This community-curated exhibition brings together three painters—Alan Soffer, Brian Dickerson, and Moe Brooker—who are attuned to harmonies and contrasts in abstract forms.
Each artist explores the boundaries of the creative process through mixed media, color, form, and texture.
Alan Soffer began sculpting in 1973 and had transitioned to painting by 1985, through a breakthrough program at Bennington College. Teaching abstract painting workshops and curatorial engagements ensued around 2000. Encaustics allowed him to marry a sculptural component to his painterly approach while studying at Ringling School in 1998. The hot, pigmented waxs inherent translucency perfectly supports his vocabulary for expressing space from the microscopic to the galactic. Whatever the direction, the work is always influenced by Joseph Campbell, the noted mythologist, who Soffer considers his mentor.Soffer is in numerous major collections, including The National Museum of American Jewish History; Musee du Chateau, Montbeliard; American Express; Larry & Roberta Ballen; Saul & Lori Krenzel; R & R Seidenberg.
Exhibitions have traveled throughout the US, Argentina, Cuba, Kurdistan, and France. Significant exhibitions have been at Musee du Chateau, Montbeliard, France; Gallery Sakiko-NY, Haydon Art Center, NE, Woodmere Museum, Philadelphia; Widener University, PA; State College-PA; Art Museum of the Americas-DC; Delaware Center for Contemporary Art; National Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia; Hoyt Institute, Pa; Sande Webster Gallery, Philadelphia; Penna. Academy of Fine Arts, Parallels Gallery, Philadelphia; State Museum of Penna, Harrisburg,PA.; Atlantic City AC; Robert Roman Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ; Rosenfeld Gallery,Phila,PA, . Victoria Donohue / Philadelphia Inquirer [2003, Widener University] had this to say:Soffer is a serious artist with a truly poetic gift for making his paintings coalesce into visions of quite remarkable beauty. He is a colorist and very versatile in this; he uses color exuberantly and paints seemingly with abandon, yet his results are nonetheless strongly rhythmic. Such paintings project an engaging physicality, even though they rely on swift effects to declare their presence.
The heavily layered and reworked surfaces in Dickerson’s painted wood constructions reveal a deeply felt process of exploration. Each work contains hidden forms and apertures suggesting almost inaccessible mystery. Using mixed media and wood construction, these constructed paintings offer the viewer an opportunity for quiet relfection amidst the dislocations and uncertainty of the surrounding world. Assertive and strong in composition, they lead the mind into contemplation of the sublime.
Dickerson’s work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums including Kouros Gallery, New York, OK Harris Works of Art, New York, Katzen Museum – American University, Wash. DC, Seraphin Gallery, Philadelphia, PA , Museum of the University of Wyoming, Butler Institute of American Art, National Academy of Design, Woodmere Museum, Opalka Gallery – Sage College, The Center for Art in Wood, Delaware Art Museum and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 2010 he was awarded a Franz and Virginia Bader Fund Grant. He received a Ballinglen Foundation Fellowship in 2008 traveling to Ballycastle, County Mayo, Ireland in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Moe Brooker (born 1940) is American artist. Working in painting and fabrics, Brooker employs bright colors such as "saturated pinks, mellow yellows and lime greens (that) are feasts for the eyes," as well as stripes and checked patterns. He is nationally known and has received a number of awards and honors, including the James Van Der Zee lifetime achievement award.
Brooker was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Tyler School of Art, graduating with a B.F.A. in 1970 and an M.F.A. in 1972. He has been on the faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Art, Parsons School of Design, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Moore College of Art and Design.
Brooker works on canvas and paper, using acrylics as a base coat and mixing oils, oil stick and encaustic. He has been influenced by both graffiti art and music, and has moved from semi-figurative art to abstract art. He credits abstractionist Wassily Kandinsky's book Concerning the Spiritual in Art (1912) as an influence on his work. One of the reasons why Brooker moved to abstraction was that he wanted to paint the joyous and spiritual aspects of African-American life, but could not find figurative symbols for doing so.
If you are given a gift, using that gift in its fullest sense is true worship.
His work is displayed at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Montgomery Museum of Art, the Musée des beaux-arts de l'Ontario, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He is represented by The Sande Webster Gallery in Philadelphia and the June Kelly Gallery in New York City. He is a member of Recherche, an African-American artists group whose works are known for "active engagement with life and a zestful manipulation of color and pattern."