DONNA USHER — Contemplation
MIRIAM SINGER — Endless Day
September 5 – October 11, 2014
Artist Reception, September 6, 5 – 7 pm
First Fridays, September 5 & October 3, 6 – 8:30
LGTripp Gallery is pleased to announce the exhibition of recent works by Donna Usher and Miriam Singer, each in their second solo shows with the gallery and third with the gallerist.
Complex expressions require basic vocabularies. Composers need libraries of notation to craft symphonies; artists need foundational visual vocabularies to create insight. Usher and Singer both use abstraction as a means of communication and exploration, but they choose different foundational marks. Usher uses the circle and spiral to delve into the connections of the natural world, while Singer uses the square as her basic measurement for the built environment. Hanging in proximity, Usher’s paintings and Singer’s drawings provide a dynamic and balanced perspective on the natural and constructed environments.
The large acrylic panels that make up Donna Usher’s Contemplation series beckon the viewer to be still and immersed in fluid washes of brilliant colors and swirling clouds of orbs. Inspired by the fundamental shapes that order the universe, connecting it across levels of scale, Usher utilizes spirals that evoke both nebulae and nautili, circles that elicit atoms or planetary bodies, and luscious amorphous color fields that recall both water and sky. Usher’s use of nontraditional tools, such as palms, arm swipes, sponges, metal stylists, alcohol, and other substances, to apply the paint builds a texturally rich surface. Layered and overlapped, the forms create paintings which stretch deep into a space simultaneously macro and micro.
Donna Usher received her BFA in painting and a BS in art education from Moore College of Art and Design and an MFA with honors from the University of Delaware. An associate professor at West Chester University, Usher has exhibited her work throughout the United States, including at the Philadelphia International Airport, as well as in Italy, Egypt, Mexico, Croatia, and China. In addition to receiving numerous exhibition awards, her work is in the permanent collections of The Museum of Cozumel in Cozumel, Mexico, The National Centre of Fine Arts in Cairo, Egypt, The Reading Art Museum in Reading, PA. and a number of corporations and universities.
In the drawings that comprise her Endless Day series, Miriam Singer uses dense stacks of shape, color and pattern to construct highly playful, cacophonous depictions of a city that is both familiar and imaginary. Her process is intrinsically linked to her own explorations of Philadelphia. A walk through the city becomes itself a sketching exercise—her sensory observations of the environment are mentally filed and then reinterpreted and translated on paper later. Drawings she creates on site, sometimes over multiple days in multiple locations, become the collaged base which can either be added to or erased. Says Singer, “I think about a finished and unfinished moment in time together on the same field…The city metaphorically building and disappearing at once, as a metaphor to time changing and being in flux.”
Miriam Singer earned a BA from Brandeis University and an MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. She has participated in juried and invitational group exhibitions in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and has had solo exhibitions at the Philadelphia International Airport, the Painted Bride Art Center, LGTripp Gallery, and Gallery Siano. The lead artist on two projects for the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, her large mosaic collaboration with artist Emilie Ledieu, “Under the Clothespin”, can be found in the underground entrance to the Centre Square building; her mural, “Take Me to the River,” in Fishtown.