Painter, writer and circus artist Lori Swartz spent two winter months in Buenos Aires, creating paintings featured in GVG Contemporary’s two-artist show “Surface Architecture” that opens on April 26.
“It was fantastic,” says Swartz, a resident of Madrid, New Mexico who didn’t know anyone when she arrived in Argentina’s largest and capital city. “I rented an apartment and turned the living room into a studio. I had a routine. Up late in the morning, because I usually stayed out late at night. After I went running, I’d paint all afternoon.”
Swartz explores Buenos Aires’s sidewalks and streets and how people use them through her works in acrylic, oil, graphite and charcoal.
What Swartz wasn’t expecting to find in Buenos Aires when she planned her trip was that the city streets are often filled with political protestors. This tumultuous activity is reflected in the movement and colors in her canvas. “I even have pieces of the city’s ‘caution’ tapes in some of my pieces,” she adds.
Swartz shares the show with Kevin Gilmore, who is a painter, experimental sound composer and educator living in Rhode Island.
“The collage/mixed media pieces in the exhibition represent a mile marker for me as an artist,” Gilmore explains. “This show includes a series of paintings created in my studio as a graduate of the MFA Visual Arts program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.”
Gilmore spent close to one year working towards the completion of his thesis exhibition. Of great inspiration was an old architecture textbook that belonged to his grandfather, a builder in Rhode Island who worked with the architectural firm run by his great grandfather and uncles.
“Using these pages as the seed of inquiry and a personal exploration of my family, my work evolved into this new series,” he says. “The desire to break the traditional four sides of a square or rectangle canvas results in a unique experience for the viewer with subtle additions along the edges of the canvases.”