Mary Bucci McCoy: Vis - à - vis
My approach to painting is deeply influenced by my early education and experience with clay and glazes — the materials, processes, craft and history of ceramic sculpture — as well as ongoing connection with the natural world. The work develops through experimental engagement with acrylic paint and mediums, water, and geological materials such as marble dust, sand and micaceous iron oxide. Through manual manipulation and maneuvering, the materials’ inherent physical properties — processes and forces such as fluidity, sedimentation and gravity — are exploited to create incidents within the temporal parameters of acrylic paint, i.e. the concretization through drying. Often suggesting an accretion of layers, most in fact occur in a single, intensely focused painting session.
While obliquely referencing mirrors and art historical portrait formats such as cameos, rather than offering representation or reflected likeness, these oval paintings invite expanded reflection. The poetic visual language of color and material references the mineral, vegetal, animal and human within the intimate space of a “painting-as-mirror” deliberately scaled in reference to the human head. As “painting-as-mirror” rather than “painting-as-window” or “painting-as-object”, the work negotiates between presence and absence in multiple ways: besides cameos and portraiture, the circumscribed space of European religious icons and the spiritualized memorialization of bodily matter in relics/reliquaries inform this situation of presence/absence. The scale of the work invites quiet approach and presence, “being with”. Thematically, by integrating the human, vegetal, animal and mineral within an explicitly human space, the work suggests an alternative to a hierarchical representation of humanity and nature.
Mary Bucci McCoy (b. 1962, New Brunswick, NJ) is a painter who lives and works in coastal Essex County, MA. Recent solo exhibitions include Jane Deering Gallery, Gloucester, MA; CG2 Gallery, Nashville, TN; Gray Contemporary, Houston, TX, and Kingston Gallery, Boston, MA. Other selected exhibitions include boeckercontemporary, Heidelberg, Germany; The Curator Gallery, New York, NY; Key Projects, Long Island City, NY; The Neon Heater, Findlay, OH; Rhode Island College, Providence, RI; Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA; Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Philadelphia, PA; FPAC Gallery, Boston, MA; and the Art Complex Museum, Duxbury, MA. Awards include a merit-based residency grant from the Vermont Studio Center; the Luz Dorrien Faculty Development Award, Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA, where she teaches; and a Painting Fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. She holds a BFA with a focus in ceramics from School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/Tufts University as well as a BA in English from Tufts University, and has also studied ceramic sculpture and glaze technology at l'Ecole des Arts Decoratifs in Geneva, Switzerland (now Haute École d’Art et de Design Genève).
Dimitra Skandali: Tiny - Vast Universes
“Tiny - Vast Universes” will be re-installed in response to the space of Gray Contemporary. It aims to invite the viewer to re-discover new worlds through the uniqueness of unexpected elements; new worlds reveal themselves as people move around them and become more intimate with them. Sound, a combination of whisperings, sounds from places around the world, and an old traditional Greek song, travels the viewers to different (emotional/psychological) places depending on where they stand.
Dimitra Skandali grew up on Paros, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea. She was educated in Greece and the Netherlands before moving to California, and earning an MFA in New Genres from San Francisco Art Institute in 2013. The experience of growing up on an island, and her journey since then to build a community across the oceans, is central to her work. Skandali creates installations that weave together found elements from different locales to create ethereal forms; reminders of the sea, with its openness and possibilities, as well as its fragile and unstable limitations. Skandali has exhibited both nationally and internationally in venues like the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, Headlands Center for the Arts, in Sausalito, and the Archaeological Museum of Patras, in Greece. She lives and works in California and Paros island, Greece.