In the tradition of Kurt Schwitters and Georges Braque, Mr. Pavlicek continues the exploration of technique and possibilities offered by collage. The artist has a long-standing affinity for jazz, and fragments of sheet music often appear in his work. The compositions themselves are tightly composed in a manner that reflects the delicate layering of jazz or orchestral music. Lines curved and vertical define his canvases, working in balanced harmony with shape, color, and pattern. Though layered, Pavlicek’s large-scale collages remain airy rather than dense. Pavlicek was born in 1946 in Lubbock, Texas. He attended the University of Dallas, where he studied painting. This training shines through in the balance of opaque color blocks and soft washes that buffer the linear structure of his canvases.
Painting in the tradition of the old masters, Lionel Kalish draws his inspiration from the gardens, waterways and
villages of Italy. His paintings and finely wrought drawings depict scenes of landscape and architecture that evoke the
Renaissance in their subject matter, yet are shot through with a quiet, dream-like quality that unmoors them from
time. The clarity and hyperrealism of Kalish’s work also enhances this quality. Kalish was born in New York, New York
and received his artistic training at Cooper Union. He has been exhibiting his work nationally and internationally since
Joan Steinman’s portraits of daily life hum with color and vibrancy. Born in Beaumont, Texas, Steinman received a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA from Indiana University. Her work also draws inspiration from studies in Italy and France. Steinman’s still lives of flowers, vases, and textiles are cubist kaleidoscopes, the scenes fragmented by shafts of light. Her bright cityscapes capture architecture with a deftness and solidity, while still retaining the sense of light, color, and sun that saturates her interior scenes. Steinman’s painted worlds are characterized by a sense of joyous chaos but embedded with a clear sense of pattern and composition. She paints life as a swirl of color and shape—a collision part man, part built environment, and part natural world.
Woodrow Blagg’s large-scale drawings capture scenes from the American West with a photorealistic sensitivity to detail. Awash in shades of grey, Blagg’s depictions of cowboys at work are done entirely in graphite. This fine-grained pencil work evokes an ethereal tone befitting of the desolate grace of the landscape of West Texas. Blagg currently resides in Pennsylvania, although his travels through Europe, the indigenous communities of Canada, and the ranches of Texas all inform his work’s exploration of the relationship between man and nature. His time spent immersed in the rhythm of ranch life in Texas during the 1980s was especially formative and laid a rich observational foundation for his cowboy drawings. Educated at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) in Philadelphia, Blagg draws on a diverse array of both visual and literary influences. Argentinian writers Macedonia Fernandez and Jorge Luis Borges in particular have shaped Blagg’s depictions of the human act of being in the world: a constant ebb and flow between action and stillness, immersion and alienation.
Los Angeles based painter Jerrold Burchman has had a rich career, one characterized through the decades by persistent innovation and exploration of the play between color and form. Burchman’s work has been exhibited widely in the United States and Europe and can be found in both galleries and private collections. The American tradition of abstract expressionism as well as the central place of intuition and the unconscious in European surrealism both shape the art historical context of Burchman’s oeuvre. Imagination and invention characterize his compositions, which brim with expressive value. A sensitivity to color and opacity is another thematic vein that distinguishes Burchman from other 20th century abstract painters. Burchman received his BA and MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles, and has won the prestigious Prix de Rome. He continues to paint and teach in California, more recently producing works of a smaller scale with graphic, patterned elements.
Raised in a small farming community nestled under the Idaho Tetons, Bruce Brainard draws inspiration from early American landscape artist George Inness. Brainard’s scenes of trees and sky emanate an inner tranquility and evoke the infinite in a manner that harkens back to the great German Romanticist Caspar David Friedrich. Brainard’s compositions are also distinctive for their warm realism and deft handling of light, which suffuses the canvas and animates the spiritual dimension of his work. Brainard has been devoted to the exploration of the landscape and a conduit for meaning throughout his career. He received both his BFA and MFA from Brigham Young University in Utah, where he continues to live and work.
Eric Peters, b. 1952 in Stolberg Germany, graduated from the University of Applied Science at Aachen in 1974, where he still works. Art Historian Pia vom Dorp describes Peters’ work as a “feast for the eye and senses, a visual treat and a visual delight,” in so doing “he draws brilliantly on the repertoire of art history and painting traditions, working at a highly accomplished technical level.”
