Janet Lehr Fine Art in East Hampton is opening EDGY: Contemporary Art 2017, their newest group exhibition featuring six gallery artists working in a variety of styles and media, this Saturday, July 1 at 8 p.m.
The show presents a wide array of work from seemingly disparate artists–William Aquino, Pipi Deer, David Demers, Oliver Peterson, Dave Rogers and George Schulman–but gallerist and curator Janet Lehr’s well-considered selections fit together and complement one another by way of unconventional techniques and points of view. Standing out from the overall milieu are multi-patterned and colorful paintings, underwater photography, found object sculpture and layered, mixed-media collage.
Each artist explores a different driving force, but for the majority, their use of color is important and often explosive, as is a strong sense of subject matter, versatility and skill.
Dave Rogers’ striking portrait of Muhammad Ali, for example, is made ethereal through his use of graphic outlines and muted, creamy colors. The piece also offers Ali to the viewer as hero, icon and idol through its resemblance to what one might find in a particularly skilled teenager’s notebook doodles. Alongside the boxer, who appears like a magnified ballpoint pen drawing, are the requisite floating butterfly and stinging bee.
Pipi Deer’s underwater dive photos capture the beauty of movement and airlessness. Her nude figure and streaming red cloth contort beneath the pool’s surface, shimmering above and reflected below.
William Aquino’s wooden minotaur shows the force of nature when met with creativity and vision. It’s like taking what’s suggested in the shapes of clouds or, in this case, curls of dead wood, and enhancing them into being.
George Schulman’s layered and intricate canvases are a delight to the eye as one explores his many surfaces, materials and applications which somehow come together to make a cohesive and intelligent whole.
David Demers’ works are at once abstract and quite real. The paintings play with juxtaposition of colors and movement of line while also interspersing the flat, matte and smooth with more lively fields of color highlighted by luminescence and deliberate mark-making.
Oliver Peterson’s works are a collage of imagery with layers and patinas that conjure thoughts of derelict buildings and things that find beauty with age. Yet they also emerge as portraiture and a discourse between the artist’s subconscious and the broader collective unconscious.
All these artists are interconnected through their originality and expressive soundless loud voice.
EDGY: Contemporary Art 2017 will run through July 25 at Janet Lehr Fine Art (68 Park Place) in East Hampton. All artists will attend the opening reception on Saturday, July 1, from 8–10 p.m. Light hors d’oeuvres will be served. Gallery hours are daily from 11 a.m.–7 p.m. For more info, call 631-324-3303.