Tripoli Gallery is pleased to present Hangar, a pop-up exhibition featuring artists Vahakn Arslanian and Lauren West. Hosted by Gianpaolo de Felice in Hangar 11 at the East Hampton Airport, the exhibition will be available for private viewings from September 7th through October 7th, 2019. An opening reception for the artists will be held on Saturday, September 7th from 1 to 7pm, in Hangar 11 at the East Hampton Airport, 200 Daniels Hole Road, East Hampton, NY 11937.
Visual artwork is most often defined by its physical presence–its gravitational pull to the ground–while the idea of flight is less tethered to the Earth. Flight has always been imbued with wonder, from the natural creatures that fly as a means of survival to the human-made machines that travel vast distances over lands and oceans. For artists Vahakn Arslanian and Lauren West, winged creatures and vehicles manifest in their work in a variety of ways. From the delicate membraned wings of bees, to the thick feathered wings of birds, to the sharp angled blades of a jet-engine fan, subjects of flight are composed of similar mechanisms yet encased in captivating and unique forms.
Working between painting and sculpture, Vahakn Arslanian uses materials such as oil paint on canvas, graphite, and nail polish on paper in found frames. His work often depicts airplanes, birds, and candles, all subjects of movement and energy. Arslanian uses spare airplane windows and doors as frames and surfaces for painting, frequently shattering the glass inside of them. The cracked glass creates a scattering of light within his works, as in DC-8 Jet, 2013, where the luminous effect is intensified by the use of nail polish on paper to illustrate a plane behind the glass on each side of an airplane cockpit window. Many paintings in one artwork, another example of the artist’s double-sided works is a jet-engine fan painted in nail polish with a unique commercial airplane on each of the fan’s angled blades–both front and back–revealing a new plane when viewed from different perspectives.
Painting in oil, Lauren West’s canvases are composed of richly layered colors that map out scenes often suggesting biblical stories as well as apocalyptic occurrences. The humor in her work is a result of the incredible assortment of animals and objects combined in each painting, even UFOs appear, such as in Lunar Love, 2019, where past and future converge between medieval battle weapons and alien flying objects. Flappable, 2019, presents a balancing act between West’s avian subjects choreographed around a telephone pole. An unusual gathering of birds including an eagle and an owl, cardinals and blue jays, a chicken and a dove, hover and land on a telephone pole, its wires and transformer. Impasto brushstrokes heighten the physicality of her painted subjects as they strive to take their places within the painting’s edges, in between taut wires and textured sky.
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