As suggested by its title, Panoply is a wide-ranging selection of more than two dozen colorful abstractions by eleven artists from six countries: the United States, Cuba, England, Egypt, Mexico and Venezuela.
Panoply: Paintings, Photographs and Sculpture, Part I, from May 2 through July 2014, will feature works by Bassmi, Trevor Bell, Bruce Checevsky, Michelle Concepción, Carlos Garcia, Aaron Karp, Aureliano Parra, José Rosabal, Linda Touby, José Angel Vincench, and Suzan Woodruff.
Bassmi is an Egyptian artist whose dreamy abstractions suggest the movement of water, the massing of clouds, the budding of flowers. He has exhibited widely in this country and abroad, including public institutions such as the Mobile Museum of Art, the Tampa Museum of Art, the Pensacola Museum of Art, the Ormond Beach Memorial Museum, the Chapin Museum in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Trevor Bell is a member of the renowned St. Ives group of British artists, which includes such celebrities as the late Barbara Hepworth. Awarded the prize for painting in the 1959 Biennale de Paris, he has participated in numerous exhibitions in major venues, including ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries’ inaugural exhibition at its new Coral Gables location in 1981 and London’s Tate Gallery in 1985.
Bruce Checevsky describes his surreal botanical and landscape photos, made with a customized scanner, as a contemporary “17th Century Dutch painting and camera obscura effects in the work of Vermeer.” They are included in an extensive list of the world’s major museums, such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Getty Research Institute, the Museum of Modern Art in Saitama, Japan; the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, and numerous others. This will be his first exhibition in this gallery, which has pioneered art photography in this region.
Michelle Concepción is represented by three oversize canvases done during a three-year period, each from a different series. All feature her characteristic three-dimensional floating subjects seen as organic or inorganic, depending upon the viewer. Painted in 2007, “Twist” is a monchromatic gray work with intertwined cylindrical shapes; the 2008 “Volver 4” presents oblong shapes in richly saturated colors on a black background; and “Soledad 4,” a 2010 work, offers a mysterious monumental stippled and shaded grey sphere with a shimmering surface, a compelling sci-fi form from the depths of outer space or microscopy.
Carlos Garcia de la Nuez, a member of the renowned 1980s generation of Cuban artists whose works subtly criticized the Castro regime, was a member of the historical “4 X 4” group. His work is found in museums, galleries, state and private collections in Cuba, Mexico, France, Germany, and Costa Rica. He has participated in exhibitions, auctions, biennials, and international festivals in Boston, New York, Miami, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Bogota, Mexico City, San Jose, Panama City, Canada, Paris, Berlin, Stuttgart, London, Madrid, Moscow, and Havana.
Recipient of a dozen prestigious international grants and residencies, including one from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Aaron Karp’s fractured, multihued surfaces—termed “visual jazz” by one critic—present a “rhythm, harmony and dissonance,” according to the artist, that is perceived as blended color and movement. His extensive list of exhibitions in leading museums and galleries includes two travelling shows originated by the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.
Aureliano Parra Rangel, being exhibited here for the first time, notes that he uses obsessive repetition of color and form in his Mylar assemblage to express the poetic in his urban environment, from an aerial or zenith perspective. Parra has participated in major exhibitions in his native Venezuela as well as in international ones such as the Shanghai Art; Pinta Art Fair, New York; and the Biennial of Cuenca, Ecuador; as well as at the Caracas Museum of Contemporary Art.
José Rosabal was a founding member of the Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba (UNEAC) in Havana as well as a member of the important Diez Pintores Concretos (Ten Concrete Painters) group of Cuban geometric abstract artists. His work has been exhibited in leading venues in his native Cuba as well as in Mexico, New York and Berlin and was featured in the gallery’s most recent exhibition, “The Silent Shout: Voices in Cuban Abstraction 1950-2013.”
Linda Touby has been represented by this gallery since the mid-1980s. Her impressive nine-page biography lists scores of important exhibitions from New York and Washington to Estonia, Beverly Hills and Munich to Kuwait. Her new series is a stunning tour de force of how a master colorist makes an extraordinary painting seem simple. Her latest series, at first glance horizontal bands of complementary colors, on examination reveals a synergistic complex of underpainting and subtle visual and verbal messages, pushing the emotional envelope of abstract expressionism to its limits.
José Angel Vincench, who exhibited both sculpture and paintings in our last show, is represented by three new sculptures from his “Exile” series in our new exhibition. Based on the Spanish word “exilio,” the artist took the outlines of its letters, superimposed them, and then extrapolated abstract shapes from that diagram. Vincench’s cedar-wood sculptures are finished with 23-karat gold leaf to attract attention, because he feels that we forget too quickly the drama behind a word, the discrimination, the people in jail or those who die for an ideology, sometimes fighting for a piece of land. Vincench believes that as an artist with a conscience, he needs to share what he sees around him through his artistic statements.
Suzan Woodruff’s luminous, nacreous paintings have been exhibited in more than two dozen solo shows from California to India, New York City to Budapest, as well as in nearly four dozen group shows.They are included in collections such as those of the AT&T Corporation, the Sanskriti Foundation in New Delhi, Princess Reema Bandar Al Saud, the actor Will Smith, the prominent film producer-philanthropist Todd Wagner, and Mel Ilberman, CEO of Sony Music International. Art Ltd editor George Melrod wrote in a cover story that Woodruff “creates elegant abstractions that seem to capture the dynamism of natural phenomena; her work ranges widely in its implied imagery, from Turneresque sunsets, to sedate seascapes, to turbulent tornadoes.” Despite their abstract nature, Woodruff’s paintings seem feminine, even sensual, and reminiscent of the works of Georgia O’Keeffe, whose work she admires.
ArtSpace Virginia Miller Galleries, Greater Miami’s long-established contemporary fine art gallery, has presented over 300 exhibitions since 1974. Located at 169 Madeira Ave., in downtown Coral Gables, the gallery is open Tuesday through Friday afternoons and by appointment by calling 305-444-4493.