Sculptures by Insun Kim and Paintings by Knutsson form debut show

Theo Ganz Studio, a new commercial gallery for contemporary art is pleased to announce Segue, an exhibition of works by sculptor Insun Kim from Beacon and Brooklyn painter Anders Knutsson.  Kim works in metal and found objects to create her symbolical fabrications while Knutsson uses acrylic and phosphorescent pigments to paint his realistic “portraits” of trees.  The end result in both cases is work that possesses an undeniable spiritual component.  The opening reception takes place on Saturday, May 6, from 6 – 8 p.m., and the exhibit runs through June 30.

Insun started as a landscape painter in the early 1980s.  It was in working at Tallix Art Foundry in Peekskill, that she was first introduced to sculpture and from there she never returned to painting.  Kim states that there “was something about sculpture and three dimensions that I was very attracted to.”  Over the years she has worked with clay, wax and plaster but her true love is working with metal.  While some of her pieces are cast, most of her work is fabricated with metal and various found objects like chains, wire, sprockets, etc.   Kim started Beacon Fine Art Foundry in 2005. Kim says her “love and respect for nature is such that if I can find a subject in the natural world that I can work with, “then my work is done.”

The works by Kim selected for this exhibition vary in scale and mystery.  There is a smaller version of the tree of nails that Kim is fabricating especially for Segue; there are the intimate hand-sized apple, pear, and onion which open to reveal a detailed interior space with a life of their own; and finally there will be several of her fabrications which juxtapose the familiar with the unexpected. “I like to create sculptures that people can relate to in their lives,” says Kim.  “I use objects that on the surface have no relationship with each other and compose them to create a harmonious narrative describing life.”

Knutsson started painting his realistic tree portraits in the 1980’s, after he moved to Brooklyn and discovered the sanctuaries of Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Prospect Park.  Wanting to convey the power and energy of the trees he saw around him, he started to draw realistically and over the years has refined his vision by omitting certain details like grass and leaves.   Says Knutsson: “I want no distraction.  I want to show how the light hits and reveals the trunk and branches.  That’s how I believe the tremendous energy and strength in these old trees can best be communicated.”  The branches of his subjects twist and twirl through space, disappearing into thin air.  The play of light and shadow underscores the emotional and spiritual worlds.

In 2011 Knutsson had a solo show of over 20 of his tree portraits at the Steinhardt Conservatory Gallery at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.  The exhibition included several portraits of gems from the Garden’s collection and Segue will include one of my personal favorites – Caucasian Wingnut.  In recent years Knutsson has completed two commissions in Florida as part of the Art in Public Buildings competitions.  His proposal was to create realistic portraits of the trees indigenous to Clearwater and Jacksonville.  He traveled all over the state to sketch Champion Trees (largest of the species), of which Florida has the largest inventory in the country.  In the late 1990’s he was commissioned for several paintings in Seoul, Korea.  The works by Knutsson selected for Segue include paintings (acrylic and phosphorescent pigments on linen), original drawings and several prints produced by Highland Studio in Cold Spring.

The title of this inaugural exhibition, Segue, comes from the Italian word seguire – “it follows.”   In musical composition, the term means “a smooth transition from one part to another.”   The “segue concept” operates on various levels:  between the artists and their work; painting and sculpture; abstraction to realism; invisible to apparent; from natural to spiritual;  from behind-the-scenes studio to fishbowl storefront gallery and  – finally –  perhaps, from wish to fulfillment.

Theo Ganz Studio joins the growing number of venues for the visual arts owned and operated by artists. Theo Ganz Studio is located at 149 Main St., Beacon. For more information, visit the Ganz Studio website.
Image courtesy of Theo Ganz Studio

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