December 1-31, 2011
Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art, 1419 5th Street Sarasota, Florida
Leslie Fry’s sculpture and works on paper have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in museums and galleries throughout the United States and abroad, including Exit Art, Thread Waxing Space and Artists Space in New York; Kunsthaus in Hamburg; Windspiel Galerie in Vienna; Centre des Arts Visuels in Montreal; Couvent des Cordeliers in Paris; and the Tampa Museum of Art. Corporate and public collections include Kohler Arts Center, Fleming Museum, Whole Foods Market, and Tampa Museum of Art. Fry says that her works on paper begin “by pressing a plant into paper and seeing what grows from that. These images express moments of wholeness created out of fragmentation.”
The artist says that the images in her art are “inspired by the basic human needs of shelter, food, clothing, work, and intimacy, and take the form of the human body, vegetable and animal life, and artifacts and architecture. The natural world connects with the human-made world—reality and fantasy meld.” Fry’s processes involve drawing, modeling and casting with materials that range from paper, clay, plaster, wood, fabric, and plants, to concrete, resin, metal, rubber, plastic, and video.
“My hands create moments of wholeness out of fragmentation, while using traditional methods and materials to create nontraditional visions,” she says.
Ke Francis is a narrative artist who has been actively producing artwork for more than 40 years. He is a tenured professor at the University of Central Florida where he has served as department chair and the College of Arts and Humanities dean of research. He and his wife, Mary, are the co-owners of Hoopsnake Press, a fine art press that publishes books and prints. His book works, paintings, prints, photographs and sculptures are in numerous public and private collections, including The Getty Museum, National Gallery, National Museum of American Art, High Museum, New Orleans Museum of Fine Art, San Francisco Museum of Contemporary Art, Yale / Sterling Memorial Library, Van-Pelt Dietrich Collection, and The Polaroid Collection.
Tanja Softic studied at the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of Sarajevo and earned her M.F.A. in printmaking from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1992. An immigrant to United States from the former Yugoslavia, she explores questions of cultural identity, national belonging and experience of exile. She is a recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Grant, National Endowment for the Arts/ Southern Arts Federation Visual Artist Fellowship and Soros Foundation—Open Society Institute Exhibition Support Grant. Her work is included in numerous collections in the United States and abroad, among them New York Public Library, Library of Congress Print Department and New South Wales Gallery of Art in Sydney, Australia. Softic is professor of art and chair of the department of Art and Art History at the University of Richmond.
‘My work explores concepts of cultural hybridity, ways of locating oneself in ever expanding cosmic and social horizons, and the nature of memory,” says the artist.
“As an immigrant to United States from Bosnia, once part of Yugoslavia, I am acutely aware of the inadequacy of established definitions of cultural or national identity. The habitual means of cultural locating fail to grasp contemporary political, economic and demographic realities, as the new practices just begin to emerge. The questions loom large: How do we record our histories? How do they shape our ideas of identity? What is our place and task in the planet’s biosphere? What is cultural memory and to whom does it belong? There are no reassuring answers. The environmental and cultural phenomena we witness now do not fit in the file cabinets of history. My work aims to capture this state of flux, to acknowledge the obsolescence of categories, and to work with the tattered web of memory.”
A graduate of Ringling College of Art & Design, Stefan Batista is a Sarasota-born artist who focuses on traditional and contemporary photographic media. His work attempts “to explore the facets of the human condition with subtle visual metaphor and narrative.”
“All of the pieces of art in this exhibit are priced at $1,000 or less and lend themselves to holiday gift-giving,” says Allyn Gallup.