Running for the second time in 2017, Clio Art Fair continues its tradition of showcasing artwork by independent artists. It’s always a breath of fresh air to see artists without gallery representation showing their work, and Clio does not disappoint. Energy, vibrations, bright colors, and buzzing conversations define the opening night reception.
Condensed to one floor, there is enough art to see a variety without getting overwhelmed. While different media are represented, the majority are paintings and two dimensional mixed media works. Some of the most exciting art on display includes geometric pieces made of thread, oil paintings with many layers, and multimedia abstract paintings.
Cuicari Mandalarte’s geometric works made of Tibetan thread are unique in their conflicting perception of depth despite their flatness. The degradation of color tricks the eye into seeing recession. Mandalarte transforms the thread in a new and unexpected way. Both pieces titled Autumn Leaf and Connection are rooted in reality but diverge quickly into the realm of abstract, their titles suggesting a feeling or passing moment.
Carole Jury’s paintings give new life to the classic oil on canvas. Her Dark Sea series features paintings that are heavily layered to the point of abstraction. With the suggestion of the “dark sea”, images of a bleak stormy body of water quickly come to mind. But on their own, the paintings stand up as studies in layering and abstraction. The nervous energy of the brushstrokes and incredibly dark color palette suggest an immediately ominous feeling. The thick layers change the look of the paint, giving it a reflective, plastic quality. This treatment of oil paint makes Jury’s works worth a second look.
Other standouts include Michael Katz’s multimedia Abstract, and Colleen Martin’s Untitled paintings. Katz’s self proclaimed abstraction is bold and bright, with an underlying feeling of unease. The flatness of the canvas is accentuated, and the lines are prominent; his style is more defined and drawing like. Martin’s electric colors pop in the shadowy, foggy scene she has created with painterly, undefined brushstrokes. Her paintings evoke a moody, mysterious aura.
Clio’s fall edition reflects a strong showing of varied artwork. The lines and bold colors drew me to each of my favorite pieces, as well as their exploration of layering and manipulation of depth. 2018 will surely bring more independent artists and their unique voices to light.