Entirely self-taught, Muriel Kalish was born in a small Pennsylvania town in 1932. She moved to New York in 1950
and began to produce paintings that straddled the line between the naturalistic and the fantastic. Kalish’s paintings
may be seen as windows into an intimate, enchanted world, where rich textiles, 19 th century dolls, and religious
iconography mingle together. The work of Kalish’s late period moved away from figurative imagery and towards still
lives—each tableau of flowers or fruit rendered as a personal meditation on beauty and rebirth. Kalish’s paintings
have appeared in solo exhibitions and museums throughout the country, including the Art Museum of the Americas
in Washington D.C., the Galerie Brusberg in Germany and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Leslie Parke has spent her decades-long career exploring the artistic possibilities that exist between the worlds of representation and abstraction. Light, transparency, and reflection are themes that dominate her work. Her paintings of everyday objects such as plastic water bottles and her more abstract compositions of lines and colored thread both play with the viewer’s ability to perceive pattern and meaning in a visually dense field. Her explorations of shape, light, and the relationship between abstraction and perception all developed following the influence of the great American postwar painters, such as the Color Field artists Helen Frankenthaler and Jules Olitski. Parke received her BA and MA from Bennington College. She is a recipient of the Esther and Adolph Gottlieb Grant for Individual Support, the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest grant as artist- in-residence at the Claude Monet Foundation in Giverny, France, and the George Sugarman Foundation Grant, among others. She lives in Cambridge, New York.
A former professional athlete, Lamonte French came into his own as a painter while searching for a creative
outlet. His work is varied in its medium and its inspirations—utilizing oils, spray paints, and collage materials, and
drawing inspiration from history and social issues. Imagery from America’s contemporary reckoning with race and
gentrification live alongside fragments of bible pages or the ghostly outline of an African mask. Fashion is another
major source for French’s work, and textiles add a subtle texture to many of his paintings. Though his imagery is full
of bold color and a distinctive passion, French’s layered paintings challenge the viewer to receive the art on its own
terms—making their own sense of his themes of memory, identity, and American belonging. French is based out of
his studio here in Houston.
Elizabeth Chandler’s work explores nature and sense of place as filtered through contemporary abstract art. Her paintings are layered in color, texture, and medium: this play of surface and depth lends Chandler’s works an almost sculptural quality. Symphonies—layered, expressive, technical—are another comparison which springs to mind. Chandler received her B.A. from Stanford University in Art, minoring in Mathematics and Biological Sciences, and also attended the Art Center College of Design for her postgraduate work. A sense of scientific rigor still shapes her artistic process, and the complexity of her paintings probe the intricacy of the natural world. Chandler currently lives in California, and her recent work takes inspiration from the beauty of the desert landscape.
Robert Rector’s paintings meld the two impulses that have defined 20th century non-figural art: the energy of abstract expressionism and the restraint and order of minimalism. Awash in vibrant color, his paintings are compositionally deft, incorporating raw gestural beauty within thoughtful geometrical structure. However, the intuitive tone of Rector’s work is such that the starkness of this dichotomy quietly fades into visual harmony. Rector was born in Mississippi and received both his BFA and MFA from Louisiana State University. He continues to live and work in Louisiana. His work takes inspiration in turn from the worn stone of Provence to the backwoods that surround his own studio outside Baton Rouge. Texture and surface are thus two themes woven through many of his paintings. Prismatic layers of color, sometimes playful and sometimes ethereal, define his body of work.
Italian-born, American Nicola Parente is a reductive abstract artist. He garners inspiration from observation of
movement and light, translated into an enduring, nurturing, and sublime vision of our world. Parente’s artistic vision
explores his perceptions of the diversity of culture and nature encountered while living and traveling on multiple
continents. Parente’s studio practice includes painting, installations, photography, sculpture, civic art, set design, and
textile design. His interdisciplinary work surveys the ever changing impact to our landscape and communitiesOver the
last two decades, Parente has exhibited in major international museums and gallery shows including Manuel
Felguerez Museum of Abstract Art (Zacatecas, Mexico), Museo de Guadalupe (Zacatecas, Mexico), The Art Car
Museum (Houston), and Serenade Art House (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), as well as a touring exhibition between Esbjerg
Denmark and Houston Texas.
German artist Thomas Zitzwitz was born in 1964 in the southern city of Sindelfingen. His paintings are abstract and
luminous—water-colored explorations of light and color as it layers, swells, and folds in on itself. His usage of the
spray gun technique creates works that are ethereally beautiful in the play of shapes and subtle gradations from light
to dark. Zitzwitz’s work is intellectually expansive, informed by musical composition, philosophy, and creative writing.
The artist is a fixture of the German contemporary art scene and engaged in his own curatorial practice. Zitzwitz
studied painting at Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe paintings, the Accademia di belle arti in Perugia, the
Universität der Künste in Berlin and received a Fulbright scholarship to attend New York University. He recently
received the Karl Schmidt-Rottluff Scholarship and lives and works in the city of Cologne.
