Christine Lafuente Perennial March 4 - 27, 2015 OPENING RECEPTION: Friday March 6 5-7pm. Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of works by Christine Lafuente. The exhibition, "Perennial", runs from March 4 - 27, 2015, with an opening reception for the artist on Friday, March 6 from 5 - 7 pm. "Perennial" refers to the flowers that are one of the Lafuente's favorite subjects, but it also refers to her desire to engage repeatedly a select range of meaningful subjects and places throughout the seasons and from year to year. The artist paints both still-life and landscape with accomplished, energetic brushwork, paired with a subtle, yet vibrant palette. Lafuente's work embraces all seasons of the year - allowing the viewer the opportunity to remember spring mornings saturated with the smell of freshly cut flowers, the quiet of brisk and snow-covered winter afternoons, and the cool summer mornings of coastal Maine. Lafuente takes the complex experience of looking and makes it appear spontaneous and direct. The artist says of her work, This exhibition includes subjects I return to again and again, year after year. These subjects serve as touchstones in my relationship with seeing and painting. Some are obvious: snow in winter, the sea in summer, daffodils in the spring, then peonies, and eventually zinnias in the autumn. But also there is the interiority of winter: lemons and bottles in the short sharp afternoons. Painting by the sea in Maine (Mount Desert Island) over the past six years has changed my approach to perceptual painting. The constant flux of tides, currents, weather, and light make it impossible to actually paint from direct observation for any substantial duration. The process of painting from a "moving target" has further opened up what it means to paint from visual perception. I have adjusted my practice by extending the prequel to painting from observation (mixing and adjusting composition) until I can come at a painting all at once, as well as the sequel to painting from observation. This can be anything from a second or third painting (smaller, more poetic) to continuing a painting from memory back in the studio (usually larger with many layers). Furthermore, there is a way in which returning to subjects every year comes out of nostalgia and memory - and so, even though I am painting peonies from life on a porch on a long summer afternoon, I am also painting many years of peonies on that particular porch, urged on by recollections of sweetness. Christine Lafuente is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and studied at the Barnes Foundation and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 2004, she received her MFA in Painting from Brooklyn College in NYC. Lafuente is an award-winning artist and has taught at numerous institutions including Pratt Institute, PAFA, and the Fleisher Art Memorial. The artist has shown her work both nationally and internationally and has been represented in Philadelphia by Gross McCleaf Gallery since 2001.
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