Opening Reception Saturday for ‘Unique Expressions’ Group Exhibit of Contemporary Art

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With a reception on April 3, Hollis Taggart Southport opens “Unique Expressions,” a group exhibition featuring recent paintings by four contemporary artists — Gaby Collins-Fernandez, Gary Petersen, Kelsey Shwetz, and Yorgos Stamkopoulos.

Unique Expressions explores each artist’s individual practice showcasing a spectrum of techniques, materials, and approaches.

Although their methods and expressions are unique, subtle links emerge. Each painter uses addition and subtraction in their process, visual presentation, and/or theme. Additionally line, space, texture, and/or form are highlighted throughout the works.


If You’re Going …

Curated by Paul Efstathiou, director of contemporary art, the exhibition will open in Hollis Taggert Southport, at 330 Pequot Ave., and will be on view through May 8. An opening reception will take place Saturday April 3, from 5 to 8 p.m. Masks will be required and all COVID protocols will be followed.

The Artists

Gaby Collins-Fernandez

Image from Hollis Taggart

Gaby Collins-Fernandez (b. 1987): Spin, 2019 Oil, acrylic, digital photocollage printed on terrycloth beach towel 46 x 32 inches

Gaby Collins-Fernandez blends digital imagery with painting to create collages that are a hybrid of the digital, physical, and photographic worlds.

Extracting intimate gestures of mothers and daughters found in family photographs and digital representations of iconic paintings (such as works by early Renaissance painter, Piero della Francesca), Collins-Fernandez seeks to understand how imagery of tenderness and pain from the past affects our own emotional patterns.

A multi-step process, she begins by creating digital montages that are printed on beach towels, generating a diffused and pixelated backdrop. She then stretches the towels and adds oil and acrylic paint, creating tactile and dynamic compositions that blur the lines of abstraction and figuration.

Gary Petersen
Gary Petersen Another Time acrylic and oil painting

Image from Hollis Taggart

Gary Petersen (b. 1956): Another Time, 2020; Acrylic and oil on canvas, 56 x 40 inches

Gary Petersen paints distinctive hard-edge, geometric abstractions that build off the reductive qualities of the minimalist style while referencing architecture, cartoons, and graphic design.

Petersen constructs his works in a multi-step process working intuitively without preliminary sketches. He first paints multiple lines and grids which he then obscures with a white wash creating a scaffold.

On top of that, he adds vibrant-colored and precariously stacked forms held in place by lines. His rhythmic works allude to a state of vulnerability and uncertainty, but also optimism and playfulness.

Kelsey Shwetz
Kelsey Shwetz Lighthouse oil painting

Image from Hollis Taggart

Kelsey Shwetz: “Lighthouse,” 2020; Oil on canvas, 26 x 32 inches

Exploring the limits of human adaptation in a post-Anthropocene world, Kelsey Shwetz paints uninhabitable spaces where only relics of the natural world exist.

Working from photographs and sketches of constructed environments such as conservatories, botanical gardens, and scientific dioramas, rather than the natural world, she creates alternative and theatrical landscapes where the perspectives, foliage, light, and compositions are beautifully strange and unsettling.

Her altered artificial spaces foretell the effects of our current climate crisis.

Yorgos Stamkopoulos
Yorgos Stamkopoulos Untitled work

Image from Hollis Taggart

Yorgos Stamkopoulos (b. 1983), Untitled, 2021; Oil and oil pastel on unprimed canvas, 19 3/4 x 15 3/4 inches

Working in the subtractive approach of a sculptor, Berlin-based artist Yorgos Stamkopoulos builds up his canvases with a thick layer of casting material and oil paint, and then strips off the surface to reveal colorful and lyrical imprints.

His paintings are the results of his process not deliberate mark making. It is the extraordinary interaction between the material and technique that is the heart of his practice. For Stamkopoulos creation only happens through deconstruction.

About Hollis Taggart

Founded in 1979, Hollis Taggart presents significant works of American art, showcasing the trajectory of American art movements from the Hudson River School to American Modernism and the Post-War and Contemporary eras. Its program is characterized by a deep commitment to scholarship and bringing to the fore the work of under-recognized artists.

The gallery has sponsored several catalogue raisonné projects, most recently for the American Surrealist artist Kay Sage, and has been instrumental in advancing knowledge of such compelling artists as Alfred Maurer, Arthur B. Carles, and more recently, Theodoros Stamos, Marjorie Strider and Michael (Corinne) West.

In the summer of 2019, the gallery announced the formal expansion of its primary market business and focus on the presentation of contemporary work. It continues to expand its roster of contemporary artists, focusing on emerging and mid-career talents.

In addition to its Southport gallery, Hollis Taggart’s has space in Chelsea, it’s flagship location.

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