Gulgun Aliriza: The Poetics of Excess

Sept. 3 – 28, 2013     Opening reception: Thursday Sept 5th, 5-8 pm

Blue Mountain Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Gulgun Aliriza’s inaugural exhibition The Poetics of Excess. The show is comprised of a collection of paintings produced over the past several years. Aliriza’s richly surfaced canvases, bursting with intricate details directly from the motif, reflects a process that involves weeks, or sometimes months.  Throughout these paintings there is a tension between the intimate figurative content hidden beneath the surface and the bold formal qualities of her canvases celebrated by dynamic attributes of paint.

 In Aliriza’s vigorous and bold paintings, the viewer discovers familiar subject matter: the theme of still life and depictions of the artist’s studio populated by the usual trappings—dolls, puppets, taxidermy, toys, books, plants, flowers, and an occasional figure. Consequently, there is a narrative within each piece as the imagery reverberates and creates a cumulative effect that surpasses the individual elements and invites the viewer to enter into this world of disquiet.

Although her work results from deep observations of the history of painting—from Velasquez, Rembrandt, Caravaggio and Cezanne among others—her personal vision transcends classical notions of genre and narrative as she invites viewers into a delicious domain of confident brush strokes with a new aesthetic. Ed McCormack in Gallery & Studio, June-August 2007 described her painting as  “sumptuously palpable in thick, juicy pigment.” He continued, “Although Aliriza’s extremely tactile paint application can remind one of the British painter Frank Auerbach, her brushwork is more fluid in the manner of de Kooning and her forms have a way of slipping in and out of abstraction.”

Aliriza’s paintings further the living tradition of known motif with her devotion to observing and depicting what is in front of her as the artist along with her approach of seeing freshly the act of painting and the power of direct expression.

Gulgun Aliriza received her BFA from the State University of New York at Purchase with Summa Cum Laude in 2005 and her MFA from Western Connecticut University in 2007. She is the recipient of several grants and a residency program award. In 2007, she was an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center. Aliriza has participated in numerous exhibitions throughout the Northeast. In 2013 her work was featured in The Power of Place, at The Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art.