Wednesday, December 8, 2010

BEFORE and AFTER: Harmonic Cycles of Creation and Destruction

JAMES LOPARO, a solo exhibition

X-ild, fresco panels, 47x69x3"

December 14th, 2010 – January 29th, 2011

December 16th @ 6:30p: Exploring the Process with LoParo & critic Larry Qualls

Franklin 54 Gallery + Projects is pleased to present a solo exhibition of extraordinary fresco and archaeo forms by James LoParo. The large-scale fresco pieces are impressive, powerful and majestic. LoParo’s interesting process includes building up layer upon layer of marks, letters, writings, scribbling and color intuitively and spontaneous which progressively become more deliberate. This journey goes on for 7-8 layers as he manipulates the piece to the top. When he reaches that final level he covers the entire surface with white plaster and boldly faces a blank canvas all over again. This step takes a great deal of confidence in covering over the previous multiple layers of work. Now he starts destroying while still creating and works back into his surfaces with saw blades, machetes and other tools to “uncover” what he remembers is underneath and selectively wants to leave for the final image. It is a mind game and a physical act. The self-exploration strips away layer after layer until he is satisfied and the piece feels right visually.

These textural giants are compositionally satisfying and wonderful, colors are calm and serene of umbers, sienna’s, grays and green contrasted against the rich surface that has been peeled away and now reveals so much from beneath – remembered or not, we can see the marks and writings that were made much earlier; LoParo has been on an excavation and exploration rebuilding while tearing away.

The archaeo forms are part of the larger image now destroyed even further and the journey continues. Now the broken fragments are attached to a foundation made by the artist with consideration of the fragmented shape and they becomes an extension of the form. Life moves forward – and the cycle continues. The entire process reflects an uncovering of the self – stripping away layer upon layer of the human experience and the work supports this completely. This confident artist presents much for us to think about.

After achieving success in NYC and across the US in the 1990’s, James left for Italy and the European audience that accepted his work enthusiastically - he is widely collected there including many on site installations. He has recently returned to New York City to reintroduce his work here.

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