January 26 – March 9
In the landscape of life in the 22nd century, where natural resources, and even human life, seem to dangle precariously in the grip of forces often mired in ideality or profitability, the Alva Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of works by painter Mark McKee, photographer Jay Seeley and sculptor Gar Waterman that defies this sense of heedless waste. RE-FORMED: New Works from Found Objects will open on January 26 with a reception from 5 to 8pm and will continue to be on exhibition until March 9.
Mark McKee, a Stonington resident and self-taught artist until 1992, graduated from the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts in 1998 and was the recipient of their coveted John Stobart Fellowship. While utilizing the classical medium of oil paint on canvas as the anchor for his work, he adds such unorthodox contemporary materials as recycled wood and sheet metal, salvaged building materials and found objects. The juxtaposing of a sometimes meticulously painted narrative with the haphazard qualities of the salvaged materials creates a dialogue, and at times an argument, between the illusional and the real.
Jay Seeley, a Professor of Art at Wesleyan University, produces digital prints that are rich in real objects arranged in both narrative and illusional compositions. His career as a photographer has found him “doing the right thing, but at the wrong time”. Despite years of negative feedback, Seeley never stopped working or lost his interest in collage form and the aesthetic of the collector. His photographs are saturated with color and filled with “collected” objects, easily recognizable but often set in provocative groupings. Seeley’s career-long interest in rendering photographs in ink on art paper has led to experimentation with many processes, but he seems to have found his ideal in the medium of ink jet printing.
Gar Waterman of New Haven has spent most of his career as a sculptor working with organic images rendered in marble. Severe tendonitis has caused him to abandon the hammer and chisel in favor of the blowtorch. Created from carefully chosen remnants of the industrial world, his new Tin Men series explores the uneasy marriage of man and anonymous machines. Engaging the traditional paradigm in art of the figure in the context of a particular landscape, the Tin Men occupy a mythological future, set in a science fiction past that includes vestiges of the present. They mock our obsession with war machines, and imitate our extravagant love affair with fabricated architectural environments that inevitably become reflections of our own impermanence.