Encaustic works by Lorraine Glessner are part of the special show “Taking Wing,” which opens on June 16 at Ellsworth Gallery.
Encaustic painting, which involves the use of heated beeswax and colored pigments, has been practiced by artists for more than 2,000 years. Glessner, an assistant professor at Tyler School of Art at Temple University, enjoys incorporating colorful contemporary abstract imagery into this traditional process.
“I am drawn to loss, the void within an abandoned area or individual,” Glessner says about her work.
“Taking Wing” also features paintings by Arin Dineen and sculpture by Claire McArdle. “While all three artists are very different from each other, they share the idea of honoring and mastering historical traditions within their particular medium,” explains gallery director Hallie Brennan.
McArdle, who moved to Italy in 1988 to be around the master marble carvers of Carrara, focuses her imagery on female figures. “Women are her specialty,” says Brennan. “Individuals in her life have inspired some of her pieces.” All of McArdle’s sculptures, both large and small, are set on pedestals.
Photorealism excites Dineen, who portrays unusual indoor and outdoor scenes and spaces in Spain and Italy in her oil on canvas paintings.
“My oil paintings focus on silence, the passage of time, and the preservation of history,” says Dineen. “By presenting empty historical spaces as they exist today, I invite viewers to contemplate not only the actual history of the locations presented, but also our relationship to history.”
Dineen and McArdle will be present for the show’s opening, which takes place from 5-7 pm.