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Exhibit at Silvermine Explores Majesty and Mortality
Three Trees: Life-Size Drawings
February 17 - March 23
Artists Reception – Sunday, February 17, 1-4pm
Shaefer was Best in Show in Silvermine’s Art of the Northeast, and this solo exhibition is a result of that honor.
The majority of Rick Shaefer’s practice centers around drawing with charcoal, using a language of mark-making that is defined, gestural, and rhythmic. His drawings are large, often life-sized works in charcoal on vellum. The richness of detail, reminiscent of Rembrandt’s etchings or Durer’s woodcuts, imbues the work with a resonant stillness and dignity. Shaefer says of his technique: “I do not use the charcoal in the classic manner with rubbing and smudging the tones and erasing to bring back highlights. My technique resembles the look of etching, engraving, lino or woodcut in that each line is distinct, and tone is gained by crosshatching or scribbling. The intent is to highlight the act of drawing, the myriad decisions made of putting down each mark in succession.”
The three trees in this exhibition give full rein to Shaefer’s fascination with the majesty and the ponderous bulk of these fallen Oaks and the exquisite complexity of the underside of the pulled-up Sycamore stump: views that we might pass by without notice if they were not pulled from their surroundings and placed directly before us. In isolated stillness these drawings communicate with us in a palpable way.
There is a strong 16th and 17th century Dutch, Flemish and German influence running through his landscape and botanical drawings. In Shaefer’s words, “I spent a good portion of my formative years living in northern Europe and I think the mood of this artistic genre, with its operatic skies and windy vistas, resonates with me still. Much of the Dutch still-life and landscape art tradition is permeated with symbolism and imbued with narratives that transcend the actual scene depicted. Many are memento mori pieces, meant as reflections on mortality and the transient nature of existence.” Beyond their stylistic bravura, Shaefer’s drawings interrogate the ties that bind the natural and human worlds.
Rick Shaefer’s work has been exhibited throughout the U.S. A Fairfield resident, he was awarded Best in Show in Art of the Northeast at Silvermine in 2017
Gallery Hours: Monday-Thursday: 12pm-5pm; Friday: by appointment; Saturday: 12pm-5pm; Sunday: 1pm-5pm
Contact Name: Roger Mudre
Contact Email: email@example.com
Contact Phone: 203.966.9700 x3
This event is free of charge.
Silvermine Arts Center
Silvermine Art Center, 1037 Silvermine Rd
New Canaan, CT 06840
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