Bea Wain’s 1939 pop tune, Heart and Soul, is the playful inspiration for our February group exhibition of Gross McCleaf artists. The featured artworks are bonded together without reservation, through content, essence, colors, titles and subject matter. HEART & SOUL aims to capture aspects of Eros, the loyal but mischievous Greek God of love, and some of his effects on the body, mind, heart and spirit.
The exhibit offers narratives that document the emotional journey of falling in love, but also explores other facets of the ‘eros’ experience: from the blush of first acquaintance and mutual connection, or lack thereof, to passion, communication, longing and loss, and the shaping of new and old dreams. The works in the show share these journeys of the heart that are as varied and unpredictable as the song ‘HEART & SOUL’ expresses.
Visitors may find love at first sight in the soothing colors of abstract works by Keith Breitfeller or be swept off their feet with the bouquets of flowers presented in the works of Frank Trefny and Irene Mamiye. One might be wooed by the unapologetic sentimentality of Kati Gegenheimer’s, Idea of an Arrangement and enjoy the calmness and confidence granted by the healthy bounty supplied in Howie Weiss’ Song #2.
Ying Li’s expressive paint application and Natasha Das’s Kantha Pink with its zigzagging and overlapping stitches, remind us of the frenetic, exciting confusion of falling in love. And one can attempt to decipher furtive messages communicated through the stayed stripes of Thomas Paul Raggio’s Forever V and the vulnerable, mysterious marks made in Paul Marrocco’s paintings.
Echoes of familiar disappointments and even despair linger heavily in Joan Becker’s The Dancer, and My Black Heart. Likewise, one may connect to the frustration of obsessively searching for answers to the unknown in Bethann Parker’s Telling Hands or the painful ambiguity of the tentative atmospheres found in Rebekah Callaghan’s Breath Notes and Emily Richardson’s biomorphic piece, Suspension.
Venus, the Roman Goddess of love, enters the picture in the works of Sterling Shaw and Max Mason, while Eros takes center stage in Alexandra Tyng’s Defying the Gods. Natasha Das’ chromatic and texturally rich Color Composition in Red suggests passion, power, and sensuality and in Michael Gallagher’s Big Pink, human forms seem to be intertwined in an embrace.
Thomas Paquette’s Toward Evening: Beach evokes the romantic pastime of strolling along moonlit shores, perhaps discovering the treasures found in Dale O.Roberts’ Remains of a Wave - tangible memories of a special time together. Viewers may sense the assurity inscribed in the mindful moments watching Martha Armstrong’s magical, glittering sunsets while musing over past loves. The brightly lit seating arrangement in Larry Francis’ Evening, implies a quiet tete-a-tete at the end of a long day.
As with the titular 1939 song, the grouping of works on display in HEART & SOUL have been brought together to be cherished throughout the entire month of February. Feel your feels and find your perfect match at Gross McCleaf Gallery!