For Immediate Release
June 2018

Janet Gorzegno

SOULS AT DAWN

May 22 – June 16, 2018

Reception: Thursday, May 24, 5-8 pm

Janet Gorzegno explores the liminal and transitional in her paintings for Souls at Dawn at Bowery Gallery. This collection of richly nuanced works in gouache on paper points to the spiritual dimension of human experience, with the recurring motif of the human head appearing as a symbol of consciousness. Inspired by the shimmering moment when night meets day, Gorzegno’s work invites contemplation on themes of awakening, death and transformation.

The personages depicted in this mysterious yet captivating group of paintings seem at once ancient and contemporary, individual and universal. Discovering their form from within, Gorzegno invents the heads for her paintings from imagination, yet some seem to possess distinct personalities or missions as compassionate emissaries, guides or figures from mythology.

Shown mostly in profile, the heads in Gorzegno’s paintings seem wrapped in stillness, as if attending a shift in consciousness that has not yet happened but is about to occur. In most works, the head form is the central focus, while in others the scene is more expansive as a visual metaphor for the space inhabited by dreams or meditative states. Some of the works comprise multiple heads that seem in communication with one another.

Gorzegno's paintings fully embody their subject, inspired in part by the sacred art tradition of icon painting. Although not based in any particular canon of icon creation, several of Gorzegno's works are “icon-like” as they explore the thresholds of visual tension between naturalistic portrayal and vivid abstraction (an icon is at its best when the opposite poles of intellect and sensation find balance).

As Gorzegno tenderly paints her faces via subtle permutations of light, her bold jewel-like geometries connect the ethereal with the concrete. In her essay, Everything Shines as it Disappears, author Britanni Sonnenberg has written on Gorzegno’s work: “The heart, it seems, has risen to the head”.

Gorzegno's paintings fully embody their subject, inspired in part by the sacred art tradition of icon painting. Although not based in any particular canon of icon creation, several of Gorzegno's works are “icon-like” as they explore the thresholds of visual tension between naturalistic portrayal and vivid abstraction (an icon is at its best when the opposite poles of intellect and sensation find balance).

Souls at Dawn is Janet Gorzegno’s fifth solo exhibition at Bowery Gallery. Gorzegno’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in numerous juried and invitational shows. Her abiding interest in sacred art forms has led her to engage in hands-on study of icon writing and Thangka painting with Master practitioners. She studied visual art at Drew University and the New York Studio School, and received her MFA in Painting from Yale University. She currently lives in Mississippi where she teaches drawing and painting as a Professor of Art for The University of Southern Mississippi.

View of works in the exhibition here.

Gallery hours are 11am to 6pm Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, please contact the gallery at 646-230-6655 or info@bowerygallery.org

 

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