Mary Hrbacek “Vital Connections: New Works”

Gallery d’Arte

poster for Mary Hrbacek “Vital Connections: New Works”
[Image: Mary Hrbacek “Queen Connected” (2016) acrylic on linen, 40 x 40 in. ]

This event has ended.

Gallery d’Arte presents “Vital Connections, New Works by Mary Hrbacek,” curated by gallery director Suechung Koh.

Featuring select nature-oriented acrylic paintings and charcoal drawings, the exhibition explores in a poetic context the interconnections that exist in the natural life of trees, which parallel the networks that humans establish in their own myriad social media interrelationships. The show marks Hrbacek’s first solo exhibition with Gallery d’Arte.

Hrbacek is a visual artist who began closely observing trees in their diverse manifestations in 1994, when she began to make daily drawings in Riverside Park and also worked from live models in a drawing class at the Art Students League, NY. One day her vision changed; the human physique and tree limbs merged in her psyche as she realized the similarities between human anatomical features and the bio-forms and limbs of trees that mirror them. Since then, a number of articles have appeared that investigate trees’ network of bonds in the natural world. Evidently, trees emit chemical signals that warn other trees of danger; they shift to make way for closely growing trees to receive unblocked sunlight. At her summer place in Vermont Hrbacek has observed how flowers and trees migrate when their current space becomes too crowded.

Sentimental as it may sound she feels that trees are friends, whose constancy amounts to a bond of caring. In NYC when a tree, on which she based her painting “Harlem Mother and Child III,” was cut down to display a sign on a basketball court, she was deeply saddened. Hrbacek supports landscape and nature oriented art as a genre that has waned since the “culture wars” of the 1990’s, when Lacanian curators grew weary of viewing green fields topped by lines of rounded tree set on the horizon. She believes it is time for a revival of reinvigorated notions of landscape art for the 21st century and affirms a UNESCO Declaration of the Universal Rights of Trees that is currently being sponsored by the United Nations.

In this exhibition Hrbacek’s themes probe such human-tree correlations as the mother-child relationship, seen in “Baby Luv III,” and “Harlem Mother and Child III,”as well as the relationship of parts to the whole in “Split Decision III.” In her paintings “Message Received” and “Queen Connected” she examines the connections of trees to their networks.
Using non-toxic acrylic paint thinly applied Hrbacek’s sculptural paintings focus on compositional shapes and the space between tree-forms as her sphere of particular interest. Since acrylic is less suited than oil paint for heavy impasto touches her attention is fixed instead on creating a convincing image, and on the technical aspect of mixing the exact tones that make her color relationships vibrant. Her paintings are based on digital photographs and charcoal drawings that reveal striking motifs from NYC, Ireland and England where she visited on her summer journeys in 2014 and 2015.

Hrbacek recently received (2015) the Carole A. Feuerman Sculpture Foundation, ESKFF Foundation, MANA Contemporary, and The Helis Foundation financial grant award for her artworks exhibited in “Mixing Medias” at MANA Contemporary. She also received the Juror’s Prize from director Ann Philbin of the Drawing Center, at “The American Drawing Biennial VI,” Muscarelle Museum (College of William and Mary), VA. This year her work was included in “Whispers” at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete, a show that will travel to the State Museum of Contemporary Art of Thessalonica in 2017. Hrbacek also participated in the 2016 Mykonos Biennial. Since 2009 she has had four solo exhibitions at CREON in New York City.



from May 04, 2016 to May 29, 2016

Opening Reception on 2016-05-12 from 18:00 to 20:00


Mary Hrbacek

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