Gay Germain. Sculpture Garden Conversation #14. Acrylic, oil and graphite on canvas wrapped panel. 30 x 30 inches. Courtesy of the artist.
Amauri Torezan. Shangri-la. 2015. Acrylic and gold leaf on canvas. 36 x 48 inches. Courtesy of the artist.
Elizabeth Thompson. Purple Chairs, 2014. Oil on canvas. 48 x 75 inches. Courtesy of the artist.
January 27 – April 20, 2016
This exhibition presents a select group of contemporary artists practicing in Florida whose work evidences the diversity of approaches to personal, local and global themes. Experimentation with innovative techniques coupled with comprehensive knowledge of the history of art characterizes the works in this year’s selection. An acute awareness of current issues is evident in the work of Julio Figueroa Beltrán, Claudio Castillo and Bruce Marsh, among others represented in the exhibition, whose paintings and mixed-media works are provocative images of contemporary culture. The evocative installation by Cecilia Lueza, The Journey, suggests memories of childhood, while Alina Eydel’s piece, Tattooed (Self-Portrait), addresses identity and cultural heritage. Erin Dougherty Williams’ photography installation, Eugene Community Portrait Project shows the subtleties of individuals whose stories are told through the details captured by the camera.
Influenced by their surroundings and attuned to the idiosyncrasies that make their context special, beautiful or challenging, Julio Figueroa Beltrán, Elizabeth Thompson, Helier Batista and Bruce Marsh depict engaging scenes, which address various aspects of Floridian life. From vibrant palm trees to suburban landscapes, these images speak to the artist’s vision of their environment. The soft, almost ethereal forms in the works of Gay Germain, Betsy D’Jamoos and Lujan Candria contrast with the expressive abstraction in the pieces by Amauri Torezan, Lia Galletti and Pat Zalisko. Color and gesture infuse these paintings with a pulsating energy rich in visual nuance. Carmelo Blandino and Ran Adler create pieces that reference the history of art in their execution, but present experimental approaches to works involving nature. Adler’s installation, Nature’s Tapestry, a captivating woven assemblage consisting of hundreds of mahogany pods, embodies the strength of nature while flowing organically to create beautiful forms. Carmelo Blandino’s painting, Courage, transforms a traditional still-life into a force of gestural motion, which evokes baroque art and Expressionism simultaneously.
This edition of Florida Contemporary celebrates artistic diversity by putting in dialogue the works of artists from a variety of backgrounds and career stages and offers a panoramic view of art production in Florida today. We invite visitors to engage with the images and objects presented, to contemplate the aesthetic details that make them unique and to reflect on the themes they address.
This exhibition has been organized by Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum, and is generously underwritten by Bob and Terry Edwards and Friends of Art.
Julio Figueroa Beltrán