(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – An exhibition of new paintings by Michael Allen Lowe will kick off the year-long COVET project – a series of exhibitions and programs presenting contemporary objects and fine art in all media including design, sculpture, painting, photography, prints, works on paper showcasing contemporary artists creating new works in response to historical artworks in museum collections – at Ferrin Gallery on Friday, May 4, 2012, at 5 – 8 p.m. The opening of the exhibition, called Symplegma after an erotic early 19th century drawing by Henry Fuseli and running through May 19 – will coincide with the inaugural First Fridays Artwalk in Pittsfield.
Michael Allen Lowe defines the focus of his current work as a union of classical systems and contemporary methodology. By employing classical painting fragments as functioning components in a new, imagined environment, Lowe convenes diverse imagery in an investigation of the more tantalizing aspects of painting in both subject and technique – simultaneously demonstrating a learned classical craft and any number of abstract painting styles. The resultant paintings become overlapping layers of imagery and narrative, with the goal of creating a masterful graffiti that speaks of the past, present, and future.
Lowe is strongly influenced by and fascinated with eighteenth and early nineteenth century artists such as Henry Fuseli, William Blake, George Romney, and their contemporaries. He notes the dynamic compositions, powerful narratives, and sensually drawn lines, in particular, as indicative of the work of these artists.
Lowe explains his process in more detail and how he honed in on one artwork, in particular, borrowing the title of an early 19th century drawing to exemplify the work in his current show:
“I found Fuseli’s drawing Symplegma, c.1809-10, one of his more erotic, to be a perfect example of this, representing all of these traits. The drawing depicts a scene of choreographed nudes: three women, and a prostrate man. It is both illustratively titillating and masterfully academic, a contrast I utilize in my new body of work of the same title,” writes Lowe.
“I have developed my work in this way – as an investigation into the language of painting and its rich history of storytelling. I reference a variety of amorous scenes depicting the follies of lust and love and contrast them with
fragments of classical paintings that radically exaggerate and reinforce these narratives. These works reference history, philosophy, mythology, allegory, psychology, and sexuality. Along with the variety of conceptual aspects, my works also contain a variety of painting techniques that pull the imagery across the centuries from the classical to the contemporary.”
COVET is a series of exhibitions and programs presenting contemporary objects and fine art in all media including design, sculpture, painting, photography, prints, works on paper. COVET is based on contemporary artists creating new works in response to historical artworks in museum collections. COVET, the group exhibition of works in all media, will be presented at the gallery in Pittsfield opening May 26 – and running through September 2. Michael Allen Lowe is a featured artist of COVET, presenting Symplegma, a selection of new paintings – his new works for COVET involve reference materials drawn from paintings in the collection of The Clark in Williamstown.
In addition to the exhibitions taking place at Ferrin Gallery, COVET will be the theme for the 2012 ArtBerkshires summer program taking place in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, July 19 – August 5. Organized by ArtBerkshires, a collaboration between gallerists Sienna Patti and Leslie Ferrin, the COVET program involves curated itineraries and behind-the-scenes tours of museums, studios and gallery shows related to the project. During the two weeks of programming, artists, curators and collectors are brought together in the galleries and through the tours, special talk, and Dish + Dine evenings.
FERRIN GALLERY, established 1979, is nationally known as a contemporary gallery specializing in figural sculpture and studio ceramics. The gallery works closely with private collectors, institutions, and the media as a source for works by both established and emerging artists. Located in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, it is equidistant from New York City and Boston.
July 19 – August 5, 2012
a series of curated events, programs and exhibitions connecting old + new institutions and contemporary visual artists
To sign up for events and more information visit ArtBerkshires
ABOUT FERRIN GALLERY
Ferrin Gallery, established 1979, is nationally known as a contemporary gallery specializing in figural sculpture and studio ceramics. The gallery works closely with private collectors, institutions and the media as a source for works by both established and emerging artists. Located in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, it is equidistant from New York City and Boston.