Show Preview | Abend Gallery Fine Art: Sroka, Shom & Gargotto

Denver, CO
September 6-October 9

Elsa Sroka, Hank, oil, 10 x 10.

Elsa Sroka, Hank, oil, 10 x 10.

This story was featured in the September 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art September 2013 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

“Sometimes themed group shows can come off as forced, but not this one,” says Christine Serr, owner of Abend Gallery Fine Art, about the show titled 3 Points of View, featuring the work of Denver-area artists Elsa Sroka, Jean Shom, and Ann Gargotto. “The artists were not assigned a concept and so have been asked to simply join forces for a well-rounded exhibition. Where they differ nicely is in subject matter, which probably stems from their unique ideas of what makes a good painting.” The show, comprising more than 50 oil paintings, opens on September 6 with an artists’ reception from 5 to 8 p.m.

Jean Shom, Sentinel, oil, 11 x 14.

Jean Shom, Sentinel, oil, 11 x 14.

Elsa Sroka’s two dozen works in the show come from three different series: Landscapes & Architecture, Botanicals & Still Life, and Thru the Window. Sroka starts with realism and then obscures it by scraping paint away. “What scraping does is the most fun, which is take the realism out a bit,” she says. “It’s a way I manipulate the image.” Usually subjects from one of Sroka’s series don’t find their way into another, but BETSY AND HER PINK BOWL includes a cow from the series Thru the Window and a barn that would be seen in Landscapes & Architecture. “This painting represents a different direction for me,” Sroka explains. “It’s also a little different from the others because it’s not scraped.”

A wide range of works by Jean Shom and Ann Gargotto are featured in the show. While Shom has been painting flowers for many years, it wasn’t until June that she created her first “grid” painting when she painted en plein air during a garden tour in a Denver neighborhood. “I realized I didn’t want to simply paint the scene around me, so I decided to pick out nine flowers and put them in a grid,” she explains. “I’m so pleased with the painting that I’m going to include several floral grid paintings in the show.” Shom also displays landscapes from her imagination and ones that are inspired by northern New Mexico. A new plein-air painting of the Rio Grande Gorge is among several that feature scenes around Taos.

Ann Gargotto, Green Pear, oil, 8 x 12.

Ann Gargotto, Green Pear, oil, 8 x 12.

Although still-life painting has been a mainstay for Gargotto—and it is well-represented in the show—figure drawing, which has been an important part of her recent studies, has found its way into her work as well. She also continues a series of cityscapes based on a 2011 trip to Italy. But Gargotto is particularly excited about her still-life painting GREEN PEAR. “This one simple painting is a culmination of the new knowledge I’ve achieved this year,” she adds, referring to studies she has done with Denver-area teachers to hone her skills. “I feel my fundamentals have been strengthened. I have stronger composition and color in my work.” —Emily Van Cleve

contact information
303.355.0950
www.abendgallery.com

Featured in the September 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art September 2013 print issue or digital download
Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!


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