Three mid-career artists with distinctive visions of abstract paintings will be featured in “Color, Form, Space,” opening from 6-10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5th at ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries in Coral Gables.
The background of the artists is as varied as their works: Bassmi Ibrahim, who paints under the single name Bassmi, is from Egypt and now lives in this country; Michelle Concepción is from Puerto Rico and lives in Germany; and Florian Depenthal is German and divides his time between Europe and this country.
“The unifying principles of the exhibition are that all three artists are superb colorists who work in a non-gestural manner,” said gallery owner and director Virginia Miller. “Rather than a literal view, they are concerned with the emotional effect.”
In the words of Constantin Brancusi: “Abstract (art) is the most realistic, because what is real is not the exterior but the idea, the essence of things.”
In the words of critic Peter Frank, “The hundred-year history of abstract art is a history of distilling the ineffable. Whether motivated by intellectual argument or spiritual quest, the abstractionists in our midst have chosen not to depend on the recognizable world as a subject, although it remains available to them, and us, as a visual or conceptual armature; rather, it is the world inside their heads, and ours, they choose to elaborate.”
Bassmi has held solo exhibitions in galleries in Cairo, New York, and Paris as well as the Burroughs-Chapin Museum in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; the Pensacola Museum of Art; the Ormond Beach Memorial Museum; and the Hardin Art Center in Gadsden, Alabama, among numerous other venues.
According to art critic John Mendelsohn, Bassmi’s paintings “speak in a language that we intuitively recognize—the movement of water, the massing of clouds, the delicacy of light in mist…the luminosity of translucent color alerts us to the essentially non-physical nature of what Bassmi is pointing to… the far shore of experience, where delight is the most natural thing in the world.”
Michelle Concepción has exhibited widely in Europe, the U.S. and the Caribbean, with solo exhibitions in Frankfurt, Barcelona and at ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries. In his essay for her most recent one-person show at the gallery, Peter Frank summarized her work with an observation that might apply to all the paintings in this exhibition:
“Michelle Concepción follows in the footsteps of Kandinsky, Malevich, Mondrian, and a host of nonobjective painters who in their various ways have explored and conveyed what was at once deep inside them and all around them, visually inchoate but profoundly immediate in experience. When this auratic force emerges and coalesces, we tend to find the mundane world in such formulations. But even as we do, those formulations act upon us and within us. Concepción’s is an art not of things, but of their ghosts.”
Paintings of Florian Depenthal have been exhibited in numerous prestigious venues in his native Germany as well as in this country and are included in such important permanent collections as those of H.P. Schwerfel-Sammlung, Paris; Stone Container Corporation, Grant Thornton Collection, and Lake Point Tower Collection in Chicago.
Depenthal’s prior series of canvases included semi-abstract references to foliage and classical architecture. In the words of critic Janet Batet, his “dazzling canvases”… “are loaded with powerful expression. Each emphatic stroke …evidences a trace of mood, the vivid feeling invading the canvas before being tempered by reason.” His new work softens the edges of his subject matter as well as his somewhat flamboyant palette.
“Color, Form, Space” will be exhibited at ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries, 169 Madeira Avenue in downtown Coral Gables, through Jan. 2013. For more information, call 305-444-4493.