If you haven’t yet discovered Clerestory Fine Art, it’s Montclair’s stunning new art gallery, where art is juxtaposed with beautiful views of Church Street, from Clerestory’s location on the second floor of the historic Hall Building.
Clerestory Fine Art’s second exhibition debuts tomorrow and features vividly striking, large-scale oil paintings by Montclair artist Mary Young. Young’s canvases boldly invite viewers in with seductive, luscious colors. Fascinated by the figure, she places her characters in surreal settings meant to conjure familiar associations of domesticity, relationships, and nature, but then revolts against expectations by distorting faces, figures, and atmosphere.
Her playful subjects can take a menacing tone in these exercises in psychological exploration, as she deals with emotion like love, loss, and broader political anxieties. They are theatrical stages meant to evoke reaction and the viewer’s own interpretation. Like an aria in an opera, each painting explores the story of the character’s emotion, inviting the audience to bring their own background in to complete the experience.
Young was born in Bloomfield, New Jersey in 1989, and graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 2011 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Her work is heavily influenced by cinema, literature and contemporary conflicts. Creating narratives of self-exploration, Young places her exposed figures in stage-like settings, allowing the viewer to enter into a world of surreal familiarity. Using thick, honest brushstrokes, one is quickly seduced into exploring the various plains of color, line and raw markings. She currently works out of her studio in East Orange, NJ.
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 20, 7–9pm
Exhibition Dates: June 20–August 2, 2019
Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Friday 10am–4:30pm; Saturday 12–5:00pm, and by appointment
Clerestory Fine Art, 40 Church Street, Montclair
Owner and Director: Kathryn Waggener McGuire
Artist: Mary H. Young