img_0636“Autocycles,” the latest twists in the lifelong evolution of paintings by Matt Carone, will open at ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries at 7 p.m. Friday, Mar. 6th.

Largely inspired by his 45-year friendship with the famed Chilean painter Roberto Matta, Carone’s paintings recently took a turn toward a more patterned abstraction.

According to the artist, the new subtly toned works “seem to be an opening of a new door of automatism.

“The approach is similar to the past works but the image is arrived at more spontaneously and graphically,” Carone says. “Subconscious symbols and rhythmic gestures relating to each other or canceling each other out seem to be the building blocks to the final statement.

“The seed,” he acknowledges, “was planted by Matta.”

Like the abstract expressionists, Carone seeks “a spontaneous image as a consequence of a gesture…dictated more by the subconscious than by a rational, disclplined procedure.”

Carone became interested in art as an adolescent during the summer of 1944, when he was asked to model for Hans Hoffman. His older brother, the well-known painter Nicolas Carone, was studying with Hoffman.

Through his brother and years of involvement in art, Carone has had a close association with many of the era’s most famous artists and critics, including Conrad Marca-Relli, James Brooks, Paul Jenkins, Sandro Chia, Larry Rivers, Balcolm Greene, James Rosenquist, Duane Hanson, Thomas Hoving, Clement Greenberg and many others.

His extensive professional biography lists one-person exhibitions in such museums as the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art, the Boca Raton Museum, and the Palazzo Panni Museum in Arco di Trento, Italy, along with numerous leading private galleries.

View artworks here

Emerging Chinese Artists

Emerging Chinese, Mid-Career Artists of the Americas To Be Exhibited at Bridge Art Fair-Wynwood and at ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries in Coral Gables, Florida

ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries in downtown Coral Gables continues its 35-year tradition of introducing important artists and art movements to this area with “SAVE AS: Contemporary Chinese Art Born of Ancient Traditions,” the first major exhibition of paintings in this country by Cao Xiaodong, opening from 7-10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7th.

Although his computerized screen-pattern technique and compositions clearly categorize Xiaodong as a contemporary artist, his style is compared by Chinese critics to that of their ancient ink and watercolor landscapes because of his use of traditional tones and his paintings’ nostalgic sense of preserving the past.

Xiaodong’s favorite subject matter is to contrast Western cultural icons with their Chinese counterparts, such as Hugh Hefner with Mao Zedong, or Playboy Bunnies with young women wearing Mao-era uniforms. He is well known in China for his 500-portrait mural of Chinese who were famous from 1911 to 1949.

The second artist to be exhibited is Li Xiaofeng, a 43-year-old Beijing artist. After being introduced by the gallery at the Bridge Art Fair in Wynwood, Xiaofeng’s two full-length dresses and a man’s jacket, shirt and necktie made of broken pieces of ancient Chinese porcelain will be added to the exhibition in Coral Gables. Two receptions will be given for the expanded “SAVE AS” exhibition from 7-10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 2nd, and again on Friday, Feb. 6th.

Being exhibited outside China for the first time, the sculptural “garments” consist of shards of Ming, Qing, Yuan and Song dynasty porcelain that the artist has fitted together so perfectly the finished dresses and jacket appear to have been designed for their materials. Mounted onto a leather undergarment, the works open on the sides or back, just like an actual dress or jacket, and can be modeled as if they were of fabric.

Sharing ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries’ Chinese booth at the Bridge Art Fair in Wynwood from Dec. 2nd – 7th will be artists introduced to this region by the gallery in two major exhibitions last year, including painters Li Bo, Kang Can, Liang Haopeng, Yang Na, and Liao Zhenwu, along with newcomer Mu Lei and stainless-steel sculptor Liao Yibai.

Li Bo disregards the conventions of composition and scale and depicts his subjects in the same size along a linear path. According to the artist, the string of apparently unrelated objects in Li Bo’s enigmatic painting should be viewed in context of television, other media outlets, and particularly the Internet, where random “surfing” can provide serendipitous juxtapositions even poetic insights.

Kang Can depicts his swiftly evolving nation as an infant in overwhelming situations, such as perched atop an enormous club sandwich or hypodermic needle. As China’s widespread industrial and manufacturing abuses continue to be disclosed, his babies remind us of the vulnerability of his nation as well as its awesome potential for continued economic growth.

Liang Haopeng’s works are mostly paintings of unruly behavior, chaotic gatherings often depicting verbal and physical arguments. He deliberately paints the figures in his canvases with oblique lighting and rimmed in red, so they appear violent and sinister. By capturing his subjects in peak action—what the renowned photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson called “the decisive moment”—Haopeng creates a powerful sense of tension between the painting and its viewers.

