Richmond-based ANDRAS BALITY presents a series of oil paintings of the Virginia and Maine landscape in his exhibition, Silver Lining, opening Thursday, July 9th. The gallery will host an all-day reception on July 9th from 11am – 4pm to celebrate the new work and Bality’s second solo show with Reynolds. Silver Lining will remain on view through August 28, 2020.
“Joseph Campbell said that the artist/painter is an alchemist. It's observing something closely, getting down to its essence and then re-presenting the idea, turning it into gold, giving the viewer a path to get through a moment, a day, possibly a life.”Andy Bality2020
In Silver Lining, Bality turns to nature as a notion of lightness and hope, deepening his appreciation of the east coast and its variety of terrain, specifically his home state of Virginia and vacation areas in Maine, both constant muses with their range of waterscapes and rolling hills. While encompassing these various vistas, Silver Lining also presents a breadth of paintings sized from 9 x 11 inches to 6 feet in length. Bality juxtaposes his small studies alongside fully realized works, giving an intimate look into his process while connecting themes from different geographies.
Bality’s practice is based in observation—sometimes he captures scenes from life, sometimes they are spurred from snapshots in his memory and then assembled later. His plein air work begins as a pocket-sized watercolor study or drawing; driving along Interstate 81 or sitting on the beach at James River Park, Bality quickly sketches out each view in his traveling journal. Taking the roughly-drawn study back into the studio, he then reimagines the image into a 10 x 12 inch oil painting, like the ones shown in this exhibition. This intimate scale highlights the variety of marks and layering of paint in each composition through which Bality communicates a specific emotive quality. We see this in his larger format works as well, like Hayes Creek with Cows, in which quick, thin marks capture a reflective creek, while softer, green bands of paint carve out broad hills in western Virginia.
Bality’s fresh interpretations breathe movement and life into each scene, while still preserving each landscape’s dimensionality, evoking previous techniques of Impressionism, while imbibing his own abstract perspective. Addressing his approach to this body of work, he states: “the search for beauty, truth and the universality of being human – as long as one stays open, curious and positive – I believe inevitably leads to a silver lining.”
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Andras Bality received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from Virginia Commonwealth University and later continued his studies at the Cyprus College of Art in Lemba, Cyprus (1986, 1987-88). He has mounted exhibitions at venues including Jack Blanton Fine Arts and 1708 Gallery, both, Richmond, VA; the Peninsula Fine Arts Center, Newport News, VA; Wall Street Galleries, New York, NY; the Ernst Museum, Budapest, Hungary; and the Ora Gallery, Nicosia, Cyprus, among others. His work is held in collections throughout Virginia, including The University of Virginia Healthcare System, Marsh Art Gallery at the University of Richmond, Federal Reserve Bank, Medical College of Virginia, the College of William and Mary, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Capital One and Markel Corporation. He is a recipient of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship and a Theresa Pollak Award in Visual Art (2002, 2013).