Carrie Haddad Gallery is pleased to announce their next exhibit, “Storytellers and Conjurers”, featuring work by Kahn & Selesnick, Eileen Murphy, Louise Laplante, Adam Cohen, and Claire Lofrese. The exhibit will be on view from October 31 through December 8, 2013 with a reception for the artists on Saturday, November 2 from 6-8 PM. All are welcome.
The ultimate storytellers, who have been showing with the gallery for 20 years, are Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick of Kahn & Selesnick, who met at Washington University in St. Louis in the 1970’s. Their initial collaboration started in Truro, MA with real film and a box camera, (that belonged to Kahn's father and was actually used during the war), a real darkroom, stacks of cotton rag paper, and a xerox machine set on sepia tone. The first few series documented an invented history about “The Royal Excavation Corps” and their experiences with a shaman, experimental wings for solo flying, psychedelic honey and all sorts of adventures shot like an old movie. Eight series later, Kahn & Selesnick now shoot with digital cameras and alter the heck out of them on the computer. The results are stunning and still have the appearance of an era long ago. This exhibit will feature prints from their most recent series Truppe Fledermaus (Bat Troupe), which explores magic realism and documents a group a performers dressed as bats, “greenmen” and “death dancers” who wander the countryside performing only for animals. There are many hand-made elements in Kahn & Selesnick's work—imaginative costumes, stage sets, carved clay bat heads and figures, as well as drawings. This latest series will also include a three dimensional installation in the front room of the gallery.
Another wonderful storyteller, Louise Laplante, uses antique papers from found books and builds a story from them. Her stories are often about women and are plotted with dresses, shoes, and teacups. They are just as often about Earth's creatures. In “Lessons I, II and III”, Laplante collages pages from a book on crustaceans and then draws big chalk whales over them. A cache of vintage envelopes (possibly love letters?) are collaged and graced with a flock of birds in “Their Letters Flew Back and Forth”. Rabbits leap across a ledger of larder accounts. In the tradition of scrapbooks or memory boxes, the work is assembled from personal references. Laplante states, “The surface is blurred with whitewash, the way memories are blurred by distance and the elements of the image are assembled on that ground. The surface is encaustic, used as the final collaged element, to act as the “preservative” for what is underneath, and to provide that final blurring of the image.” Laplante is head librarian at a nearby college, which further explains her love of books and ephemera.
Eileen Murphy tells a modern stark story that is set in an urban apartment or loft. Her exquisitely detailed paintings are like stage sets and it’s up to the viewer to imagine what happens in the rooms. Murphy’s recent work includes oil on panel paintings of an eerily calm, blue, indoor swimming pool, and a starkly spotless Hillsdale Kitchen (with a black and white checked floor that shows off her mastery of perspective technique). Murphy received her MFA in Painting from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, and a BA in Studio Art and Art History from Mount Holyoke College in MA. This will be her third exhibit with Carrie Haddad Gallery.
Our two “conjurers” are Adam Cohen and Claire Lofrese. Both are contemporary painters conjuring expressive works that couldn't be more different from one another.
Adam Cohen is a brilliant colorist, and depending on the colors he uses, creates very different moods. His canvases can be dreamy, playful, dark and brooding, or shockingly vibrant. They are always emotional, and not just because the paint is splattered Pollock-like throughout the painting, but because the range of painterly motion is immediate and completely focused. There is a feeling the artist wants to express and he bangs it out. Color and movement say it all. Cohen earned his BFA at Philadelphia's Tyler School of Art at Temple University. He also studied at the School of Visual Arts Parsons, the Art Students League NYC and abroad in Rome. Using Photo Shop 1, Cohen was one of the very first artists ever to use the computer for art-making, launching his career as a top illustrator. He worked for clients such as Disney, Visa, MasterCard, Coca-Cola, CBS-TV, McGraw-Hill, Pfizer, Orion Pictures, Verizon, AT&T, The Atlantic Monthly, Dean-Witter, The New York Times and others.
Where Cohen is wild, Claire Lofrese is elegant and concise. In this series of very tall and narrow oil on panels, Lofrese uses rich gold and brown to simulate the color and light of Old Master paintings. Her monoliths are quite spiritual, but also conjure something out of a space odyssey. The artist's interest in Japanese art is obvious in her choice of format which can hang alone as a scroll, or in multiples, like screens. Claire Lofrese was educated at SUNY Buffalo and Hunter College. She has exhibited in metropolitan New York, Canada, California and with this gallery for at least fifteen years.