Barbara Kassel: Recent Paintings
Ruth Bauer: Fantasmas Antiguas
Ruth Bauer Fantasmas Antiguos: Paintings from Mexico
Barbara Kassel Recent Paintings
September 3 through 30, 2008
Opening Reception Saturday, September 6th, 4-6pm
A new season commences at Clark Gallery with Ruth Bauer Fantasmas Antiguos: Paintings from Mexico and Barbara Kassel Recent Paintings, featured from September 3 through 30, 2008 with an opening reception on Saturday, September 6th from 4-6pm. Although the techniques employed by each painter are as varied as their subjects, Bauer and Kassel share an affinity for creating poignant compositions through acute use of light and meaningful imagery.
Ruth Bauer captures the mystique and richness of Mexico in compelling vistas painted in oil on canvas. The imagery and lush landscapes featured in her new body of work were inspired by the artist’s travels to Mexico. Bauer began to paint only upon returning to her North Shore studio. Although she had not recorded her impressions in a sketchbook, this passage of time imbued the forthcoming paintings with a sense of reverence and enchantment. Indeed, the gardens surrounding Frida Kahlo’s studio, interior courtyards of the monastery in Santo Domingo, and landscapes on the outskirts of Mexico City pull the viewer into quiet contemplation, where one senses that at any moment, this stolen moment of magic will be interrupted. As with Bauer’s past work, light and geometry play an invaluable role in the Fantasmas Aniguos series. Soft shadows interplay with direct, bright light, highlighting the angles and alcoves of Mexico’s architecture. Through her use of light and composition, Bauer directs the viewer’s attention to moments suspended in time and history.
Ruth Bauer received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work has been featured in group and solo exhibitions at the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, St. Anselm College, Hokin Kaufman Gallery, and at Clark Gallery since 1984. Bauer’s trip to Mexico was made possible by a generous travel grant from The Shore Country Day School in Beverly, MA, where she directs the art program.
Barbara Kassel’s delicate oil on masonite paintings read as an illustrated autobiography. Incorporating personal objects from her loft in Tribecca, small home on Martha’s Vineyard, and her husband’s camp on a Maine island, Kassel depicts interior still life compositions that contemplate themes surrounding her work, relationships, and daily life. At the same moment, she seamlessly incorporates views through nearby windows of the exterior landscapes surrounding her. The marriage of the interior and exterior in her work draws the viewer’s eye across the surface of each painting and into every corner of the composition. Kassel’s paintings are rich and successfully engage the viewer through deliberate use of light, color, and form. Although the narrative is deeply personal, Kassel avoids becoming sentimental. The paintings are a true reflection of her, but are coated with symbolism that is universally accessible. In the end, Kassel’s paintings are meditative, meticulously rendered, and resonate with imagery and meaning.
Barbara Kassel received her MFA from Yale University and BFA from Slade School of Fine Art, London. Her work has been featured in group and solo exhibitions at the University of New Mexico’s Art Gallery, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Harvard University’s Carpenter Center, Maxwell Davidson Gallery, Craven Gallery, and in shows at Clark Gallery since 1997. Kassel’s work was featured in the July/August 2008 issue of American Artist.