The dreamlike imaginings of Justin Wiest, the collaborative exploration of abstract expressionism by Ashley Andrews and Natasha Karpinskaia and selections from the Gabor Peterdi International Print Collection are the featured exhibitions for February at the New Canaan-based Silvermine Arts Center.
The new set of exhibits opens with a reception from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23, and runs through April 5.
In "Dreams Waking," the artist will present paintings that seek to elevate furniture to the role of a primary character.
"I'm enjoying the freedom to experiment and search for the limits of painting by scrubbing at the film of familiarity," Wiest said of his current work. While objects are traditionally used as props in portrait painting, here they become an active part of the narrative.
Wiest, of Wilton, has exhibited across the country and internationally, including at the Morris Gallery of Contemporary Art, John Pence Gallery, the New York Academy of Art, Galleria Rossi and the Circulo de Bellas Artes. In Connecticut, he has been featured at the Westport Arts Center, Silvermine Arts Center, Lyme Academy College of Art, Ridgefield Arts Center, the White Gallery and Seven Arts Gallery. His work can be found in the collections of the U.S. Customs Authority in Washington, D.C., and General Electric in Fairfield.
In "The Art of Mark Making," Andrews and Karpinskaia collaborate on a series of paintings that revisit abstract expressionism.
"We intend to show the positive effect of teaming up to make new intriguing marks," the artists said of their partnership.
The paintings become a dialogue between the artists, as one begins by making her marks and the other responds. As the process repeats, the marks are changed until they no longer belong to Andrews or Karpinskaia alone, instead becoming something exciting and new.
Andrews, of North Salem, N.Y., has exhibited at the Lionheart Gallery, the Hammond Museum, Silvermine Arts Center and PS1 MoMA.
Karpinskaia, of Bethesda, Md., has an international career as an artist, teacher and curator. Her artwork has been exhibited widely, including shows at Susan Calloway Fine Arts, Flinn Gallery, Haviland Street Gallery, Silvermine Arts Center, the University of Baltimore, Sackler Gallery, the Center for Contemporary Printmaking and the Katzen Center at American University. Karpinskaia has studied at the Moscow University of Linguistics and the Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg and is pursuing a Ph.D. in art history at Columbia University. Karpinskaia teaches at the Yellow Barn Studio, Silvermine Arts Center, the Ridgefield Guild Arts Center and the New York Academy of Art.
In 2012, Silvermine officially named its print collection the Gabor Peterdi International Print Collection, in honor of Silvermine's print collection founder, Gabor Peterdi.
Peterdi started the printmaking department at Yale University and, in 1956, established the National Print Biennial competition at Silvermine. For many years, from the beginning of the competition, the award-winning print was purchased forming a permanent collection. In subsequent years, additional prints were added to the collection via donations and bequests. Recent efforts have enabled the Silvermine to conserve the collection, while actively growing its holdings.
Last year, the collection received several significant works by renowned artists. A Josef Albers piece was purchased with funds honoring the late guild member, Tina Rohrer. In addition, Silvermine received a Robert Cottingham screened print and a Gabor Peterdi Print donated by the Gabor Peterdi Estate.
This year, Silvermine has seen continued growth in the print collection donations and the February exhibition will be the second show highlighting selections from the collection with recent acquisitions by James Flora, Charles Hinman and Liliana Porter.
The gallery,at 1037 Silvermine Road, is open Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. For information, call 203-966-9700, ext. 20, or visit www.silvermineart.org.