Phillip Gabrielli - A Rose in the Balance - 2010 26 x 22 inches Oil on linen
Photographer Andy Freeberg and still life painter Phillip Gabrielli will be featured in companion solo exhibits at Clark Gallery from April 6 through May 8, 2010. Despite their differences in subject matter and medium, Freeberg and Gabrielli reference the history of art by respectfully incorporating existing works into their images. This affinity is accompanied by their shared attention to composition. All are welcome to join the artists for a reception and book signing on Saturday, April 10th from 4-6pm. Andy Freeberg will sign copies of his recently published monograph, Guardians, which includes photographs from the show.
Comfortably seated in cavernous galleries installed with priceless paintings in gilded frames, the female figures in Andy Freeberg’s Guardians series are the guards assigned to protecting the collections of Russia’s most esteemed museums. Wearing orthopedic shoes and colorful jackets and sweaters, these grandmotherly figures have protectively and, to our eyes, aesthetically formed strong relationships with the artworks hanging nearby through their mannerisms, posture, and clothing. The resulting photographs vividly document these uncanny similarities between the female guards and the spaces in which they sit each day. As Clifford Levy states in the introduction to the Guardians monograph, “These guardians are not only visible, but exert a powerful hold over the viewer, in some sense helping to bring the art to life.”
Exhibitions of the Guardians series are currently featured at Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles and at Fotofest in Houston. Freeberg studied at the University of Michigan and has supported a very successful career in photojournalism. His work is in the collections of the George Eastman House and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
The still life paintings of Phillip Gabrielli draw our gaze with focused light and carefully arranged compositions. Although classic in form and structure, Gabrielli’s paintings are known for their unconventional coupling of unusual or beautiful objects and references to historical paintings and sculpture. Vases of flowering boughs, nautilus shells, bowls of fruit and ostrich eggs, and small figurines sit on the edges of their surfaces. Paintings within his paintings, including seascapes, landscapes, and widely recognized paintings from throughout European and American art traditions, further emphasize the skill of Gabrielli’s hand. A background in art history, religious studies, and a penchant for unusual objects all contribute to the unexpected content of Gabrielli’s hyper-real still life paintings.
Gabrielli earned his MFA from School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and a BA in Art History from Harvard University. This is Gabrielli’s eighth solo exhibition at Clark. His work has also been included in group shows at DeCordova Museum, Boston Center for the Arts, Pittsfield Museum, and Alan Stone Gallery, New York, NY.