The works in Modalities of Expression show off the many different and innovative ways that artists give their dreams and passions physical form, allowing them to share their vision with others. Shape and medium, line and hue all play their part in these delicately balanced and immersive pieces.
Through her compelling mixed media on canvas art, Val d’Off explores the patterns of communication that exist in our current global society using an unusual approach. Before she begins painting, she covers the entire canvas with torn and patched up paper (taken from newspapers, books, photos, and handwritten pages). Inks, pencils, and pigments are then superimposed on the patchwork to create a multidimensional effect. The textual variations in the paper work to create prisms of light and breathe life into the overall image. In this way, the various forms of communication represented in the paper patchwork come to define the finished image, conveying the importance and value that words have in our culture. In a number of works, the artist even makes words the main subject of the piece, literally painting with words. As Val d’Off explains, “We are made of words: our first lessons, the pages in our first notebooks, textbooks... From the beginning they penetrate us, instruct us, reach to us, speak to us… or not. We keep them, leave them, and we build ourselves through them.”
Val d’Off currently lives and works in Paris, France.
The heady digital images of Angélique Droessaert take the beauty of the natural world to new, unexpected creative heights. Droessaert photographs nature in a most intimate and complex way. She then uses her artistic vision to further develop organic patterns and light reflections, focusing on the beauty of the minute details that in a normal photograph remain subsumed or invisible. The details become the subject. The artist translates the energy captured by her digital camera into a way of seeing and experiencing the world. The form disappears, revealing pure spirit in a wide spectrum of fractured light. She completely upends the realistic palette, and sometimes even flips the tones to negatives, working with a variety of tools to craft images that extrapolate hidden energies and vibrations from the landscape, triggering magical visions and invoking emotional responses.
Angélique Droessaert was born in Luxembourg and today lives in North Carolina. A formally trained artist, she also holds a PhD in Romance Languages and Literature and has taught for many years at various institutions of higher learning.
Frederik Kløve Jacobsen
Drips, drops, swirls and otherwise chaotic abstractions dominate painter Frederik Kløve Jacobsen’s large scale acrylic and oil on canvas works. Largely inspired by the artist’s experiences of New York City, these paintings teem with life. An image scavenger at heart, Jacobsen paints from a self-proclaimed mixture of “fascination and revulsion” inspired by the culture of New York City, which he highlights in his work through symbols of its prominent commercial and underground cultures. Jacobsen also names 1950s Beat Generation poets like Jim Carroll as important influences. Interested in storytelling and the transfer of energetic emotionality onto canvas, his works sing of chaos and fly to the heart of physical matter. Loose, large abstraction gives way to petite-sized objects of everyday use rendered in fastidious detail beside bold streaks and scribbling formations. Multilayered and textured, incorporating both figuration and collage-like features, the works communicate with jubilant velocity the fast-paced cultural melting pot that is New York City.
Frederik Kløve Jacobsen is a Danish artist currently living and working in New York.
Joëlle Kem Lika
French artist Joëlle Kem Lika takes her inspiration from nature, especially flowers and seascapes, though she turns such imagery into virtually Abstract Expressionist compositions bursting with gestural swaths of bold colors and brilliant plays of light. She cites the importance of the Buddhist concept of the "Pulse of Life" in her practice and, indeed, her works positively pulse with energy, whether in fiery and explosive canvases dominated by reds and yellows, or the evocative blues and greens of her water scenes and skyscapes.
Working quickly and vigorously, Kem Lika applies her saturated acrylic paints in layers, so that subtle shadings and contrasting tones emerge beneath the bold, dominant hues. The thick brushstrokes give momentum and direction to the most abstract pieces, while also lending a textured, practically sculptural element to the works. Her imagery ranges from precise and detailed figuration to pure abstraction, but the tension and energy present across this rich variety of paintings remain constant. Kem Lika invests each piece with incredible vitality and an irrepressible pulse.
Susan Marx’s wildly colorful paintings are joyous translations of image into hue. Marx paints the outside world, working en plein air, with her feet on the grass, with an emphasis on paring down visual elements to concentrate on “color, light, and energy” - subjects which entice and engage the viewer, drawing them into a fresh and beautiful world. Marx describes her style as Abstract Impressionism, combining “the light of the Impressionists, the brilliant color of the Fauves and the energy of the Abstract Expressionists” to create shapes out of quick, assertive paint-filled strokes. Colors are not blended and the brushstroke length varies widely; she paints spontaneously with energy and emotion. Marx draws in color, using fast drying acrylics so that she can quickly capture her reaction to her “radical amazement at the visual world.”
