Farmhouse Logic, a colorful exhibit of new works by sculptor Brad Howe and painter Gary Komarin opens April 12th at the Morrison Gallery in the Old Barns section of Kent. The exhibition begins with a reception from 5pm-7pm and will run through May 11th.
The Farmhouse Logic title refers to the way farmers have traditionally used great intuitive sense to place farmhouses and buildings on the land, especially in relation to ponds and roads. Both Komarin and Howe are guided by a strong intuitive sense in their work - Howe plans for how his pieces will ultimately stand and be structural, while still preserving their playful nature; Komarin expresses this in painting through finding his own unique visual balance.
Born in New York City and now living and working in Roxbury, CT, Komarin is a risk taker in contemporary painterly abstraction. His images have an epic quality that gives the viewer the sense of looking at a fresh description of something timeless. Abstraction has never been a formal dead end for him; rather it has allowed him to challenge the limitations of the style and make a painting 'include more' precisely because a recognizable image excludes too much. Komarin has been called a "painter's painter." His status is based on the authenticity of his work, its deep connection to the tradition of Modern painting as well as its sustained individuality as an utterly personal voice.
Komarin has been honored with the Joan Mitchell Prize in Painting, the New York Foundation for the Arts Grant in Painting, the Edward Albee Foundation Fellowship in Painting, the Elizabeth Foundation, New York Prize in Painting and the Benjamin Altman Prize from the National Academy of Design Museum, New York. Kenneth Baker of the San Francisco chronicle described Komarin’s work by stating, “Komarin gets paintings that vibrate with historical memory, echoing such things as Matisses's driest most empty pictures, Robert Motherwell's spare abstractions of the 1970's, or the early New Mexico and Berkeley paintings of Richard Diebenkorn.”
Howe seeks to build on the tradition of geometric abstraction and to sustain it as a living, viable discourse. His playful mobiles, wall hangings, furniture, and freestanding sculptures combine the dynamic planar relationships and solid coloration associated with post-cubist modernism. Their exuberance owes much to the artistic climates of 21st Century L.A. and São Paulo, where Howe began his artistic career. The humor, inventiveness, and versatility of Howe's artistic process are perfectly suited for private commissions. This is evidenced in the fact that the interplay between experimentation in the studio and the unique interests or needs of his private and commercial clients serves as a vital source of inspiration. The external parameters that this sort of interaction poses, allows Howe to approach his process from ever-changing perspectives, and it allows his stainless steel, steel, or aluminum pieces to take unpredictable directions.
When asked to comment about his recent work Howe said, "At some level all art is self portraiture. What to leave in, what to leave out might depend on the mood of the day, but no matter the choices or the abstractions, the artist is faithful to the internal dialogue that runs in the background of his object making. Each of these forms represents a resting place, an encapsulated moment in time, out of a enduring drive to reflect on and investigate what it means to see, and to live."