Marie Thiebault’s vivid oil paintings take the metal and right angles of the urban landscape as their point of
departure. Informed by the artist’s experience of living near the postindustrial Port of Los Angeles, Thiebault’s
paintings exert an almost magnetic pull on the viewer. A frenzy of line and color, they seem to enmesh the viewer in
an environment of metal and sound and sky. The tensions that knit together the industrial and natural worlds are a
recurring theme in Thiebault’s work. Her handling of color evokes the landscape and color field school of abstract art,
while the energetic linework that dominates her canvases gestures to the early 20 th century Italian futurists. Thibeault
received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and her MFA from the University of California at Berkley.
She is currently a Professor Emerita of Art at California State University Long Beach where she teaches painting and
A philosopher both in the formal sense and by way of artistic practice, Fernando Casas has forged a unique career as a painter and scholar of time and the self. Born in Cochabamba, Bolivia, Casas earned his BA at Colorado College before earning his PhD in Philosophy at Rice University, where he lectured in philosophy and the humanities for almost twenty years. Casas works in a variety of mediums: primarily a painter, he has also exhibited installations and worked with collage and found materials. Running throughout Casas’ pieces is an insistent engagement with the viewer, challenging them to look, perceive, and probe the ways in which their mind constitutes reality. Casas challenges the viewer to look anew at the world, to appreciate the ways in which it is fantastic and strange. Casas has had his work featured in international exhibits and published philosophical writings on his art and the themes it explores. He is currently on the faculty of the Women’s Institute of Houston.
Color and all its subtleties and possibilities sits at the center of Susan English’s work. Sea glass blues, greys, and jewel toned pinks and greens spread in soft washes across her canvases. English works in tinted polymers to
create luminous surfaces that change with the light and in relation to the viewer in space. Her abstract paintings stem from an intuitive relationship to color and space, and their composition and spiritual undertones evoke the work of famed color field painter Mark Rothko. She received an MFA from Hunter College in New York City and a BA from Hamilton College, Clinton, NY. She lives and works in Cold Spring, NY.
In 2011, Patrick Fagerberg was at the height of his career as a successful defense attorney in Austin, Texas. On the evening of March 19th, he attended a concert at a popular music venue, during which a 400-pound camera boom collapsed and struck him on the head. The accident injured his brain’s left hemisphere, permanently altering his control of language and triggering a period of intense depression. Fagerberg discovered painting in an art therapy class, and the impulse towards artistic expression soon came to dominate his life. Fagerberg’s injury had brought about an exceptional case of “savant syndrome,” in which his previously neglected right brain developed an island of genius which allowed him to excel as a painter.
Fagerberg’s work explores nature on a cosmic scale, evoking the transcendent in the tradition of other abstract painters such as Mark Rothko and Clifford Still. Organic and expansive, Fagerberg’s paintings thrust the viewer into the cosmos. They possess a sense of the infinite both in their endless gradations of gray and perpetual sense of movement: forms seem to drift across the canvas on a cosmic timeline. Fagerberg’s most recent work has taken on mathematical elements, and the geometric forms of fractals and parabolas are pervasive in his imagery. Largely self-taught over a short and intense period of study, Fagerberg—in both his unusual career trajectory and his body of work—invites the viewer to contemplate the remarkable relations between science, art, and humanity’s different modes of creating meaning.
Eric Holzman paints with a lushness and a delicacy that feels almost Baroque. His paintings, typically done in watercolor and egg tempera, have been described as evoking Renaissance masters, Chinese landscapes and Japanese scroll paintings. Holzman’s work often depicts quiet scenes from the natural world, rendered soft and atmospheric under a haze of paint. Situated within a vein of observational landscape painting that harkens back to Monet and the
Impressionists as well as the American tradition, Holzman’s work also feels contemporary in the way it reaches towards abstraction. Holzman was born in New York City and received his BFA from the Tyler School of Art and his MFA from Yale University. In 2003 he received the Atlantic Pacific Fellowship, an exchange program that allows American artists to live and work in Japan. He continues to place the human connection to nature at the center of his work, and lives and paints in New York City.
Houston-based artist Davey Eldridge’s paintings draw the viewer’s eye with their vibrancy and dynamic sense of composition. The landscape is a central source of inspiration of the artist, and each of the paintings in his “Maps” series represent not so much a specific place, but the structure and rhythm of nature. The landscape works as an undergirding theme embedded within each painting. Positioned within the American postwar tradition of abstract art, Eldridge works primarily in watercolor, building up the pigment in increasingly detailed layers. Originally from Canton, New York, he studied painting and printmaking at the State University of New York, Potsdam, and has exhibited at festivals and galleries both here in Houston and in upstate New York.