The paintings in this exhibition were painted en plein air in New Jersey, where Marx lives, and also during a painting trip to the Luberon area of Provence in July when lavender was in bloom. This was the most recent of her many trips to France to paint, a practice which started with summers painting in Monet's garden in Giverny. Marx has exhibited widely and her work is found in collections in the US and abroad.
At the borderlands where Impressionism moves towards Realism, painter Ricky Montilla evokes the threefold language of color, shape and texture in oil on canvas. Figures, flowers, foliage, water fowl and, as of late, Japanese Koi fish, make up the bulk of his subject matter. Whether rendering rippling lines of light running along the scales of a fish or lush and billowing color on the petals of a dewy flower, these works draw upon deep reservoirs of sensual awareness. Inspired by Philippine national artist Fernando Amorsolo and the great masters of his homeland, Montilla’s works depict scenes of daily life with ample amounts of emotion and splendid coloration. Drawn to the natural beauty of earth elements and figuration, his works are classic paintings infused with moments of contemporary flavor.
Ricky Montilla was born in the Philippines and resides in Bellevue, Washington. He studied Fine Arts, majoring in Painting, at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines and has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the Philippines, the United States and Asia.
Dynamic yet intriguingly subtle, SAHBA’s art becomes a meditative and sensory experience, developing an emotional bond with the viewer through the depth of presence that each piece possesses. Immersed in the mindfulness of SAHBA’s mark is a visual mantra of color and motion, layering a sense of place and deep feeling into a bold abstraction of color and texture. The artist paints with vigor and variety, using brushes, palette knives, and hands to build each piece as she allows the journeys of her life to guide and direct her work. SAHBA creates her expressive paintings in mixed media on canvas, diving into each surface with a pure joy and exuberance for the rich hues and tactile qualities of her medium.
Born in Winnipeg, Canada to a family of northern Indian descent and now living in Palo Alto, California with dual Canadian-American citizenship, SAHBA creates art that is global in nature and appeal, being visually informed and inspired by her extensive travels abroad. Her works have received worldwide attention, appearing internationally in solo and group exhibitions, private collections and by commission.
In creating his paintings, Stephan Schoeppler says he is trying to “intrigue the viewer with shapes and shadows, creating a feeling of weightlessness and flight.” That feeling of flight is clearly seen in works that bring a lightness of touch to solidly grounded compositions. Working in oils and in mixed media, the artist creates a fully realized world from ingenious compositions of simple forms, turning an assemblage of rectangles into an abstracted cityscape, or a series of elegant curves into the likeness of a human body.
His works also cross the boundary between two and three dimensions. By attaching objects to some pieces, he heightens their sculptural sense, the open shapes that peek out also increasing the feeling of airiness. Having worked in the fields of design and architecture, Schoeppler has a strong sense of line, giving each image a clarity that is also reflected in his color palette, which offers dynamic contrasts while also maintaining a fine balance. Through his use of “unexpected details” and an original approach to his materials, he achieves his goal of creating “something beautiful and lasting.”
David Utermann’s sculptures, made of syporex and glazed in satin paint finish, are simple, streamlined and astutely observed and decisive works. Trained as a mediation specialist, Utermann is detail-oriented and sensitive to the needs and motivations of human beings. His concern for the people he meets is reflected in the care that he uses to hand-carve his sculptures. Rather than adding materials as part of his creative process, his method is reductive, carving out of one piece; using what is already there to find the perfect shape that already exists within it.
Utermann’s forms are organic and smooth with rounded edges and flowing curves. They generally reference the human figure, with one flat color being used to paint each sculpture. The decision to use a single color enhances the line of the sculptures – there is no distraction from the form that Utermann has carefully brought to light. Refreshingly direct as well as well as sensuously tactile, the forms are arranged on bases, indicating that they are made to display the beauty that has been revealed by way of David Utermann’s sensitive skill.
Drawing on imagery from her subconscious, Jungian psychotherapist Pauline Walsh’s acrylics are complex portrayals of human personality, of one’s lost inner child found by a mother’s light. Her works speak to the spiritual separation from oneself, and the gratification that follows when soul and creative awakening become one. Her imaginative collages are purposefully dreamlike. “My goal has always been to share truths I have uncovered in myself with others, and to keep exploring through color, image, form, and story,” notes Walsh.
Through a colorful mélange of people, flora and fauna, Walsh conveys what one may experience in the twilight of a dream just before awakening. Employing caricature and near abstraction, she delves into layers of the subconscious, creating constructs that both enlighten and entertain. Through extensive use of archetypal imagery, Walsh succeeds in bringing what lies unconscious to the surface, allowing viewers to experience the importance of re-connecting with nature and their inner child. Drawing on the power of imagery, the artist has created a body of work that allows us to relive pleasant memories long forgotten with a new, mature perspective.