behind closed doors: Melora Griffis

15 November 2018 - 4 January 2019

571 Projects is pleased to present behind closed doors, an exhibition of new mixed media paintings on muslin, linen and found solid grounds by accomplished artist Melora Griffis. This is the artist's third exhibition with the gallery, and her second in Vermont.  Executed in 2018, this selection of psychologically charged works includes untraditional landscapes, portraits and still lives, representing new directions for the artist while she builds on enduring themes arising from her dedication to authentic expression.  Drawing on intimate and universal concepts of curiosity, memory and desire, Griffis' figurative works lean toward abstraction encouraging the viewer to  engage with her paintings prismatically.  The exhibition will be on view from November 15, 2018 through January 4, 2019 at 571 Projects, 56 Park Street, Stowe, Vermont. The artist will be present at the opening reception on November 15, 5-7pm, and she will give a brief talk at 6pm.


Large scale abstracted, mixed media works in vivid colors vie with small scale oil paintings of people holding symbolic objects, suggesting a commentary on the idea of service, executed on a series of vintage metal trays.  In Grief Cave 1 (hers) (2018, acrylic, glitter, fabric and thread on muslin, 30 x 42 inches), a combination of found textiles are pieced together with intentionally uneven hand stitching in various colored threads.  Alluding at once to the fragility of loss and the subsequent process of grieving, it proposes a kind of celebratory mending.  Griffis states, "an inherent, intuitive occupancy of an interior psychological world exists [in my work], and I trust in the gravity of the personal paralleling public import."  The immediacy of her confidant and painterly gestures, together with a vivid, sensitive palette, carries a commitment to the truth of things.  The title of the exhibition, behind closed doors, articulates a desire to reveal real and imagined narratives that describe a multifaceted and often intimate human experience, at once specific and universal.  Just as a play pulls back the curtain on a particular physical and psychological locus through set and character, Griffis' work animates the canvas with a similar appetite.  Critic Doug McClemont says, "With their (...) dramatic use of color, Griffis' works convey the impression that memories and retellings can be strangely cloaked and yet, nevertheless, poignant."  Delving into our shared humanity, Griffis' energetic paintings are personal, provoking an emotional response in her pursuit of truth.


A native New Yorker, Griffis received her BFA from The Rhode Island School of Design and her MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts (Montpelier, VT). 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 Re Institute (Millerton, 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 Le Moulin à Nef (Auvillar, France), 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).  Melora Griffis lives and works in New York City.