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Varnish Fine Art
Varnish Fine Art
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Fertile Ground
curated by Alix Sloan
September 18 - October 27, 2007
Opening Reception: Saturday September 22, 7-10pm
Fertile Ground
The Fertile Ground 4-artist show curated by Alix Sloan explores the cycles of life and nature and our roles and experience as we relate to each other, or environment and even the forces beyond our control. Additionally, all of the artists---Sarah Sohn, William Crump, Julia Marchand, and Ryan Scully---combine representational elements with more graphic/design inspired elements to create colorful 2D works.

Sarah Sohn's work un-apologetically celebrates femininity. With a folk-inspired feeling to the work, she collages organic, architectural, and mechanical elements creating delicate, romantic images that explore female relationships with each other, nature and life. Her use of exposed wood, with its subtle curves and color, lends an added layer of warmth and the suggestion of nature to the work.

From a distinctly male (and new father) perspective, William Crump questions the chasm between the reality of who we are and the fantasy of who we thought we would become. He shows us the complicated, deeper nature of iconic masculine figures (such as athletes and predatory animals) by juxtaposing them into romantic settings and/or traditionally feminine backgrounds. His work challenges our ideas of acceptable masculinity and the male role in the cycles of life and invites us to see beyond limiting cliches.

Julia Marchand works as many as seven layers in each painting or drawing. At times completed works are totally eclipsed underneath the layers above. Through this process she discovers each narrative as she works, and it is exposed to both the artist and the viewer. The line between the animal kingdom and humanity is blurred and children and families (human and animal) face the joy, danger, sorrow and tenderness of life and the future alone and within the context of family.

With his anonymous, organic and androgynous (yet often suggestive) figures, embracing each other against the forces of nature---graphic Japanese-inspired waves, voluminous clouds and brilliant sunsets---Ryan Scully strips away gender and identity and explores the essence of form, emotion and humanity. Without seeing the expression of his figures we still feel their experience as they fight, frolic and love within and against their environment.

Alix Sloan is a private dealer, consultant, writer and curator who has been working with emerging artists for over 15 years. Artists included in Sloan's exhibitions have gone on to show at a wide range of galleries and include a number of today's best-known contemporary artists. This is her first curated exhibition at Varnish Fine Art.

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