Lyell Castonguay is a printmaker creating narrative woodcuts that incorporate transparent colors and complex, hand carved patterning. Castonguay’s current body of work depicts the familiar imagery of birds in portraiture and masses, but they are distorted into allegorical beasts. The artist’s interest in avian subjects began six years ago when he was given two juvenile society finches. As they grew, he became fascinated with their distinct personalities. Castonguay eagerly observed them communicating with one another and watched them huddle together at night. These unassuming finches prompted an ongoing series focused on the emotional variety of birds, including: ferocity, restlessness, and uncertainty. Depictions of animals by artists such as Baskin, Frasconi, and Audubon have been a guiding force in this project’s development. Ultimately, Castonguay hopes to compile his growing bestiary of larger-than-life birds into a publication.
Castonguay teaches woodcut at print studios throughout New England. He is also the director of BIG INK (bigink.org), a collaborative project that encourages other artists to practice large woodcut. Castonguay received his BFA from the New Hampshire Institute of Art in 2010 and resides in Easthampton, MA. Forthcoming exhibits include Dedee Shattuck Gallery, Westport, MA; and Castle Agliè, Turin, Italy. Past exhibits include the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea; Fine Art Works Center, Provincetown, MA; Western New England University, Springfield, MA; Bromfield Gallery, Boston, MA; and the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, MA.
Dedee Shattuck Gallery | March 30 - May 1, 2016 | Works on Paper
Dedee Shattuck Gallery | November 11 - December 20, 2015 |