3 x 3: Diverse views, diverse artists in Muhlenberg College galleries
Three separate exhibitions are on view in Baker Center for the Arts, Muhlenberg College, Allentown. These are diverse views and diverse artists, each with a distinct perspective.
AM DeBrincat’s “Speculative Fiction” is on display in the Galleria Lobby.
Patricia Satterlee’s “Already Gone” is also in the Galleria.
George Afedzi Hughes’ “Urban Allusions” is in Martin Art Gallery.
In “Speculative Fiction,” continuing through March 27, DeBrincat assembles mixed media paintings with images taken from analog and digital archives and blends them together.
DeBrincat states that she “explores the hybrid nature of identity in the digital age” by combining Xerox transfer printing of digital images to canvas, colored pencil, acrylic and oil paint to create a hybrid picture.
“Five Scoop” (2016; mixed media painting; 24 in. x 24 in.) is an example of this with the composite portrait of a young woman’s face painted over a leopard’s head, on top of a man wearing a suit while holding an ice cream cone.
DeBrincat, a Brooklyn-based artist, publisher and curator, received a BA in Spanish and English Literature from the University of Oregon and an MFA from Parsons The New School for Design.
“Already Gone,” an exhibit of large abstract paintings by another Brooklyn-based artist, Patricia Satterlee, will be on view through May 26.
Satterlee explores the balance between abstraction and representation, symmetry and irregularity through her highly-layered paintings. She works with fast-drying, vinyl-based flashe paint because it produces “a flat matte surface where colors collide between fluidity and solidness,” according to the artist.
“Already Gone 02” (2014; flashe on linen; panel; 72 in. x 78 in.) is a multi-layered painting by Satterlee where three black, gray and white-checked rings roll across the face of the ghostly work where shapes seem to represent objects that were there, but are “already gone.”
Satterlee studied at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of California. She received an MFA from American University.
Hughes, originally from Ghana, brings 14 recent works to his “Urban Allusions” exhibition, continuing through March 4.
“Skills” (2017; acrylic and oil on canvas; 70 in. x 48 in.) is a painting that reflects much of what Hughes alludes to, “postcolonial reconciliation through competitive sports imagery, popular culture and narratives of multicultural societies,” as explained in his artist’s statement.
When asked about the imagery in this piece, Hughes replies, “In Europe, sometimes when black players are playing, the fans would throw a banana … and make monkey noises” to annoy them and break their concentration. A banana is depicted as bait on a giant mouse trap. A black player’s foot is about to land on the trap.
To avoid this type of distraction, Hughes advises, “You have to focus [on the game].” The Lamborghini represents the rewards a professional athlete can achieve with the value of his skills. “When you are an athlete, you have certain attributes, like a cheetah is fast …” says Hughes, adding that the dog and horse heads in this work represent the abilities each player brings to the game.
As with all of the paintings in this exhibit, Hughes renders the underpainting in acrylic, then uses oil paint for the top layer.
Africa’s colonial history and how it relates to contemporary conflicts is expressed through the artist’s collages. “Collisions I” (2015; collage, acrylics, oils on wood and plastic; 30 in. x 30 in.) is a jumble of jet fighters, military vehicles, automobiles and plastic animals juxtaposed over what appears to be broken shards of buildings and images of tiny human faces.
Before emigrating to England, Hughes studied painting at The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, College of Art, where he received a BA in Art in 1989 and an MA in Art Education in 1991. Hughes teaches at SUNY, Buffalo, N.Y.
Martin Art Gallery hours: noon - 8 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday. Galleria Lobby hours: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. daily. Information: 484-664-3467.