Visual Arts Program

Friday, November 6, 2009 — Friday, December 18, 2009

AJ Fries

Ignoring The Sirens

AJ Fries - <em>Ignoring The Sirens</em>
AJ Fries - <em>Ignoring The Sirens</em>
AJ Fries - <em>Ignoring The Sirens</em>
AJ Fries - <em>Ignoring The Sirens</em>
AJ Fries - <em>Ignoring The Sirens</em>
AJ Fries - <em>Ignoring The Sirens</em>
AJ Fries - <em>Ignoring The Sirens</em>
AJ Fries - <em>Ignoring The Sirens</em>
AJ Fries - <em>Ignoring The Sirens</em>

In a new series of predominantly monochromatic paintings, Buffalo artist A.J. Fries delves into the expansive space offered within seemingly banal moments. Water on tiles. A soap bubble. Water descending down a drain. Clouds framing a streetlamp. Fire. Horizontal blinds. Rendered with assiduous skill, they appear at first to be photo-representational images of ordinary moments—and they are. And they're not. While Fries has painted his subjects with an impressive seeming-reality, they are far less about realistic pictorial representation than about the ephemeral and gossamer moment captured in the images. His preference for "glorious black and white" reiterates their remove from pictorial realism and suggests their inclination toward another psychological and emotional space.

"Ignoring the sirens" is a literal and metaphoric allusion—the literal sirens passing by the studio window as urban noise or resisting the siren call of doing anything but remaining in the studio. Ignoring the sirens references the artist's commitment to the image at-hand, and the effort to realize not simply a pithy and convincing banality, but to pursue the state of mind and feeling within these painted moments. It can be said that Fries' apparent photo-realism is a deceptive ruse as he is not painting things so much as painting time.

A.J. Fries graduated with a BFA from Buffalo State College in 1995. His solo exhibits include Play With Me at Big Orbit's Soundlab in 2002, Living The Fantasy at Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center in 2003, New Works at The Burchfield Penney Art Center in 2005, Recent Paintings at The Nichols School in 2006, and Ignoring the Sirens at Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center in 2009. He has been included in numerous group exhibitions including Convergence at The Carnegie Art Center in 2001, 9<24 at Buffalo State College in 2003, New York State Collects Buffalo State College at The Burchfield Penney Art Center in 2004, Up Against the Wall at Rochester Contemporary in 2006, Beyond/In Western New York in 2007, and Remarkable at the Indigo Gallery in 2009. In 2001 he was awarded a three-month residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York City, and in 2007 he was awarded a full fellowship for a month long residency at The Vermont Studio Center. A.J. Fries lives and works in Buffalo, New York.

Some publications related to this event:
October, 2009 - 2009
November, 2009 - 2009

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As a long-established venue for free speech and freedom of expression, Hallwalls is pleased to present a new series of dynamic paintings by Cincinnati artist OGRE, each depicting historical figures from diverse eras who have all been—for whatever reason—deemed as "heretics."

John Peña
New Works

Peña's work operates across various media (including the ongoing "one cartoon each day" autobiography called Daily Geology) and across various emotional strata. In certain works, Peña illustrates a desire to engage and sometimes emulate the natural world, while in other works, he teases out the awkward reality and unavoidable pathos of the human condition.