January 29 – March 5, 2016
- Openinge Reception: Friday January 29th from 6-9pm
Julie Bell - Behind the Veil - 42x36 - oil on wood
Abend Gallery is proud to present Animalia, our first exhibition of 2016 opening on January 29, a survey of the depiction of animals and wildlife in representational painting. Through captivating portraits, fantastical settings, and incredible technique, this group of artists present a look into the ways in which we relate to animals in art.
This well-rounded group of artists come from various backgrounds and locations, such as Yael Maimon and Benjamin Björklund, both making their US debut in this exhibition. Benjamin Björklund, hailing from Uppsala, Sweden, will be contributing three works, including two pieces that depict his companion and muse, a Great Dane named Solomon, both of which capture a presence and personality rarely seen in such subjects. In Maimon’s works, we see numerous portrayals of strays and alley cats; this series is informed by the artists experience working in animal rescue centers in Israel, her birthplace.
Each artist is armed with a unique sense and perspective on the subjects they portray. From the hyper-realistic Brahmans of Teresa Elliot to the hilarious anthropomorphic marmots of Henry Schreiber, there is something for everyone in this exhibition. While some of the artists are dedicated to rendering the animals faithfully and in their natural settings, others treat their subjects as allegorical symbols imbued with layers of meaning, such as the works of Julie Bell and Kevin Sloan. This aspect is seen specifically in Bell’s staggering work Behind the Veil, which features a cavalcade of zebras engaged in an energetic yet ambiguous struggle. Similarly, in Sloan’s Our Modern Animal, we see an octopus intertwined with a number of manmade objects, including power cords, candles, and numerous clocks, perched and balanced atop a small globe; the work is rife with symbolism and one could spend hours peeling back the layers.
Stylistically there couldn’t be more variation. While some artists opt for more realistic representations (Lindsey Kustusch) others favor a more abstract perspective (Thibault Jandot). What this exhibition reveals is that no matter what the setting, style or technique, the use of animals as subject matter continues to be engaging and important in the realm of art. The role they play in our lives as companions, or as creatures we observe from afar, their sense of mystery and beauty continues to inspire artists and captivate viewers.
Abend Gallery Fine Art was established in 1990 and offers an extensive collection of fine art from fresh, contemporary work to traditional, representational painting by national and internationally recognized professional artists.
2260 East Colfax
Denver, CO 80206
Tue-Sat: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm