LewAllen Galleries

Six Rising Stars: Blanchard, Connally, Fitzgerald, Johnston, Rocca & Schmitz

Six Rising Stars: Blanchard, Connally, Fitzgerald, Johnston, Rocca & Schmitz

Thursday, May 30, 2013Sunday, July 7, 2013


Santa Fe, NM USA

Opening Reception: Thursday, May 30, 7 – 9 PM
LewAllen Galleries Scottsdale

LewAllen Galleries Scottsdale presents Six Rising Stars, a selectively curated exhibition of recent paintings by six of its represented artists whose work the gallery believes is of significant merit. Included in this show are pieces by Jesse Blanchard, Connie Connally, Tracy Rocca, Margaret Fitzgerald, Keith Johnston, and Timothy Schmitz. Exhibiting both remarkable creative energy and particular mastery of materials and technique, these younger members of the LewAllen Galleries roster have demonstrated outstanding talent the gallery believes will become increasingly recognized in the art world. With prices that are still modest and competencies that are substantial, these artists are receiving growing attention by institutions and private collectors. The exhibition will be on view from May 30 through July 7, 2013 at the gallery’s new Main Street location on Gallery Row in the heart of the Downtown Scottsdale Arts District.

Ranging from the relatively minimal to more gestural forms of abstraction, each of these accomplished painters is producing work that is rapidly earning them growing recognition as artists to watch. In different but equally interesting ways, these artists create engaging works of beauty that evoke meditative contemplation and respect for their individual mastery of technical skills. The use of diverse materials, including a combination of ground marble and oil on panel, characterize Timothy Schmitz’s process-driven abstract paintings. His quietly dramatic works involve richly crackled textures, glistening surfaces, and subtly ranging hues that are minimalist in concept, but complex in technique. Similarly, artist Keith Johnston’s works are spare, tonal arrangements of light and dark forms, with tentative whispers of subtle mark-making . Johnston’s unique work on panel demonstrates an engaging ability to manipulate perceptual distinctions between representational and abstract subjects, combined with astute attention to the tactility of materials.

As a painter of oil on canvas, Margaret Fitzgerald is a master of pentimento, building up many layers of paint and then scraping through layers to reveal the passage of time and thought that lies below the surface. Through Fitzgerald’s technique, complexity is at the core of each piece, yielding a deeper meaning in compositions that may appear at first glance very simple. To Fitzgerald, “the most interesting things in life are those that are not immediately visible but are revealed after a closer look.”

Celebrated for her neoimpressionist explorations with alkyd and visuals of nature blurred to abstraction, Tracy Rocca builds up thin layers of inspired pigments on polyester applied to panel until her trademark luminous glow emerges in the center of the canvas. “Rocca’s seamless transitions between colors and her knack for barely hinting at something figurative in a wash of hues testify to her exacting technique and control,” says art critic, Michael Upchurch, of the Seattle Times.

Using a palette of color and brushstroke inspired by the natural coastlines and verdure of the California coast and Santa Barbara Mountains, abstract expressionist Connie Connally often works outside sketching and creating her plein air work before refining the elegant paintings in her studio. Multi-layered surfaces of color morph, coalesce and juxtapose in poetic rhythms that evoke the sense of being in a place of nature’s beauty. Though equally abstract, mixed-media artist Jesse Blanchard’s allusions to built form and landscape convey a sense of the familiar while remaining wrapped in mystery. Constructed of collaged and sewn-together paper, encaustics, and oil on cloth, Blanchard’s compositions form a dialogue among texture, architectural references, levels of abstraction, and tranquility evoked through dreamlike interplay of colors that included mellow pastels and vivid cerulean blue or melon orange.

For additional information and images, please contact Whitney Piazza by phone at 480-970-3600 or via email at wpiazza@lewallengalleries.com.