Zhar-ptitsa - The Firebird
18" x 24" Egg tempera & oil on panel
Slavic folklore tells of a magical Firebird that inspires the seeker to embark on a challenging quest wrought with adversity, yet guided by fortune. In these beguiling tales, the mythical creature often leaves behind a singular luminous feather that catalyzites the fateful adventure. King, Fool, Knave, and Warrior all heed the call to meet their destiny on the path illuminated by the evanescent gleam of the Firebird's passing.
The painting takes it's stylistic cue from the bold iconography of russian lacquered artifacts which are traditionally decorated with scenes from myth and legend. The brilliant palette and kinetic forms, set like gems into the glittering ebony field, are here depicted in the manner of nineteenth century ornithological illustrations, wherein the delicate structures of feather and talon are rendered with naturalistic precision.
This union of the fantastic with the mundane kindles a yearning to embark on the hunt for all that is rare and elusive. The search for the unattainable is realized in the vision of the effulgent Zhar-ptitsa.
The Firebird painting will be on display March 29 – April 24, 2013, at the Clement Art Gallery in Troy, New York, as part of the Beautifully Strange show curated by Jon Christopher Gernon. The show features 12 acclaimed artists, including Carrie Ann Baade, Steven Kenny, Caitlin Hackett, and others, whose work is described as, 'exquisite, peculiar, astounding, dazzling, fascinating, mystifying, curious, delicate, magnificent, fantastic, alluring, unusual, enticing and Beautifully Strange.'
12" x 12" Egg tempera & oil on Panel
Also included in the show will be the painting, The Window, whose subject echoes the Aves theme. The intimate symbolism of the composition is rooted firmly in the romantic-era tradition of the 'Window View', as perfected by painters such as Caspar David Friedrich, Adolph Menzel, and Vilhelm Hammershøi.
Both paintings are offered for sale.
The show opens Friday, March 29, 6-9pm. Clament Gallery. 201 Broadway Troy, New York 12180 (518)272-6811
For purchase inquiries and more information about the exhibition, please visit the Clament Gallery Website, and the Beautifully Strange Blog.