Monday, May 21, 2012

Emotional Transcendence: Shelley Adler, Shelley Lazarus, Joan Vaupen

May 22 - June 16, 2012
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 26, 2012  5-8 PM
Conversation with the Artists: Saturday, June 9, 2012, 3 pm

Shelley Adler, Dread
 In her new series of paintings, Shelley Adler tackles the emotional and psychological issues associated with the word “Dread.” She acknowledges a shift in societal values that has altered the mood and tone of her own art and life. Politics, social order, and psychological insight have ultimately informed her oil on gessoboard portraits. Adler’s subjects draw parallels to those of Dorothea Lange’s Depression-era portraits, expressing the ‘Dread’ experienced by the average American in moments of uncertainty and chaos.

Shelley Lazarus, Moments
 Shelley Lazarus’s new show captures intimate glimpses of personal and sentimental moments in her life. Painted not only with her signature watercolor technique, but also in acrylics, graphites and crayons, Lazarus’s work combines saturated hues with expressive brushstrokes. Her landscapes depict urban New York street scenes, Ventura’s orchards and seaside, and the vineyards of the Rhineland which are reminiscent of Cezanne’s watercolor landscapes. Through her paintings, Lazarus reminds us of those moments that we often take for granted.

Joan Vaupen, A New Reality
 Joan Vaupen’s abstract and vibrant works experiment with the evolution of time, form, and color in various media. The mysterious and nebulous forms which fill the frame of Vaupen’s monoprints on archival paper ebb and flow into one another, transitioning in color and shape. Vaupen translates Salvador DalĂ­’s Face of Mae West As a Room, which was built by Dali, into her own interpretation as a mixed media collage. Her transposition of the past breathes new life into previous Surrealist works, evoking a sense of renewal and regeneration.

Monday, May 14, 2012

TAG Gallery Interviews Shelley Adler

Shelley Adler
11 x  14"    oil on gessobord

Your perspective artistically has shifted from "honey" to horror. What has caused you to shift focus?

Over the past couple of years I have become increasingly aware of the changes that have occurred and are still occurring in our culture and our planet. Ironically my own life is now fairly easy and on an even keel, so it confused me that I was so filled with the sense of everything getting worse and worse instead of better and better. On a personal level I did not feel depressed or even unhappy.

What do you dread?

I dread the ending of our democratic way of life. We no longer live in a democracy, but in an oligarchy.

I dread the ending of social services that make it possible for those who are less able to support themselves to exist with some sense of dignity.

I dread the end of all the safety nets: inexpensive education, affordable heath care, housing for the homeless, Headstart for kids who need it, privacy if you want it, reliable safe food sources for everyone...not just the well off, respect for persons unlike yourself, scientific investigation..not funded by drug companies and not hampered by religious reactionaries, Individual rights being replaced by Corporate rights,.....I could go on.

I dread the coming of what may be cataclysmic climate change leading to mass migrations and upheavals, wars and suffering. I will not personally experience those things..but still.....

I also dread the ending of my life...which is no longer a distant event. As I age I am confronted with mortality issues as well. I hasten to add that I am not currently ill or unhealthy.

Shelley Adler
Approaching Storm   
 8 x 12 "     oil on gessobord

How does your art address this sensation?

I am not sure that it actually addresses it ...I think rather that it expresses it. I found that I really could not get interested in painting anything else.

Have you had to adapt your palette or composition to accommodate this view-shift?

I have used a very limited and darker palette for this series. Even though I love color, it did not seem appropriate for the mood that I was attempting to express. I have also mostly focused more on individual expression with a simple storm cloudlike background.

Does making art ease, or increase for you your feelings of dread?

My experience with this was that I just could not paint anything else. I did not especially like the work that I was producing...but I just could not do anything different...And then at some point I felt... finished with it and I could begin to think about and focus on another subject or area. And I did feel relieved that I was finished working on this series of paintings.

Shelley Adler

Shelley Adler's exhibition begins May 22, 2012.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Shelley Lazarus: TAG Interview

Shelley Lazarus 
Lavender Fields  
15 x 22"  mixed media

Where did you grow up? Do you feel that your early environment had an influence on your artistic development?

I grew up in Brooklyn, new York where as a teen ager I attended Pratt Institute and was exposed to the many museums in the city.

Your last TAG Exhibition focused on sweets. Has your subject matter changed? (If so, what is it and why?)

This exhibit is focusing on moments when I am involved with nature and my surroundings. My favorite occupation is to sit on a hill, on a rock or the curb of a street and tell the story of the area around me.

How would you describe your growth as an artist?

My growth as an artist has come about from observing and learning to incorporate new mediums into my works.

Shelley Lazarus 
The Two of Us  
watercolor and pencil  22 x 30"

Have you recently learned or practiced any new techniques? If so, will you share what they are, or keep it a secret?

I never keep any of my new discoveries a secret. I teach at the Brentwood Art Center and as soon as I learn something new, I rush in to demonstrate their uses. Ergo my discovery of ‘Magic Eraser’ which is now circulating around Brentwood.

Do you have a favorite painting (Yours or somebody else's)?

I can’t say I have one favorite painting especially mine as my taste keeps changing. If I win the lottery I would like to wake up to a Wolf Kahn, Larry Rivers or a David Levine painting.

Shelley Lazarus in the studio.

Shelley Lazarus's exhibition opens May 22, 2012.