LA MONTAGNE GALLERY

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Cristina Toro
Throw Away the Lights and Say of What You See in the Dark

Steven Walls
Veracity

October 23- November 26, 2008
Opening reception: October 25, 2008 6 - 8 PM


untitled 1994

CRISTINA TORO

LAMONTAGNE GALLERY is pleased to present two new solo exhibitions of CRISTINA TORO and STEVEN WALLS.

Cristina Toro's paintings are chapters in a multi layered autobiographical fable that looks back to the history of painting and Josef Albers approach to color. Toro's approach to ritualistic patterning and repetition is broken up by key imbalances. These dropped notes give respite through the vibration of multiple colors.

This current body of work, "Throw away the lights and say of what you see in the dark" a quote from Wallace Stevens, an American Modernist poet, relates to the strange beauty and pleasures of making something out of nothing. This colorful exhibition includes 5 large paintings along with 9 smaller pieces that re-appropriate the balance of the golden mean.

The repeated elements in these paintings include odd creatures, lush plants and exceptional floral patterns. Other recognizable influences are drawn from the miniature paintings of India, weavings, embroidery and mexican ceramics and tile along with Chinese landscape paintings.

Cristina Toro lives and works in New Berlin, NY and was recently included in the Syracuse Biennial, at the Everson Museum of Art, and exhibited at HPGRP Gallery in Japan in collaboration with Little Cakes in NYC.

Steven Walls exhibition, Veracity, exhibits an ongoing project of one hundred artist forgeries installed in grid like fashion and one large scale figurative oil painting. Each forgery depicts a meticulously copied signature of an artist and include: Balthus, deKooning, Pissarro, Seurat, Gober, LeWitt, Koons, daVinci, Judd, Martin, Murakami, Sargent, Katz, Lichenstein, Manet, Ernst and Hesse... This series offers an insightful view of the Artist's continued preoccupation with art history, forgery and interest in the power of the written word. This project challenges the way we interpret art by separating the identity of its creator from the creation.

The exhibition space is entirely filled from floor to ceiling with signatures and monograms and essentially acts as mini-museum of masters and masterpieces. In the middle of this installation hangs a single oil painting titled "The Balance (after Vermeer)" 2008. It depicts a portrait of a woman who carefully balances a conceptual sculpture made of string which mysteriously disintegrates into the canvas. The title references Johannes Vermeer's "Woman Holding a Balance" c. 1664

Steven Walls (b. 1971, Palo Alto, California) lives and works in Beacon, New York. He received an MFA from Yale University School of Art, and a BFA from San Diego University. Wall's work recently has been exhibited at Oliver Kamm 5BE Gallery in New York, Bellweather in New York.

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