Art Lovers

January 27 – February 24

Art lovers are people who love to look at art, right? Yes, sometimes, but for the purposes of this exhibition they are lovers who both produce art. Art Lovers, an exhibition of works by four artistic couples, opens at the Alva Gallery with a reception on January 27 from 5 to 8pm. The show will run until February 24.

Martin Axon is a photographer whose career began in his native England and has been transported to America. The discerning eye and core of calm which mark his platinum prints have made a smooth transition over the Atlantic. When he is not in the darkroom working on his own negatives, he is there printing for other renowned artists like Annie Lebovitz and Chuck Close. While Martin’s lens is usually focused on urban or rural landscapes, for this exhibition he has also found the contours of his wife, Lady McCrady, to be a compelling subject.

As a foil for Martin’s reserve, there is the vigor of Lady McCrady’s strokes and colors. Born in Indiana, her artistic interests brought her to New York early on and she resided and exhibited there for 17 years. In the early 90’s she moved to Connecticut and began filling her large canvases with landscapes and people exploding in primary colors. For this exhibition, she will be including a circle installation of acrobatic figures which will be hung tight to the ceiling.

John and Francine Gintoff met at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and have shared careers as visual merchandisers, creating installations, backdrops and displays for retail, ever since. As artists, however, they are very different. Francine is a painter whose current work consists of long mural-like pastels filled with circus and window display imagery. Like pieces from a masquerade party designed by Miro, the icons float in rich colors on lush backgrounds.

John is a photographer, but not the old-fashioned kind. He often shoots using a Polaroid SX-70 camera. Sometimes he runs the photos through a computer, producing laser prints, or through a copier and sometimes he writes or draws on them. He diplays them in configurations which run from “hang on the wall” to room installation size. In the end, he has used the photographs to produce patterns of shading and color and meaning.

Priscilla and Lee Henderson are the only “lovers” in this group who produce collaborative pieces. Priscilla is a fiber artist and Lee is a woodworker, when not involved in his day job as a medical researcher. The imaginatively conceived vessels and spheres that they create out of rattan and hard maple, sometimes give way to the unimaginable, such as tea sets and undergarments.

Graduates of the BFA program at the Rhode Island School of Design, Gabriel Warren and Ana Flores are both elemental artists. Ana’s sculptures and paintings are filled with materials, either physically or metaphorically, gathered from her life in Rhode Island and coastal Nova Scotia. Her residences and her Cuban background inform the references to the sea which permeates much of her work.

Gabriel Warren’s sculptures are also connected to water, but in the form of ice. He has traveled extensively in Antarctica and Alaska and Newfoundland studying the glaciers, ice sheets and shelves, icebergs and floes in order to provide himself with the geological background that informs his work. Most recently this couple spent six months in New Zealand teaching. There they immersed themselves in the cultural traditions of the country, as well as its archeological and geological background. How they have individually interpreted this experience is informative and fascinating.

Martin Axon   |   Ana Flores   |   Francine Gintoff   |   John Gintoff   |   Priscilla and Lee Henderson
Lady McCrady   |   Gabriel Warren