Paintings by Sirena LaBurn, Samuel Levy, Nathan Mullins, and William Reed
November 9, 2019–January 10, 2020
AMOR FATI broadens the definition of traditional momento mori to explore themes of life, death, and rebirth in paintings by Sirena Laburn, Samuel Levy, Nathan Mullins, and William Reed at Wagner College’s Union Gallery. The four artists’ works, each exhibiting individual interests and styles, converse about the hopes and fears inherent in our limited human experience, keeping an eye toward the certainty we all face, and welcoming that death as necessary.
The wheel shapes in Sirena LaBurn’s (b. 1986, B.S. 2012, M.F.A. 2014) paintings reflect the cyclical nature of life and the circumstances in which we are born and will die. Drawing from her experience of motherhood, LaBurn creates images that speak to the wishes and fears she has for her daughter’s future, including skeletons that dance in the deserts of the artist’s home state of Texas, laughing at our attempts to make sense of it all. The dichotomy of life and death is blurred in Samuel Levy’s (b. 1980, B.F.A. 2003, M.F.A. 2009) observational paintings as stags and ducks seem to breathe before the viewer realizes that the animals are taxidermy stand-ins. This reversal of the original reading offers a chance to reflect on the line that separates the quick and the dead. Figures both mythological and commonplace combine in the paintings of Nathan Mullins (b. 1989, B.F.A. 2012, M.F.A. 2015), finding equal footing to explore symbols of rebirth. The destructive and life-giving duality of water is a central theme present in these paintings that range in topic from The Birth of Venus to rising ocean levels. William Reed’s (b. 1981, B.A. 2003, M.F.A. 2009) Pyre paintings, a series begun some years ago, are visual meditations that deal with chance, death, and renewal. The flowers, gathered from spaces personally meaningful to the artist, lay scattered across floors in decay, but are revived with life and beauty by their arrangement as painting motifs.
NICK SAVIDES “NYCITYSCAPES” EXHIBIT
The Union Gallery at Wagner College will present a solo exhibition of oil paintings by Brooklyn artist Nick Savides. The exhibition will be on display from November 12, 2018 through January 12, 2019. There will be an opening reception, free to the public, on November 18, 2-4 pm.
The paintings in this show are set in New York City – in neighborhoods such as Tribeca, SoHo, and NoHo, as well as Central Park. They are portrayed with a blend of realism and subtle surrealism that creates a unique vision of the city. One of the recurrent themes in this show is the depiction of the figure and faces on billboards, anthropomorphizing the city itself. Using the effects of light and space, they blend the everyday and the extraordinary, the dynamic and the serene. As Val Schaffner writes, “Beyond the carefully rendered beauty, complexity, and calm of his art, there is mystery: a sense of something about to be discovered.”
Mr. Savides started painting as a young child, learning from his mother, who was also a painter. Later, he studied under New York figurative painter Paul Georges at Brandeis University. Since his first solo show in 1980, he has exhibited in many group and solo shows in New York City, as well as Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Long Island, Upstate New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, California, and Toronto. His work is included in numerous private and public collections and was featured on June Middleton’s cable show “Minding Your Business.” Twice published by Nabi Press, he had a retrospective of his work at the Berkeley College Gallery in 2012, was selected for the cover of the 2015 William & Mary Review, and has recently been published in Studio Visit Magazine, Volume 41, and John Natsoulas Press’s 2018 10th Annual Art of Painting in the 21st Century.
His work can be seen at nicksavides.com and UGallery.com .
GATHERING LIGHT: A Solo Exhibition of Paintings by Susan M. Blubaugh
The Union Gallery at Wagner College will present a solo exhibition of paintings by Susan M. Blubaugh. Most works in the exhibit, Gathering Light, are landscape paintings of Bucks County, PA and Hunterdon County, NJ and will include studio paintings corresponding with the plein air studies that inspired and informed the larger works.
The focus of Susan’s work is the continual study of the subtle changes in light, time of day, and season, and she often returns to the same location, recording the shifts in the atmosphere and emotion of a particular subject.
Susan has been painting and exhibiting her landscapes, still life paintings and the occasional portrait in Bucks County, PA and Hunterdon County, NJ since 2001. She started her career as a painter and illustrator in New York City where she studied at the Art Students League and the National Academy of Design with painters Isaac Soyer, Harvey Dinnerstein, Burton Silverman, Hilary Holmes and Curt Hanson, who said about Susan’s work: “Her love of painting directly from nature has stayed with her since I encountered her painting in Central Park in the 1980’s. Her drawing ability is impeccable and the paintings always reflect a freshness only gotten by firsthand observations. Many artists have shorthand methods that produce flashy effects that often hide their lack of ability. With Susan, I always see a patient seeking of visual truth that is imbued with the excitement of honest discovery.”
Susan has dedicated this exhibit to the memory of Curt Hanson, her friend and mentor who passed away recently after a short illness.
More of her work can be seen on Instagram and at www.susanblubaugh.com
“Myths and Tales.” Nov. 8 until Jan. 13.
Colman Rutkin has lived on Staten Island for more than 30 years since moving here from Manhattan. This is his second solo show; the first, held in 2013 at the Staten Island Museum, was titled “A Visual Journey” and included oil paintings, prints and watercolors.
For more about the artist, visit his website @http://colmanrutkin.com/
Staten Island, N.Y. — Artist Scott LoBaido, best known for his American flag portraits on display across the nation, will be featured in an exhibition in Wagner College Gallery throughout the month of March.
The exhibition, titled “Self Portraits”, consists of three 4 1/2′ by 9′ pieces, one for each wall of the gallery. The pieces are all untitled.
“They are older pieces,” says LoBaido. “They are surreal, with some patriotic influences. I prefer the audience to see what they want and try to figure out the artist’s intentions; hence, they are untitled, with no explanation.” The exhibition runs from Sunday, March 6, through Saturday, April 2.
About the Artist
LoBaido, who was voted “Best Artist (Paint/Sculpture/Ink)” in SILive’s 2015 Best of Staten Island Poll, is best known for his American flag paintings, which are on display on structures all across Staten Island.
Last year, he went on tour to all fifty states, painting his trademark flags on patriotic buildings in each state.
His “Empty Chairs” Driftwood Memorials, a tribute to victims of Hurricane Sandy, were on display last Fall in Midland Beach.
Click on the gallery above the view the pieces on display in the exhibition, and some of his other artwork. For more information about Scott LoBaido, visit his website.