Bauhaus Prairie Art Gallery

Celebrating the modernity of creative contemporary and traditional art through online art competition

February 2017


Abstraction: Theoretical, Conceptual,& Intellectual

Juror’s Statement

Curt Gruel’s, Untitled piece was outstanding because it relied only on the elements of design for structure. Clean, crisp color saturation, implied texture building the surface as well as moving line draws the viewer into the composition. He invites a mental evaluation of the subject but gives no hint of its meaning leaving its interpretation entirely to the spectator.

Christine Alfery, First Place Award, approaches abstraction by utilizing the elements of color, movement, texture and light to portray the essence of a landscape but something not of this earth. Red Sky at Night has an ethereal quality with a little mystery thrown in by placing the three triangles in the upper left of the painting. They could be figures or perhaps is a graphic representation of the spiritual numbers three.

Around the World to the Six Continents by Haeley Kyong, my Second Place Award winner, speaks to the order of the world through design. Kyong has reduced all elements in the painting to flat geometric shapes. By using the circle she implies that things are continually moving from one section of the painting to another. The color values, while almost monochromatic, are rendered in subtle color complements that reinforce the movement though out the painting.

Third Place Award winner, Tina Ybarra, Raising Water, uses the value range of a single color to create the entire abstract painting. With a single color pallet she relies on variation of color and strong use of texture and line to give the feeling of lifting and upward motion. The contrast of the square geometric background and the upward sweep of the lines in the foreground establish an interesting depth to the painting.

Honorable Mention

The paintings I selected for Honorable Mention Awards show a broad interpretation of abstraction using a variety of media and execution styles.

Jerri Bracket relies on thick application of oil paint as well as a vivid pallet to create a painting that gives a nod to abstract expressionism but with a twist of a recognizable landscape in her painting, Bye-Bye Winter. Christine Metras’ free use of active brush strokes in Babaloo illustrates the lightness of a feather while in her painting Boat Keel she uses luminous color to relax the “subjects” in a pool of light.

Carefully Crafted is a perfect title for Erin Nester’s expressive painting style. Soft, nondescript brushwork by Schalk creates a hint of something past in Memory’s Residue. It is familiar, but yet unclear what was once there, creating only a visual bookmark in time. Rock Wall by Curt Gruel (also, Best of Show winner) is a visual representation of subject painted with the confidence of bold images with deep contrasts of light and color, drawing the viewer into the crevices though out the painting.

Jack Martinelli lightens the mood with a color palette that expresses the subject, Circus Under the Big Top III. He has simplified the activities in the “big ring” to give hint of subject by utilizing playful shapes. Finally, Annette Zalanowski, uses abstraction to pose a question of humanity in The Mystery of Human Life. She has simplified the forms but offers no answer to any questions. Instead of answers she reinforces the three essential question of life: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going?

It was exciting to be the juror for this exhibition because of the quality, style and variations in the interpretations of Abstraction. The work submitted well represents this genre and what is being produced today. Congratulations to all artists in the show as well as all artists that submitted work for jury. Keep creating.

–Pat Gougler



Best Of Show

Curt Gruel

""Untitled""

Mixed media on paper , 9.75" x 6.4"

Sale Price $NFS

Artist Statement

Painting is a way for me to respond to what I see. I’ll be driving along, hiking, walking my dog, or strolling through a garden, and then, wham!, something hits me, and inside I hear myself saying, “Oh, oh, oh, that’s it!” Something about it – a pattern of light and dark, a highlight, a contour, a color, a feeling of balance or rightness – strikes me, speaks to me, sings to me, and I want to remember it. So I’ll take a photograph. Then (or months later) I’ll gaze at the image, speaking to it, letting it speak back to me, trying to discern what it says to me, what about it evoked wonder and delight in me. When that happens, I paint as a humble attempt to express worship, wonder, celebration, and thanksgiving. Abstract is new to me, and different, even though the abstract is often based on a concrete image in my experience. Then the conversation is between me and the painting itself as it expresses what it wants to become, and I express what I envision for it. Sometimes it works; sometimes not.

 

Artist Biography

I started painting in college as a hobby, and continued to paint sporadically and intermittently during my training and career as a physician. I retired in 2006 to attend seminary, and upon graduating, turned my daughter’s vacated bedroom into a studio and began to paint again. I am self-taught, and kind of like that, because I don’t paint like anyone else. I generally paint from photographs, sometimes from memory, or just from impressions I carry away from a subject that sings to me.

 

 



First Place

Christine Alfery

"Red Sky At Night"

Acrylic on Paper , 20" x 60"

Sale Price $3200

Artist Statement

Visual art has been used to simulate the real, it recorded history visually.  Visual art has also been used to represent emotions, expressions, social environments and political drama.  Art still is simulacra and representational.  The event called modern art began to shift an artist’s way of knowing and seeing realities. The artist’s soul, the artist’s self, became sovereign in their work and the ways of knowing and seeing realities changed as did the way they worked with their materiality’s and media. Art was no longer something that only related to objects art began to relate to an individuals/artists way of seeing and knowing.

My work isn’t afraid to take that journey.  I have no interest in creating something that does not make another think beyond their comfort zone.  I have no interest in repeating / simulating the political jargon of another in my work. I have no interest in creating something that does not allow us to depart from today’s thinking and imaginings and try to create work that is a thing it itself.  I am interested in exploring the media, stretching the media and its materiality’s beyond its traditional capabilities of representing. Art should be like water, fluid, indeterminate, distinctive.  Art should be always changing always moving always flowing in perpetual fluid motions.

