Bethany Czarnecki: splendor
Massey Klein Gallery is pleased to present splendor, a solo exhibition of new works by Bethany Czarnecki. This is the artist's second solo exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition will be on view from October 16th to November 20th, with an Opening Reception on Saturday, October 16th from 4:30-6pm. For press inquiries or questions regarding works available, please email email@example.com.
The paintings in splendor focus largely on the use of light and color to transport the viewer to an internal landscape within the female body and psyche. Referencing sensuality, emotion and anatomy, the work aims to create a sensory experience with the use of paint that radiates beyond the edges of the canvas.
Ten paintings placed throughout the three rooms of the gallery fill the space with a brilliant, polychromatic glow, and individually enfold visitors in their saturated hue and bending forms. Color as a narrative device can be illusory. However, when both the image and the emotional experience are guided by color, an intimacy arises. The chroma emanating from each of Czarnecki’s abstract works spills over into our world and lures us into their rich, lush atmosphere.
Through the use of biomorphic shapes, this new series, tastefully crafted yet erogenously ready to burst, distinctly references flora, the female form, and landscape. Flirting with a delicate sense of eroticism, the paintings bring the vibrant energy of sensuality and conception to the surface, exuding an almost supernatural presence. Each work is delicately rendered in thin layers of oil paint, the artist's brush gliding steadily and slowly across the canvas to produce a rich and luscious surface. By spending time with these forms and basking in their pulsing intensity, the paintings erupt in the eye of the beholder in a way that is much more spiritual than sexual. It is in this way that Czarnecki envelops the viewer in a transcendently ambiguous, yet unmistakably female, sensory experience.
The manner in which Czarnecki evokes the feminine through reference to the various smooth earthly folds (and enfoldments) initially connects her to the lineage of Judy Chicago, Huguette Caland, and of course, Georgia O'Keeffe. Czarnecki, however, errs closer to the Transcendentalist painters than those artists, seeming to flirt with the spiritualism of painters like Agnes Pelton or Hilma af Klint without going into astrology, symbols or symmetry. The unflinching manner in which Czarnecki brandishes color is, moreover, most indebted to the canvases of Lisa Yuskavage and Peter Saul, painters who use color saturation like an emotional weapon.
Bethany Czarnecki creates abstract paintings that project an atmospheric sense of place while exploring the paradoxes and complexities of the female form and its representation. Her compositions investigate themes of gender, identity, the human psyche and sensuality. Working slowly with oil paint, Czarnecki carves out multiple layers of concentric, biomorphic shapes that radiate chromatic planes. Ranging from opaque color fields to translucent overlays, nested silhouettes bend and bloom as they foster complex relationships within each composition.
Czarnecki has exhibited nationally at galleries and museums, including The Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY; Amy Simon Fine Art, Westport, CT; Hollis Taggart Fine Art, CT; and Massey Klein Gallery, New York, NY. Her work has been reviewed in Two Coats of Paint and is in multiple corporate collections.
Massey Klein Gallery is located at 124 Forsyth St. New York, NY 10002. For inquiries regarding works available, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bethany Czarnecki Unites Female Sensuality, Psyche and AnatomySophie Agocs, ArtPlugged, 17 December 2021
Bethany Czarnecki - A colorful exploration of female sensualityOlivia Gardener, Metal Magazine, 20 October 2021
Bethany Czarnecki Explores Light and Color at Massey Klein GalleryKame Hame, Widewalls, 12 October 2021
Bethany Czarnecki included in “Elephant’s Pick of October’s Essential Artists”Holly Black, Elephant, 8 October 2021