CONFIGURATION: a curatorial project
A group exhibition featuring figurative work rendered in a myriad of styles
Opening Reception: Friday, September 6th 6:00 until 8:00
Exhibition Dates: September 6th-28th
In December 2017 Glave Kocen Gallery participated in the Aqua Art Fair, with “Configuration” ; a small portraiture exhibit featuring Steven Walker, Rob Browning, Christopher Peter, & Josh George. It was a highly successful exhibition that solidified the desire to bring the idea back to Richmond when the timing was right. Two years later we expanded the scope to feature triple the number of artists with a healthy mix of new exhibitors and patron favorites. When the gallery first opened in 2007, portraiture was a hard sell. There was almost an affront to it; if it is not someone I know, why would I want to own it? However, year after year more interest grew for work with unknown figures in them.
It really started to happen for Glave Kocen with Stanley Rayfield’s first exhibit, “The Girls Next Door “in 2011 which captured young women’s faces from different nationalities offering unique, yet recognizable qualities from their expressions. The show was an instant success and gave the gallery much more confidence in building a market for artists that render people. We found buyers’ attitude toward portraiture shift to being intrigued with a narrative or technique. It even became more exciting for us as a way forward in who we represent. Josh George’s singular collage portraiture started getting acquired as much as his amazingly intricate cityscapes. A renewed interest in the bold and sometimes whacky narratives of Rob Browning and the large scale multimedia silhouette work of Christopher Peter became sought after. Last March, another boon for portraiture struck Glave Kocen with “Hung Juried” a juried exhibition that featured over 30 + artists. Many acquisitions from that exhibit including substantial work from Elizabeth Coffey & Nils Westergard were figurative.
An incline for almost ten years has led us to this moment to bring some of these fantastic artists back but this time under one exhibit and again with some brand new artists exhibiting at GK for the first time. Newcomer to the RVA Elisabeth Ladwig and her photo composites prove once and for all that magic does exist. All of her scenes have a strong natural connection, set completely or partially outdoors, often with an anonymous subject. "Anonymity allows the viewer to take part in writing the story," she says, "and that story is going to be different for everyone." Also exhibiting for the first time with GK is Heather Blanton from St. Augustine Florida and is known for her graphite and acrylic works depicting the art of motion while celebrating competition and the human spirit. She has created hundreds of large and small sports paintings influenced by Abstract Expressionism and conflicted by a blend of animation and whimsy. Her latest series, “Sports,” depicts a wide range of subjects from golfers in mid-swing to cyclists peddling toward the finish line to hundreds of marathon runners racing to glory. “Configuration” will be chockfull of artists celebrating the figure in a multitude of ways.