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January 10, 2015
The exhibition’s focus is earthy by design but its reach extends into a new ethereal dimension as the artist combines his love of the land with his mastery of painting, drawing and sculpting using a unique mix of natural materials – vines, leaves, dirt and clay among them – with acrylics.

Parallel Realities Exhibition Opens January 17 at The Lionheart Gallery Artist Donald Bracken Debuts “Groundbreaking Portraits” of New England Retold

Pound Ridge, NY – (January 7, 2015) Parallel Realities, an intriguing mixed media exhibition of textural works grounded in nature by West Cornwall artist Donald Bracken, debuts at The Lionheart Gallery at 27 Westchester Avenue in Pound Ridge, New York, from January 17 through March 1, 2015.

The exhibition’s focus is earthy by design but its reach extends into a new ethereal dimension as the artist combines his love of the land with his mastery of painting, drawing and sculpting using a unique mix of natural materials – vines, leaves, dirt and clay among them – with acrylics. Donald Bracken, whose lifelong career as an artist has taken him from San Francisco and UC Berkeley to New York City – where he was an artist-in-residence through the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council in the World Trade Center – has put down roots, literally, in the Housatonic River Valley, where today he finds fertile inspiration amidst its bucolic pastoral landscapes.

Like the world he paints, Bracken’s work has always been in a constant state of evolution, taking a groundbreaking leap from traditionally executed landscape portraits in 2007 when he began to incorporate dirt from the region into his paintings of deserted New England farms. Since then, he says, he has been very interested in formalizing natural materials he finds around him “by mixing them with acrylics in paintings and sculptures that draw inspiration from anthropomorphic forms and motifs, random patterns and the gestural calligraphy found in nature.”

Bracken explains, “The use of these materials has yielded a process of discovery that has led me to synthesize natural motifs in different ways due to qualities inherent in the materials used, but in a common direction, to express the parallel realities of man and nature, which often exist without human awareness.”

The works on exhibit at The Lionheart Gallery, including contemporary paintings and sculpture, showcase Bracken’s talent for developing three-dimensional visual vignettes that are informed by nature and speak volumes about the processes and elements harbored within. His use of vines in free-form sculptures represents “calligraphic drawings in space”; his dynamic jacaranda seedpod hanging sculptures, lip-like in image, suggest a continual chase in motion; and his expansive clay paintings, which allude to architectural forms, evoke the inherent rhythm of the soil, giving life and movement to his signature art style. Many are characterized by a dried cracked surface, perfectly capturing the changing tides of the Earth itself. Others incorporate natural materials and mediums that create abstract interpretations of realistic botanical motifs, animal-made structures, or the shimmer of fireflies brilliant against a night sky.

“And each,” adds Bracken, whose gifted sensibilities as an artist are enhanced by his intuitive talents and prowess as a jazz guitarist, “pays equal tribute to the ever-changing panoply of life in a visceral, often fun, magical way.”

The Lionheart Gallery will exhibit a representative variety of Bracken’s most recent works in the artist’s six-week show, from the monochromatic paintings of predominantly reds and grays that highlight his earthy paintings to the striking clay formulations that play out on bright painted canvases to his free wheeling hanging sculptures and sculpted vine conversations. Bracken’s three-paneled, aquatic-inspired Jade Memories; his whimsical 46” x 60” sand and acrylic welcome to spring, Frog Love; Forest Doors, a verdant blend of clay and acrylic on burlap panels which measures 80” by 60”, and the serene sand and acrylic Blue Ice Lilies, one of his Ice Lily paintings that was inspired by the winter ice on the river flowing in front of his house, will be among the exhibited pieces.

Parallel Realities Exhibition Opens January 17 at The Lionheart Gallery Artist Donald Bracken Debuts “Groundbreaking Portraits” of New England Retold

Pound Ridge, NY – (January 7, 2015) Parallel Realities, an intriguing mixed media exhibition of textural works grounded in nature by West Cornwall artist Donald Bracken, debuts at The Lionheart Gallery at 27 Westchester Avenue in Pound Ridge, New York, from January 17 through March 1, 2015.

The exhibition’s focus is earthy by design but its reach extends into a new ethereal dimension as the artist combines his love of the land with his mastery of painting, drawing and sculpting using a unique mix of natural materials – vines, leaves, dirt and clay among them – with acrylics. Donald Bracken, whose lifelong career as an artist has taken him from San Francisco and UC Berkeley to New York City – where he was an artist-in-residence through the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council in the World Trade Center – has put down roots, literally, in the Housatonic River Valley, where today he finds fertile inspiration amidst its bucolic pastoral landscapes.

Like the world he paints, Bracken’s work has always been in a constant state of evolution, taking a groundbreaking leap from traditionally executed landscape portraits in 2007 when he began to incorporate dirt from the region into his paintings of deserted New England farms. Since then, he says, he has been very interested in formalizing natural materials he finds around him “by mixing them with acrylics in paintings and sculptures that draw inspiration from anthropomorphic forms and motifs, random patterns and the gestural calligraphy found in nature.”

Bracken explains, “The use of these materials has yielded a process of discovery that has led me to synthesize natural motifs in different ways due to qualities inherent in the materials used, but in a common direction, to express the parallel realities of man and nature, which often exist without human awareness.”

The works on exhibit at The Lionheart Gallery, including contemporary paintings and sculpture, showcase Bracken’s talent for developing three-dimensional visual vignettes that are informed by nature and speak volumes about the processes and elements harbored within. His use of vines in free-form sculptures represents “calligraphic drawings in space”; his dynamic jacaranda seedpod hanging sculptures, lip-like in image, suggest a continual chase in motion; and his expansive clay paintings, which allude to architectural forms, evoke the inherent rhythm of the soil, giving life and movement to his signature art style. Many are characterized by a dried cracked surface, perfectly capturing the changing tides of the Earth itself. Others incorporate natural materials and mediums that create abstract interpretations of realistic botanical motifs, animal-made structures, or the shimmer of fireflies brilliant against a night sky.

“And each,” adds Bracken, whose gifted sensibilities as an artist are enhanced by his intuitive talents and prowess as a jazz guitarist, “pays equal tribute to the ever-changing panoply of life in a visceral, often fun, magical way.”

The Lionheart Gallery will exhibit a representative variety of Bracken’s most recent works in the artist’s six-week show, from the monochromatic paintings of predominantly reds and grays that highlight his earthy paintings to the striking clay formulations that play out on bright painted canvases to his free wheeling hanging sculptures and sculpted vine conversations. Bracken’s three-paneled, aquatic-inspired Jade Memories; his whimsical 46” x 60” sand and acrylic welcome to spring, Frog Love; Forest Doors, a verdant blend of clay and acrylic on burlap panels which measures 80” by 60”, and the serene sand and acrylic Blue Ice Lilies, one of his Ice Lily paintings that was inspired by the winter ice on the river flowing in front of his house, will be among the exhibited pieces.

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