“Painting is a silent poem, poetry is spoken painting.” — Plutarch
The Kehler Liddell Gallery is pleased to present “Silent Poem, Spoken Light” with work by Sarah Beth Goncarova and Shoreline ArtsTrail member Maureen M. Squires on view March 20 – April 20, 2014. An Opening Reception will be held on Sunday, March 23, 3:00 – 6:00pm. On April 5 from 3:00 – 5:00pm, there will be a poetry reading and artist-led discussion with poet Judith Vollmer, Professor of English, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, featuring poems from her newest work The Water Books. Both events are free and open to the public.
The exhibition “Silent Poem, Spoken Light,” explores one of the most integral yet continuously perplexing questions of the art-making practice; how does one create work that is highly communicative yet largely unspoken? Artists Maureen M. Squires and Sarah Beth Goncarova examine this concept through calligraphy, poetry, painting and installation. Through using vastly different media, both artists look to natural forms as metaphor and message, drawing parallels between inner and outer landscapes.
Painter and calligrapher Maureen M. Squires interprets the words of writers and poets through paint and ink. Through the use of color, illustration, illumination, alphabet and gesture, she both abstracts and clarifies the meaning of the words. Movement and gesture are key components of Squires’ practice, making work that is at the same time bold and subtle, beautiful and evocative.
Like Squires’ luscious calligraphic works, the installations of Sarah Beth Goncarova tease metaphor from imagery of the natural world. Using intricate combinations of sewing and circuitry, Goncarova creates otherworldly illusions of seemingly natural phenomena. The fragile branches of her piece The Cherry Tree beckon the viewer in—Goncarova’s own invitation to the viewer to become part of the work itself. Only when the viewer enters the tree crown does the tree surprisingly awaken. In her piece The Web, women quietly weave at an ancient loom, creating a magnificent web out of spider silk and dew drops. In both pieces, we are drawn into another world, that entirely of Goncarova’s own making.
Squires’ background in Fine Arts began formally at Seton Hill University, where she majored in painting and where she first studied calligraphy. This took her to Carnegie Mellon University where she studied Advanced Calligraphy for two years with noted calligrapher and type-designer Arnold Bank. Over the years, Squires has studied with many notable lettering artists, but studying with Bank was a turning point in her approach to the alphabet and painting. Since then, Squires’ work has become an exploration of letters and words through paint, interpreting the words of favorite poets with abstract forms and graceful brushwork. Her tools range from traditional steel nibs, to brushes to reeds to bamboo. Her preferred media are ink, gouache, Japanese watercolors and acrylics.
Goncarova earned degrees in sculpture and architecture at Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Maryland, and has worked for the theater as costumer, puppetmaker and scenic designer. Her art practice has evolved to include such varied media as painting, textiles, light, dance, sound and animatronics. To date she is a finalist for the 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship for installation/performance.
Squires and Goncarova offer visually and conceptually compelling work in “Silent Poem, Spoken Light,” rewarding the curious and even quickening the pulse.
Kehler Liddell Gallery is located at 873 Whalley Avenue in New Haven, Connecticut. Gallery hours are Thursday through Friday from 11:00am – 4:00pm: Saturday and Sunday from 10:00am – 4:00pm. Click here for more information.