Susan Street Fine Art is pleased to present an exhibition of SELECTED WORKS; featuring paintings by Stephen Pentak and Robert Kingston; wall sculptures by Nancy Samson Reynolds; and pedestal pieces by San Diego sculptor Gail Schneider.Â All four artists have been selected for the serenity, complexity, and high levels of craftsmanship found in their work.
Stephen Pentakâ€™s experiences while fly-fishing around the world have provided a captivating source for his broad water river paintings.Â At first these paintings appear to evoke memories of the pristine American wilderness, a theme that has fascinated artists since the early 19th century.Â On closer inspection, however, it is clear that Pentak has imbued his landscapes with the lessons of modernismâ€”exploring form, composition, color, and the manipulation of pigment, resulting in what the artist calls â€śthe wedding of surface and subject.â€ťÂ Pentakâ€™s pursuit is conducted intellectually as he balances the underlying tensions between idyllic subjects and modulated compositions.Â The saturated surfaces of his oils are initially deceptively smooth, but reveal trowel marks and broad brushstrokesâ€”the result of mixing wet-into-wet paint directly on the wood panel support.Â Pentakâ€™s subjects range from the broad expanses of the mountains, forests, and lakes of his native upstate New York to forgotten parcels of land trapped between busy highways.Â Pentak continues to push landscape painting beyond conventional realism into the realm of conceptual abstraction.
Pentak received his BA from Union College in New York and his MFA from Tyler School of Art at Temple University.Â Â He is Professor Emeritus of Art and a past Associate Dean of the College of Arts at Ohio State University and the author of Color Basics and Design Basics published by Wordsworth.Â He now resides and paints full time in New Yorkâ€™s Hudson Valley.
Robert Kingstonâ€™s work has always arisen from an earnest search for resolution in a range of gestures, movements, and erasures.Â The appearance and meaning of the resolution has developed over the years in the meandering progression of the creative process.Â Kingstonâ€™s current chapter of work continues his investigation into the possibilities of paint.Â The labors are personal, but also come from a place of acutely studied history of art, design, and music.Â Notions of Cy Twombly and Paul Klee, among others, slightly register, but while Kingston embraces this history, his paintings remain clearly contemporary, considered, and decidedly personal.Â Similar to a musical composition, Kingston slowly creates his paintings by building on and modifying motifs applied in previous layers.Â He embraces improvisational gestures and incidents of dripping and streaking paint.Â Among this rich layering and smudging are fits and starts of lines, doodles, and sketches.Â This action occurs in so many layers, that some images are barely perceivable, giving us insight into Kingstonâ€™s thought process and leaves you searching for more clues. – Maruta Taube
Kingston, born in Sungei Gerong, Indonesia, is a full time artist living and working in Los Angeles.Â He received his BFA from California State University Long Beach and his MFA from Claremont Graduate School in Claremont, California.
Nancy Samson Reynoldsâ€™ wood sculptures poetically convey fluid motion.Â Sweeping curves and rippling contours activate her abstract forms with a sense of growth and change.Â â€śMy work is about nature from the inside out,â€ť explains Sansom Reynolds.Â â€śItâ€™s about concentric growth that builds outward.â€ťÂ Wrapping plywood around space, the artist shapes cavities and passageways that are both mysterious and uplifting.Â What is so remarkable about these graceful constructions is that they defy the very material of their construction.Â Sansom Reynolds sculpts all her organic forms from the same, flat, manmade substanceâ€”plywood, a pressed composite of wood chips and glue.Â The pieces are not carved, but painstakingly amassed from individually cut elements that are stacked and glued.Â Once assembled, each structure is vigorously sanded to create a smooth, continuous surface.Â Through this process, the laminates and irregularities of the wood remain clearly visible. â€śIâ€™ve pushed the material to places where itâ€™s not supposed to go,â€ť the artist maintains.Â Her tilting, swirling shapes beckon us to suspend belief in the material world.- Deborah K. Dietsch
Reynolds received her MFA in sculpture from George Washington University in Washington, DC and has exhibited throughout the United States for 35 years.Â She currently lives in Arizona, where she divides her time between her studio and teaching as an Adjunct Professor at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ
Gail Schneiderâ€™s debut at Susan Street Fine Art features sculptures from her most recent mixed media body of work.Â She eloquently combines glazed clay and carved tree branches, creating a relationship between the human form and the organic forms in nature.Â These figuratively inspired pieces are influenced by the stories and myths of sudden human transformation, where one can change into a tree or meld into oneâ€™s environment, whether due to danger or a cast spell.Â Her pieces are also inspired by the growing disconnect that humans have with nature and the spirit and universality of life.Â She looks to earlier cultures as an example of how to see the connection between living things in this world.Â Schneider states that â€śWhen I select a branch to use, I try to see the forms growing out of it, as I imagine Paleolithic artists might have done when they carved animal heads and figures from found pieces of wood and bone.â€ť
Schneider studied at UC Berkeley Graduate School, then moved to New York where she exhibited a diverse body of work over a period of 16 years.Â Now a resident of San Diego, her main focus is currently ceramics.Â In addition to her exhibition at Susan Street Fine Art, Schneider is presently featured at the Cannon Galleryâ€™s Juried Biennial in the Carlsbad Library through March 9th.