The gallery is proud to exhibit for the first time the nature-inspired oil paintings of Betty Jo Costanzo. Costanzo immerses herself in coastal settings using all of her senses — sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell — and then records her environment (via video and audiotape), which she later plays in her studio while painting not only the “appearance” of water and sky, but the “essence” of her experiences. Costanzo is a former associate professor at California College of the Arts (CCA), and she has worked and taught around the world, including England, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Cyprus and both coasts of the US.
Polish artist Justyna Kisielewicz, who currently resides in California, considers Western culture, consumption, and capitalism, as well as other issues that affect the state of the world, through the lens of contemporary Bay Area life. Glamour and humor find a place in her often politically charged works that ask us to question our values and our place on the world stage. “Hustle” (watercolor) depicts life in Silicon Valley with imagery that takes viewers on a journey from idea conception to launching a Start Up; while her provocative, realist paintings (oil and gold leaf on three panels) that are reminiscent of religious icons consider contemporary issues and movements, including Feminism and the rise of “Me-Too,” while referencing art history and her autobiography.
Stephanie Peek’s “Leaf-Light” oil paintings incorporate ground European alabaster, and they poetically depict sprays of eucalyptus leaves that the artist brought into her studio to study under a variety of man-made light sources and natural daylight fading into night. The organic, sinewy leaves are rendered with a subtle earth-like palette, ranging from ivory-brown to purple-grey-green. A departure from Peek’s sumptuous floral paintings with touches of jewel-like hues, here we see tangled foliage at various stages of decline, and we find comfort in the natural state of the leaves and their mysterious shadows.
David Shevlino’s female figures, still-life scenes, and landscapes masterfully link traditional representation with abstraction. Through the artist’s sensuous application of paint, his use of broad brushstrokes followed by a tightening up of the composition, and his spontaneous, gestural marks, Shevlino creates living, breathing works of art that appear to be suspended in movement and time.
Elena Zolotnitsky’s personal and intimate oil paintings probe deeply into the mystery of the medium. Seeking to create works alive with the raw physicality of paint, to which viewers relate on an emotional level, Zolotnitsky has navigated themes from figures and still-life flowers to urban and landscape. Here we premier Zolotnitsky’s “Extinct Chair” series. The exhibition’s title, Metamorphosis, is borrowed from the artist’s newest theme, with discarded chairs morphing from a thing of purpose to the artist’s muse. Oil paintings and editioned (1/3) hanging tapestries (created with the artist at Magnolia Editions) are featured in the exhibition.