Maria Neil Explores the Real and Not So Real
Some worlds aren’t real. Some are so striking and perfect, they seem as if they can’t be real. Still others are all too real to us – and not in a reality we necessarily want. This spring, the Maria Neil Art Project
explores the worlds of five different artists in three exhibitions at two locations.
Lori Kella: Artificial Worlds
Lori Kella’s photographs depict both grand landscapes and detailed narratives. The works often intersect, as they are both metaphors for uncertainty. They present increasingly unreal elements that create a tension for the viewer. Her images offer an enticing – or sometimes bleak – reality and an obvious incongruence leaving you wondering just how real, or unreal, these worlds may be. Lori Kella is presented at the Shaker Historical Society in partnership with the Maria Neil Art Project, courtesy of the William Busta Gallery.
Hilary Gent: Aftermath
The body of work that Hilary Gent is currently immersed in is a series of paintings and assemblages inspired by the aftermath of a fire that burned a 20,000 square foot industrial building across the street from her 78th Street studio. A fire that came dangerously close to claiming that very studio. The initial impact of the fire created a solidified memory, which Gent has attempted to interpret and preserve through the process of collage, sketching and painting. The very first works, immediately after the fire, showed crisp, detailed images of the disaster. The most recent works – separated by time and life experiences – present a far more abstract representation of the traumatic reality of that night, and that
point in her life.
Flower Power: Cynthia Penter, Deborah Pinter, Daiv Whaley
Flowers have an alluring, almost alarming power over us. Their beauty is something that can seem so perfect that it is hard to imagine that they are, in fact, very real. Daiv Whaley uses angles, close-ups, light intensity, intentional blurriness and his own manipulations in his Polaroid images. For more than 21 years, Whaley has been capturing natural beauty with a sci-fi aesthetic.
Cynthia Penter loves the relationship between people and flowers. Her film emulsion and digital portraits do not just feature flowers, but also people interacting with them. Through her photographs she explores the usage, meaning and symbolism of flowers in our lives. They make you wonder, just what is the purpose of flowers? Why do they exist – and why do they hold such a power over us?
Deborah Pinter creates her Scanagrams by digitally scanning flowers, using software to manipulate her imagery, and printing the photographs on lustrous polymer sheets. With their sharp forms and spare backgrounds, Pinter’s floral images resemble Victorian-era cyanotypes and early-twentieth-century photograms—camera-less photographs that were made by placing botanical specimens or other
objects directly onto light-sensitive paper that was then exposed to light. Pinter’s more recent Flower series depicts single specimens in tight focus against dark backgrounds. Blossoms seem to materialize
just beneath the surface of each image, where they are raked by intense light.
Lori Kella: Artificial Worlds: January 31 through April 19
at the Shaker Historical Society, 16740 South Park Blvd., Shaker Heights
Hilary Gent: Aftermath: March 7 through April 19
Flower Power: Cynthia Penter, Deborah Pinter, Daiv Whaley: May 2 through June 21
Maria Neil Art Project
15813 Waterloo Road
Cleveland, OH 44110