Alain Gerard Clement: Recent Works
Grace DeGennaro: Return to the Source
Clark Gallery is pleased to present Alain Gerard Clement: Recent Works and Grace DeGennaro: Return to the Source from March 4 through 28, 2009. The companion solo shows exhibit each artist’s proficient use of their chosen medium and thoughtful consideration of form, composition, tone, and how meaning can be gleaned from their subtle yet symbolic imagery. All are welcome to the opening reception on Saturday, March 7th from 4-6pm.
Alain Gerard Clement’s sepia-toned photogenic drawings depict abundant arrangements of flowers and other flora with great depth and luminosity. The forms of the blossoms and arcs of the stems and vines in his Frontispiece and Garden series remind one of medieval tapestries, decorative ironwork, and opulently designed wallpapers and bookplates. Clement’s beautiful compositions thoughtfully present symbolic images that resonate with his study of Eastern mysticism and his own spirituality.
To create his elegant images, Clement employs an arcane 19th century process similar to one discovered and developed by W.H.F. Talbot. He composes drawings on paper, sets them against light-sensitive printing out paper, and allows the sun to develop the image in his backyard. Clement's editions are very small, as each print must be made individually and then richly toned in a silver chloride solution. Depending on the time of year, time of day, and how long the paper has been exposed to the sunlight, tonal differences will occur, which truly makes each photogenic drawing a unique artwork.
Clement's work is in many major private and public collections including The Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, The Musée Niècephore Niepce, Chalons-sur-Saone, The Menil Collection, Houston, and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Dallas. He has had over 20 one-person exhibitions throughout America and Europe since the late 1970s, and has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant. Clement lives and works in Galveston, Texas.
Grace DeGennaro alludes to rich, spiritual meditations in her distinctive abstract paintings of oil on linen and watercolor and gouache on paper. Incorporating traditional symbols and sacred geometry, she renders each composition with dots and beads of color that accumulate into the shapes of rivers, vines, diamonds, fountains, cubes, the vesica piscis, and phases of the moon. As each mark made on her surfaces is repeated until an image is formed, the process itself becomes a meditation. DeGennaro has reflected on her process, noting that it “reflects and supports the recurrent themes of ritual, growth, duality, and the passage of time.”
Referencing a myriad of multicultural sources, including Australian Aboriginal art, Byzantine mosaics, Indian Tantra drawings, as well as dreams and myths, DeGennaro’s work visually appeals in organic tones such as beige, golden yellow, and blues contrasted by more vibrant tones such as poppy orange and verdant green. The work then simultaneously engages the viewer intellectually as the forms inherent to the paintings motivate a consideration of the spirituality in geometry and space.
DeGennaro earned her MFA at Columbia University and BS at Skidmore College. Her work has been included in exhibitions at Icon Contemporary Art, New Art Center, Portland Museum of Art, and the Center for Maine Contemporary Art. Her work was included in the important exhibition To Infinity and Beyond: Mathematics in Contemporary Art at the Heckscher Museum, Huntington, NY, curated by Lynn Gamwell and Elizabeth Meryman, in 2007. A resident of Maine, this is DeGennaro’s fourth solo show at Clark Gallery.