Fall Northampton Special Exhibit

Peter Petrochko's impressive wood sculptures, vessels and furniture are the serendipitous product of his combined studies in architecture and fine arts. His pieces range from geometrically patterned bandsawn vessels to more natural vessels which are hand carved from a single log. His work resides in the White House Collection of American Crafts, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Yale University and the Mint Museum, as well as numerous public and private collections around the world.  "Amphoric Tent Series" made with five exotic woods. 12 inches high.James Kitchen has been welding scrap metal into sculpture for ten years, and continues to gain recognition in the world of fine arts, selling to an ever widening circle of collectors nationwide. All of the metal in his sculptures come from local farms, antique stores, auctions, and occasionally a neighbor who leaves a pile of interesting objects in Kitchen’s driveway. Kitchen has a powerful sense of creativity and a nonstop passionate drive, which turns those piles into incredible works of art. He uses nature to mature and nurture his sculptures into the finest rust patina and does little else to alter the metal. “I feel part historian and part archeologist, creating new life,” he says. “In my heart I feel this is my calling in life....everything I have done leads up to this.”  "Einstein's Onion", welded metal and found objects, 9'tall. Chesterfield, MA 01012;SculptureImages: Aaron Macsai, Brooch • Sharon London, Shawl • Emily Williams, Art Quilt • Peter Petrochko, Wooden Bowl • James Kitchen, Found Object Sculpture • Gary Zack, Painting • Jeffrey Green, Photography • Craig Kassan, Wood Sculpture • Danny Polk, Blown Glass

Abstract Thoughts

Abstract art is uniquely modern. It is a fundamentally romantic response to modern life – rebellious, individualistic, unconventional, sensitive, irritable. – Robert Motherwell 

Looking deeply at abstract art can take you down a rabbit hole. What image did the painter or sculptor have in their head when they started? How did they get from there to here?

There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.

– Pablo Picasso

If you delve into its linguistic roots, the term abstraction means “something pulled or drawn away”. Abstract art, therefore, is art that has moved away from the representation of physical objects or places to show something beyond that. Abstract art dares our visual system to interpret an image that is fundamentally different from the kind of images our brain has evolved to recognize. The Tate Museum in London defines abstract art as “art that does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality but instead uses shapes, colours, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect.”

Modern times, with fast-paced inventions, global upheavals, and constant change, challenges artists to view the world in a way that is outside of time and place. This fall you will find many of our artists taking the leap into abstraction in painting, photography, and sculpture. Abstract design in furniture, home furnishings, wearable art and jewelry also draws inspiration from the same aesthetic well, resulting in remarkably playful works that in the hands of Paradise City’s makers achieve both sophistication and beauty.

As you wander the show, appreciating the painterly landscapes, the portraits and cityscapes, the faces and figures that populate the aesthetic landscape around you, let yourself get distracted by abstraction…. and see what treasures you can find!