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"CW ROELLE" for Artscope Magazine (July/Aug 2009)

"CW ROELLE" for Artscope Magazine (July/Aug 2009)

CW Roelle
"Not Only Women In White Dresses"

AS220 Project Space
July 8 - 27, 2009
Providence, Rhode Island

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By Meredith Cutler (for Artscope Magazine)

Article Excerpt:

Arguably one of the most prolific and talented draftsmen in Providence, CW Roelle sports a callus in the center of his palm the size of a quarter. With a fluid facility for depicting everyday objects and structures through a patient, continuous line, Roelle deftly interweaves the mundane with invented characters and complex environments using only dark annealed steel wire and a pair of sturdy pliers. The callus is a hazard of the trade.

"I was doing a lot of pencil line drawings, and I wanted to reach in, grab that line and just bend it with my hands – I figured the best way to bend line with my hands was with wire."

Roelle draws in space, forgoing paper and pencil for a system of twists, hooks and the occasional change of gauge to achieve dazzling effects of depth and shade. Defending the claim that he is "not a sculptor," Roelle realizes his work wherever possible without the solid crutch of welding, with the exception of the most structurally spare foundations required to support his larger scale pieces.

Never referencing sketches, Roelle turns to photographs and live models as his primary source materials, combining elements from several origins to create one figure. The pleats and folds of clothing, interior environments complete with décor, and embellished frames to contain each composition are delicately rendered. Facial expressions in his figurative work remain ambiguous.

"Wire dulls expression," explains Roelle, whose go-to inspiration book is a well-thumbed vintage volume titled "A Pictorial History of the Silent Screen." In addition to the rich period costumes and interiors of silent film, Roelle appreciates that facial expressions "are so much better…so much sharper" in the still frames documenting this groundbreaking medium.

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Image: CW Roelle, "How To Read The Paper", 2009, 22" x 36" x 3", painted steel wire.

(Author's Note: The show's title was changed after the writing of this article to "Not Just Women In White Dresses," a play on art market insiders' knowledge of "what sells").

 

"PAUL CLANCY" for Artscope Magazine (Nov/Dec 2008)

"PAUL CLANCY" for Artscope Magazine (Nov/Dec 2008)

PAUL CLANCY
CITY UNCONVENTIONAL: Providence’s photo-archeologist continues his search for the soul of a building.

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By Meredith Cutler (for Artscope Magazine)

Article Excerpt:

When I first arrived in “Downcity” Providence one Saturday in July, 2007, Paul Clancy was the first person that I encountered. I remember this clearly, because the sunlit movie set of this hauntingly beautiful, yet so often underserved urban streetscape was utterly deserted.

With the art-deco “Superman Building” towering overhead, there was something disquietingly post-apocalyptic about the summer scene. I ducked into the then brand new AS220 Project Space to reorient myself. On display in the group show “Describing the Dreyfus,” were Paul Clancy’s haunting photomontages: a highly interpretive archive documenting the renovation of the Dreyfus Hotel, now housing, among other things, artists’ studios, the Local 121 restaurant and the gallery I was taking refuge in. Manning the space was the soft-spoken artist himself, interpretive archivist to the past and future of Providence’s skyline.

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Image: Paul Clancy, "Dreyfus Lathing Altar No 1", 2006, UltraChrome archival print (from film), diptych.

 

 

"JESSICA GONACHA" for Artscope Magazine (May/June 2009)

"JESSICA GONACHA" for Artscope Magazine (May/June 2009)

JESSICA GONACHA AT YES GALLERY AND STUDIO

Yes Gallery and Studio
146 Water Street
Warren, Rhode Island
June 17 - July 5, 2009

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By Meredith Cutler (for Artscope Magazine)

Article Excerpt:

When the bottom falls out of the economy, few escape feeling the effects. That’s certainly true in Rhode Island, where small businesses make up more than 90 percent of the pie, no small part of which are artists, craftspeople and independent galleries.

In the Ocean State, every hard won sale, client or fundraised dollar feels like an endangered resource. Those making a living from the arts rely more than ever on the survival skills particular to the profession, from grassroots marketing to creative frugality.

