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Up With People


April 27-May 25

Closing Reception:
Saturday, May 25, 4:00-6:00pm

Curated by Patrick Neal

Hilary Doyle
Megan Marden
Brian Cirmo
Elena Sisto
Danny Licul
John Mulvaney
Mark Milroy
Claire Stankus

Approaching 2020, the artworld is seeing a resurgence of figurative painting. Whether it is a desire to experience diversity in the depiction of human subjects, a yearning to explore pockets of modernism yet untapped, or an exhaustion from irony and citation, pictures of people have a staying force that never seems to ebb.

The paintings in Up With People are gestural and tactile and suggest a collective human family seen in the round. They include direct portraits of the self, relatives, friends and strangers, or peripheral moments caught in action. A few offer traces of the human presence as depicted through personal ephemera while others are strange and surreal imaginings of people in odd places. The works reveal snapshots, suggest a series, or possibly an ongoing storyline. They are executed from direct observation and dotted with art historical references, while also borrowing freely from mediated sources like iphoto and instagram, magazines, postcards, models, maquettes, swipe, paper snippets and screenshots.

The exhibition Up With People is a nod toward a humanist perspective aimed at empathy and a return to beauty and sincerity. The title is also a jocular play on the controversial educational organization UWP, which combined el- ements of corporate business, hippie subculture and cult activity. This worldly mix of goodwill and best intentions, clouded by dubious underpinnings, could serve as a metaphor for the conflicting values and uneasily coexisting strands with which art history unfurls. Further, it speaks to our Metamodern times, where artists draw from both modernist ideals and postmodern skepticism.

The eight painters participating in Up With People are chosen from the upstate Mohawk Hudson Region, Danbury, CT, Philadelphia, as well as New York City, representing a cross-section of different artist communities.

Pictured: Danny Licul, Sock puppet presentations, #41, 2014, 12"x9", acrylic on canvas


Please Note:
Our gallery has moved down the street to 19 Central Square, next to BenGableSavories.