Survey: Lynn Boggess, Lui Ferreyra, Jivan Lee

Nancy Lovendahl: The Reclamation Suite

William Havu Gallery

September 29 - November 11, 2017

  • Opening Reception: Friday, September 29th 6-9pm
Ferreyra coincidentia oppositorum 5
Lui Ferreyra - Coincidentia Oppositorum 5
Oil on canvas - 36" x 48"

About Survey, featured painter, Jivan Lee stated “It’s a landscape show, but with a diversity of sentiment. Each artist’s approach plays with geometry, but assembles it differently. Each has a rhythm, but the works move in their own ways and each is painted, but the voice of the paint is distinct. It’s all landscape verging on abstraction; landscape as a starting point to enter the material and sensation of paint as much as the scene depicted.” Boggess, Ferreyra and Lee spend a lot of time on location in the elements, bringing about three distinct, personal interpretations.

William Havu Gallery
1040 Cherokee Street
Denver CO 80204


Since the early 2000's Colorado painter, Lui Ferreyra has been working with a signature fragmented style. His technique, which is arguably the most prominent feature of his work, should not be thought of as mere embellishment. There's a double move at play here. The first move is substantiated by a geometric matrix which functions as surface: it embraces and emphasizes the aspect of flatness within a complex network of geometric shapes, each unique unto itself. The second move is fulfilled by the cumulative effect of all the shapes functioning together as a color-field in which each shape contextualizes every other shape, thereby providing all the necessary visual cueing to manifest a kind of window one can look through. Surface and window, at and through, like language which points both at the world and back at itself.

The formal interplay between flatness and three-dimensionality in Ferreyra's work is managed by an adherence to technical limitations. For instance, the quality of flatness is achieved through the dispensation of gradation, which in traditional representational painting is used to convey naturalism or even realism. Instead, solid shapes are made to bump up edge to edge along interlacing linear boundaries. Therefore, any effect toward three-dimensionality is achieved by the relative tightness of the breakdown pattern, much in the way digital imagery depends on dots per inch to achieve lo-res or hi-res results. In his technique, Ferreyra seeks a happy-medium in which the image is neither completely spelled out nor completely impenetrable. One can choose to dwell within the surface of the work, or slip through into the simulated space the shapes help to contextualize. In this regard, it is the viewer who completes the image in his/her own mind by synthesizing the abstract shapes into a cohesive, intelligible whole. A similar effect was employed by the impressionists during the 19th century. However, instead of brushy pointillism, Ferreyra's work is imbued by the all-pervasive digital character of our own 21st century; a labyrinthine, fragmented network of connectivity.

The most hidden aspect of Ferreyra's work is what would seem to be the most obvious: the question of subject matter. In his various depictions of figures and landscapes there's an important resistance against narrative cues. Typically, narrative interpretation takes on a primary role within the context of western art, and therefore something the western mind is conditioned to look for. In this case, while the possibility for narrative interpretation hasn't been completely obliterated, it does take on a secondary role. In the absence of obvious narrative cues, the emphasis can shift to visual perception, where the eye can adopt a seeing mode instead of a reading mode. In a certain way, the subject-matter of the paintings at hand (i.e. the figure, the landscape, etc.) become the vehicle for the true subject of his work: the breakdown of visual experience itself and its representation.

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