Photo by Michelle Gagliano
Nov 13, 2017

Lexicon: the vocabulary of a person, language, or branch of knowledge

Landscape: all the visible features of an area of land often considered in terms of their aesthetic appeal…the distinctive features of a sphere of activity, of a particular situation or intellectual activity

By combining these two terms Michelle Gagliano creates a content of painting that utilizes her inclination towards process painting as well as her current dialog with the landscape. Navigating experimentation within the studio the surfaces respond to a fluid comment on the vocabulary of place within the picture plane. By translating the landscape through the lens of seasons, weather conditions, and combined with archaic words that describe the landscape, the audience is able to observe the movement of the materials as they form features that echo and merge organic references to nature. This exhibition presents Gagliano’s new work since receiving the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship in 2017. The art opening will be at the Darden School of Business on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, from 4:30-7:00 p.m.

A Statement from the Artist, Michelle Gagliano:

For years I have been investigating the notion of light versus dark. I get excited when darkness and light merge together to have a conversation. Their contrast is a basic reflection of navigation in life—the learning to integrate and make different viewpoints, backgrounds, and beliefs harmonious, merging them into a platform that creates a spirited dialogue that is exciting, musically balanced, and visually interesting.

The imprint of the landscape has been a constant for me. Whatever subject I am researching in the studio, I always circle back to the investigation of the landscape. It is my place of refuge. I follow the light, mood, and colorations of the seasons, responding to all weather conditions and how they affect the colors of the surrounding skies and landscape. Like a sundial, I follow the light through the day, tracking it as it bounces and reacts to whatever is in its path. The lights’ movement is an amazing dance. A dialogue forms as the light fractures itself onto the landscape. My current body of work takes this conversation into account and further reduces and deconstructs the landscape, reflecting and refracting the prism of light and soul in a contemporary concept. The cinematic “golden hour” creates an illumination that reconstructs the landscape into a Dantesque study of Paradisio.

Michelle Gagliano was born in Jamestown, New York and currently resides in central Virginia. She has created a considerable body of work with projects including artist residencies, solo exhibitions, group shows, museum exhibitions, and private installations. Gagliano’s work is held in numerous private and corporate collections nationally as well as internationally in Europe and Asia. Gagliano’s art is a continuous engagement with experimentation of materials within the studio. Imaginary “natural” forms and textural patinas are melded in an exploration of surface alchemy, presenting the viewer with a breathtaking panorama that evokes both timeless private visions and universal themes and emotions.