Curated Shows: Emotions Of Africa
"Emotion of Africa"
The fourth season of the Henry Gregg Gallery begins with "Emotion of Africa," a show that documents artist Anne Foudral's move to the continent and the subsequent personal transformation that the trip inspired.
The gallery appreciates its growing audience, and this show continues the gallery's mission of showcasing works of technical mastery.
In the large paintings, Foudral uses adeptly placed earth tones and warm colors to depict her connection with the continent and its people. The large, often life-size scale brings the works into the environ. In situ, they act as doorways to an alternate world.
The imposing scale and the surreal color scheme create a dream-like narrative in the gallery, as though the years the artist spent on the continent have been revisited, recreated and reborn.
Viewers are invited to share in each painting as participants, not as mere observers.
There are no recognizable features on the figures, so they exist as individuals brought together by the action or experience shown.
Even the acts depicted can be ambiguous: figures carrying large urns or pots could easily be part of a religious ceremony or a daily chore. The form of the figures is androgynous, so there is no distinction even between the roles associated with gender.
While some titles come from the names of countries or regions, others are words from English or French. The works transcend national boundaries and show the global scope of the artist's topic.
The abstracted forms show the way in which humanism is human experience abstracted, revealing a sanctimonious confluence in form.
The figures are not easily placed, lending more weight to the theme of collective experience .
The paintings reach out like concentric circles, and painting, as a medium, is used as a lingua franca that crosses oceans. Light within the works brings them beyond the boundaries of the canvas as well . Each painting appears to be illuminated from within, harkening back to the artist's awakening. The light appears to reach from the canvas, as though inspiration desires to return to the world from which it came.
The show successfully completes a circle of transformation, in which the artist shares with the viewer that which has been shared with her. Anne Foudral in DUMBO, NYC