Paintings that encourage the soaring of the imagination are about to arrive in The Hamptons, made primarily by a trio of international artists. Bound together in the exhibition "Parallel Universe," the art and the exhibition has much to say about life in contemporary society, the journey that brought us here and what may be possible.

"Parallel Universe" opens the season for RJD Gallery in Sag Harbor with a dramatic leap out of the gate. With the rise of the Internet and the interconnectedness it has created across countries and cultures, the sense that the universal experience of being human can commingle with a cultural history to relay an imaginative experience with something to say about the here and now. Highlights of "Parallel Universe" are works by master painters Andrei Zadorine (Born Russia, now in Netherlands) and Salvatore Alessi (Italy) the painting team of Igor + Marina (Russia). Showcasing large paintings, the exhibition is as compelling in curation as it is noteworthy for the paintings on view.

"Parallel Universe" opens on June 18, 2016 and continues through July 17, 2016. An Opening Reception takes place on Saturday, June 18, 2016 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Additional works by Margaret Bowland, Jennifer Gennari, Margo Selski, Phillip Thomas, and Armando Valero contribute to a diverse show of art that challenges the imagination as it introduces and explores the realty of a "constant parallel universe", according to the gallery.

The theme of imaginative exploration plumbing realities that pull from this world to create ones parallel are primarily developed through paintings of Zadorine, Alessi and Igor + Marina.

Igor + Marina

The painting team of Igor + Marina are not afraid to mix realism and abstraction, the historical with the contemporary, and the tradition of Russian religious paintings with Western Post-Renaissance art. Their paintings can combine thickly applied paint, layered and textured to create visual tactile experience, with sections that are delicate and tender, appearing to be applied with near washes.

Continuing their love of contrasts, Igor + Marina's compositions dance smoothly between the subtle and the dramatic. Details command attention and is grounding. Surrealism makes its own presence felt and encourages the imagination to soar. Elements of decoration add surprise and wonder in paintings that are difficult to look away from. Balance is key and is achieved in an integrated way.

The give and take in their art arises from differing interests held by each member of the painting team and married couple. Igor + Marina make paintings cooperatively while retaining their respective passions. Igor is concern with creating subtle color and painted surfaces that are tactile. Attracted to abstraction, he works intuitively and goes where the muse takes him. Marina is attracted to realism and is inspired by the works of historic artists, particular those of the Italian and Dutch renaissance. Their paintings combine both abstraction and realism as well as the achievements of the Russian avant-garde and liberally combine the contemporary with these varied traditions.

The art on view at RJD Gallery provide a range of paintings demonstrating the different ways Igor + Marina's interests can go. In all cases, the narrative figurative paintings are distinctly their own and easily recognizable as born from their imaginative explorations in art.

Works by Igor + Marina are held in important private and public collections worldwide. Their art is the subject of a new mongraph IGOR & MARINA (80 color plates & 25 pages essay), published by SKIRA Italy.

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"Painting for the Sky" by Igor + Marina. Diptych, oil on canvas, 83 x 58 inches.

"Painting for the Sky" by Igor + Marina. Diptych, oil on canvas, 83 x 58 inches.

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"Fortune Tellers" by Igor + Marina. 51 x 68 inches.

"Fortune Tellers" by Igor + Marina. 51 x 68 inches.

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Andrei Zadorine

Paintings by Andrei Zadorine are equally riveting but in a quieter way. Zadorine's palete is frequently muted with compositions couched firmly in figurative realism. If his art has a photorealism quality, this may arise from the painting's origin. Zadorine begins his compositions from photographs to make his figurative yet narrative works. His point is not to replicate the image but to impart a moment, captured in time by a camera, into the realm of emotion, imagination and possibility.

Zadorine attended the art academy in Minsk, Belarus in the early eighties while it was poised on the cusp of change with past and future equally present. Zadorine's paintings have this same quality with the past brought into the present with wondering about what may have just occurred before life paused for a moment for the camera to capture. His art has a strong cinematic feel, enhanced by his use of light infusing the composition.

Zadorine's art is compelling and timeless, settling softly in the imagination, yet questioning what is real in the reveal of the moment and what may be the reality of the life implied in the art. The paintings are textured and frequently scratched, helping to jar the illusion of a fleeting reality captured by photography into the realm of fiction created by the painting.

The paintings on view in "Parallel Universe" at RJD Gallery include a painting of a historic class picture, as well as paintings depicting a child at rest or children at play.

Zadorine exhibits internationally including the Netherlands, France, Belgium the UK, Italy, Russia, Belarus and the United States. In Russia, his work is held in collections of Tretyakov Gallery, the Ministry of Culture of the USSR and the USSR Art Fund (Russia). In Belarus, his work can be found in collections held by the National Art Museum of Belarus, the Ministry of Culture of Belarus and the Museum of Contemporary Art (Minsk).

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"Class Reunion II" by Andrei Zadorine. Oil on canvas, 63 x 63 inches.

"Class Reunion II" by Andrei Zadorine. Oil on canvas, 63 x 63 inches.

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"In An Old House" by Andrei Zadorine. Oil on canvas, 31 x 39 inches.

"In An Old House" by Andrei Zadorine. Oil on canvas, 31 x 39 inches.

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Salvatore Alessi

Paintings by Salvatore Alessi are boldly cinematic. Feeling as if they were film stills from a colorized Albert Hitchcock film, Alessi's works are filled with energy arising from situations that are off-kilter or feel that way.

His figurative paintings are reflections on contemporary life and its information overload. Consider the now-common experience of being alone somewhere (at home or at a restaurant) but being connected (and barraged) by friends, family, acquaintances and strangers through cell phones, social media and email, creating a cacophony of messages, conversations and communication possibilities that can occur nearly simultaneously. Now take another look at paintings by Salvatore Alessi.

Alessi's paintings encourage an awareness of the personal disconnect through scenes that seem to portray people in the same place but are not. Frequently, some of the characters in his cinematic scenes are an imagined projection, resulting in a strange frantic aloneness that is unique to current times. Still, there is harmony even in the duality created through disconnection. His work is inspired by art history and quantum physics and its relation to energy frequencies in a struggle to find connection with the hidden and to accomplish completeness.

Salvatore Aless's work has been exhibited internationally. His work has been recognized by the 54th Venice Bienalle and has exhibited at the Palazzo Incontro and the Studio Gallery MOCA of Rome.

In "Parallel Universe," Alessi has several knock-out paintings, including Nothing Is As It Seems, Persistent Traces and World. 

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"Nothing Is As It Seems" by Salvatore Alessi. Oil on canvas, 47 x 66.5 inches.

"Nothing Is As It Seems" by Salvatore Alessi. Oil on canvas, 47 x 66.5 inches.

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"World" by Salvatore Alessi. Oil on canvas, 47 x 66.5 inches.

"World" by Salvatore Alessi. Oil on canvas, 47 x 66.5 inches.

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BASIC FACTS: "Parallel Universe" is exhibited June 18 to July 17, 2016 and features paintings by Andrei Zadorine, Salvatore Alessi, Igor + Marina with additional works by Margaret Blowland, Jennifer Gennari, Margo Selki, Phillip Thomas, Armando Valero. An Opening Reception takes place on Saturday, June 18, 2016 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

RJD Gallery is located at 90 Main Street, Sag Harbor, NY 11963. www.rjdgallery.com.

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Copyright 2016 Hamptons Art Hub LLC. All rights reserved.

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