ROCKLAND, 7/5/19 FIRST FRIDAY POP-UP OPENING PARTY featuring JUAN ESCAURIAZA and ROSE UMERLIK, 5-8 pm! Show runs 7 days a week through 7/20/19.
20 Winter Street, Rockland (Across from CMCA)
Juan Escauriaza is a self-taught artist painting full time in Madrid. His exhibition history includes seventeen plus solo shows, numerous two person and group shows and a large retrospective sponsored by the City Hall of Madrid. Juan earned a PhD in Geological Sciences and a postgraduate degree in Hydro-Geology and Paleontology. He worked as a scientist/geologist for well-known companies in Spain for ten years, but painting was his true passion and 25 years ago it called him to take the leap and commit to it. In 1994 he dedicated himself solely to painting, with extraordinary critical and commercial success.
Escauriaza frequently travels to America to paint and study the urban landscape on the East and West Coasts. He seeks out architectural matter which relate in an interesting way to the ground, water and sky around it. He searches for expansive urban wastelands, sometimes incorporating a sole figure or figures quietly taking in their environment – or perhaps they are oblivious to it. The lack of noticeable interaction with each other or their surroundings represents a sort of lone-ranger-on-a-spiritual quest notion.
Juan strives for compelling compositions using people, buildings, trees and manmade objects to create the forms and angles he is looking for. The perspective is often unusual and from a befuddling vantage point. His palette is typically representative of the greys and beiges of concrete set off by a clear blue sky and an occasional shock of red or green, represented by manmade objects like fire hydrants and signs. His incredible control of acrylic paint on linen offers a narrow view of a much larger scene, eliminating the chaos and chatter of a wide angle view. What he sees is perhaps what many of us miss, rewarding the viewer with the serenity and simplicity of form and a moment captured in time.
“The main theme of my paintings is the mystery that lies hidden within the city. The banality reveals mystery, calm, silence and void underneath the sunlight. One may consider the city as humankind’s most important creation – created by people for their own benefit and designed to serve them. However, as it is built, the city itself gains autonomy and power, to the point where it starts altering and changing human habits and behavior. Whereas architecture may last and stay intact for centuries, humans are merely transitory, short-lived creatures – and their individual impermanence intensifies the city’s own presence.
In my artwork one can easily recognize what is being depicted, but in fact, if I have any intention at all, it would be to try and unite the real and metaphysical worlds.
There are stills in films that are real works of art. I am still under the American obsession; I love German director Wim Wenders’ (Paris Texas) work. No one has been able to reflect the American landscape like he has.
Rose Umerlik is a full time artist who recently moved from Maine to Vermont, where she paints in a beautiful, light filled studio in the trees. Rose has been featured in over a dozen solo shows and many two person and group shows nationally and internationally. She has received numerous awards and grants in places including New York, Vermont, and Berlin, Germany. Her work has been reviewed in Art Scope and Art New England magazines, and featured in many others including Maine Home and Design.
Within a very flat pictorial space large expanses of color are intersected by areas of dense activity, either clusters of lines or accumulations of smaller, organic forms. Lines are not always outlines but can have authority in themselves. Together with colors and forms, they suggest presences, or people, in complex relationships with each other, full of force and movement. Until 2008 Umerlik included direct references to nature in her paintings; associations with geology and coastal landscape still surface in the boulderlike shapes and color schemes that have become part of the artist’s abstract vocabulary. Britta Konau – The Canvas – Maine Home and Design Magazine
Umerlik starts her pieces with lines, loosely gesturing with a graphite pencil to capture the emotion she wants to relate. She absorbs the line – like breathing in an idea or a feeling – and then begins to layer the piece as the line dictates the soft forms that will become the skin. The lines appear, disappear, and reappear; they take us on a journey through the work. Sometimes an entire field of color will be covered with a new color, but glimpses of the line and perhaps the former hue that surrounded it will still be visible underneath. It is as if she is trying to show you where the story leaves off by first showing you how she got there. There are typically focal areas of tangle, tension, compression, and even chaos. These areas are tempered by expanses of soft color; and though these areas are resting places for the eyes, in Umerlik’s opinion, these spaces hold an enormous amount of the work’s energy. Her inclusion of black and grey, which she tends to use liberally, takes some guts, but she combines what can be imposing weight with her subtle palette in a way that is almost reminiscent of Georgia O’Keeffe’s work. The combination is arresting, and beautifully balanced.