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Saluja is a classically trained artist whose work has been exhibited at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto and the Reach Gallery Museum in British Columbia. While her past works were traditional, iconic, historical portraits of Indian Maharajahs, Saluja is exploring contemporary themes from a personal perspective and finding aesthetic inspiration in people and objects that do not typically warrant attention.
Saluja’s current work depicts fleeting moments from her commute to and from Manhattan. The oil paintings are about the claustrophobic crowds, corroded steel and soiled walls she encounters each day in New York City’s underground subway. Rather than make the work feel as forlorn, she chooses to paint the beauty and resilience she sees in these ordinary moments and objects with visual excitement.
The work ranges from portraits to combinations of abstraction and realism. Saluja employs a variety of dynamic brushwork, from loose, chromatic drips and thick strokes to subdued and refined expressions of light over form. Some of her work, such as Red I, and Green I lean more towards the abstract. At first glance one is struck by a kaleidoscope of color and complex textures and, at closer view, sees that they are looking at torn layers of oxidized, rusted paint on steel girders. In work such as Transfer, Saluja paints light as it flows over soiled, cracked walls to reveal subtle hues and dramatic shadows with the same grace it would a garden or Cathedral.
Passage I is set to join the group exhibition titled “Women Painting Women: In Earnest.” The traveling exhibition will start at the J. Wayne Stark Galleries at Texas A&M University in January 2017. The artist’s hope is that the paintings can serve as metaphors for strength amidst challenge.
About the Artist:
Manu Saluja’s work hangs in public and private collections in the US, Canada, London, Scotland and India. Her work has been included in numerous group shows. Her paintings are prominently featured in Robert Lieberman’s 2011 Canadian film “Breakaway.” In addition to her own work, she has been a commissioned portrait artist since 1998. Saluja trained with John Frederick Murray at the School of Visual Arts and received her MFA from the New York Academy of Art.
Saluja currently teaches drawing and painting at the Long Island Academy of Fine Art in Glen Cove, NY, and is adjunct faculty in the Continuing Education program at the New York Academy of Art.
Chasing Shadows: Plein Air Paintings
by Robert Armetta
This exhibition is open October 8th – November 3rd.
The plein air landscape paintings of Robert Armetta are elegant, clear, and bold. A slight departure from the meticulous and highly polished compositions of his studio paintings, this new body of work has been made with a spontaneity and delight that are easy to perceive as a viewer. The exhibition includes a mixture of urban and rural landscapes, both a nod to his New York upbringing, and marking a new chapter in his life; Armetta recently relocated from New York City to be along the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania.
Painting a landscape from life– life that moves and changes–is entirely different from painting in a studio. The painter must keep up with the changes of the landscape itself, requiring one quick, confident decision after another throughout the painting’s creation. Because plein air painting involves a certain speed and decisive execution, it gives a glimpse into the artist’s unique creative process. What we see is Armetta’s instinct as a composer of art. His compositional decisions, color choices, and paint handling are in many ways a summation of his direct experience painting in the open air. Like a distant mountain clouded in violet atmosphere, the conscious mind fades as intuition comes to the foreground.
Robert Armetta currently resides in Harrisburg, PA, and is the founder of the Long Island Academy of Fine Art, in whose gallery this exhibition is being displayed.
September 10 through October 6, 2016
On view through August 2016
An Exhibition of Stephen Bauman, Steve Forster, and Cornelia Hernes
This exhibition reunites three graduates of the Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy. Studying together over 10 years ago at this prestigious institution, each artist brings his and her own unique vision and experience in this show. Hernes and Bauman currently reside in Sweden as principle instructors at the Gothenburg branch of the Florence Academy of Art. Forster, a resident of Glen Cove, is director of the Long Island Academy of Fine Art, where he also teaches. Cornelia Hernes’ stilllife paintings are a clear and transformative view of the objects one holds and touches. In an age of speed and efficiency, Hernes asks the viewer to pause and observe the things with which she interacts and to consider the beauty to be found there. Rarely is such a love and care for unique objects so finely reproduced in oil paint, but more distinctly, it is unusual to see still life paintings that capture life and time within their quiet, self contained spaces. Rather than stopping time and preserving her subjects in a single stiff moment, the viewer sees the slow passing of the minutes; the roses seem to shift as gravity slowly pulls them down, and their petals seem to loosen. The incense fades and reappears with the subtle currents of the air.
Stephen Bauman melds form and atmosphere to illuminate the connection between the physical and spiritual. His respect for life and the human form are easily seen in his figurative work, and his drawings are an homage to the craft itself, offering an observable dialog between the artist’s mind and han d. Bauman’s watercolors show a spontaneity and immediacy that is distinct from his drawings and oil paintings, whereas the oil paintings show the controlled and articulate execution of sophisticated emotion. In his series of landscape paintings, Steve Forster brings together a poetic vision of Long Island that draws from a Romantic tenor and sense of story. Deliberately and imaginatively composed, the paintings may be more accurately described as narratives than landscape renderings. The trees take on humanlike gesture and form; posed in an interplay with each other, the light, and surrounding elements, they suggest an underlying story that may not immediately be perceived. As a director carefully places actors on a stage for visual impact and nonverbal storytelling, Forster uses depth and atmosphere to establish relationships and mood within his narrative landscapes. This exhibition will run from September 19 through November 30, 2015, with a gallery reception on September 19 from 6-8pm.>
A Solo Exhibition at Hersh Fine Art, May 16-July 31, 2015
Glen Cove, NY–Hersh Fine Art is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of paintings on fabric by Huntington artist Lauren Rosenblum. The exhibition will be on view from May 16-July 31, 2015. The artist will be present for an opening reception on Saturday, May 16, from 6pm to 8pm.