Keeping a positive outlook in Warren’s sales-tax-free arts district, YES Gallery and Studio represents that spirit, along with a spectrum of local and far-flung artists who share the same ethos.

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Image: Jessica Gonacha, "Protect Yourself", 2008, acrylic, india ink, hand-carved rubber block stamping on masonite.

 

"ANDIAMO! ART ON THE HILL" for Artscope Magazine (May/June 2009)

"ANDIAMO! ART ON THE HILL" for Artscope Magazine (May/June 2009)

DESTINATION FEDERAL HILL, PROVIDENCE'S LITTLE ITALY

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By Meredith Cutler (for Artscope Magazine)

Article Excerpt:

After a long, harsh New England winter, I’m feeling the need for escape. With travel budgets modest, our annual summer visit to the in-laws in Rome is an unlikely dream. Wistful for Mediterranean UV overload, serious pizza and the artistic legacy of Western civilization, I’m not entirely out of options — even here in Rhode Island, our nation’s smallest state.

Wearing my New England pallor under oversized sunglasses, I hop in my jalopy for a journey across the highway. A mere 10 minutes later, I’m stirring espresso with a little spoon at Costantino’s Venda Ravioli, which holds up its ample end at DePasquale Plaza, a cobblestoned public square crowned by an enormous fountain. The line at “Venda” snakes around cases of fresh pasta. Pure, unadulterated consumption is on the mind of these shoppers, but I’m tempering my share with a little gallery hopping.

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Image: Mary Jane Q. Cross, "Morning Stroll", 2009, oil on panel.

"NETWORKS 2008: A COLLABORATION" for Artscope Magazine (Jan/Feb 2009)

"NETWORKS 2008: A COLLABORATION" for Artscope Magazine (Jan/Feb 2009)

NETWORKS 2008: A COLLABORATION

Newport Art Museum
76 Bellevue Avenue
Newport, Rhode Island 
October 25, 2008 - January 18, 2009

5 Traverse Gallery
5 Traverse Street
Providence, Rhode Island  
December 5, 2008 - January 11, 2009

AS220 Project Space
93 Mathewson Street
Providence, Rhode Island  
December 5-28, 2008

<<--CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FULL ARTICLE-->>

By Meredith Cutler (for Artscope Magazine)

Article Excerpt:

“NetWorks 2008: A Collaboration” is an ambitious exhibition spread across three diverse venues in Rhode Island where the artwork and stories of 19 influential Rhode Island artists have been celebrated and documented through a triad of gallery exhibitions launched and supplemented with video and photographic portraits of the participants. This unique exhibition and historical document is the result of a partnership amongst the Newport Art Museum; the artists; celebrated Rhode Island art collector Joseph Chazan, MD; Umberto Crenca, artistic director of AS220 (Providence’s renowned alternative art space); and 5 Traverse, a private gallery in Providence.

In the elegant setting of the Newport Art Museum’s Cushing Memorial Galleries, distinguished Rhode Island artists Howard Ben Tré, Toots Zynsky, Salvatore Mancini, Jonathan Bonner, Jacqueline Ott, James Watkins, Elizabeth Pannell, Timothy Philbrick, Mark Freedman, Denny Moers, Ruth Dealy, Umberto Crenca and Walter Feldman hold court with artists newer to the local art scene, or flourishing in its well-formed underground.

These include Angel Quinonez, Xander Marro, CW Roelle and the artists who photographed and filmed them, Richard Goulis, Scott Lapham and Lucas Foglia. It’s an ambitious undertaking, finding the kernel of common ground that unites this group and translating that into a cogent exhibit experience.  

The component of the wider project that best illustrates this goal is the lasting document of photographic and video portraits of the artists themselves. The stills were tackled by Lapham and Foglia, and, at their best, center the personalities of each individual in a space that informs their work and narrates their story. In Foglia’s portrait “Umberto Crenca,” the joyfully non-hierarchical catalyst sports dark glasses scrawled with the words “Not Art,” as he stands before the blank canvas of a paint-splattered wall, his muscular arms crossed confrontationally.

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Image: Angel Quinonez, "Vincent Van Goya", 2006, acrylic, gold leaf on plywood.

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