February 23, 2010

The Nation’s Third Oldest College Newspaper

Volume 80, Issue 10

'Color Crush' is new exhibit at Castellani Art Museum

The new Castellani Art Museum exhibit, "Felice Koenig: Color Crush," is being showcased in the TopSpin Gallery from Jan. 31 through May 23.

At first glance, Koenig's pieces look like simple blocks of color, but upon further inspection, one can see the topography and extreme amount of detail embedded in them.

"Each piece forms and conforms through more than 100 layers of paint ,producing seductive, tactile surfaces that swell between two and three dimensions," Felice Koenig says. While most paintings only interact with one of the viewer's senses (sight), Koenig's works involve another sense: touch.

Koenig says her pieces are shaped by elements that are not obviously seen, similar to how "when people meet, develop friendships, and sometimes move on, realities overlap and each person's personal universe expands a bit more."

Each of her works employs colors from the same palette. For example, the piece entitled "Sweet Cakes" is composed of warm colors. "Garden" dominantly uses cool greens and blues, but if you look closer, bits of purples, reds and yellows can be noticed.

Freshman AEP student Christa Mastro says that "it's a different style of painting that you don't normally see."

Curator of Collections and Exhibits at the Castellani Art Museum, Michael Beam says, "Her works are about the process of painting and the time it takes to create them. ... It can take up to eight to 12 months to complete."

Beam says that "the tactile experience of the paintings is tremendous." Junior biology major Hannah Marchese concurs. "The texture was absolutely amazing; the work almost looked as if it was expanding from the wall."

Mastro was struck by her curiosity when she first saw this exhibit.

"All of her pieces are really captivating. I find myself staring at them for a really long time, looking at the layers - wanting to know how she created each piece. "
Marchese pointed out that the experience of viewing the artwork could even be soothing to the person looking at the painting.

Beam says the intent of this gallery sponsored by Tops Friendly Markets, is to provide an opportunity for emerging regional artists to become more well known in Western New York. There are about 77 to 100 applicants for the gallery. The selection committee only chooses three artists each year to exhibit. "The committee was very impressed with Koenig's style and her unique artistic processes," says Beam.

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