Monday, August 5, 2013

Bill Armstrong, Buddha & Mandala, Opening Aug.3, 2013

Sara Nightingale Gallery is pleased to present Bill ArmstrongBuddha & Mandala, opening Saturday, August 3, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Through Sept. 23rd.
         This will be Armstrong's 10th anniversary with Sara Nightingale. In August of 2003, Armstrong had his breakout show at the gallery. Since then he has gone on to become a well-established international artist. We commemorate that show with an exciting installation of new floating Buddhas hanging in the center of the gallery accompanied on the walls by Mandalas that were shown at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2008.
         Armstrong's Infinity Series, begun in 1977, includes a wide range of portfolios made by photographing found images with the camera's focusing ring set at infinity. The appropriated images are subjected to several manipulations - photocopying, cutting, painting, re-photographing - which transform the originals and provide new context. The results hover between the real and the fantastic, dreams and memory, and point toward a parallel universe. Place is suggested, but is never defined, and the identity of the amorphous figures remains in question. Extreme de-focusing enables Armstrong to blend and distill hues, creating rhapsodies of color that inspire meditation. He has said that color is the subject of the work. 
         Armstrong’s work was featured in a two-person exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2008. He has exhibited work in numerous other museums including the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; George Eastman House, Rochester, NY; Hayward Gallery, London; Musée de l'Élysée, Lausanne, Switzerland; Centro Internazionale di Fotografia, Milan; and FOAM, Amsterdam. His photographs are included in the permanent collections of the Vatican Museum, Rome; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Brooklyn Museum, NY; Houston Museum of Fine Arts; and the Bibliothèque National de France, Paris; among many others. 

  Armstrong’s work appears in Face: The New Photographic Portrait by William Ewing and Exploring Color Photography by Robert Hirsch, among others, and his Mandala #450 is the cover image for The Edge of Vision: The Rise of Abstraction in Photography by Lyle Rexer (Aperture, 2009). He has also been published in numerous periodicals including The New YorkerThe New York Times and Harper’s. Armstrong is on the faculty at the International Center of Photography and the School of Visual Arts.

Meditation Room, a group exhibition in the project space, will run concurrently with Bill Armstrong's show and will include works by Eric Dever, Cara Enteles, Glenn Fischer, William Pagano, Kia Pedersen, Peter Sabbeth, Mike Solomon, and Ross Watts.

The exhibitions will run through Sept. 23rd. For more images or information contact Sara Nightingale at 631-793-2256.

Images: Bill Armstrong, Buddha 711, Buddha 712, C-Prints, 48" x 40", 36" x 30", 24" x 20"
Ross Watts, Open, Paper, steel, tape, 9" x 10" x 1"

William Pagano, Here and Sometimes There, July 6 - July 31, 2013

Sara Nightingale Gallery is pleased to present William Pagano, Here and Sometimes There, opening on Sat. July 6, from 6 - 8 p.m.

  As a child, William Pagano had the good fortune of attending the opening of the new Idlewild Airport, now JFK, as well as the 1964/65 World's Fair. The architecture he observed at these events left a lasting imprint on his work. Utopian minimalist American architecture is the driving influence behind his work. "I select iconic buildings with wide open designs that address light and space and hope for the future," he says. In his Modern House Series, two well known mid century homes serve as inspiration: the Stahl House by Pierre Koenig and Twin Palms, by E. Stewart Williams. The Dulles airport terminal designed by Eero Saarinen as well as various highway interchanges also provide subject matter.

 Using both his own photographs and appropriated images as source material, Pagano pairs down his compositions, stripping away the unnecessary and focusing on the line, shape and space that remains. Linear perspective is used and misused to create order, tension and contradiction. Pagano achieves crisp edges and lines by working with traditional drafting tools, which serve as a connection to the original architectural forms.

     Like the Light and Space artists of Southern California in the 60's, Pagano's concerns are volume, scale and light. He utilizes the translucency of oil paint to emphasize these qualities. "I have sought out public venues that speak to an idealized spectacle, while the houses I have chosen emphasize a structure's primary function: shelter." The resulting paintings, however, are devoid of human figures, and thus generate tension between beauty and alienation.

Pagano is a New York based artist who has an MA in sculpture from C.W. Post College. This will be his debut solo exhibition at the gallery.

  The exhibition will run through July 31. For information or more images contact Sara Nightingale at