Combining a fine art aesthetic with fiber art as a medium, Lauren Rosenblum’s fiber paintings elevate what would typically be considered craft to a fine art status. Hersh Fine Art’s upcoming exhibit pays homage to a career that cannot be defined with one word, as the work represented brings into unity the many facets of Ms. Rosenblum’s creative talents and interests. As a master painter, textile designer, muralist and quilter, she deftly and skillfully transitions between each part of herself, defying categorization and drawing from all aspects of her varied background.
INTERVIEW WITH CLASSICAL REALIST PAINTER, STEPHEN BAUMAN
This is an excerpt from an interview with Stephen from combustus.com
~ Mölndal, Sweden
Deanna Piowaty: Stephen, not all painters are able to capture the complex inner emotional life of men as well as they paint women, but you do this quite successfully and powerfully. What enables you to feel and communicate what so many others cannot?
Stephen Bauman: If there is anything that I have added to the observation of men it comes from thinking that they are no different from women. Strip away all of the stuff of life, put us into sensory deprivation tanks and I think that there is the same fragile flickering human spirit that makes us do all of the things that we do. I see the same needs and wants in both men and women. On this level I see us as the same. You can see this in the painting, When I Was Young. It is a painting of a young girl and her glowing finger. This painting is about the feeling of potential associated with youth. It is not by accident that the title and the image contain the obvious contradiction that it has. I am a man and the picture shows a young girl. How is this a picture of when I was young? The feeling is the same for each of us, the potential is the same.
Deanna Piowaty: You’ve said that your wife, classical realist painter, Cornelia Hernes, is your favorite subject to paint. Can you elaborate? Have you ever captured an aspect of her that startled you both?
Stephen Bauman: I think that my paintings of Cornelia are my way of spending more time with the woman that I love. In a world filled with any number of subjects that could be painted, I find that there is nothing that makes me feel as much as painting her. Like anyone who does what they love, I think that my love for her shows through in these paintings. With all of my work, I aim to make a statement about the importance of emotional experience. Think about a life without emotion: it’s like dehydrated space food. The empty crunch of a substance made to just keep you alive. Granted, I’ve never eaten space food but this is my dystopian vision of it. By making paintings which are naturalistic and at the same time contain something unnatural (external lights, unmotivated value changes)
I am making a world where feelings have a physical presence.
Like Lotus Leaves is a painting of Cornelia that takes this shape. Sitting across from my wife, this is how she looks. With the addition of these glowing lights at the periphery of the image I am saying that when I look at her, there is something extra. In my eyes, in my vision, there is something magic about her. There is a swelling of emotion that I feel which reflects all of our experiences together. In six years together we have seen and done so much.
Deanna Piowaty: I’ve always been intrigued by the term “realist.” As it applies to painting, what are the parameters an artist must work within? Where is the line between what the artist perceives and what “is”? What is truth in painting?
Stephen Bauman: In painting we rely on personal truths. Think of someone who is a very positive person, an optimist. Their life and their actions are a reflection of this positivity. My paintings and drawings are the same, they reflect the way I feel about life. Being alive is a rich experience. There is a musician named Jonathan Richman whom this reminds me of. He is an undiluted fountainhead of human experience. In songs like Affection, Hospital, and Girlfriend, he is pouring out his feelings of desire and need for warmth, totally unaffected. There is such intense bravery in that action that people connect and see themselves in his lyrics.
Stephen Bauman: This happens because all of our diverse expressions come from some of the same needs. For me this is my greatest ambition as an artist, and when it happens, gives me the deepest gratification.
Deanna Piowaty: You were born in the U.S, in Miami, Florida, but now reside in Mölndal, Sweden. What brought you to Sweden? What has captivated you most about that beautiful country?
Stephen Bauman: Sweden is a great place to live. We came to Sweden by way of a transfer from teaching at the Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy, to the branch in Mölndal where we currently teach. Also to be closer to Cornelia’s family in Norway.
The best things I can refer to about Sweden are the other artists I have been able to work with at the academy here: Andreas Birath, Amelia Meredith, Marie Blom, Joakim Ericsson and, last but not least, my wife Cornelia Hernes. These are the people whom I spend my life with. For me, there is not a more important quality that I look for in a place to live than whom I spend my time with.
Mark Opirhory was born and raised in northern New Jersey. He received his BFA in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts and MFA in painting from the New York Academy of Art, where he currently teaches color theory and intro to drawing/ painting. He lives and works in Brooklyn New York.
He finds inspiration in nature, science and mythology his work is a personal study of growth and decay. It explores the social, spiritual, and biological stresses of existence.