Front Room Gallery is proud to present, "Montrose" an exhibition of new works by: Thomas Broadbent, Sascha Mallon, Karen Marston and Miho Suzuki. Featuring artists who were selected to participate in the Montrose Farm Artist Residency, in historic Long Green Valley, Maryland. Invited artists were given two week residencies during June-July 2011 to develop and inspire new works the results of the residency will be exhibited from December 9th- January 1st.
Miho Suzuki's video and photography explores concepts in cultural anthropological studies in human nature. Her work uses her own experiences as a Universalist visual poetry of longing with a hint of the absurd. At the residency, Suzuki composed the first movement of "Paper Piano" a video of her fantasy of becoming an artistic pianist. Creating a paper piano and selecting idea practice spaces on the private grounds of the farm, Suzuki frames herself into the scenario she has created. On view will be a selection of photographs, the paper piano itself and a video presentation of the first movement of Suzuki's "Paper Piano".
Karen Marston's disturbingly beautiful paintings of disasters, both natural and man-made, instill a sense of awe in the growing litany of frightening disasters consuming the world around us: volcanoes, tornadoes, tsunamis, nuclear meltdowns, global warming, war upon war. During the residency, Marston painted outdoors, absorbed in peaceful, beautiful scenes, capturing the immediacy of nearby landscapes. Not exactly disparate, the dark shadows in the woods and the forming clouds hint at destructive power, while the oil fires in her studio work are as gorgeous as they are deadly. Exploring the subtle movements of the light and sky, the colors, shapes and emotional tenor of a particular place in the moment has informed and deepened her studio work year round. Marston is equally influenced by the history of awe inspired landscape painting (from Turner's storms to Church's icebergs), as by the stream of violent images in our daily news feed, as well as the direct dialog with nature and organic form fed from painting plein air.
Sascha Mallon's presents in this exhibition a new series of ceramic sculptures that are inspired by figures from her intensive drawing works. Her time at the residency allowed for the development of two-dimensional figures to 3-d representations. Imagioned as objects discovered in the forest, these delicately formed pieces are encased in selected wooden boxes to give the impression that they are mementos from a lost world. Mallon's work, in both her drawing practice and this new series of sculptural works create a narrative from history: history of symbiosis of man and nature, but also history of human imperfection, bringing to life protagonists of stories about greed, fear, love, hurt, emptiness and beauty.
Thomas Broadbent's large scale watercolor paintings convey the importance of books as well as the sense of loss that has occurred with the advent of technologies such as smart phones, e-books and computers. During the residency Broadbent was able to enjoy the isolated environment and focus on further developing this series. These works on paper are developed from principal concepts and ideas from Broadbent's private artist's log. Broadbent's sensitivity to color, tactility, and structure propel these thoughts into reality, while maintaining a key tie to illusion and metaphor. His goal in these works is not to fetishize the book but to point out its place at this pivotal moment in history.