Nadja Petrov and “6 of 1 and Half Dozen of the Other”

When Fionn Reilly first approached me about a show at 11 Cross Gallery, he mentioned he wanted to do an installation together with Nadja Petrov.  I was immediately intrigued as I hadn’t seen Nadja’s work in a while but her elegant, intricate, and energetic style had always stuck with me.  How would Fionn, with his iconic confrontationalism harmonize with the subtle humming of Nadia’s art? Once I arrived at Ms. Petrov’s, it became clear how it would all come together.

Work in Progress on Nadja Petrov's drawing table

On her drawing table was one of the pieces she was working on for “6 of 1 and Half Dozen of the Other” , the upcoming installation at 11 Cross Gallery with Fionn.  It was not a large drawing but across its fine surface was a series of beautiful ink lines, almost etched into the paper with the kind of precision you would imagine a glass engraver would utilize.  But its the lines themselves that are so amazing- each one having what I like to call a “noun and a verb” – in otherwords, the lines have a particular character and they move in a specific manner.   Like artful traffic, they swerve carefully in their appointed directions and designated velocity until they form an active pattern of a bigger world.  It would be like a weaving except there isn’t a concrete form that is loomed but rather the white of the page itself is carved and suspended, the small irregular negative spaces sparkling like stars or rippling like waves on a windy lake.  I remembered the black and white photographs I had seen earlier in the week at Fionn Reilly’s studio/gallery on 212 (the old Lucky Chocolate’s building)- the abstract textures created by buildings and vegetation, the vibration that comes from restraint and suddenly the vision for “6 of 1 and Half Dozen of Another” was all coming together.  This upcoming show has truly been  created by these two artists- in this instance, at the opening this Sat June 5, 5-8 and during the entire run thru June 27th, I will be merely the enabler!

Nadja Petrov's Studio

As if all of this wasn’t enough, the night before Nadja and Fionn’s opening, 11 Cross Gallery is sponsoring another show at the Emerson Resort about 20 miles away in Mount Tremper.   Not only will this opening showcase area artists but it will be an inauguration for a new tradition of art presentation and exhibition for this luxury hotel.   So it has been like going holiday shopping to visit artist studios and find work to fill the two enormous gallery spaces combined creating about 2000 square feet of space!  Fortunately, Nadja did her part and is loaning me 2 large paintings about the color red and all its harmonies.  I shared with her that my son had recently told me women have evolved to be much more sensitive to variations in the color red than men are.  Scientists supposed women developed this ability as gatherers of berries and this sensitive  knowledge would keep their families from getting sick from fruit that wasn’t ripe enough or berries that could be fatal.  These paintings are richly in tune with this evolutionary predisposition of understanding of red and can be viewed starting this Friday, June 4 (Opening 5-9) thru June 27th at the Emerson Resort on Route 28.

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