Francesco Longenecker "Animated Landscapes"


poster for Francesco Longenecker "Animated Landscapes"

This event has ended.

RARE presents a solo exhibition of new paintings and drawings by Francesco Longenecker. The show, titled Animated Landscapes, runs from November 18 through December 23, and marks the artist's second one-person exhibition with the gallery.

Longenecker's paintings reveal fragmented landscapes and architectural forms that appear to be simultaneously growing and decomposing, continuously morphing before the viewers' eyes like jigsaw puzzles in a state of constant flux. Similarly, his multi-layered ink & graphite drawings demonstrate a chaotic interchangeability of positive and negative space that results in a frantic visual chase where images recede just as they are being perceived.

Animated by multiple perspectives, the artist's paintings convey shape-shifting qualities. They offer Technicolor swamps and gardens populated by implied structures that alternate between deep and collapsed space. Plant-like armatures rise and melt into one another, frozen in some spaces and thawed out in others. Backgrounds and foregrounds spill into each other. Objects and the landscapes in which they are embedded appear to have been shredded and woven back together to create composite terrains, at once familiar and yet inscrutable.

Constructing visual tableaus that uncannily resemble Rubik's Cubes or Transformer action toys in mid-transformation, Longenecker conjures up images that are on the verge of becoming recognizable but have not quite reached a state of full comprehensibility. He thereby challenges viewers to piece together the imagery of his artwork, while at the same time allowing them to discover new descriptive qualities for his entities and their environments.

For this artist, image and process are intimately joined together. With each painting, he starts with a generalized notion of "landscape," frequently inspired by images of National Parks garnered from vintage postcards and stereoscopic slides. Through a process of adding, subtracting, and interweaving, he eventually arrives at an image that is so closely bound up with his process that the two become inseparable, with the end result left tantalizingly open-ended. As Longenecker states, "Half the time I am fitting the painting into my idea of a landscape, the other half I am changing my idea to fit what is happening with the application. It's a lucid process leading to arrival at an unforeseen landscape, like an expedition of Lewis and Clark." His process gives us room to understand the nature of reality as we try visually and mentally to work backwards, through a reconstructive process, to the original imagery that may have been the inspiration for the artist's fantastical new worlds.



from November 18, 2010 to December 23, 2010

Opening Reception on 2010-11-18 from 18:00 to 21:00

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