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Verdant: Recent Work by Mark Lavatelli

Firehouse, Mark Lavatelli


Verdant: Recent Work by Mark Lavatelli 

 Indigo Art 
47 Allen St., Buffalo

opening this Friday, October 6th from 6 to 9 PM 

and continuing through November 5th

Gallery talk by Lavatelli on Saturday, October 14th at 1 PM  

The exhibition consists of recent encaustic paintings and encaustic monotypes, many of which were done during an artist residency at the Vermont Studio Center in March. 
Gallery website

My recent encaustic paintings combine tree images with color shapes. Stripes of varying widths and lengths merge with and overlap trunk and branch structures. Often emphasizing negative spaces, the dynamic diagonal compositions echo areas of deadfall timber in the Sandia Mountains of New Mexico that were seminal subjects during graduate school in the late 1970’s.  Since then my principal painting subjects have been trees and geometric abstraction.  The paintings’ titles refer to locations of trees that are their starting points.
In earlier paintings I included words that identify environmental concerns, but the recent political turmoil has led me to pursue instead the pure aesthetic enjoyment of color relationships.  The simple visual pleasure of seeing two colors next to each other underlies my basic desire to paint.
An installation of slowly shifting diagonal and vertical color stripes forms a kinetic imitation of the paintings.  And a grid of charcoal tree drawings serves as an antidote to the near riot of color in the show.  I call these drawings  “starters” because each drawing initiated a monotype print as the charcoal was transferred onto a thin layer of wax on the hotplate at room temperature.  This became the first of a series of print runs subsequently enriched by tracing and applying encaustic to shapes on Duralar, which then became an alternative printing surface.