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Indepth Arts News:

"A Collective Exhibition: Contemporary Art at its Best"
2006-08-26 until 2006-09-16
Agora Gallery
New York, NY, USA United States of America

Agora Gallery, located at 415 W. Broadway in SoHo, is pleased to present A Collective Exhibition: Contemporary Art at its Best. The exhibition gathers the works of artists from around the world in a broad exposition of contemporary narrative and expressive abstraction. The exhibition showcases ancient and modern motifs in contemporary imagery, metaphorical drama, and the multi-dimensional aspects of illustration that range form comic commentary to visceral pragmatism.

Wojciech Cypko’s work possesses a stark elegance and an understated aesthetic that beautifully compliments the feeling of modern loneliness and isolation conveyed in his paintings. His sense of balance in these paintings is flawless; the viewer feels privileged to see the world through this artist’s unique perspective.

Debbie Davies re-contextualizes the spiral motif common in the iconography of various cultures, from Celtic to Buddhist to South American, allowing it to become a “visual representation of humanity's commonalities. Inspired by these themes, Davies allows the painting process to control itself, working spontaneously and yet with a strong sense of geometry and balance.

Using brightly pigmented hues, Nacera Guerin shows the human form blooming with life, physical vitality, and emotional intensity. Guerin’s work celebrates the body, especially the female body, in all its forms and variations. Guerin’s paintings are bold and brave; each one tells a story and sends a message that urges the viewer to take part in the dynamism of life that Guerin represents on her canvases.

Andrew Killick’s artistic eye leads him towards the colorful portrayal of autumn leaves. Killick colors his objects in a continuous and flowing wash of colors, adding texture and emphasizing the natural curvatures of the leaves. This fluid style creates the appearance of being underwater or looking at nature through an aquarium.

With fiery colors and bold strokes, Manu W. creates intense works in the style of Abstract Expressionism. Manu states that her works are “emotionally based” and serve as “a mirror to the soul.” Manu’s works possess an air of excitement subdued by an analytical mind, who organizes color and line into pleasing, if unexpected, arrangement.

Derek Alvarez's encounters with racism and violence in his youth drove him to explore the reality lying behind the outward appearance of things. Alvarez selects disparate characters and styles from comic books and pop culture to transform their meaning, the comical nature of his art acting to sublimate the negativity surrounding him. “I remember lots of hatred and violence on television as well as in real life,” he says, “it made me look inward and create a better world in my mind.”

If the work of German-born artist Irene Brandt seems familiar, perhaps that is because her paintings have graced dozens of calendars and were chosen two years running as UNICEF’s holiday greeting card. Self-taught, Brandt’s style is best described as naive or folk art. Specializing in acrylic paint since 1996, Brandt produces vividly whimsical scenes with the intent of disseminating a positive view of the world.

Inspired by the batik prints and wood carvings of her native Indonesia, Nouke Sudiono weaves a magical, modern-day narrative worthy of great storytellers like Scheherezade in the Thousand and One Nights. Using bold color combinations and delicate motifs, Sudiono renders the world around her in enigmatic terms: she takes us into a realm where the familiar takes on unfamiliar, mysterious qualities.

With provocative perspective and an unconventional palette, artist Michelle Leivan successfully captures the viewer within the spaces of her dramatic scenes. Taking as her primary subject the female form, Leivan successfully delivers each piece as a dynamic work of art, incessantly daring her viewers to locate the specific nuances and subtle essence of facial expression and gesture within each painting.

Exploring tensions between restraint and abandon, Anissa Mendez weaves intimate confessions of the nightlife into the canvas, animating shadows, emotional scenes and vivid memories. Depicting the loneliness and ritualized escapism of contemporary American life, Mendez portrays the bartender as keeper and giver of "spirits" which anesthetize and pave the way for transitory bonds.

The luminous hues and playfully optimistic perspective of Henk Stadman's illustrative compositions reveal distinct, dream-like realms that confound standard notions of perspective. Color is intricately bound to emotion in Stadman's ebullient work, which often portrays complex compositional elements within a unique visual landscape.

Michelle Leivan
Acrylic on Paper
23" x 17"

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