Opening reception: December 8, 2012, 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.
December 8, 2012 through January 11, 2013.
Encapsulating the spirit of Miami, this exhibit represents a microcosm of the variety of art presented to us at the peak of art season. From the hollow, metal squares that Rainer Lagemann (Germany) uses to sculpt the human form – a framework of the spirit and image of the body – the “resurrection of color” that restores emotional drama, to abstraction found in Christian Awe’s (Germany) paintings; landscapes by Douglass Freed (US) who names his paintings “structures” where shapes are fitted together to create a coherent whole; works of internationally renowned artist Hunt Slonem (US) who experiments with a unique method of cross-hatching to texturize his works; and Mario Velez (Colombia), a minimalist artist who has been greatly inspired by the Bauhaus approach to design. This group show is a schema of all that the city has to offer in its unique, cultural diversity.
Rainer Lagemann was born in Düsseldorf, Germany on September 14th, 1959. Studies and practice in interior design and welding began in Berkeley, California. Since 2008, he has resided and worked in Miami. Rainer is fascinated by the human body, the classic theme of artistic expression and struggle, depicted in all shapes, materials and mediums since the existence of mankind. His sculpture captures the human body in motion–a freeze frame of classic, timeless gestures and emotions. The sculptures are both ethereal and concrete. The forms he creates are how one imagines a Nureyev or Baryshnikov would look in mid-flight.
Christian Awe began his painting career as an urban expressionist painter on the streets of Berlin in the early 90s. At the Berlin Universität der Künste he studied under Georg Baselitz and received his “Meisterschüler“ in 2006 under Daniel Richter. As artist-in-residence at Princeton University, Awe taught experimental painting in Princeton in 2011. This year, he serves as Board Member for “The Young Mesopotamians“ who mentors and teaches young Iraqi artists at Baghdad University’s College of Fine Arts. Awes paintings oscillate between figuration and abstraction and astound with expressive color. He employs spray paint and acrylics, ink and watercolors, markers and oil pastels. Through scraping, ripping or even digging out entire chunks of color, he exposes hidden layers resting beneath, allowing them to resurface as poetic pictorial spaces.
Douglass Freed’s undergraduate and graduate degrees are from Fort Hays State University. He is represented by galleries in New York City, Boston, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Charleston, St. Louis and Kansas City. Freed was the Director of the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art at State Fair Community College until his retirement in February, 2008 and helped build the Daum Museum collection from 200 objects to over 800 since its opening. For nearly twenty years, he has made non-objective grid structured paintings. He has literalized those references by painting oil landscape vistas of horizons, clouds and bodies of water. These paintings consist of two or more vertical panels where one panel is landscape imagery and adjacent panels are often atmospheric voids with vestiges of recognizable landscapes.
Since 1977, Hunt Slonem has had more than 350 exhibitions at prestigious galleries and museums internationally. More than 100 museums include his work in their collections, among them the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. He has been commissioned to paint large-scale murals for the Bryant Park Grill, New York City and the former World Trade Center, NYC. He is recipient of the prestigious “Stars of Design” award, the Greenshields Foundation award, and the National Endowment for the Arts Grant in 1991. He studied painting at Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine and Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. For years, Slonem has been experimenting with a unique method of texturizing his works where he scrapes through multiple layers of wet paint using the whittled end of a paintbrush handle. He describes it as a feeling of tapestry like weaving where he makes colors bleed into each other allowing light to come through so one can see five levels of paint, instead of one.
Mario Velez lives and works in Medellin, Colombia. He received his Bachelors of Arts degree at the National University of Colombia and Masters at the Hochschule der Künstein in Berlin. His work has been exhibited in solo and group shows in New York, Miami, California, Panama, Colombia, Japan, Austria Switzerland, Italy, Mexico, and Germany. His commissioned work includes corporate and public collections such as Inter-American Development Bank, Washington D.C.; Bloomingdales, New York; Ritz Carlton, Bangalore, India; Museum of Latin American Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museo de Arte Moderno, Medellin, Colombia; and Galleria Armory-Arte Contemporanea, Perugia, Italy. Velez’ work both identifies and emancipates itself from two of the most identifiable characteristics of 20th century abstract art — one part structural geometric, austere – the other emotional, intuitive and organic. His work has been described as, “simplified geometric forms and the fine lines that traverse them creating an autonomous world that moves in a field created by the works themselves.”
Etra Fine Art
50 NE 40th Street
Miami, FL 33137