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Indepth Arts News:

"Gary Faigin: Tradition and Contradiction"
2001-07-13 until 2001-09-02
Frye Art Museum
Seattle, WA, USA

In recent paintings inspired by the serenity of Bellini, the light of Caravaggio, and the attitude of Catch 22, Gary Faigin explores ways in which meaning is created and destroyed through the manipulation of images and text. His imagery is derived from conventions of traditional still lifes and mass-media billboards and, at first glance, seems easily accessible. Upon further contemplation, however, more complex possibilities arise: things quietly fly apart or explode, signage translates into riddles, and the boundaries between nature and artifice begin to be called into question.

Conducting these gentle tensions is the hand of a consummate formalist. The witty contradictions are made possible, even beautiful, because they float on a harmonious grid of symmetry and are painted with a love for the virtuosity of the Old Masters.

Gary Faigin, artistic director and cofounder of the Seattle Academy of Fine Art, received his training at the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, the Art Students League in New York City, and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He has exhibited widely, including solo exhibitions in Seattle, Santa Fe, and New York. His paintings have been featured in numerous publications and they are in corporate and museum collections across the United States. In addition to painting and teaching, Mr. Faigin wrote and hosted the video, Drawing from the Live Model, and wrote and illustrated the classic text, The Artist's Complete Guide to Facial Expressions. Popular abroad, this book was recently published by Taschen in French and German translations. Gary Faigin is also the art critic on Seattle's NPR station, KUOW.

IMAGE:
Gary Faigin,
Billboard with Real Lemons, 1999,
46 x 60 in.
Courtesy of the artist and
Gordon Woodside/John Braseth Gallery.


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