September 7 – October 13
Alva Gallery is pleased to announce two exhibitions of works by New York artists from September 7 to October 13. Margaret Evangeline will present a series of paintings in her ongoing exploration of the life of Marie Antoinette entitled “Antoinette in Violet”, while Robert Ohnigian continues his depiction’s of diminutive settings in “Visionary Landscapes”. There will be a reception for the artists on Friday, September 7 from 5 to 8pm.
Margaret Evangeline is a Baton Rouge born artist whose art often references female historical figures, especially ones that were sexually misrepresented during the times in which they lived. In the case of Marie Antoinette, there were pamphlets circulated during the doomed queen’s lifetime that purported to recount her sexual excesses. Evangeline credits her upbringing in chauvinistic Cajun Louisiana for her preoccupation with sexual suppression. Much of her work speaks to the dangers of being a highly visible woman, ones like Joan of Arc or Cleopatra or Antoinette.
All of this may be on the mind of the artist, but what appears to the viewer are aluminum canvases covered with swatches and drops and drips of translucent oil paint in richly composed colors. By wire brushing the shiny metal surfaces before applying the paint, Evangeline creates a sense of depth and texture beneath it. At times her colors seem to erupt from or ooze out of the canvases and at others they invite us to walk into the paintings, some of which are as large as 8′ x 8′, as through an imaginary scrim in a science fiction movie. Always, as stated in an Art In America review, ” Evangeline reaches a level of visual splendor that is astonishing”.
Though Robert Ohnigian is a native of New York, his work is far from urban. Ohnigian is a collage artist who works with antique papers to create intimate, quiet and poetic images. Ohnigian composes his collages in a palette of earth tones and pale blues and with pieces of torn and patched papers. His “visionary landscapes” talk about the earth and also about the mind. His visions appear before us as represented reality, but with a sense that we may be witnessing a mirage. They shimmer in our imaginations as if they might transform.