‘Scapes: The Annual Landscape Exhibit at The Art League Gallery
Juried by Sarah Tanguy
August 3 - September 5, 2011
Opening Reception: Thursday, August 11, 6:30 - 8:00 pm. Awards presented at 7:30 pm.
Leslie Nolan, Underground #18. Winner of the 2011 Chameli & Amiya Bose Memorial Award.
Juror’s Dialogue with Erica Fortwengler
Sarah Tanguy has viewed artwork by artists from all over the world for her job as a curator for the State Department’s ART in Embassies program. As an independent curator, she has created her own dynamic and thought provoking exhibits, which have been featured throughout the country and the world. And, as an art critic and writer, she has written for numerous well-regarded publications. So for Tanguy to say that she was impressed by the variety of worked presented for the 2011 ‘Scapes exhibit – well, that must mean something!
“The work completely exceeded my expectations. The range of work was so great – there was such variety and diversity in terms of style, media, how the various media were used and applied, the techniques employed, and the interpretations of “’scapes.” It was wonderful to see,” Tanguy stated.
“If the piece was in the realm of a traditional landscape, I was looking for something to make the piece unique and different.” She wanted to see more than just a picturesque, perfectly rendered landscape. Tanguy was looking for content beyond the image and something to show the artists’ unique voice – such as an emotional edge or a unique use or handling of the materials.
She noted that, “I tend to steer away from photography that looks like it comes from a travel journal. Particularly with photography, I want to see some content beyond the image.”
On that same note, many of the unselected works were turned away because Tanguy felt that they were too “cliché,” too perfect. “They needed some sort of edge, something unexpected, some emotion to make them stand out as one-of-a-kind.”
If the piece was abstract, Tanguy said she was looking to see what formal technical elements had been used to organize and allude to a “scape.” She noted Suzanne Yurdin’s “Beyond the Garden Gate.” “The warm earthy colors, lines, and movement make you feel like you’re outside on hot and humid day where nature is pulsing around you.”
Tanguy awarded the Potomac Valley Watercolorists award to Gwen Bragg’s “Beneath the Surface XV.” She was particularly attracted to the combination of and interplay between abstraction and realism. “The detail work in this piece is incredible, and I love the combination of textures and colors. The techniques this artist used are quite sophisticated. It’s interesting how the piece fades in and out of abstraction, depending on how you look at the composition.”
The Chameli and Amiya Bose Memorial Award went to Leslie Nolan for “Underground #18.” “This artist has immediately established a mood with the palette and strong diagonals. It’s a figurative and abstract piece at the same time. The figures dissolving and emerging in and out of the environment create this strong sense of emotion. The texture, brushwork, line, and color all contribute to this feeling of existential anxiety.”
Tanguy is a curator in ART in Embassies, US Department of State, as well as an independent curator and critic based in Washington, DC. Recent projects include “Mapping: Memory and Motion in Contemporary Art,” “Vanishing Boundaries,” a joint US/Lithuania photography exhibition, “Taken for Looks,” an all-photography, food-inspired exhibition, “Breaking Bread,” a Cuba/Russia/US exhibition, and an ongoing exhibition series for the American Center for Physics.
The Chameli and Amiya Bose Memorial Award, $125. This award was established in 2010 by Art League member Raka Bose Saha to honor her parents, Chameli and Amiya Bose. Raka wanted to honor her parents for the support that they gave to her, both in the visual arts and science. It is to be awarded by the juror to the best acrylic or oil painting on stretched canvas.
Potomac Valley Watercolorists, $250. Donated by the Potomac Valley Watercolorists (PVW), this award was established to honor the founders of PVW and recognize the artist whose watercolor is selected as best watercolor painting by the juror in the 'Scapes exhibit. The Art League and PVW share much history together, with many members and instructors of The Art League overlapping with PVW’s membership.
Click here for a list of accepted works.
Visit 'Scapes on flickr.