• by Vanessa Werring

Realism and Abstraction: How Do They Relate?

Art is conceived and produced in a variety of different ways. Some artists rely on an understanding of abstract qualities in our natural world and translate them into recognizable images while others observe the familiar and translate it into abstract forms. Of course, there are many who hover between the two but even when working from memory and/or imagination, the foundation is grounded in recollections of these observations. Our current exhibition “Seven” provides a perfect example.

Julia Levitina captures the naturalism in fleeting moments of beauty in her figurative work through the understanding of abstract three dimensional form. Bruce Samuelson intuitively translates his visual memory of the natural human figure into abstract imagery with brief moments of recognizable form.

Valerio D’Ospina references the geometry of both our natural and manmade world, creating recognizable images through the use of energetic, abstract lines that give life to his land and cityscapes.

Bernardo Siciliano depicts the familiar scenes and people that are a part of his everyday life in his paintings which are characterized by a strong sense of realism. However, in the initial stages of creation, he employs large abstract shapes and masses of color which intersect into recognizable objects. Moe Brooker, who also works with chromatic layers and juxtaposed patterns, creates imagery that is purely abstract, leaving subject matter open to the viewer's interpretation. Both painters begin working in a similar conceptual manner, despite the vast difference in what they communicate visually.

Abstraction can often evoke the same response as representational art; for example, there is an inherent sense of the sublime in both Mary Spinelli and Francis DiFronzo’s paintings. Mary begins intuitively, both manipulating and reacting to the medium whereas Francis works more methodically, yet both accomplish the same goal: to recreate an impression, or memory in which the viewer can experience.

“Seven” will be on view at Stanek Gallery through February 25th, 2017. Come explore these works further and discover for yourself the relationships between abstraction and realism.

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