AMERICANS IN PARIS
It has long been a tradition for artists to travel abroad to Europe and gain inspiration from the culture and scenery. Through May 4, Arcadia Contemporary in Culver City, California, will present the invitational exhibition Americans in Paris featuring new works by “painters whose travels to Paris and the works they’ve seen there have deeply influenced the how and what they create for themselves.”
Floral still lifes are among those featured in the exhibition including Michael Klein’s Garden Roses that depicts peach-colored roses in a glass vase. The light and shadows of the composition highlight the ephemeral quality of nature.
Of the work, Klein says, “In nature there is an infinite amount of variety and decisions that can be seen, Garden Bouquet is a visual document of time spent with the roses and what was perceived. It is something simple and profound at the same time, resulting in a culmination of my understanding of what is going on and the feeling I had while working. Any painting is a brief encounter with what the artist experiences.”
Another floral piece is Katie G.
Whipple’s Papavera Study I that was painted from life in preparation for a largescale work, Papavera, inspired by Odilon Redon’s floral works. She first became acquainted with Redon’s pieces in 2014 when visiting the Museé d’Orsay. “I was instantly enchanted. When I experienced Redon’s work it was akin to seeing an old friend after years apart—as if we already knew everything about each other and it was so good to finally be reunited,” she says. “A rare but prized feeling an artist has when viewing another’s work. For this show, I knew I wanted my paintings to be love letters to Redon. These paintings were inspired by Redon, but they were also made especially for him. This is my small way of thanking him for the beauty he has gifted the world.”
Whipple’s husband, Brendan Johnston, combines the floral and figurative worlds in his painting The Flower Painter that was inspired by her. Johnston has always been drawn to French portraiture, as he feels the 19th-century French artists were able to “synthesize the real and the ideal.”
In describing The Flower Painter, Johnston says, “I wanted to represent her in a semiabstract rose garden, collecting flowers for a bouquet that she might herself paint. The inspirations for my composition and technique are the marvelously designed paintings that hang throughout Paris.”
Also participating in the show are Jeremy Lipking, Casey Childs, Vincent Xeus, Ryan Brown, Michelle Dunaway, Olga Krimon and Joshua LaRock, among others.
Arcadia Contemporary 9428 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232 • (424) 603-4656 www.arcadiacontemporary.com
Jeremy Lipking, Untitled, oil on panel, 16 x 12"
Katie G. Whipple, Papavera Study I, oil on panel,
12 x 10"
Brendan Johnston, The Flower Painter, oil on canvas,
50 x 34"
Michael Klein, Garden Roses, oil on canvas, 16 x 12"