Joseph Barbieri: Avian Antics, Languid Landscapes, and Some Fishes
April 6 – 28 at Gallery NAGA
Joseph Barbieri: Avian Antics, Languid Landscapes, and Some Fishes runs from April 6 through April 28 at Gallery NAGA. A reception for the artist and the public will be held at the gallery on Friday, April 6 from 6 to 8 pm. A lunch-break artist talk will be held at the gallery on Wednesday, April 11 at 12:30pm.
As he has for the past several years, Barbieri presents both streams of his paintings: gentle landscapes and colorful animal portraits. The landscapes, done en plein air, in Italy, Antigua, and Maine, are soft and muted and are suffused with the warm air and sun of their settings.
Ledges Mid-tide depicts the surf at a distance, presumably in Maine. The waves, breaking at a distance, unfolding at neither the high nor low water mark. There is very little sense of depth and illusion in this painting–the lines of waves almost indistinguishable from the horizon line, sea-smoke rising up to create a dense haze. One senses that this is a distant memory and not something that is being recorded in front of Barbieri.
Barbieri’s “animals” resemble humans in their leisurely activities – reading, canoeing, fishing, and wading in the ocean. In a departure for these paintings by Barbieri, we see in one a man–an actual human being—sailing a boat in front of an island in Maine. When asked why he portrayed a human, Barbieri responded, “I guess I just wanted to depict this as I saw it, and anyway, ducks can’t handle a tiller or mainsheet at all.”
Thirty-seven Typical Fishes of Antigua and Barbuda is a departure for Barbieri’s work. The painting is a cross-section of the ocean teeming with dozens of colorful fish going this way and that. Five Easy Pieces is a series of five bird portraits using the exact same template, but painted in contrasting color palettes so as to give each their own persona.