Two colorful shows open this week at Pleiades Gallery, featuring the work of artists Barbara Fracchia and Judith Gale Mont. Both artists are deeply engaged with color and the world around us, although we see through their eyes here from varying perspectives, macro and micro.
Barbara Fracchia’s new show is entitled “See’n Red: Red is Everywhere.” This playful title might lead the viewer to look for works where that color predominates, but instead Fracchia slyly has chosen scenarios in her figurative and landscape work where, here and there, one might catch a fleeting glimpse of scarlet in a sandpiper’s legs, or a small figure’s red garment against a mountain backdrop. On her website, Fracchia states: “Figurative and landscape painter, exploring the unusual in subject matter. My ideas are a bit above the norm, but incorporate the classical elements of painting. My work is a combination of Impressionistic plein air style for landscapes and illustrative for figures.”
Some views of Fracchia’s work in the gallery:
“Hidden Wonders,” created by Judith Gale Mont, was inspired by the molluscan seashell’s manifold of colors, patterns, and textures. Mont has combined Abstract Realism with the universe of the shell to transform its natural beauty into high-energy mixed-media paintings. Through reworking colors and magnifying patterns, she adds to the shells’ surreal qualities. The intricacies of the natural world that we typically overlook, explode onto the canvas, and yet her work maintains the organic quality of marine life. Overall, an integrative technique of naturalism alongside her imagination illuminates the subtle wonders of these molluscan creations, while elevating the unique patterns into something phantasmagorical.
In addition to illustrating the beauty of marine life, Mont’s work serves as a highlight for environmental concerns. These hidden sources of wonder are gradually disappearing. With the devastation of coral reefs worldwide, mankind is losing some of its most precious spectacles. She encourages us to move beyond our own perspective to see the glories of the universe of molluscan life. Through this artistic rendering, she wants us to seek in every nuance of these shells, patterns of ourselves. Thus, her works serve a dual purpose: to magnify as well as to promote an appreciation for these hidden sources of wonder.
Mont’s artist statement: “Reflections of my deep passion for nature captivated me towards discovering the infinite intricacies found in living things. This intrigue led me below the waters into the fascinating world of marine life. The architectural details, in the home where these molluscan animals dwell possess an abundance of diversity. I have spotlighted this beauty through close examination interlaced with imagination.”
some highlights from “Hidden Wonders:”