Yang Na’s doll-like, self-absorbed women, inspired by internationally popular anime cartoon characters, epitomize the sexual fantasies of global mass media. Her emphasis on cosmetic enhancements may refer to the avatars of video games, whose persona are created from a menu of facial features, hairstyles, and clothes.

Born and educated in Sichuan, Liao Zhenwu’s current series of paintings were inspired by the recent devastating earthquakes in that region. The gritty shades of black and gray in his paintings also refer to the polluted air in China’s cities.

Mu Lei, being shown outside China for the first time, compares the trendy young urban women of China with high-powered fighter planes and other armaments, suggesting that both are equally dangerous.

Liao Yibai’s welded stainless-steel sculpture places his dog, Man-Man, in birdlike poses and guardian-lion masks, sometimes with wings. Yibai, who grew up in an accident-prone factory that made propellants for China’s defense missiles, often incorporates hand tools into his limited-edition works.

Across the aisle from the gallery’s Chinese booth at Bridge Art Fair-Wynwood, ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries will present mid-career artists from the Americas.

Mateo Arguelles Pitt, an Argentine artist whose works often contrast spaces crammed full of people in confrontation or communion with relatively empty spaces or flat planes, will be represented by “Sunflowers,” a four-by-five foot mixed media painting, and three of his sculptures of an alert dog. Pitt says that these recent three-dimensional themes speak of the relationship between people and nature, as an extension of our bodies.

Mexican artist Sergio Garval, winner of a number of his country’s leading awards, often chooses subjects of decadence and destruction for his mixed- media drawings on board and oils on canvas.

Other artists sharing the booth include Alfredo Arcia, Benjamin Cañas, Matt Carone, Humberto Castro, Michelle Concepción, Arnaldo Roche-Rabell, Elmar Rojas, Soledad Salamé, and Mariano Vargas.

Greater Miami’s longest-established contemporary fine art gallery, ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries has been exhibiting outstanding artists since 1974. For more information, call 305-444-4493 or visit the gallery website,

Abstracciones suspendidas: Michelle Concepción

Over and over7, 60 x 40 in, acrylic on canvas, 2007

Especial/El Nuevo Herald

Silencio, sosiego, deleite. Si hay un sesgo para la meditación y un reconciliador viaje interior, tan necesario y siempre relegado por las premuras de la vida cotidiana, este privilegiado momento lo pone ahora a nuestro alcance Art Space, Virginia Miller Gallery. Volver: recent paintings es el título de la muestra personal de Michelle Concepción, cuyo sentido por la composición, y el juego con las formas y el color, crean universos de gran poder evocador.

Mucho se ha conjeturado sobre la naturaleza de la obra de Concepción. Algunos parecen descubrir elementos microcelulares; otros, galácticos. Lo cierto es que, independientemente de la micro o macro escala inferida, su pintura, altamente sugerente, ofrece al espectador el camino propicio a la imaginación y el pleno goce de la forma per se.

Los cuadros, la mayoría de gran formato, están casi siempre poblados por formas abstractas, reminiscencias ovoides o suertes de paramecios, rocas o asteroides suspendidos. Otras veces, como en la obra Twist, trazos de movimientos, como estelas de trayectorias que fueron animan el ojo del espectador, presa de la travesía. En este sentido, las obras bien parecieran la impronta de la exposición en una cámara oscura, donde el movimiento del sujeto fotografiado deja una especie de secuela que más tarde le definirá, cuando ya no esté presente.

Michelle Concepción introduce, de esta manera, una nueva dimensión de la que poco se ha hablado en su obra: el tiempo. Sus cuadros, impregnados de la noción de movimiento, insinúan formas que navegan, sin prisa, en consonancia absoluta. Esta idea de tiempo es reforzada con un recurso sinestésico: la sensación espacial, tridimensional, donde el fondo dominantemente negro y la superposición de formas logran la efectiva sensación de profundidad y el medio propicio para la danza de forma y color a la que asistimos. El hecho de que Michelle haya dado el título de Volver a la muestra emplaza también nuevos niveles de lectura asociados una vez más a la dimensión temporal, donde microcosmos y macrocosmos se imbrican en un sugerente discursar.

Si en su etapa precedente todavía la artista estaba más apegada al dibujo, al trazo de realidad, a la representación, ahora Michelle Concepción nos ofrece una obra mucho más depurada, con un estilo más personal alcanzando, a mi juicio, su madurez como artista. Atendiendo al color, dos tipos de obras saltan a la vista, una monocroma, donde el gusto por la paleta de grises es una constante, y otra donde la explosión de colores radiantes se impone. Limas, aquas, bermellones, naranjas encendidos coexisten, se superponen y fusionan a ratos a través de transparencias que sugieren, a veces, el elemento acuoso como medio dominante; otras, las formas parecen suspendidas, como flotando en el éter.

