This Thursday night at Agora Gallery, our artists demonstrated not only a staunch dedication to their craft, but also their very human desire to share the experience of their work with others. âItâs inspiring for us to see you stand with your artwork. While we are all facing obstacles every day, we know that the joy of creation is more important to us than struggle of life,â said director Angela di Bello to the artists of our new exhibitions, the French Perspective: Contemporary Art from France, Cadences of Color, and Sensorial Sensibilities. I had the chance to speak with a few of the artists about their inspiration, their process, and their challenges.
It was an extremely moving night for French artist Cathy Garceran, who has unveiled a unique abstract series for this exhibition. In fact, it is Cathyâs first venture into abstraction. The artist sold her first painting when she was 16 years old, and continued to enjoy success in her adult career painting marina scenes in the south of France. Recently, Cathy was diagnosed with Parkinsonâs disease, and she has since lost the ability to paint with her dominant right hand. In the series of thirteen paintings featured here at Agora, Cathy used her unpracticed left hand to first lay a base over her canvas, and then to sling acrylic across the surface. âI apply the background as if painting a landscape,â she explained, âand after that I apply my energy. This is the point where my painting becomes abstract.â The practice of art helps Ms. Garceran to channel her frustration, but she also hopes the pieces will be a paragon of adaptation to other Parkinsonâs patients, to relieve anxiety by harmonizing oneâs lifestyle with the reality of their struggles. âI hope to be a representative for the disease,â Cathy says, âand to give hope.â
Sculptor and painter Jesse Ensling is exhibiting a new series of abstract, marble sculptures at Agora. While speaking with the artist, I took a closer look at the piece Entwined. I saw bulbous bodies swell and expand like strange petals opening from a hidden bud. Ensling distinguishes the bodies by texture, leaving some smooth, others rough and incised with labyrinthine patterns. The artist began working this form from the top of the marble downwards, letting âthe movement of the stone dictate the line, form, and volume.â Ensling commonly experiments with the space enveloping his statues. While Entwined is a gorgeous example of the internal manipulation of material, Abstract Marbleâwhich Jesse calls his âhappy pieceââexplores the dynamics of positive and negative space. The artist is currently developing a series that integrates seashells into his marble. The works are small and have a very intimate spirit.
It was Nancy Stella Galianosâs second exhibition at Agora. Like Jesse Ensling, this painter strives to manipulate the physical materials that she has at hand. Nancy indicated her use of bubble wrap and wire mesh to create an impression in her paint. âYou work with what is available to you,â she told me frankly. There is a great variety of texture in the paint, with bands of color that seem to twist in three dimensions around one another. âI am passionate about colorâ she continued, âbut I am inspired by music.”
Lebanese artist Joe Abou Jawdeh has been painting as an expression of âpolitical theoryâ for over fifteen years. âI grew up in a war zone, and this gave me an extreme desire for expression. I survived a bomb explosion, and perhaps this gives me the energy to create my work.â Joe does not make any preparatory sketches, and such final details as a line of text or an emblazoned cross come after he has âread the characters of the piece, to fully capture my view.â In Conflict of Belonging, a womanâs profile is visible behind white bands, which could resemble either arms or prison bars. âMy hope,â he said in response to my observation, âis that I will speak for the women of Lebanon whose voices will not be heard.â
As always, it was a pleasure to socialize with the talented and prudent artists we represent at Agora Gallery. The current exhibitions, French Perspective: Contemporary Art from France, Cadences of Color, and Sensorial Sensibilities each offer a rich repository of very diverse artwork. We invite you to come explore the collection yourself. All of these artists and more have their artwork for sale on Art-Mine.com. Keep yourself updated with the happenings at the gallery by subscribing to our blog, and joining our mailing list.