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University Art Gallery

University Art Gallery

Current Exhibitions

Nancy Friese: Wild Vine © Nancy Friese: Wild Vine, 2013, 41 x 41, watercolor

Gayle Wells Mandle: Rising Tide © Gayle Wells Mandle: Rising Tide, mix media

Pat Coomey Thornton: Transitions © Pat Coomey Thornton: Transitions, 46” x 36”

Photograph of exhibition

Photograph of exhibition

September 18 - November 15, 2015

Counterpoints: Colors, Layers, Lines

An exhibition of paintings by Nancy Friese, Gayle Wells Mandle, and Pat Coomey Thornton

Reception: Tues, Sept 29, 6 – 8 PM,
Artist Talk 7 PM

Curator: Viera Levitt

The exhibition, Counterpoints: Colors, Layers, Lines at UMass Dartmouth University Art Gallery in New Bedford, presents the work of three very different, yet highly compatible female artists. While they all use strong, intense colors and the layering of various elements and lines, each artist's work is best described by one of the three words in the exhibition title. The almost psychedelic interpretation of colors in Friese's landscapes, the inclusion of photography or other unusual materials in Mandle's critical narratives and the underlying geometry, and references to female imagery in Thorton's flowers all share an affinity towards abstraction while inspiring visitors to look closer to discover the inner logic of each piece.

The exhibition is open through November 15th with the reception and artist talk on Tuesday, September 29, 6 to 8 pm.

Nancy Friese received an MFA from Yale University School of Art and studied in the graduate painting program at the University of California, Berkeley. She has a B.S. from the University of North Dakota. Nancy’s paintings and prints are represented by Cade Tompkins Projects. A member of ArtTable, she resides in Rhode Island and North Dakota and teaches at Rhode Island School of Design.

I construct a piece slowly and in repeated outdoor sessions. Watercolor can be both additive and subtractive while dynamically moving forward. It lends itself to quick progressions, luminous color and portability in open air. Being at a site, I use composites of nature to create the whole. Interpreted color, moving light, contrasting textures, and a wide scope and scale are goals that continue to enthrall and challenge me. The whole painting project is exhilarating and experiential. I see all painting as a buildup of abstracted elements where color shapes and linear counterpoints commingle suddenly to a synthetic realm.

Gayle Wells Mandle is a mixed media painter with a studio in South Dartmouth, MA. She has an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design. Gayle has traveled extensively and recently has returned from living four years with her husband in Doha, Qatar.

I think of myself as a storyteller with the responsibility to call attention to world events affecting our wellbeing. My inspiration is drawn from a crumbling socio-political infrastructure and the detritus left by “civilization”. The collage technique allows the play of real imagery through my photographs, layered with abstract gestural painting in acrylic and oil. I layer textiles, corrugated cardboard, and screening in the composition, gluing as well as ripping to create a more tactile and physical dimension to the canvas. My process involves continual adding and editing, the story revealed and then partially veiled to engage in a dialogue with the observer.

Pat Coomey Thornton is a graduate of Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston and holds an MFA from Pius XII Institute, Florence, Italy. She taught at the Worcester Art Museum School before working at Rhode Island School of Design for 20 years. She has exhibited in Boston, Worcester, and locally in Southeastern Massachusetts. Pat’s work is in the collections of the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Paine Webber, Meditech, and in private collections.

Rather than describe the visual world, I strive to evoke associations and hope to generate more than one interpretation in my paintings. I envision line as a generative, time-based element that creates energy, tempo and spatial relationships as well as suggest form. I see the whole work as a layering of simultaneous perceptions that are depicted with both abandon and control and that suggest the continuum of energy and changing relationships.

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