Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art Presents “Some Wonderful Abstractions”

August 15 – October 5, 2013
Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art

A group show featuring paintings and works on paper by gallery artists, a survey of paintings by Bianca Pratorius and sculpture by Mary-Ann Prack

August 15 – October 5, 2013
Some Wonderful Abstractions
Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art
Sarasota, FL

Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art gallery presents “Some Wonderful Abstractions,” August 15-October 5, 2013, featuring paintings and works on paper by Luisa Basnuevo, Michael Kessler, Juri Morioka, Gustavo Ramos Rivera, Yolanda Sanchez, Richard Schemm, Mike Solomon and Valerie Stuart. The exhibit also features a survey of paintings by Bianca Pratorius with selections from three bodies of work created over 15 years and sculpture by Mary-Ann Prack.

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Street view, Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art

Luisa Basnuevo ( Miami ) was born in Cuba and came to the United States via Spain. She received a B.F.A from Florida International University and a M.F.A. from Yale University School of Art in 1991. Her paintings have been exhibited in museums and galleries in the United States and abroad, including the Southeastern Center of Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and the Musée de Luxembourg in Paris. Her work is included in public and corporate collections throughout Florida, including those of the Miami Art Museum, the Ringling Museum, and the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland. She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endownment for the Arts/Southeastern Arts Federation, the South Florida Consortium, and the Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida Department of State.

Michael Kessler ( Santa Fe ) makes nature-based paintings that merge geometric elements with biomorphism. Influenced by the paintings of Brice Marden and Elizabeth Murray, as well as by the music of Phillip Glass and Steve Reich, his works are characterized by large fields of diaphanous color that are activated by organic linear structures that have been visually and physically woven into a grid structure which consists of thick slabs of paint. Kessler’s work is shown and collected around the country.

Juri Morioka ( New York )was born in Tokyo and came to the United States as a high school exchange student. She earned a BFA in painting at Parsons School of Design in 1990 and has been working in Manhattan ever since. About her work, she says, “I always approach the canvas directly, without any preceding sketches or studies. I paint in the manner of Zen, moving my brushes along with my mind’s rhythm, relying solely on instinct and intuition. Outside of conscious thought, I search for harmony and form in the play of color and shapes, and a composition gradually emerges. Then, feeling my way with my brush, I enter the painting and wander through its spaces and along its paths with a deep sense of belonging. I welcome the viewer to join me on the same journey, with the same sense of belonging, sharing in the belief that everything has a life of its own.”

Gustavo Ramos Rivera ( San Fransisco ) is an abstract painter whose work is celebrated for its intense emotional content and its unique, personal symbology. Rivera’s paintings combine the palette and iconography of the indigenous cultural heritage of his native Mexico with classic techniques of post war American abstraction. In his paintings, Rivera constructs layers of intense translucent color fields upon which he lays simple hieroglyphic markings of rich impasto which seem at once archaic and contemporary. They articulate a poetic narrative but also express the artist’s pure delight in working the medium of oil paint. In addition to his painting Rivera is also a master printmaker who works in monotypes, intaglio and lithography. He has also produced unique and limited edition artist books illustrated with original art. Rivera is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships and in 2006 the San Jose Museum of Art presented a retrospective exhibition of the artist’s work that traveled to additional venues in Mexico and California.

Yolanda Sánchez ( Miami ) was born in Havana, Cuba, and emigrated to the United States in 1960. She obtained a Ph.D. in clinical psychology in 1979, and has practiced and taught psychology at the graduate level for over 30 years. Prompted by a personal crisis in her mid-30s, Sánchez decided to give voice to her creativity and returned to school, obtaining a BFA and, subsequently, an MFA from Yale University in painting. She is a Fulbright scholar, completing her fellowship as a painter in Spain. Sánchez conducts “research” in the natural landscape—largely influenced by color, texture and light—and paints in her studio. Her work is never a direct translation of what she sees, but rather is an expression of a felt experience, a memory of or desire for the experience. The paintings are also informed by a variety of sources, including the physical world, literature, and particularly, poetry, dance, calligraphy and Asian art. She works with oils on both paper and canvas.

Yolanda Sanchez, Something in the Air, 2012 oil on canvas, 70″ x 60″

A native of Michigan who studied at Cranbrook, Richard Schemm ( Traverse City Mi ) lives today in a log home outside Traverse City. An early interest in cabinetmaking developed his interest in beautiful wood finishes and eventually in making beautiful paintings. His work has been praised for its attention to detail and keen use of color. Schemm has exhibited widely over the past 30 years including at New York’s Allan Stone Gallery.

Mike Solomon ( East Hampton ) makes sculpture and paintings that combine the conceptual with the abstract. In an essay about his work, art critic Helen Harrison wrote, “His art embodies fundamental qualities that he perceives in nature, for which he creates aesthetic analogies. Without imitating those qualities he captures their essence, pins it down and offers it as a gift to those who take the time to receive it.”

Michael Solomon, Memoria de Seville, 2012, watercolor on papers infused with epoxy, mounted on panel, 36" x 36"
Mike Solomon, A Frank O’Hara Summer, 2012, watercolor on papers infused with epoxy, mounted on panel, 24″ x 24″

Through the use of color, brush strokes and fresco applications Valerie Stuart ( Sun Valley ) creates haunting atmospheric imagery from natural sources such as landscapes, seascapes, skyscapes, flowers and plants. She plays with color and form to create a dream-like experience that invites the viewers to bring their personal interpretations into the piece. Stuart’s work attempts to create a relationship or shared experience between the viewer and her work by developing color field landscapes that evoke memories or fantasies.

Bianca Pratorius ( Miami ) was born in Cologne, Germany, in 1969. She completed a three-year program at the Holzfachschule Koeln focusing on furniture building and design. She subsequently moved to Miami and now lives and works in the Miami area. Her work is featured internationally in many private and corporate collections, including the Neiman Marcus Collection ( in a number of store locations ) and the Millenium Partners Collection permanently displayed in the Four Seasons Hotel in Miami. “The unifying thread through my work has been pattern and repetition, which I explore through simple yet labor-intensive processes,” she says. “The patterns reprensent the perfect analogy for the chaos that surrounds us and the complexities within us.”

Bianca Pratorius, What Makes You Think You Can Say That
Bianca Pratorius, What Makes You Think You Can Say That

During the 1980’s, Mary-Ann Prack ( Jefferson NC ) concentrated on developing hand-built ceramics as a sculpture medium; exhibiting her work in a broad range of indoor and outdoor venues. Though she uses ceramics as a material she does not follow the potters vessel concept but blazes her own path with clay as a pure sculpture medium; hand-building each piece using stoneware clay slabs; carved line work/textures; and glazes, colors, or stains with a painters approach to surface treatments. In 1994, she and her husband moved their studio to North Carolina, to take advantage of an environment that “amplifies the creative spirit.” Prack continues to exhibit her work in commercial and institutional galleries within the United States and Canada. She has fully matured her artistic style into an instantly recognizable abstract expressionist form that continues to gather awards and commendations from critics everywhere.

Mary Ann Prack, Anu

About Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art

Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art was established in 1991. Since the beginning, its founder, Allyn Gallup, has been committed to providing serious art to the community. Through this commitment, the gallery has earned the reputation as the leading place in southwest Florida to view contemporary art. The gallery’s collection includes paintings, sculptures, mixed-media assemblages, works on paper and prints by mid-career artists with well-established exhibition records. The gallery also occasionally showcases works by promising emerging artists.

Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art
1288 N. Palm Ave. Sarasota, FL 34236


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