September 4–29, 2018
Yellow (detail), oil on panel, 24 x 24 inches, 2018
FIRST STREET GALLERY is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of new works by Edmond Praybe. Still, a collection of recent paintings and drawings, will run from September, 4–29. The opening reception will take place on Saturday, September 8 from 3-5 pm.
The works in Still, comprised mostly of still-life and interior paintings, investigate the visual intricacies of cluttered spaces and complex groupings of objects and attempt to find unity within the disarray. The balance between openness and inevitability within the image is the defining current that runs through Praybe’s new works. The spaces, objects and figures manifest throughout different paintings in the exhibition, seen from new angles and combined in ever evolving stagings. As the paintings morph and develop so too do the actual set-ups; objects and figures are moved around, some added some taken out and different viewpoints are employed. All of these fluctuations, the process of looking, reacting and revising, serve to keep the paintings from closing in on themselves before a unified expression is brought to resolution.
In these new works objects are recast in multiple paintings, providing the artist with a visual history and vocabulary. Many objects have a personal connection to the artist while some are chosen purely for their aesthetic appeal. Some objects were gifts, some inherited, some found in thrift stores, yard sales, in the woods or abandoned houses, all chosen for their qualities of visual interest: color, shape, texture, narrative implications and evocations. Flowers, figures, glassware, mugs, tv tables, bones, beehives, furniture, insects, easels, paintings, plates, bowls, fruit, bird nests, sea shells, pitchers, vases, plants, turtle shells, patterned fabric, frames and laptop computers bring together elements of the natural world and the manufactured man-made world existing in some kind of designed equilibrium. Praybe’s curiosity about nature, collecting remnants of plants, trees, bones and other found objects from walks in the woods, combines with his day to day suburban existence in these paintings. The mix of found, collected and bought objects unite visually as the tactility of the observed forms translates into the tactile quality of the paint ultimately relaying the feeling of an integrated world. Praybe is honing in on the quiet act of contemplation that occurs during the process of observing then synthesizing and recording the visually perceived world into paint.
Still is Edmond Praybe’s second solo exhibition at First Street Gallery. His work has been shown in galleries across the U.S. including Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati, OH, Stephen F. Austin State University Gallery in TX, Ridderhof Martin Gallery in VA, Prince Street and Bowery Galleries in New York City, The Mitchell Gallery at St. John’s College and The Maryland Federation of Art’s Circle Gallery in Annapolis, MD. Y Art Gallery in Baltimore, MD and Benfield Gallery in Severna Park, MD also regularly show his work. Praybe has works in many private collections as well as the collection of the National Parks Service. Notable art critics Jed Pearl and David Cohen have included Praybe’s work in juried exhibitions. In 2012 he was the recipient of the Hohenberg Travel Grant for the study of art in Europe. Praybe currently teaches painting at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, MD. He received his BFA from Maryland Institute, College of Art in 2004 and his MFA from the New York Studio School in 2012.