El proceso de producción de la obra es tan estético que parece en sí mismo un performance. En la presente muestra, un video expuesto al público, registra a la artista en plena faena creativa: movimientos sinuosos, de amplias curvas, cadenciosa danza entre la artista y el lienzo que garantizan el nacimiento del grácil universo que conforma la obra de Michelle Concepción.

La artista ha apuntado lo complejo del proceso creativo de sus cuadros que puede llegar a tomar varios meses, y hasta un año. Dispuesto el cuadro sobre el piso, múltiples son las capas de pintura que, como estratos o sedimentos que el tiempo va dejando, la artista imprime al lienzo. Tanto es magnificado ese tiempo, que puede hablarse por momentos de un tiempo suspendido, y es justo en esos momentos más logrados que alcanzamos la comunión más completa con la forma pura, desprovista de cualquier referencia cotidiana, ese momento mágico en el que somos nosotros y sólo nosotros frente al acto estético más puro.

Sin duda, el carácter evocador es el leitmotiv de la obra de Michelle Concepción donde, a partir del elemento mínimo –textura, color y luz–, la artista logra hacer sentir en el espectador las más disímiles sensaciones, todas válidas.

Conocida en el circuito europeo, principalmente en Alemania y España, donde ha presentado varias muestras individuales, la artista realiza, con Volver: Recent Paintings, su primera exposición individual en suelo americano, aún cuando su obra nos sea ya familiar a través de varias muestras colectivas a nivel nacional.•

Volver: Recent Paintings‘ de Michelle Concepción. Hasta el 26 de septiembre. ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries, 169 Madeira Avenue, Coral Gables, (305) 444-4493).

South Florida’s First Exhibition Of Contemporary Chinese Neo-Pop Art

South Florida’s First Exhibition Of Contemporary Chinese Neo-Pop Art

ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries, which has brought historically significant and innovative art to South Florida for 33 years, is about to do it again with the latest hot ticket on the art market, contemporary Chinese Neo-Pop art.

True to its tradition, the gallery will present Six 21st Century Chinese Neo-Pop Artists, the region’s first exhibition of this pioneering art movement, from Nov. 2nd through February 2008.

“We are fortunate indeed to be able to offer these works at a time when contemporary Chinese art is one of the most sought-after categories for the art world’s collectors,” said gallery owner and director Virginia Miller.

As recently noted by Suzanne Muchnic in the Los Angeles Times, Contemporary Chinese art has made a big splash on the art scene during the last decade or so, grabbing attention at major international exhibitions and commanding enormous prices at auction.

A recent article in Forbes magazine reported that the market for Chinese art began to soar three years ago. “In 2004 Christie’s only sold about $18 million worth of postwar and contemporary Chinese art; in 2006 those sales hit $120 million,” noted writer Barnaby Conrad III, citing one Chinese artist whose portrait prices shot from $76,500 to $1.4 million in four years.

“Clearly, the prices reflect the skyrocketing Chinese economy and its newly affluent professionals,” noted Miller, “but the fresh outlook of a new group of contemporary artists, born during an era of their country’s tremendous social, political and economic upheaval, is the basis for the booming international market in these works.”

Among our nation’s major museums incorporating Chinese contemporary work into their exhibitions and acquiring it for their permanent collections are the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Denver Art Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Others are certain to follow suit.

“These works of representative Chinese Neo-Pop artists present us with a glimpse into the efforts of their nation’s artists to process the Western influences on the rapid changes in Chinese society during this extraordinary era,” Miller explained.

The most recognized of the artists being exhibited is Lu Peng. Born in Beijing in 1967, he has participated in more than 70 exhibitions in prestigious museums and galleries around the world. Two years older, Liu Yan‘s 28 exhibitions include group shows in Paris, Minnesota and the Cologne art fair. Their works tend to contrast traditional subjects with rock stars and media icons.

Xiong Lijun and Kang Can, two of the four younger artists in the show, are strongly influenced by Japanese “manga” comics and their animated versions. Yang Na clearly is deeply concerned about the influence of Western culture upon the relative infancy of the new materialism in China. And the provocative juxtapositions of Li Bo also remind us of the incredible contrast between Chinese tradition and his generation’s new affluence and its emphasis on the Internet, where “surfing” can create fortuitous associations just as those triggered by his iconic images.

“These are extraordinary examples of contemporary Chinese Neo-Pop art,” Miller said. “When we have the perspective of a few years to look back on this show, we’ll be able to see how this fascinating group of artists fits into the evolution of the international art market as well as to more fully appreciate their position in art history.”

Located in the Coral Gables business district at 169 Madeira Ave., ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and by appointment. For more information, call 305-444-4493.