Written by Michael Goldstein for THE ARTISTS FORUM MAGAZINE
Edited by Amos White V for THE ARTISTS FORUM, INC
Photos: Michael Goldstein
5 out of 5 stars
LEONARD KOSCIANSKI: NEW PAINTINGS / DAVID E. OLIVERA: GHOST SHIPS OF THE ATLANTIC
NEW YORK, NY (February 8, 2016) Opening Reception, February 4, 2016 – The Bernarducci Meisel Gallery plunges into 2016 with a pair of new exhibitions showcasing two amazing painters: Leonard Koscianski and David E. Olivera; the latter claiming the pristine honor of being one of my new favorite artists. Despite portraying Ghost Ships, the ships and the seas in Olivera’s paintings, on view for the first time at the BMG, are very much alive, but also misleading.
Reproducing the ancient ships on canvas appears to be no issue of difficultly for Olivera’s keen eye for detail, as you can see in a painting like HMHS Britannic (2016), depicting the Olympic-class vessel of the same name. Two things are noticeable here. First: the vessel’s brushwork is exquisite. The vessel and its colors are tucked nicely into a world of perpetual motion, rendering it as nearly a fashion-model form of presentation to recapture the majesty of its voyage.
Second: the real star of the painting, and to an extent, the entire gallery itself, is the ocean. The big blue dance floor has been exposed by Olivera as an ever-changing character, never content with staying in one design. In paintings like HMHS Britannic and Stages (2015), the waves are left to delve into their untidy personalities. In others like RMS Lusitania – Speed & Stealth (2014), the ocean has been turned unearthly silent and calm, so much that you can make out a completely undisturbed reflection of the sky above it. This is the real supernatural entity of Oliver’s work – a sea standing still.
Next to Oliver’s exhibition, Leonard Koscianski debuted a new series of paintings; each one rendered with their brightly colored beasts and vividly detailed urban landscapes. His painting Village Green (2016), for example, the artist depicts a jogger in a beautiful suburban landscape. He is alone except the bluebirds that appear following him from above. Running is a time when ideas can pass through uninterrupted, but here he is unknowingly being watched.
In the painting Claws (2012), the artist depicts a white wolf and red bird, both rendered rather ferociously, running through the forest at night. The hawk seems to chase the wolf, as if the two are in combat. Despite the night being a time for solitude, here the beasts are left to their own devices, frozen in the never-ending struggle of competition between predators.
As it can be seen, the artists are complete opposites. Olivera relies on old photography to recreate his outstanding, but realistic, voyages at sea, while Koscianski skews serenity into a dreamlike fantasy with his bright colors and larger-than-life emotional expressions at the front. The exhibit is free and open to the public, February 4th – 27th.
For more information about Leonard Koscianski and his work, visit: lkart.com
For more information about David E. Olivera and his work, visit: davideolivera.com
For more information about the Barnarducci Miesel Gallery, visit: bernarduccigallery.com