571 Projects is pleased to present beyond all walking, an exhibition of new and recent mixed media paintings on canvas, linen and paper by accomplished artist Melora Griffis. This visually arresting selection of landscapes and portraits plumbs underlying psychological states, executed with the artist's characteristic masterful gesture and vivid palette. The exhibition will be on view from August 18 through October 14 at 571 Projects, 56 Park Street, Stowe, Vermont. Griffis will give an artist talk at the gallery on October 6 at 6:30 pm.
Alive with immediacy, Melora Griffis' paintings are mysterious, deploying confident brushstrokes, delicate veils of paint, and surprising areas of iridescence and glitter. The surreal, dream-like "cave" paintings, such as beyond all walking, imaginary cave, and pool of light luxuriate in rich palette and uncanny light effects. The cave is a recurring visual device for Griffis, laden with ideas of primordial shelter and symbolizing inner states. Invariably a portal of light or darkness acts as a prism conveying transition, movement, and reflection. In a world with walls that wrap and bundle, passages convey with luminosity, or an absorption of it, that which is not yet seen. In beyond all walking (2017, acrylic and glitter on canvas, 38 x 40 in.), we look from a low viewpoint inside a cave across a glittering pool reflecting the sun and sky, toward a remote tree line framed by the mouth of the cave. Delicate blue and pink float over this far landscape, a distant promise of evening. A kind of poignancy emanates from her work, resonating with the viewer. Memories and dreams, emerging from the unconscious, play a painterly role in her compositions. "I work intuitively, leaning toward an organic mark, celebrating a textured, uneven, layered surface where serendipitous action transpires," Griffis states. Her painterly approach toward representation heightens a fluid ambiguity - painting the thing or the person which is disappearing and emerging at the same time, as in the elegantly complex portrait sister (2008, oil on canvas, 32.5 x 21.5 in.), or in the brushy immediacy of look away (2010, oil on canvas, 32 x 21.5 in.).
A native New Yorker, Griffis received her MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts (Montpelier, VT) and her BFA from The Rhode Island School of Design. She has had solo exhibitions at the Pamela Williams Gallery (Amagansett, NY), Lizan Tops Gallery and AE Gallery (both East Hampton, NY), Whitney Art Works (Greenport, NY), The Boylan Gallery (Rhinebeck, NY), Blue Heron Arts Center (New York, NY) and 571 Projects (New York, NY). Her work has been included in group shows at Edward Thorp Gallery (New York, NY), White Columns (New York, NY), Bowman/Bloom Gallery (New York, NY), Michael Steinberg (New York, NY), Silas Marder (Bridgehampton, NY), Ille Arts, (Amagansett, NY), Sara Nightingale Gallery, (Sag Harbor, NY) and Boltax Gallery (Shelter Island, NY) among others. Griffis has received fellowships from Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus (Schwandorf, Germany), the Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, (Ithaca, NY), Schloss Pluschow (Mecklenberg-Vorpommern, Germany), The Edward F. Albee Foundation (Montauk, NY) and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (Amherst, VA).