Manna Gallery will present a three-person exhibition presenting three different responses to the diverse urban environment found in the Bay area. Paintings by Ari Targownik are presented with etchings, monotypes, lithographs and drawings by Peter Baczek and Toru Sugita. The exhibition opens February 22 and continues to March 30. On First Friday, March 1, the artists will be present from 6 to 8 pm when they will greet visitors and answer questions about the ideas and practices which inform the development of their work.
Peter Baczek says this about his work: “Throughout our lives we modify our living and working space to fit our needs. We are constantly surrounded by an ever-changing landscape of mood and color that I hope to capture. These urban landscapes have always been a part of my vision. I choose to depict cityscapes through a more refined interpretation of the composition before me. The broad mass of walls, roads, and sky establish areas of color and light that can create a certain mood, and act as compositional components in the overall work of art. By expanding my use of shadows, texture, and light, the finished works grow in both scope and spectrum to better realize that vision. “
Toru Sugita describes his process as follows: “I feel moved when sunlight touches an object in the afternoon and visualize the space around me. I walk out and wander around to observe shapes of shadows. I realize that shadows make spaces visible…I have worked on printmaking for a long time. The printmaking process is reminiscent of the relationship between light and shadow. Etching and aquatint help me express my interest towards light and shadow by using rich tones of black and white. The graphic nature of black and white leads me to lines and shapes found in architectural elements. Once I eliminated color from my work, I found myself drawn to the exploration of space itself. My work became about the physicality of three-dimensional space.”
Ari Targownik brings other motivations to his art process: “I paint because I find it fulfilling to create. I want to immerse the viewer in my experience of a particular scene, place, or thing in hopes of offering a unique perspective that is aesthetically pleasing…Particularly as it relates to landscapes and cityscapes, various aspects catch my attention – light, space, interesting/dynamic combinations of shapes, scale, and color all can inspire me to record what I am experiencing at that given time. The goal or look I try to get across in my work is not so much to paint a place or thing itself, but more my experience of the place or thing. Whether it is the color combinations of buildings, the striking light and shadows, or strong shapes, I want to make the viewer feel the way I felt when I was observed the subject. “
Each artist has years of training, studio practice and experience exhibiting their work. Their dedication to their craft is clearly seen in the striking and authoritative works on display in this rich, varied and often surprising depiction of a region with which we are all familiar.