Catch ‘Flesh and Petals’ Before It Closes At Clerestory Fine Art, Church Street’s New Gallery Space

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Brian Stymest, He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not. Oil on canvas, 36 x 48″
Catch “Flesh and Petals,” the inaugural show of Clerestory Fine Art, featuring lush, evocative large-scale oil paintings of nudes and flowers by Montclair artist Brian Stymest. The show closes June 14; meet Stymest at a closing reception on Thursday, June 13, 5-7pm.

Rooted in the royalty of 20th century aesthetics, Stymest trained at the Camberwell School of Art and the Royal College Art in London, studying with artists such as Stanley Spencer, R.B. Kitaj, Eueun Uglow, and David Hockney.

After his career as a creative director for McCann-Erickson, Stymest began producing a prolific amount of oil paintings. Imagined almost entirely from memory, his paintings relay an acute understanding of proportion and light. He maintains a somewhat realistic style, while playfully adding abstraction, often highlighting figures by situating them in planes of color and suggested space.

Born in London, England, in 1934, Stymest remains influenced by early memories of the city’s destruction “by flying bombs and inter-continental rockets” during WWII. Stymest continues to paint almost daily well into his 80s.

“Flesh and Petals” launches Clerestory Fine Art, a 1450-square-foot gallery at 40 Church Street, renovated into a museum-quality exhibition venue. Clerestory Fine Art is located on the second floor of the historical Hall Building.

The gallery will present scholarly solo exhibitions devoted to its primary artists for the first year, then branch out into tandem shows highlighting both Clerestory artists as well as local arts organizations and collector’s private collections. With an aim to elevate the overall reputation of Montclair’s fine arts movements, the gallery will also conduct “Collector 101” panels and gallery conversations to complement a rich suite of community events.

Clerestory Fine Art’s director is Kathryn Waggener McGuire, a painter, art historian, museum educator and host of the Montclair Figure Drawing Group. McGuire moved to Montclair after working with special exhibitions in the education department of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and completing her master’s degree in Museum Education and Historical Research at Teachers College, Columbia University. She has since written and curated extensively on American Artist A.B. Jackson, and focused on developing programs for museum audiences with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

“Flesh and Petals”
Clerestory Fine Art, 40 Church Street, Montclair. Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Friday 10am–4:30pm; Saturday 12–5:00pm, and by appointment. Closing reception: Thursday, June 13, 5-7pm

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