K E N I S E B AR N E S F I N E AR T
Life, Observed. Brett Eberhardt, Susan Homer, and Francis Sills November 4 â€“ December 22, 2017
K E N I S E BAR N E S F I N E AR T Was founded in 1994 on the belief that art is essential We are a gallery and art consulting firm representing emerging and mid-career, investment-quality artists. Our program includes over fifty artists working in a variety of mediums. The gallery mounts more than a dozen exhibitions annually in our exhibition space in Larchmont, NY as well as curating exhibitions for outside venues. Kenise Barnes Fine Art is an experienced art consulting firm. We guide both residential and corporate collectors and work collaboratively with designers and architects to provide and source artwork for projects of all sizes. Our client list includes New York University Langone Medical Center, Montefiore Medical Center, Bank of America Art Program, Pfizer Corporation, Citibank Art Advisory, Vicente Wolf Associates, and numerous museums and private collectors. Kenise Barnes, director Kenise@kbfa.com Lani Holloway, gallery manager Lani@kbfa.com B. Avery Syrig, sales and administrative assistance Avery@kbfa.com 1947 Palmer Avenue, Larchmont, New York 10538
914 834 8077
Francis Sills Floral Still Life, 2017 oil on linen 20 x 24 inches $3600.
Francis Sills Summer Garden II, 2017 oil on linen 24 x 30 inches $4800.
opposite page: Floral Stil Life II (detail)
Francis Sills Floral Still Life II, 2017 oil on linen 20 x 24 inches $3600.
Francis Sills Summer Garden I (detail)
Francis Sills Summer Garden I, 2017 oil on linen 24 x 30 inches $4800.
There are many ways in which the thing I am trying in vain to say may be tried in vain to be said. - Samuel Beckett Gaston Bachelard’s widely influential The Poetics of Space takes on the subject of inhabited spaces and the role these spaces have in our psyche, giving our imagined selves a place to reside. In the poem “The Blue House,” Tomas Tranströmer, 2011 recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature, refers to his house: “It has stood more than eighty summers. Its wood is impregnated with four times joy and three times sorrow”. My paintings are about impregnated surfaces and objects. I have become transfixed by blemishes and remnants in the material world around me. They initiate thoughts of time, the lives of others, mortality, happenstance and the symbiotic relationship between us and the spaces and objects that surround us. These spaces and objects affect us deeply and we affect them, altering them over time, both purposefully and inadvertently. To make one’s own appreciation understood and compelling to another is extremely difficult, especially when that appreciation falls on subjects as stark and plain as the worn surfaces, static objects and spare spaces depicted in my paintings. Painting has a long history of making the banal compelling, but I hesitate to claim this as my sole purpose. My motivation to transform into paint what I am drawn to visually stems from the desire to offer something new, something tangible only in the form of a painting. It is important that these images are constructed with this material, not simply to put emphasis on a subject that might otherwise be overlooked, but for the discovery and possibilities of the medium used to construct the image. “The medium is the message”, Marshall McLuhan famously wrote. My paintings of the painting paraphernalia in my studios and my painting process merge the subject with the medium and embrace the state of flux and arbitrariness of the objects and surfaces that exist in spaces designated to painting. It is a romantic idea, projecting such meaning on inanimate objects and spaces, yet supported by phenomenology. As we spend time with objects and in spaces, what was once ordinary can psychologically gain meaning. In Dave Hickey’s controversial essay: “Enter the Dragon: On the Vernacular of Beauty” he writes, “The comfort of the familiar always bears with it the frisson of the exotic, and the effect of this conflation, ideally, is persuasive excitement—visual pleasure.” I choose subjects whose histories are in dialog with my process of making a painting. It is through the accumulation of glances, assembled moments and chance occurrences in my efforts to describe these subjects in paint that the viewer is invited to reach the contemplative state I am after—a new awareness of our most simple surroundings and the often unconscious impact these spaces and objects have on our lives. I make people pay attention to nothing because I think the whole world is there, not just the material world, but time, change and the combination of randomness and deliberateness that makes us and the things around us what we and they are.
installation view: In Solitude, Where We Art Least Alone, November â€“ December 2015, Kenise Barnes Fine Art
detail: Hallway Corner
Brett Eberhardt Hallway Corner, 2017 oil on panel 23.5 x 23.5 inches $4000.
detail: Plastic Cup
Brett Eberhardt Plastic Cup, 2017 oil on panel 11 x 11 inches $1500.
detail: Hallway Floor
Brett Eberhardt Hallway Floor, 2016-'17 oil on panel 36 x 36 inches $6000.
studio view Susan Homer
In my studio, I give voice to what I cannot explain in words. I indulge my love of pattern and material, I create new stories based on old ones, and I imagine what I cannot know: How would it be to experience one’s house or garden when nobody is in it? How would it feel to be a robin perched on a teacup or on the branch of a flowering tree? I spin elements of the world around me and within me into artistic form. My larger paintings evolve over months and, along the way, seem to develop minds of their own. I compose the elements initially, but at a certain point in our conversation, the process becomes more democratic and these same elements command an organization more naturally suited to them. By contrast, my small still life paintings are more deliberate. I establish the composition at the outset and it rarely veers. Like fugitive guests, the birds are unplanned. They enter later and perch where there’s room. I see my work as a threshold between the past and the present. At one level, as I finish a piece, it literally becomes a record of my past action. On another, the subjects I have long chosen to depict—birds, flowers, and patterns—are of personal and emotional significance, or records of a different sort. The dishes and linens were my grandmother’s; the flowers are often from my Brooklyn garden; and the patterned scrims recall the wallpapers and fabrics that have surrounded me. My work, like an old house, contains many levels of memories. My love of what I paint and my reasons for painting it are personal. They come from the depths of my experience and underlie everything I make. Within the patterns of daily life and the process of making art, I find constancy. Yet, it is the gentle upheavals in both that are at the heart of my work.
opposite page: Here and There, detail
Susan Homer Chasing Ghosts, 2017 oil on linen 48 x 36 inches $7000.
detail: Here and There
Susan Homer Here and There, 2017 oil on canvas 49 x 28 inches $6500.
detail: Sewing at Night
Susan Homer Sewing at Night, 2017 oil on canvas 48 x 40 inches $7500.
photo credit: Susan Fisher Photography
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New paintings by Brett Eberhardt, Susan Homer, and Francis Sills