Zaria Forman, Sandra Allen and Huguette May
Our May 2013 show is a tri-partite drawing exhibition of breathtaking proportions. Considerations of scale, detail and close attention to form unite the work of these three artists, but the variation in their choice of subject and individual rendering styles create the characteristic dialogue of the exhibit as a whole.
May is well known for her massive charcoal pencil drawings of knotted ropes. In this exhibition, she uses the same medium to muse over the intricacies of wasps’ nests. Texture and form are brought into focus through May’s delicate and thorough exploration, inviting the viewer to pore over the complexity of these structures that eludes the eye in every-day life. In addition, we are privileged to exhibit some of May’s latest works that include experimentation with photography and collage.
Allen’s focus is on natural elements including the bark of trees. The show includes one of her super-sized drawings entitled Ballast. Ballast is a high contrast vivification of a portion of a tree trunk. The multiple levels of scale on which Allen is able to create intrigue are staggering, and engage the viewer in a complex network of detail.
Forman’s work is illustrative of her observations in magnificent Greenland. She realizes atmosphere, ocean, land, and ice in terms of pastel. Highlights of her drawings include the integration of the elements effortlessly blending into one another and the emphasis on undulating forms that border on abstraction.
Zaria Forman's enthusiasm for drawing began early in her childhood, when she and her family traveled to some of the world's most remote landscapes, the subject of her Mother's fine art photography. A Cum laude graduate in Studio Arts from Skidmore College, Zaria has exhibited extensively at galleries and venues throughout the united states and overseas. She created a series of drawings that served as the set design for the classic ballet "Giselle", which premiered in October, 2012 at the Grand Theatre of Geneva, Switzerland. A number of her drawings were used in the set design for "House of Cards", a Netflix TV series directed by David Fincher and starring Kevin Spacey.
In August 2012, Zaria led Chasing the Light, an arctic art expedition up the North West Coast of Greenland. It was the second expedition to this area whose mission was to create art inspired by the dramatic geography. The first was in 1869 aboard the Panther, led by the American painter William Bradford. Her mother, Rena Bass Forman, had conceived the idea for the voyage, but sadly did not live to see it through. During the months of her illness her dedication to the expedition never wavered and Zaria made a promise to carry out her mother’s final journey to honor her. In Greenland Zaria scattered her ashes amongst crackling ice diamonds, on the towering peak of one of earth’s oldest stones and under the green glow of northern lights. Rena is now a part of the landscape she loved so much.
Following a section of the Panther route, Chasing the Light found several locations photographed by John Dunmore and George Critcherson, the photographers hired by Bradford to help him document the voyage. As Bradford did in the nineteenth century, Zaria refers in my work to photographs she captured in Greenland, her sketches drawn en route, and most importantly her memory of the experience.
“With my Greenland series I attempt to capture the ephemeral properties of arctic light. I am interested in the element of water and how it absorbs and reflects the light in its various forms. The forms that we easily recognize are water, cloud, and ice; these are essential elements that inspire my compositions. I am also interested in the transition between these states and enjoy the challenge of translating such sublime experiences into my work. The different forms of illuminated water give rise to the dreamy, atmospheric scenes that I hope will transport the viewer to this remote region of the earth, and encourage action to preserve it.” - Zaria Forman
May was born in 1951 in Ottawa, Canada, but grew up in Toledo, Ohio. Her earliest art experiences were drawing copies of Catholic holy cards which depict religious figures. As a child, May explored the field and woods around her home, establishing a deep affinity with nature which continues to nourish her art.
May studied classical technique in drawing and painting at the Schuler School of Fine Arts in Baltimore from 1985-86. She went on to study photography at Dundalk Community College in Baltimore, earning an AA degree in 1991. Photography has helped to hone May’s sensitivity to light, tonality, and composition, later expressed in her drawings. She received a BFA in 2003 and an MFA in 2006 from The School of Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. May has worked as an illustrator and in the 1990s owned and operated Art & Image a professional digital photography and restoration business. Working in pastel, her early series included drawings of maple seeds and a group of closely observed still lifes with a vanitas theme.
A formative experience in graduate school was a project in a drawing class involving a model, a prop, and a reproduction of a print, which in May’s case was Durer’s The Adoration of The Magi. What caught her eye in the print was a length of hanging rope, which she greatly enlarged in her own drawing. For May, the rope was a subject that was visually and technically engaging, and evocative of the human issues which she wanted to address in her work.
May’s work has been exhibited in the Pastel Society of America Annual Exhibition, New York; The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Navio Artisans Collective, New Bedford MA. Her work has been featured in four issues of Studio Visit Magazine. The Hawser Series of rope drawings along with the Hawser Details suite of photographs are currently on an eleven venue tour of university galleries and museums in the Eastern Seaboard and Southeast United States.
"Images of trees, the trunks and dormant branches, became the subject of my drawings in 1998. The minimal yet intricate trunks and branches often elicit an iconic presence that speaks metaphorically of life, the capacity to withstand challenges and the desire to continue on. The drawings are made in graphite on paper often at a large scale. On the two dimensional surface I am trying to empower the work with a sculptural presence. Through scale, attention to surface texture and the play of light over form, the graphite takes on a materiality more akin to paint than pencil. The slow process of creating the drawings, building up marks on a page, mimics in time the physical growth of the trees themselves and captures the expanse of time on paper." - Sandra Allen, 2013
Dedeeshattuckgallery@gmail.com | 508. 636. 4177 | 1 Partners' Lane, Westport, MA 02790 | W - Sat, 10 - 5, Sun 12 - 5