Lucky Ducks and Lambent Landscapes
Apr 2 – 24, 2021 at Gallery NAGA
Just after the onset of the pandemic, Joseph Barbieri’s 2020 scheduled exhibition morphed into a small, online-only exhibition and was rescheduled for April, 2021 back in the gallery. Gallery NAGA is pleased to present–finally– Barbieri’s wacky and wonderful paintings in the flesh, or shall we say, feathers.
Joseph Barbieri: Lucky Ducks and Lambent Landscapes will open to the public on Friday, April 2. Due to Covid-19 precautions, there will be no public reception for the artist. Gallery NAGA’s hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 to 5, with no appointment necessary. The artist will be present every Saturday from 2-4pm to chat with visitors.
As he has done in the past, Barbieri presents both streams of his paintings: gentle landscapes and colorful animal portraiture, specifically animals with beaks. With the exception of one, all of the landscapes were painted on the coast of Maine and depict the abundance of evergreens and glowing birches one finds dotting the coast.
Where the landscapes are quiet and gentle, the animal portraits pulse with color and life. Octogenarian portrays a green and large-beaked bird donning a cobalt blue suit, pocket square, and orange vest set against a pulsating green background and a cream and yellow striped floor. Patterns and textures work together harmoniously to create a sense of excitement and wonder. Is it possible Barbieri doesn’t crack a smile as he paints these?
Barbieri’s animals resemble humans in their leisurely activities–wading, eating, painting, strumming on a guitar. Gone, however, are the group activities, replaced instead with mainly solo happenings. April 19th, 1941 illustrates a single bird calmly flying a jet; he’s the only passenger on his way to somewhere. The title reveals something of the artists’ life–a milestone birthday looming just over the horizon.