Isabel MATTIA is a familiar and beloved name at the Dedee Shattuck Gallery. She was the Lead Curator of the gallery from 2011 to 2015, and is largely responsible for the aesthetic and functional direction of the gallery. We're delighted to have her work finally exhibited in the space she helped create. Mattia's sculptures are conceptual and narrative-based, working with irony, literature, current events, and history. As she writes of the invitation image, Circular Logic:
What happens when structure is solidified around circular logic? This piece imagines this question as a sculptural drawing. The lines repeat, revolve into each other, diverge and converge, but all connect in a spherical shape. The intersections of the steel brushstrokes are solidified in concrete. The concrete flakes and cracks as the sculpture moves, due to the tension and fragility of the substrate. Angela Davis writes about the circular logic embedded in the design of our prison systems. They rely on the perception that certain people are inherently criminalized, and are self perpetuating due to financial incentives to keep these people incarcerated. Many Americans believe our prison systems to be unjust, corrupt, and ineffective, but refuse to imagine a change, fearing the people inside and believing that prisons are too tightly woven into the fabric of our society to become disentangled. This piece reminds us that if structure is built on circular logic, it will fail. Our prison systems are just one example of this truth."
A graduate of Brown University, Mattia's work has been exhibited at the New Bedford Art Museum, The Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Arts at Brown University, and the David Winton Bell Gallery. She is a recipient of the Marlene Malik Grant for Sculpture and the Roberta Joslin Award for Excellence in Art.
Elena BRIA was born in Moldova in 1992 and currently lives in Russia. Curator Ben Shattuck discovered her work in Saint Petersburg. In his words:
It was a freezing and snowy November night in Saint Petersburg when I met Elena on the steps of the Imperial Academy of Arts. Another painter had written days earlier, urging me to visit her studio. "She's the best at the Academy," he wrote. "Go see her." I sent her a message (translated into Russian), and we made plans to meet the night before I took the train to Moscow -- where I'd interview other artists. After passing through the imposing doors of the Imperial Academy, walking down the columned cloisters surrounding a snowy courtyard, climbing a drafty and stone staircase filled with Russian art students smoking in the dark, we finally arrived at the top floor. Her studio, she said as we walked in, was where Ilya Repin worked. Taking off my jacket, I told her I only had twenty minutes to look. Then she started pulling out paintings from the storage racks. I stayed for over an hour.
The Dedee Shattuck Gallery is excited to be the first gallery in the United States to show the work of Elena Bria, a painter whose career is sure to skyrocket. Her loose and precise brushwork reminds one of 19th-century American masters like John Singer Sargent. She will be part of the Young Russian Artists exhibit opening on May 25th (reception May 27th 5-7pm).
TIMOTHY POWERS WILSON
Timothy POWERS WILSON is a Maine-based painter who spends as much time working on the rocky coastline as he does in his studio. Wilson imbues each work with the thickly-painted gusto that one would see from landscape and seascape painters like JMW Turner or Albert Pinkham Ryder. The paintings carry the experience of working by the storm-tossed sea or under a calm summer evening beside the looming silhouettes of trees. He uses palette knives, paint scrapers, brushes, rags, and his fingers to render these records in the wild. Wilson was the Artist-in-Residence at the Dedee Shattuck Gallery in 2015, and has shown at galleries across the United States.