"Our show is called 'ZigZag' because although we’ve each come from different directions to figurative art, technically and thematically, we’ve been moving forward together. Even though all the work is figurative, each artist has a unique approach. This show is where our artistic paths cross, our focuses align, and the influence we exert on each others' work will determine our future directions," says Nancy Abeles, one of the participating artists, who also noted, with Cathy Abramson, that shared commitments to family, career and community have brought this group together.
An opening reception will be held Saturday, Nov. 16, from 6 - 9 p.m. at Gallery B, which is also participating in the Bethesda Art Walk, Saturday, Nov. 8, from 6 - 9 p.m.
Each artist has provided a preview of her work in the upcoming show.
Nancy Abeles, whose work focuses primarily on the role of women in American culture, reflects on how luxury consumerism has replaced religious devotion in society:
"House of Worship” fools with Baroque compositions and iconography. Your "It Bag" brand is your denomination; the faithful flock weekly to the shopping mall. We are saints or sinners depending on budget. On the right, as the "crone," I initiate my daughter into the ritual. On the left, she’s the postulant attaining a purse epiphany. Instead of putti flying overhead in a fresco, there’s the atrium skylight, though true heavenly salvation beckons from the shops.
Cathy Abramson, whose work captures urban environments, inviting the viewer into an isolated moment or nook in a complex scene, depicts a wedding celebration on the streets of New Orleans:
“Second Line” is a typical New Orleans scene of wedding guests who parade and dance behind a brass band. The energy and spontaneity of the celebration contrasts with the young woman’s thoughtful expression. The vibrance, light, the time of day, and the woman's expression set up juxtapositions of emotions in a momentary scene.
Elaine Lozier, whose work explores the human figure through movement, wearable cultural artifacts and the histories these suggest, wonders how a Japanese girl in traditional costume fits into her contemporary context.
I’m interested in people, not just how they look, but where they’ve been and the influences in their lives that continue to affect their thoughts and actions. As a swimming coach to youth and college counselor, I saw these influences take shape. In this picture, “Japanese Past 1,” we have a traditionally attired Japanese girl. Does she know where the costume came from? Did her grandmother wear a similar one, and what did she think about while traditionally dressed? Romance? Beauty? Cherry blossoms? Or everyday matters? Today and every day, we are a product of yesterday.
Jan Rowland, whose work treads between realism and abstraction by bringing subconsciously perceived phenomena to the forefront through an intricate layering of patterns, documents reflections in city windows:
"City Reflections" captures the instant of a fleeting reflection in a city store window. Reflections of the passersby are woven into surrounding patterns and shapes. This is similar to our subconscious mind, which recalls fragmented images or patterns, or a bright color or strange shape, which then merge together to form a memory. This painting is one of a series that delves into memories and window reflections. The images merge together to create a fascinating interplay of figures, shapes, colors and patterns.