October 11 - November 18, 2018 ● Opening Reception: October 11, 6 - 8 PM
440 Gallery is pleased to present Real People I’ve Never Met, a solo exhibition of figurative oil paintings by Janet Pedersen. This is Pedersen’s first solo show at the gallery and is a body of work produced during the past year.
Pedersen’s studio paintings are based on iPhone images that she snaps on New York City streets while keenly observing people on the go. “I have always been interested in figures in movement within the city in motion. As a landscape and figurative painter, there’s no better backdrop. These paintings are about private and intimate moments: the walker deep in thought, a woman touching up her makeup on a moving train, two co-workers on a cigarette break. Here are the urban scenes that we come across every day, and it is all on full display.”
The creative challenge for Pedersen was how to move beyond traditional representation in order to build dynamic compositions. Using abstracted features and conscientiously redesigning boundaries through color and shape, light and shadow, Pedersen all the while holds on to the simple human gestures that made her stop to stare in the first place. She cites influences as the Bay Area Figurative Movement artists Richard Diebenkorn, David Park and Joan Brown for their approach to painting the figure and ordinary scenes of life.
A graduate of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, Pedersen currently lives in Brooklyn NY. Before turning to fine art painting, she enjoyed a successful career as an illustrator of 17 children’s books including four that she authored. Clients included noted publishers Candlewick Press, Clarion, Random House and Penguin Books. Pedersen is an online instructor of figure drawing through the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, and when she is not painting in the studio, she is on her bike with easel and paints in tow, on that never-ending pursuit to chase the light in her Brooklyn neighborhood.
Janet’s work has been widely exhibited and can be found in collections both domestically and abroad.
Project Space: “Compelling Reasons” by Barnet, Lunsford, Makon
On a personal level, 2018 has been insanely busy for Richard Barnet and he has turned to drawing and watercolor to visualize and give some coherence to his often-rushed and distracted thoughts. Barnet says of this new work “Monument is a premonition of where the disgraceful state of global politics continues to exist. How I Think is a reflection on my state of mind when I made it this summer. I am interested in symbols and meanings, as well as designs in my work, yet acknowledge that any additional statements about context and content is often best left to others to interpret as they will”.
Nancy Lunsford continues her portrait work, started last year, to honor and recognize African American and Civil Rights leaders. Her small-scale portraits are done on wood panels with a technique that uses burned and charred mark making. While some well-known figures are shown, most of Nancy’s attention is devoted to those who have not received widespread recognition for their contributions to American history and progress.
Joy Makon is showing new watercolors done in her studio during the hot summer. “I didn’t have to go too far from home for the inspiration for these two works. A July Sparkler is from my backyard and Local Sunset is from a nearby busy intersection. Both paintings explore the phenomena that occurs when our vision is challenged in both harsh, bright sunlight and during twilight. What we see is filled with ambiguity: details blur into shadows, which blur into darkness. In both works, while I paid close attention to certain forms, the majority of the image is what we think is there, but is only implied.