One of the pioneers of the Williamsburg gallery scene, Figureworks opened its doors on April 16, 2000. In that ten year span the gallery has presented the work of hundreds of uniquely talented figure-based artists. To celebrate this anniversary, ten artists who regularly exhibit with the gallery have been selected for 10 Years of Figureworks. These artists exemplify the diverse potential in realizing our mission to represent fine art of the human form. The pieces on view embody a celebratory tone fitting with this festive time in our gallery’s history.
Jorge Alvarez first exhibited at Figureworks in 2001 with a series of nine finely detailed red-pencil drawings. The pieces were all purchased, supporting our philosophy that a strong foundation in figure studies is appreciated and valued. Jorge had two additional solo exhibitions at Figureworks, including a posthumous retrospective of his work in 2008. A graduate of the New York Academy of Art, Jorge was instrumental in our starting biennial group exhibitions of Academy alumni in 2007.
Bonnie Faulkner and Howard Eisman introduced glass to the gallery. These artists exemplify that glass creations are much more than craft objects. Howard’s large-scale enamel wall works and Bonnie’s elaborate stained, dichroic and fused glass pieces are collected as exquisite fine art.
Since our opening in 2000, Figureworks has hosted a Saturday morning life-drawing session and Fred Hatt has been a weekly attendee from its conception. Fred challenges our views on traditional figurative art by exploring the beauty and complexities of the human form in work ranging from life and movement drawings to body painting and performance pieces.
Meridith McNeal initially introduced herself to the gallery with tours for art educators and students. Meridith pushes traditional figurative boundaries as she creates works that highlight accessories for the figure without actually including the figure. Dresses, shoes, gloves and corsets cleverly entwined with historic reference evoke deeply personal responses. Meridith’s continued support and promotion of the galleries mission is invaluable.
Arlene Morris is a cornerstone in the formation of the gallery. One of the first solo exhibitors in 2000, she continues to produce challenging series for the gallery. Her dedication to exploring new directions in various media while retaining her noteworthy human and animal-like portraiture complement all series-based artists.
Doug Metzler and Jacquelyn Schiffman approach the figure very differently. Doug attends weekly anatomy and drawing sessions to further hone and accurately represent his subjects in narrative paintings. Jacquelyn takes her figure-based subjects and abstracts them into floating sculptures that reflect human emotion by the use of color and form.
Audrey Rhoda was one of our first international artists. Born in South Africa and living in Australia, her whimsical work in oil and wax were welcome additions as they introduced yet another medium and broadened our international exposure.
We have seen many changes in the neighborhood in our 10 years. As Williamsburg grew in popularity many artists have found their studio buildings turned into luxury condos, restaurants or boutiques. Mary Westring is one in a handful of our Figureworks artists who is still locally based. In her work, Mary reaffirms that a solid foundation in figure study allows greater freedom to explore and master various subjects, mediums and techniques. Mary successfully expresses her politically and socially charged series through various media including etching, oil painting and ceramics.