down on an LA freeway.
How about any LA stories?
One Saturday morning about seven years ago, I was on my way to deliver a painting to a client in Beverly Hills with my youngest son, who was 5 years old at the time. The painting we were delivering was one of my largest 60x48 inches. To transport the paining, we had tied it to the roof of my car. We were driving down Interstate 10 when the painting flew off the roof of my car.
I pulled over to the side of the freeway and walked and watched the cars zoom over it. The painting was face down on the pavement. The frame holding the canvas was destroyed in seconds by cars running over it.
Soon after, a policeman pulled up next to me on the side of the road. I explained what had happened and the policeman decided to help me out.
I was told to wait while he circled back to stop the traffic on the freeway and then I could go out and pick up my canvas.
He left and in the meantime a second policemen pulled over. He made me to put my hands up and face the wall. He told me he would give me a ticket for parking on the freeway and for leaving a kid in a parked car along the freeway before he realized the first police car was there to help me. All the cars eventually stopped and quickly ran out on the road to grab my canvas!
Shortly after I got my canvas, my husband, who I had called earlier, arrived on the scene. We were all on the side of the freeway going over what had happened when suddenly another car stopped and the person introduced himself as a chiropractor. He handed me his business card and invited me to come in for a massage that afternoon. Only in LA, right?
At this point, the policemen suggested that it was dangerous to have such a large group on the side of the freeway and away we all went. I had my canvas and not a single ticket!
The painting was re-stretched and to this day hangs in the client’s home.
Your UGALLERY paintings are abstract, but carry a sort of mysticism and tribal feel to them. What lurks behind those layers of paint and geometric shapes?
I pursue the magical qualities of paint in an attempt to attain emotion. I try to establish the essence of my subjects, but I leave the painting’s deeper meanings to the imagination of the viewer.
You live in Santa Monica. What’s the art scene like there? Where do you go to look at art?
Santa Monica is very diverse. Bergamont Station is very close to my home. I love going to Hammer Museum. My family goes to most LACMA openings together. There are also lots of excellent private galleries. The first that come to mind are ANGLES, LA LOUVER, ACE and there are many more.
You have done quite a lot of commissioned work decorating homes, restaurants and offices. Is it difficult to make work for a specific space and person?
Yes! It requires a different kind of chemistry - you have to consider the client’s thoughts, dreams, feelings and attitudes. You need the ability to look at things and see not only your own vision of them but someone else’s vision. A good ear is crucial - discovering meaning from listening to them. It takes recognition by the client that we are an emerging process, not a static end. I always grow and discover new ideas from these opportunities.
What advice would you offer to other emerging artists?
Commit and take immediate action. I also recommend reading Persist, a book by Peter Clothier. I was most recently inspired by a recent email from my mentor, Ellie Blankfort. She said - “ALL GOOD THINGS COME TO PEOPLE WHO PERSIST.”