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Laffer Gallery to Exhibit Two Longtime Upstate NY Artists
August 12 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Charles Bremer – Stage Left 12×18
The Laffer Gallery is honored to exhibit two longtime upstate New York artists who expand the ideas of materiality by mixing disciplines into singular expressions of visual culture. The exhibit “Shifting Focus” pairs Charles Bremer and Leslie Ferst together for the first time. Each have been active artists for more than 30 years and have exhibited at numerous institutions regionally and nationally.
The exhibit is open August 12 through September 10. A public reception is being held at the Schuylerville gallery located at 96 Broad Street in the historic village from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday August 12.
Bremer, who lives in Otega, N.Y., applies the encaustic wax glaze process on photographs and numerous mediums, including theater sets and architectural memorials. For this exhibit. his more recent works are highly-graphic compositions exploring the synthesis of natural elements and the human figure through a method of hand-tinted photographs. His objects are allegories for creativity, aging, playfulness and beauty through the figure and non-figurative forms.
“Encaustic wax in my creative technique is a remarkable pleasure, not only does its beautiful aroma fill the air of the studio but the sensitivity of its touch penetrates my work with stability and optical clarity surpassing anything I have experienced before. While the wax requires extra care and respect as a sensitive medium, these values are ones I embrace and welcome to my field of art. This inert material from the architecture of honey bees has much to teach us about living connections, strength and impermanence.”
Ferst, who lives in Cambridge NY, mines elements of architecture and botany to create biomorphic sculptures and related three-dimensional objects “carved” directly from clay with swooping curves suggesting “micro” environments resembling underwater coral or desert cactus. On view will be a sampling of small-to-medium size sculptures, and she is unveiling her latest series, which are an earthy green, more compact yet more complex “organisms” that she describes as “vessels.”
“All of my works are derived from natural forms that we all look at in everyday life, but might not see,” she said recently at her longtime studio in the rolling hills of Washington County. “Many of the smaller ones are somewhat like studies but are independent in their own way. They help me isolate ideas during my process.”
Taking as long as two months to make each one, Ferst’s sculptures range from “miniscule to monumental” and the exhibit will be the regional debut for her new smaller works produced after a “period of transition.”
While their artwork is quite different, they complement each other in unexpected ways. Both artists provide us with a “shift” in our mindset from seeing only mundane, everyday objects, both in and out of our natural world, to focus on the intrinsic beauty of each object often overlooked. Their scale and composition allow us to see these objects without the distraction of their surroundings, drawing our focus to the specific details that make them unique. Also, both are concerned with structure and the architecture of composition, although from very different point of references.