I have been an artist all my life always searching, always cherishing a thing in itself. Art has allowed me to take that journey of discovery.  It has always allowed me to travel my own journey and hopefully it allows the viewer to do the same.

The paint in Red Sky At Night is just that, like water, it is fluid, indeterminate and distinctive.  The black lines in the work represent the need to escape from representation and simulacra.

Artist Biography

  • P.H.D. (ABD). University of Wisconsin-Madison, Curriculum & Instruction.
  • P.H.D. Minor completed: Art History, contemporary issues and concepts.
  • M.F.A. Art. UW-Madison, spring 1996.
  • M.A. Art Education. UW-Madison, 1994.
  • B.A. Art/Art Education. UW-Madison.

Signature member of   6 national watercolor societies – International Society of Acrylic Painters, Philadelphia Watercolor Society, Pennsylvania Watercolor Society, Illinois Watercolor Society, Missouri Watercolor Society and the Western Watercolor Society. To become a member of these societies you have to be juried into their national exhibition for 3 times or more. These national exhibitions are very competitive and artists from all over the world compete in them.

2008 to present.                   9 solo exhibitions around the United States.

2008 to present.                     Curator Howard Young Art Gallery. Minocqua, WI.

2008 to present.                       55 national awards.

2008 to present.                     60 publications.



Second Place

Haeley Kyong

"Around the World to the Six Continents"

acrylic on canvas , 24" x 36"

Sale Price $AOR

Artist Statement

My paintings are inspired by a lifelong passion for color and form. I have always been attracted to simple geometric shapes, and the essence of my work is the language of dimensional reduction. I simplify my compositions through the elimination of extraneous information, drawing attention to the core essence and the primal emotion under the surface. I am also fascinated by the illusion of a three-dimensional space that a two-dimensional work creates. I find myself constantly observing my surroundings – the people and the spaces they inhabit – looking for what draws the eye, and I have a visceral longing to express my discoveries through shape and color. Created primarily in oil and acrylic on canvas and panel, my work investigates the underlying structure of the primary forms to allow interplay between the literal and pictorial surfaces. As shapes and colors are flattened and reduced, the dynamics of chroma and value relocates the geometry of the shapes on the actual surface. As an artist, I feel a deep need to interpret the world through my craft, to make it not simply real, but more than real. Art is my prism – making strange and sublime distortions – through which I re-create and re-envision the world.

Artist Biography

The paintings of award-winning artist Haeley Kyong have been featured in solo and group exhibitions in museums and galleries throughout the United States, including including Jacksonville International Airport, Jacksonville, Florida, the Attleboro Arts Museum in Massachusetts; the Monmouth Museum in Lincroft, New Jersey; the Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover, Delaware; the Dishman Art Museum of Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas; the Chapel Hill Public Arts Commission in North Carolina; Woman Made Gallery in Chicago; the Sarah Silberman Art Gallery of Montgomery College of Rockville, Maryland ; the Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts in New Castle, Pennsylvania. Her paintings are in private and corporate collections including the United Medical – St. Barnabas Health & Medical Group in Bayonne and Lyndhurst, New Jersey; and Park Medical Management and Med Magic LLC, EHR Software Services in Lyndhurst, New Jersey. Haeley Kyong received a B.F.A. in painting from the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.



Third Place

Tina Ybarra

"Raising Water"

oil on canvas , 30" x 40"

Sale Price $2000

 Artist Statement

Although I think of my art as extremely personal, I believe the themes are somewhat universal. The subject matter will likely include inequalities pertaining to gender, race, or social status.

I think art should change the world, and the value of such an endeavor goes without question. Yet, the energy and liberation associated with creating spontaneous imagery is just as noble an undertaking.

I am often inspired by things I see on TV. I am delighted with the mere notion that reality TV serves as impetus for art. However, more often than not, my own reality becomes the subject of my work―expelling my darkest fears, revealing pent up frustrations, or releasing my deepest hopes.

 

 Artist Biography

Tina Ybarra lives a mixed media life. Born in the urban city of Lynwood, California, Ybarra attended Cal State Univ., Long Beach off and on (mostly off) for several years, eventually earning a degree in General Art. Although Ybarra possesses an unfailing passion for drawing and painting, she is not immune to the lure of sculpture or ceramics.

Currently residing in South Gate, CA, Ybarra is a veteran elementary school teacher, a reluctantly-retired softball junkie, a former high school coach (softball, basketball, and volleyball), and—until recently—an undercover artist.

Raised on Motown and Santana, Ybarra is just as likely to glean inspiration from Hip Hop, all genres of Rock, or Mozart. She is mesmerized by TV, fascinated by movies, fanatical about books, and enchanted with theatre.

Ybarra believes that art should change the world, and the value of such an endeavor goes without question. Yet, Ybarra also acknowledges that the energy and liberation associated with creating spontaneous imagery and/or deliberate and calculated nonrepresentational art is just as noble an undertaking.

For the most part, Ybarra’s work deals with issues that are personally relevant such as the hypocrisy of religions, the brutal realities of inner-city education, the relentless despair of poverty, and the inequalities of gender and race.

In Ybarra’s current work there is a tendency towards mixed media and an attempt to bring dimension by cutting into and/or attaching objects to the canvas.

Still, on occasion, Ybarra will return to basics; to something straightforward and traditional; to something as comfortable and familiar as the velveteen texture of charcoal on paper.

 




Honorable Mention

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