Opening Receptions and Artists Talks: Friday, January 15 from 7pm to 9pm
Gibbs Street Gallery
Wash: New Paintings by Greg Minah
Water shapes things. It erodes and transplants; it pools and it dries away. It conspires with the ground to carve and bend and draw the landscape. “Wash: New Paintings by Greg Minah” showcases the co-authorial role that water has as an instrument in his artmaking.
Minah’s work has always been a collaboration between artist and material. Poured acrylic paint is manipulated not with a brush but by tilting, turning, and rotating the painting itself. In her essay, “Paint Awash on a Shifting Ground,” retired director of the Baltimore Museum of Art Doreen Bolger wrote: “Despite the seeming spontaneity of Minah’s work, there is incredible control, with the movement of his body in relation to the canvas determining the outcome. In an odd way, this action becomes the antithesis of Pollock’s own painterly gestures, which directed the paint to a stationary ground before or below him. Pollock moved the pigment; Minah moves the ground.”
This process also involves the removal of partially dried layers of paint with pressurized water, leaving (usually) opaque remnants of paint applications. But the paintings presented here, all from 2015, while still physically manipulated to direct the behavior of the paint, have had water introduced, at times, more gradually and more broadly.
In these works, paint is often eased away–kindly coaxed by sheets of water. Minah used larger applications of water to slowly and gently affect the material over longer periods of time. After the initial moves, the canvas might be propped up at an angle to allow these veils of water to pull and spread the paint over greater areas. The wash, encouraged but unhurried by gravity, works on the pigment methodically. Sweeping visual statements are written with subplots and footnotes intermixed. Rather than completely removing any evidence of the wash as he done in earlier works, here, he allowed the footprints to remain. As a result, the layers become more ethereal. Line, shape, and color freely exchange breath and brainstorm ideas until a kind of drone harmony takes form.
Minah considers these paintings to be sorts of landscapes, connoting the growth and decay of terrain sculpted by natural force. He is a participant in these pieces, pivoting with the unpredictable nature of fluid paint. And at times he is simply an observer, gazing at the material flux in the same way one gazes at the sea. A crashing wave disrupts the sand, scattering anything in its path. Then it soothes the sand as it draws away and washes things into place.
About the Artist:
Born in 1978, Greg Minah grew up in Columbia, Maryland and graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park in 2001 with degrees in English Literature and Studio Art. In 2009, Minah was honored as a finalist in both the Bethesda Painting Awards and the Trawick Prize. He received the top Individual Artist Award Grant in 2010 from the Maryland State Arts Council, and had ten paintings reproduced and permanently installed on an outdoor public wall in Arlington, VA, in 2011. In 2012, Minah was selected to exhibit at the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala as part of the Art in Embassies Program and another public installation, Tunnel Vision, was installed in the Washington, D.C. Metro in Bethesda, Maryland. Minah’s paintings have been included in group and solo exhibitions throughout the United States and can be found in public and private collections internationally. Minah currently lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland. www.gregminah.com
Eikona / Image by Thanasi Papapostolou
Thanasi Papapostolou’s solo exhibition—Eikona / Image—confronts the dilemma or crisis of self-projection in today’s socially-oriented world. By delving directly into the fleshy, corporal nature of human existence, Papapostolou explores the phenomenon of image making as a vital human impulse. His work redirects contemporary and classical figurative sculptural forms within an installation context, posing the questions: “Who are we?” and “Who do we wish to be?”
About the Artist:
Athanasios (Thanasi) Papapostolou is a sculptor who lives and works in the Washington DC metro area. His work is recognized as possessing a unique quality that synthesizes classical figurative sculpture with the conceptual experiential movement of the present. Thanasi is represented by Carbon 14 Contextual Galleries in Philadelphia and his work can also be found in various private collections in the United States, the United Kingdom and Greece as well as art institutions such as the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Thanasi has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors. He has received grants from the New York Academy of Art as well as the prestigious Cresson Grand Tour Grant for study in Europe and is currently an Honorary Fellow in the Art Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Thanasi has received an M.F.A. from the Graduate School of Figurative Art of the New York Academy of Art, a B.F.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, and a four year certificate from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He has studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, Italy. thanasipapapostolou.com
NEST Every Human Deserves a Home by Light Switch Dance Theatre
NEST is a multi-disciplinary work by Sandra Atkinson and Light Switch Dance Theatre using contemporary dance, visual art, music, and film to investigate the concepts of a nest (home) for those without one. NEST explores the challenges, achievements, and aspirations of current and former members of the homeless community.
About Light Switch Dance Theatre:
Light Switch Dance Theatre (est. June 2013) is a sites- specific project based contemporary dance company dedicated to multi-disciplinary performances in non-traditional spaces. Sandra C. Atkinson, MA (Founder/Artistic Director) creates work in a collaborative manner inspired by the human condition, social justice, matters for science & technology and art of all mediums. LSDT strives to provide performances to the general public making any place a performance space. www.lightswitchdance.wix.com
Common Ground Gallery
Against Weather by Ben Piwowar
Ben Piwowar presents a site-responsive installation using drawing, painting and construction. Working primarily with salvaged materials, contractor’s trash, detritus found on walks or the remains of other people’s projects, his work is a wry salute to the human capacity to make use and make do, to adapt to uncertain conditions and manage with what is on hand.
About the Artist:
Ben Piwowar is a painter and installation artist whose works use abstraction to reflect on fragility, adaptation, and regeneration. He holds degrees in literature and painting from the University of Maryland as well as an M.F.A. in studio art from the University of Connecticut. A two-time semifinalist for the Janet and Walter Sondheim Prize, Piwowar lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland. www.benpiwowar.com
VisArts Gallery Hours:
- Wednesday & Thursday: 12 – 4pm
- Friday: 12 – 8pm
- Saturday & Sunday: 12 – 4pm
Exhibitions are always free and open to the public.
VisArts at Rockville is located three blocks from the Rockville Metro station at 155 Gibbs Street, Rockville, MD. For information, please visit www.visartscenter.org or contact Susan Main at (301) 315-8200 ext. 110 or firstname.lastname@example.org.