Leslie Neumann, Nancee Clark and Katherine Wobie get physical in a group show featuring works honoring nature and deflating humanity’s delusions of grandeur.
(Sarasota, FL) Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art gallery presents “Nature and Irony,” January 3-February 1, 2014, featuring works by Leslie Neumann, Nancee Clark and Katherine Wobie. A reception, with the artists, is January 3, 6-8 p.m., with an artists’ talk at 7 p.m. For more information about this exhibit, call 941-366-2454 or visit www.allyngallup.com. The gallery is at 1288 N. Palm Ave., in Sarasota.
This dynamic exhibition is the brainchild of Leslie Neumann, a prolific artist who makes her home in the tidewater region of Aripeka, Florida. Inspired by nature and the contradictory human responses it evokes, Neumann realized this was a constant theme in her work, and the work of her friends and colleagues at the University of Florida.
“Nancee, Katherine and I all employ the physical world as our subject matter,” she says. “The beauty we see could be a wetlands marsh, sunlight on water, a human being, a monkey, a chicken, or a stream of motes moving in the wind. We marvel at the grandeur of it all, at the same time recognizing how tiny our species is in comparison. Our hierarchical human systems stand side-by-side with nature. Sometimes we live in harmony, sometimes not. The irony is, we can ignore nature, but we’re really a part of it. The title “Nature and Irony” takes its inspiration from that inconvenient truth.”
Neumann is known for constructing radiant, meditative landscapes of oil and encaustic that invite the viewer to melt into them. Lara Bradburn of The Tampa Tribune described her work as, “both passionate and soothing, powerful and disarming, apocalyptic and transcendent, and predictable with an element of surprise. It’s a dichotomy of sensations from an artist intent on peering into nature’s soul.” Neumann’s reverence for the Florida landscape began to flower after she moved to the small fishing village of Aripeka in 1991, after a decade in New York City. Her passion for the land extends beyond painting. She and other environmentalists have helped to preserve more than 14,000 acres of pristine coastal lands. Neumann’s work is included in private and public collections throughout the United States, including Nissan Motors, Marriott hotels, National Space Biomedical Research Institute, Polk Museum of Art, Tampa Museum of Art, City of Tampa and City of Orlando’s Public Art Collections.
The works of Gainesville artist Kathleen Wobie muse upon two concurrent realities: the age of information overload and the resiliency and renewal of natural systems. “My latest series of paintings expresses the feelings I have about the daily overload of information in our minds and the transformations we’re inflicting on the environment,” says Wobie. She expresses the surfeit of fragmentary data with an overlay of imagery—an onslaught of marks, which she transforms into suggestions of organic shapes. Wobie has long pursued interests in both science and art, at one time combining a career in medical research with an active painting career. Wobie is a founding member of the Melrose Bay Art Gallery, a signature member of Plein Air Florida, and a 10-year invitational painter at Epcot. She is represented by several galleries in North Florida and is collected by numerous institutions and individuals across the U.S.
The work of Nancee Clark, a two-time recipient of the State of Florida Visual Artist Fellowship, rounds out the show. Her narrative paintings glow with active brushwork, and layers of color achieving density and richness. Clark populates her ambiguous spaces with human and animal figures, surrounded by props—a table, trapeze, cups and other detritus. “I create my own strange space in my work,” says Clark. “It’s a space of irony, where what’s expected is not what actually occurs. In this world, the observed and the observer occupy the same space.” Clark is on the faculty at Ringling College of Art and Design. Her work has been exhibited across the United States and in Japan and Monte Carlo, and is included in various public and private collections.
About Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art
Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art was established in 1991. Since the beginning, its founder, Allyn Gallup, has been committed to providing serious art to the community. Through this commitment, the gallery has earned the reputation as the leading place in southwest Florida to view contemporary art. The gallery’s collection includes paintings, sculptures, mixed-media assemblages, works on paper and prints by mid-career artists with well-established exhibition records. The gallery also occasionally showcases works by promising emerging artists. Visit www.allyngallup.com.