About Face is the first show of the season at The Art Garage and features work by three established or mid-career New York State artists: Gary Bower (Charlotteville), Christine Heller (Cooperstown) and Michael Ferris, Jr (Bronx). The exhibition highlights contrasting approaches to depicting human faces. The exhibition will be on view through Saturday July 9.The gallery is open daily by appointment, Saturdays 10AM-1PM, and selected Thursdays for artists' talks—June 23 and July 7 at 4PM.
A face is arguably the most revealing human aspect, noted Sydney L. Waller, Art Garage founder and curator of the show. If a face is indistinct, why can the effect be unsettling? Why are we intrigued or haunted by resemblances between people? How can faces be so different?
While some of the "faces" in this show are based on individuals, none is a portrait in the conventional sense. In Michael Ferris' sculptures, he reproduces individuals' features with hyper realistic verisimilitude in sharp contrast with a stunning decorative 'skin' inspired by Middle Eastern inlay work. In Christine Heller's gestural paintings, 'Absence/Presence,' faces are concealed and are therefore ambiguous--- are they menacing or anticipatory? In another body of work, her subjective expressionistic faces, inspired by family members, convey highly-charged intense emotions. Gary Bower's outpouring of faces, some suggested with just a few lines, others more fully developed, largely stem from stream of consciousness mixed with art history images that span the centuries. The 37 paintings on display – that include celebrities as well as 'dream' people-- represent a fraction of the hundreds of faces he has painted in a project that explores infinity.
The Art Garage will offer free artist talks in conjunction with the show on June 23 at 4PM and on Thursday July 7 at 4PM, the latter followed by a Closing Reception 5-7PM. The talks are facilitated by Robert Seward, professor emeritus of Tokyo University and now a Cooperstown resident. While admission is free, space is limited so reservations are recommended.