DISPATCH – Mar 30, 2012 (5:20 p.m.)

HAMPTONS, NY

Two galleries launch the 2012 season with openings on Saturday. A third welcomes spring on Sunday with a group show celebrating the earth's transformation from subdued grays into full blooming color. (At least, the part of the earth that's found on Eastern Long Island!). All three exhibitions are presenting artists inspired, in some way, but the natural world.

Art Sites gallery opens 2012 by presenting two distinct shows in its Riverhead gallery. "Depths of Black" presents nighttime urban landscapes by Iliana Ortega. The works are a series of photographs with pencil. "New Taxonomies" features paintings by Donna Maria de Creeft and ceramics by Judy Hoffman. Both shows have an opening reception on Sat (Mar 31) from 4 to 6 p.m. The show remains on view through May 13.

"Untitled" by Iliana Ortega, 2010. Photograph and pencil. From the Black + White Drawing Series.

Ortega's explores "the nocturnal urban landscape for inspiration," according to Art Sites. Darkness is used to frame light and cloak everything but a hint of a landscape.

Photographs are made with layers of pure black pigment. Drill bits are used to scratch into the pigment and lead pencil lines add shimmer to the work, according to a release.

Ortega's ultimate goal is to "uncover the profound relationship between fiction, representation and the reality," according to the gallery.

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"Untitled" by Iliana Ortega, 2010. Photograph and pencil. From the Black + White Drawing Series.

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"New Taxonomies" features the works of Donna Maria de Creeft and Judy Hoffman. de Creeft makes notebook pages called "Asemic Taxonomies," explained Art Sites. They are inspired by "arcane illustrated manuscripts and the pseudo-scientific collection of natural curiosities."

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"A page from Asemic Taxonomies" by Donna Maria de Creeft. (painting)

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Colorful paintings of natural forms are mingled with illegible writings. Accompanied by sets of miniature artworks, they conjure relationships between cells, natural forms and decorative patterns, according to Art Sites.

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"Minatures" by Donna Maria de Creeft. (painting)

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de Creeft's art is exhibited with ceramics by Hoffman. Her sculptural ceramics are inspired by forms found in nature that could be a newly discovered species of their own, according to the gallery.

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"Calcaria" by Judy Hoffman, 2010. Stoneware.

Stoneware by Judy Hoffman.

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The Grenning Gallery in Sag Harbor opens its 2012 season with "Peconic and Maine Bayscapes." the show features paintings by Michael Kotasek, Thomas Cardone and Ben Fenske.  An opening reception will be held on Sat (Mar 31) from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibition remains on view through Apr 29.

Kotasek is presenting a new body of work including egg tempera paintings, water colors and drawings. His art presents a "soft-spoken yet deeply emotional realism," according to the gallery. Worth noting is his watercolor, "Migration."

"Migration"... emanates a Wyeth like starkness...yet exemplifies one of our most successful works in this poetic realism movement," writes gallerist Laura Grenning.

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"The Migration" by Michael Kotasek, 2012. Watercolor, 19 x 17 inches.

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Cardone's new to the Grenning Gallery. He's based in Amagansett, NY and paints scenes from the East End and Long Island. Painting grounds include East Hampton, Shelter Island and Oyster Bay. The show features a series of boat scenes from the Peconic waterways and Long Island Sound.

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"Shelter Island Fall" by Thomas Cardone, 2011. 11 x 14 inches.

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Opening at the Levitas Center for the Arts at The Southampton Cultural Center is "SPRING QUINTET."  Exhibiting artists are painters Deborah Black, Pamela Focarino, Margery Gosnell-Qua and Jane Johnson. Abstract sculpture by Ronnie Chalif is part of the show. The group show is curated by Arlene Bujese. An opening reception is being held on Sun (Mar 31) from 5 to 7 p.m.  The show continues through Apr 25.

Focarino is exhibiting a new series of oil paintings that presents "the play of light in the relationship between sky and water," according to the gallery. "Light shines through the layered surface to create a luminous, translucent effect."

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"Avalon" by Pamela Focarino. Oil and venetian plaster on panel, 24 x 36 inches.

"#375 Elements" by Jane Johnson. Oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches.

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Johnson, on the other hand, uses light to suggest movement in nature. She reduces elements found in nature to suggest their full forms, states a gallery release.

Chalif's abstract sculpture presents as "stone landscape inspired by the power and beauty of rocks from may mountain regions," according to the gallery.

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"Nocturnal Voyage 2" by Ronnie Chalif. Stone sculpture.

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Black is exhibited new works where abstracted natural elements (like trees, rocks and grass forms) are "infused with filtered light," according to a press release. "Textural, expressionist strokes complete the dynamic of movement in nature."

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Acrylic on paper painting by Deborah Black.

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Gosnell-Qua's bold gestural strokes suggest "fleeting forms and changes in light," according to the gallery. Elements found in the landscape are softened through abstraction.

"Sojourn" by Margery Gosnell-Qua, 2011. Oil on canvas, 60 x 54 inches.

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BASIC FACTS: Art Sites is located at 651 West Main Street, Riverhead. www.artsitesgallery.com/

Grenning Gallery is located at 17 Washington Street, Sag Harbor. "Peconic and Maine Bayscapes" ushers in its 15th season. www.grenninggallery.com/

The Levitas Center for the Arts at the Southampton Cultural Center is located at 25 Pond Lane, Southampton. http://southamptonculturalcenter.org/

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© 2012 Pat Rogers and Hamptons Art Hub LLC. All rights reserved.

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  • Yes, this is indeed going to be a GREAT, PACKED art-filled weekend, and thank you for posting these three events. Especially terrific is the work of painter, Professor Margery Gosnell-Qua. Check her out!

  • F-Barish-Stern

    I am tryign to reach Ronnie Cahlif can you help?

  • F-Barish-Stern

    sorry am dyslexic trying to reach Ronnie Chalif

    • Pat Rogers

      Hi-
      I don’t know how to reach Ronnie Chalif but I would contact the Southampton Cultural Center. Chalif was included in an exhibition there that was curated by Arlene Bujese. Perhaps they can assist you. Good luck! -Pat

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