Press Release: "Narcissus": May 31–June 28, 2008

On May 31st, the Geoffrey Young Gallery reopens for its 17th year of presenting contemporary art in Great Barrington with a group show of paintings and drawings by twelve wildly different and daring artists.

Though primarily from New York City (four are graduates of Cooper Union), several of the artists are not. Newcomer Steven Lowery draws his dense word-scapes in London; the legendary Zap artist S. Clay Wilson lives in San Francisco where he can't keep up with demand; and young Erik Schoonebeek of the inventive gouaches lives near Kingston, NY.

Narcissus wasn't staring into the gene pool when he fell in love with his own image. But in some accounts he did fall in a pond and drown while trying to embrace himself. These artists, by contrast, are wary of self-infatuation; they are out to entertain themselves and us in wholly novel ways.

Kirsten Deirup imagines rich topographies of excess with her hyperreal capacity for minutely organized matter. Hope Gangloff's drawings are of friends, in a hand so sure she has become one of the go-to "illustrators" for magazines such as the New Yorker. Paul Carpenter paints his muses in sylvan settings, tentative, demure, approachable.

Benjamin Butler paints the thick night forest, or sun-struck clumps of leafless trees, in economic brushstrokes. Dennis Kardon, mixing abstraction with representation, paints brilliant allegories of ART in oil. Justin Valdes stacks books, wagon wheels, muskets, and spatial uncertainty in his elegant works on paper. Nicole Van Beek uses gouache to paint abstract minarets on paper.

Ann Pibal makes small paintings on metal with exquisite care, and with exacting, original colors. Chuck Webster's images blend abstraction and figuration in novel ways (you get the sense he is isolating details). Their surfaces, which have been sanded, repainted, and sanded again, give off a low-key glow.

There will be a reception for the artists on May 31st, from 5:30–7:30, to which all are invited. Gallery hours in June: Fri–Sunday, 11–5 PM

Geoffrey Young Gallery
40 Railroad Street
Great Barrington, MA 01230
413 528-6210

Copyright 2008 Geoffrey Young. All Rights Reserved