March 9, 2018 - April 22, 2018
British painter brings angels and magicians to Birmingham
Opens Nov. 3 2017, 5:00-8:00
Artist Michael Pearce’s “The Secret Paintings” will be on view at Stephen Smith Fine Art in Fairfield from November 3rd until January 6th.
Enormous paintings by Michael Pearce tour the United States, from California to Birmingham. Gallery owner Stephen Smith says, "Pearce’s paintings highlight the resurgence of representational art that has been transforming the art world for the past 2 decades."
Pearce grew up in the countryside of Wiltshire, England and has a deep interest in the old traditions and ancient sites of Britain, like Stonehenge. He frequently uses ancient Celtic monuments and settings in his art, including Sillbury Hill and the Ridgeway.
Stephen Smith Fine Art will witness the breathtaking scenes of Michael Pearce’s The Secret Paintings, a series of twenty-six large canvases, recalling Renaissance and Pre-Raphaelite masters in their ambitiousness, complexity, and scale, and in their theatrical grandeur. In Pearce’s latest spectacular four-panel painting, Chariot, which spans thirty-two feet, a circle of beautiful girls parade in a jubilant celebration of the sun. The ambitious show also includes spectacular paintings of the baptism of Christ, brilliant angels appearing at a scene of transfiguration, and a Masonic traveler at the beginning of his initiatory journey.
Pearce uses the ancient imagery and traditions of his British ancestors, introducing them into magical settings starring beautiful women and handsome men. The paintings pay homage to diverse cultural landmarks including the Bible, the Da Vinci Code and medieval symbolism.
He is a popular and influential leader of the international representational art community. Pearce co-founded TRAC (The Representational Art Conference), bringing artistic heavy-hitters such as Odd Nerdrum and Roger Scruton to California to meet their American peers.
Pearce has been featured in Juxtapoz, Fine Art Connoisseur, art ltd., Beautiful Bizarre, and KCET Artbound. Fine Art Connoisseur describes his work as “magnificent” and “outstanding.” Juxtapoz calls it “beautiful,” while Beautiful Bizarre describes the, “magical worlds revealed within his impeccable, mysterious paintings.” KCET says the paintings are “…massive, mythical, and brimming with allegorical subtext…” The Oklahoman says the show is “forceful,” “ambitious,” and “highly recommended,” “…an almost alchemical mixture of hidden meanings, modern yet archaic symbolism, and meticulous, in some cases masterful technique, the exhibit offers us both visual stimulation and food for thought.”
“I photograph my family."
“’Flat Granny’ began as a life-sized cardboard cutout of my grandmother made from the photographs I took of her while she was alive. To reanimate her still image, I turned ‘Flat Granny’ into a costume. ‘Flat Granny and Me’ is an ongoing series of performances that take place within constructed environments shaped by early cinematic devices and the colliding ‘mindscapes’ of my family’s stories. ‘A Procession in My Mind’ reimagines the parade route my grandmother took as Enterprise, Alabama's 1968 Woman of the Year - inviting the viewer to step inside the photograph, inside the story, not knowing fully what has happened or what might happen next.”
Stephen Smith Fine Art congratulates Jenny Fine and Jerry Siegel on the inclusion of their work in the exhibition, Contemporary Alabama Photography at the Mobile Museum of Art through August 27, 2017. The exhibition is curated by Richard McCabe, photography curator of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, Louisiana, and is part of the Alabama Bicentennial celebration of statehood.
As part of Jenny Fine's class, "The Collective Narrative", UAB students will create a series of collaborative installations on the second floor of Stephen Smith Fine Art. The installations have been chosen by gallery director, Paul Barrett, for their ability to respond to the history of the Fairfield community, the gallery building's original use as a silent movie theater, and the students' exploration of creative storytelling through material, process and form. The chosen projects involve projections, constructed environments, and sculptural forms, and will be on view during Fine's exhibition in April, 2017.