Forum Gallery presents the exhibition, Stillness of Life, January 27 - March 12, 2022, comprising of recent works by four artists whose disparate subjects and media contrast with their related devotion to probing contemplation of all they examine. Celebrated for their meticulous execution, each artist on view evokes the infinite complexity of his subject, in that space of observation and memory where time stands still.
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“…the reticence of Bauer’s paintings mixed with his sensitivity to tonality and light suggests that he slows time down in order to register its passing. Recognizing that reality is constantly changing, and that it never repeats itself, Bauer is determined to see all that can be gleaned in a moment of sustained looking. Thus, the deeper tension that runs through these portraits…hints at a wellspring of melancholy, an unrelenting awareness that time not only stretches towards infinity, but that the now one inhabits is equally vast and infinite."
-John Yau, poet, author, Arts Editor for The Brooklyn Rail (2007–2011), art critic for Hyperallergic Weekend.
"…Portraits by Robert Bauer (offer) a resounding presence of spirit, almost sacred. The fine brushstrokes in Bauer’s oils on wood render their surfaces flat and the skin tones luminous, compelling the viewer to move close and pause before each one as if to bear witness to a private meditation…Absence (of) background subject matter contributes to the atmosphere of hushed reverie."
-Elaine Sexton for Art in America
“Fenniak probes beneath each of his character’s facades with the interrogative skill of a grand inquisitor, thus compelling observers to do the same, to examine and question their own involvement and judgment. Situated in soundless surroundings perfectly suited to their somber countenances, Fenniak’s figures, seemingly frozen in space, lend a sense of portent to the scene that extends beyond the forms themselves and out of the boundaries of his canvases.”
- April Paul, Curator
“It is popularly assumed that realist painting dishes up a common sense view of what is real by simply attending to appearances. It relies on our habitual perception. But another, stranger kind of realism, although it also pays close attention to ‘normal’ appearances, takes some further steps and ends up in an unpredictable place — not confirming our comfortable notions of what we already know but making us suspicious of them, making us aware of their inadequacy. My recent paintings have been influenced by my reading of short fiction in this vein, primarily by the British author Robert Aickman, as well as several others such as Arthur Machen and Walter De la Mare.”
G. Daniel Massad
“Each image posits more questions that require more looking in an endless spiral…Massad’s art forces us to slow down, is belligerently indifferent to the glib passerby, attunes the eye and the mind to an almost unprecedented level of concentration.”
-John Loughery, Pulitzer Prize nominee and art critic for The Hudson Review
“The past, filled with memories, occupies the square that dominates the lower half of the image and adheres adamantly to the picture plane. The gorgeous still life, whose verisimilitude takes our breathe away, occupies a shallow band, indicative of the ‘thin sliver of time’ we inhabit in this life, what Massad has described as ‘the beautiful present on the edge of vanishing-or retreating- into memory.’ ”
-Joyce Henri Robinson, essay for A Small Radius of Light, Palmer Museum of Art
“Despite Mitri’s commitment to realism, the artist primarily relies on the feelings he has about a location when choosing a subject, and considers himself an expressionist in that respect…His emphasis on the mood of a piece can be seen in his lighting choices...Like many artists, Mitri places great emphasis on lighting in a scene, and considers it to be his strongest tool for evoking a certain emotional response from the viewer.”
-Naomi Ekperigin for American Artist Drawing
“…over the days, the weeks, often times the months taken to complete a single composition, the process of rendering a drawing from photographs I have taken on site becomes a sort of extended moment of memory…The finished work, itself, regardless of composition, thus seeks to communicate an emotion once felt, as so recollected in tranquility…The absence of the human presence in a great majority of my charcoals is significant to achieving my aim of creating an atmosphere of contemplative quiet, of stillness via settings where the viewer may experience, in a personal way, a quiet moment to reflect on life.”