Amused by Nature


PII Gallery is pleased to present Amused by Nature – a group show featuring works of several artists for whom Nature is a Muse. The exhibition opens on Friday, October 5, 2018 and will be on view in Philadelphia till the 29th of October. After it will travel to New York City to ArtUpstairs, the newly opened Upper East Side exhibition space.

Landscape - an important subject matter in Eastern school of traditional painting has emerged on the West as an independent genre only in the beginning of the 17th century Nederland, facilitated by rising interest of Protestant growing middle class. During the next three centuries landscape continued to gain prominence in the history of Western art. The genre still retains its popularity among both collectors and artists, who explored and reinterpreted the timeless subject through various styles and movements. For this show four artists and one photographer go to the essentials of the landscape, presenting their different views through various media.

The natural beauty starts with the sunlight. Captured on canvases by Asya Livshits, it transforms her gusto oil paintings into windows, - light sources that can lit up a room. The energetic brush strokes, which characterize her work, call to mind the joie de vivre of French impressionists that she follows in her interpretation of Nature, both curious and naive, both fragile and strong. She uses color as a mode of expression and records in paint the effect of light and weather. One feels intensity of her stare and strength of feelings that overwhelmed her heart: love for the place in a moment she chose to capture, sadness for the inevitable parting, grief for the loss, longing for the memory and above all – an irresistible joy of painting, - an excitement that could not be satisfied with a snapshot.

Alexey Krasnovsky’s vibrant watercolors are loaded with melancholy, poetry and ecstasy. His landscapes emanate powerful emotional response and challenge a viewer to contemplate escape from crowded cities to a place, where natural harmony, quite pastoral beauty and pastoral simplicity prevails. The late artist traveled extensively in search of an ideal Arcadian landscape. Alexey’s work is deeply impacted by paintings of Cezanne and other Post Impressionists. Like theirs, his plein air paintings present a harmonious, balanced, and timeless mood and are based on his study of real nature.

Bruce Waldman’s powerful hand-colored etchings make us travel through time to the origins of Flemish masters and emotional power of Goya. His compositions are infused with passion and drama. The vibrancy and forcefulness of his lines and rich textures of his layered aquatints make us rediscover the might of the art of drawing.

The small scale of Julia Nitsberg’ s monoprints and monotypes series compels a viewer to draw near in order to examine the details of each print in its immediacy and to appreciate the intimacy of the experience. Influenced by Andy Warhol’s ideas, Julia’s vistas are not drawn from nature but inspired by memory or borrowed freely from a famous painting. Her prints are also results of the continuous experimentations with media intended for multiple reproductions, - a premise she challenges constantly, striving to achieve a unique image with imprint of artist touch. Color plays a central role in setting the tone and emotional charge of the scene and enables her to capture an ephemeral moment through the subtle changes in a painterly surface.

Strangely tinted, purposefully overexposed and blurred by reductive focus Mikhail Prosmushkin’s photographs are the unique juxtapositions of nature and imaginary world. Disguised with painterly textures his atmospheric landscapes verge on abstraction. His use of prospective leaps from distanced to close up focus echoed cinematic principles. Influenced by the postmodern rejection of an objective natural reality Mikhail emphasizes personalization and engages a viewer in discourse about the "construction" of truth.

Asya Livshits, Julia Nitsberg, Bruce Waldman, Alexey Kraznovsky, Mikhail Prosmushkin

Amused by Nature

Ocotber 5 – 29, 2018