Villa Maria is hosting an opening reception on Thursday, November 17 in honor of Façade, the exhibit currently on display in the College’s Paul William Beltz Family Art Gallery.
About the Exhibition
The work in façade is situated around the idea of a particular mode of portraiture wherein the identity of the subject is rendered irrelevant. The three presenting artists use the practice of portraiture as an opportunity to explore complex conceptual and formal ideas. In doing so, each artist sublimates the traditional expectations surrounding portraiture and challenges the viewer with radical and surprising notions.
Both Tricia Butski and Patrick Foran present precise and detailed large-scale, photo-realistic charcoal drawings of their subjects. Butski places the faces under the filter of saranwrap, fluid, and smoke obliterating the identity of the faces in dream-like distortions. In vignettes throughout her drawing’s parts of the subjects snap into sharp focus only to blur and fragment again.
Foran, on the other hand, hides the faces in his drawings in meticulously rendered masks that range from the dementedly happy to the functional and beyond. Each drawing is an investigation of texture and surface that seems to transform each mask into something both familiar and other worldly.
Karle Norman approaches his subjects using bright and intuitive contour lines and colorful patterns. He often subverts his subject’s identity with playful representations of skulls and abstract mark making. His whimsical drawings introduce a levity into the work collected here.
About the Artists
Tricia Butski is an artist and educator living and working in Buffalo, NY. Trained in drawing and painting, Tricia holds a BFA from SUNY Fredonia (2013) and an MFA from the University at Buffalo’s Department of Art (2015). She is currently a resident artist at Buffalo Arts Studio (2016) and an art teacher at Buffalo Seminary High School, instructing classes in drawing, painting, mixed media, and abstraction. Through drawings rendered in charcoal, graphite, and ink, Butski’s recent work examines issues related to memory by exploring its limitations and aestheticizing the instability inherent in portraiture. By challenging the boundaries between representation and abstraction, and questioning the relationship between fluctuation and constancy viewers, the works become entangled and distorted, mirroring the viewer’s innate desire for clarity and their proclivity for drawing meaning out of partiality.
Patrick Foran is an artist and educator based in Buffalo, NY. Originally from Michigan, Foran received his BA from the University of Michigan. HGE went on to study English and visual studies at Cornell University, where he received his MA. Most recently, he received his MFA from the University at Buffalo in Visual Studies and Art. He currently resides in Buffalo, where he teaches studio art and writing at the University at Buffalo, SUNY Fredonia, Niagara County Community College, and Niagara University. Foran’s work conceptualizes various articulations of portraiture in relation to war, politics, mass media, and popular culture. He explores the face as a point of reflection for power structures, politics, and objectification.
Karle Norman is an artist living in Buffalo, NY. Born into a conservative religious group that emphasized strict adherence to the Bible, he used art as an escape. He has two mural projects with the Albright-Knox’s public art program currently on view in the city. His “Same Inside” series seeks to explore the relationship of our shared experiences to our physical differences.
Façade will be on display until November 30.