October 3 – November 2, 2008
Renče duRocher Mary-Ann Prack
Opening Reception: Friday, October 3, 6-9pm
Artists’ Talk: Saturday, October 4, 3-5pm
Washington, DC – September 8, 2008 – Canadian-born painter Renče duRocher and sculptor Mary-Ann Prack share more than their native country, including a contemporary style, inspired by the past, and a penchant for abstract figurative art, painted in earth tones with vivid colors and linear grace. Where they differ, at least in this show, is that duRocher’s figures evoke a sense of modern society’s activity and purpose while Prack’s seems timeless and spiritual. Both have exhibited at Zenith Gallery for years and are avidly collected.
Renče duRocher’s recent series of lively compositions highlighted by scintillating colors represents an urban world of underground spaces peopled by agile, bustling crowds, lofty vaults, dizzying escalators and strong oblique forms. Talking about the work, duRocher says her trademark historical leanings have led her to produce a series drawn from a 1930s Muscovite architectural utopian synthesis of Russia’s avant-garde arts: the Moscow Metro. She was inspired by those underground corridors adorned with remarkable art when she visited Moscow in 2007. The anonymous figures wandering through spaces are merely passing through, bent over, huddled together, swept up in the rush of modernity juxtaposed to the allegory of life’s journey,
reminiscent of works by early 20th century Russian painters. In her way, duRocher brings an up-to-date vision to a place steeped in history and a bygone era. duRocher has many credits to her name as an artist, teacher and jurist and recipient of numerous honors. She has been featured in solo and group exhibitions throughout Canada, France, Italy and the United States.
Mary-Ann Prack carves her own path with a blend of stoneware clays, building each piece into an abstract yet figurative form accented by carved line work, and luminous glazes and colors applied with a painter’s approach. Though she uses ceramics as her material, her pieces are uniquely sculptural. Elegant and serene, Prack’s work is evocative of Matisse, Mondrian, Miro and, to an extent, Picasso and Kandinsky. A resident of North Carolina since 1994, Prack has exhibited her work in commercial and institutional galleries across the United States and Canada, and she continues to garner awards and commendations from critics everywhere. Describing Prack’s work in 2004, Renee Phillips, Director of Manhattan Arts International in New York said, “Mary-Ann Prack’s sculptures resonate pure harmony, balance and the relentless positive spirit of humankind. Simple in form yet endowed with a profound sense of ancient wisdom, they are sublime and full of wonder.”
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Now in our 30th anniversary year, Zenith is recognized for breaking new ground with a dynamic mix of contemporary artworks that stimulate, engage and amaze. A member of the Art Dealers Association of Greater Washington, Zenith places art by established and emerging talent in public, residential and corporate collections.
View from the Edge by Mary Ann Prack Vie Urbaine-Souterraine by Renee duRocher