Surreal Abstract Expressions exhibition at Artspace Long Island Photo by Adel Gorgy
The seventeen artists included in Surreal Abstract Expressions are diverse in personalities and backgrounds but joined together in this show through their artistic explorations in the fields of Abstraction, Surrealism and Expressionism. The show fills the spacious first floor gallery of Artspace, Long Island.
Marsha Solomon's acrylic on canvas, "Prelude in Yellow and Green" Photo by Adel Gorgy
Curated by Dave Rogers, the exhibition features the work of Adel Gorgy, Marsha Solomon, Dave Rogers, Richard Gardiner, Timothy Miller, William Aquino, Francisco Poblet, JoAnne Dumas, Ruthy Valdez, Robert Calame, George Schulman, Chris Ann Ambery, Harold Gubnitsky, Salvador Flores, Neil Leinwohl, and Espacia Maria. While many of the artists are from New York, Brooklyn, and across Long Island, Artspace's beautiful gallery and Dave Rogers' enthusiastic and inclusive curating provide the lure to draw them to eastern Long Island.
Surreal imagery by artist Ruthy Valdez Photo by Adel Gorgy
Paintings, photography, sculpture, prints and mixed media works address a variety of themes. Surrealist painter, Ruthy Valdez's work hearkens to masters of the movement like Dali and de Chirico, but she adds a feminist slant. Her imagery is dreamlike and inviting, and the strong, beautiful women she portrays, including Amazons, express power without threat.
Dave Rogers' portrait of Muhammad Ali holds hidden messages Photo by Adel Gorgy
Dave Rogers' paintings speak on many levels, most including hidden messages. His towering portrait of boxer Muhammad Ali is controlled and confined in colors. Blue, tan and white delineate the athlete who's flanked by a butterfly and a bee, a reference to Ali's famous statement that he'd "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" in his fight against Sonny Liston. But Rogers' hidden messages don't end there. He's devised his own personal written language, with rune-like symbols, and he crowns the image with undecipherable text whose meaning is only known to him. It's an interesting project and a profound statement about the meaning of art for the artists and for the audience.
Abstract photographic artwork by Adel Gorgy "The Road with No Return ... Traces of de Kooning" Photo by Adel Gorgy
Taking the roles of the artist and the viewer to new and exciting levels is the photographic art of Adel Gorgy. Gorgy extensively photographs works of renowned artists, and then isolates distinct visual elements or phrases before recomposing and recontextualizing them into new compositions. In the way a poet could take the words from someone else's poem and use them to construct new poetry, Gorgy's works create something new from something known, creating new meanings and inviting new ways of seeing.
A painting by Richard Gardiner in Surreal Abstract Expressions Photo by Adel Gorgy
Richard Gardiner's imagery while full of meaning, is encrypted. A conversation with the artist will likely reveal the meaning, but there may be viewers who can decipher it without the artist's help based on familiar colors and shapes. Water is essential to JoAnne Dumas's abstractions, yet the element is taken out of its literal depiction and turned into something that represents itself. Representation of the self comes through in all the works in Surreal Abstract Expressions. A varied and diverse group of accomplished artists turn their talents towards non-representational means of expression. Together, under the gifted curatorial direction of Dave Rogers, they join to present a vision of artists' visions. What artists express when they pick up a brush or a camera, a hammer or a chisel, is always, at some level, themselves. Surreal Abstract Expressions offers the chance to meet 17 accomplished artists through their dreams and visions expressed in their creations.
Marsha Solomon is an artist and writer who lives, works and exhibits in New York.
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