Linda Connor: Photographs
Grace DeGennaro: Paintings
Click Here to Read Mark Feeney's
Review in the Boston Globe
Clark Gallery is honored to present concurrent solo exhibitions by Linda Connor and Grace DeGennaro. Working within two very different traditions – large format photography in the case of Linda Connor and geometric abstraction for Grace DeGennaro, both artists explore sacred territory in ways both meaningful and sublime. All are invited to attend a reception celebrating the exhibitions on Saturday, September 8, from 4-6 pm.
Linda Connor’s photographs are global and sublime. For twenty-five years she has created distinctively glowing, contemplative images of nature and auspicious sites around the world using a large-format view camera. Linda Connor has spent more than twenty-five years exploring and investigating the exotic and divine. With her 8 x 10, Linda has made pilgrimages to India, Mexico, Thailand, Ireland, Peru, Nepal, Egypt, Hawaii and the American Southwest. Driving her exploration is Connor’s interest in the ways diverse cultures manifest the sacred. She has an uncanny ability to uncover the magic and mystical aura lying within the hallowed spaces she photographs. Among the various images in the exhibition one experiences the petroglyphs hidden in the cliff dwellings of Arizona; while the elegantly composed flames depicted in Votive Candles, Chartres Cathedral capture the timeless essence of the cyclical and the spiritual; and dazzling shafts of light penetrate a stone chamber in Fountain Head, Cambodia.
Connor’s photographs have appeared in numerous books: most recently Odyssey. Other books include Spiral Journey, published for her mid-career retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in 1990. She is the recipient of many awards including NEA fellowships in 1988 & 1976 NEA; the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship; and many others. Her work is part of numerous collections including the Museum of Fine Arts. Boston, the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Modern Art (NYC), The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
Grace DeGennaro’s current exhibition, her fifth solo show at Clark, features works on paper and paintings from her latest Vestments series. Inspired by the visual richness and tactility of secular attire, DeGennaro distills sacred forms to their pure geometric and spiritual core. The result is a breathtaking series of spiraling, meditative images floating on beautifully crafted pristine surfaces. The dimensions of each canvas follow the proportions of the golden rectangle, the basis of many ancient monuments.
At the heart of each composition are radiating Celtic crosses, which arose out of the negative space from the “vesica piscis” (the almond shape) that drove her previous work. A delicate layer of beaded circles adds further richness and subtlety. The overall impression is one of otherworldly splendor.
The exhibition also includes works form a related series Weaving. Inspired by Navajo blankets, these works similarly incorporate repetitive patterns of simple geometric shapes. There is a natural dichotomy between DeGennaro’s symmetrical compositions and the asymmetrical nature of the paint application due to the softening nature of the artist’s hand. The large mystical painting titled Dreams pays homage to the hundreds of dreams the artist has recorded over time. The overall pattern is like a pulsating galaxy of stars. DeGennaro’s geometric abstractions are moving, sensual exercises in faith, meditation and renewal.
DeGennaro received a BS from Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY, and an MFA from Columbia University, New York, NY. She is the 2012 recipient of the Ballinglen Arts Foundation Fellowship as well as grants from the New England Foundation for the Arts and the Maine Arts Commission. Her work has been exhibited in New York and New England