Hans Weiss Newspace Gallery


March 27 through May 1

Opening Reception: Thurs. March 27 at 6pm

Click on a Artist's name to view more of their work.

Paint, like language, can be translated into many forms of communication.  And, like language, painting is influenced by culture and society.  But even more, the language of a painting is dependent on the confluence of these forces and the internal environment and condition of its maker.

Who must utilize, and surrender to, the limits and possibilities of the medium.  Paintings tell stories, offer narratives, using elements such as form, color, line and texture, which can suggest, time, place, beliefs, emotions and events.  How can it be that these largely two-dimensional works, which are external, are able to contain internal experiences?  And how is it that we both enter, and are entered, by the interior spaces these works create?

Steven DiGiovanni uses layering and fractured imagery to aggressively deconstruct space and time.  The figures in "Weekend", and their environment, express the solitude and complexity of family relationships. The static vibration and complexity of domesticity is slashed and   smeared across its surface.  "Mons", with its bull's eye composition, suggests an apocalypse, and places the viewer on a runway to a present they may not want to face.

We know these forms in Kristi Kent's paintings, or at least we've seen something like them, and been where they appear to be, and have done what they might be doing.  But they are also from a world beyond, where all hidden motivations and inclinations are evident, immediate, and serve as both the foreground and background in these works.  In "Net" we can so understand the clear water, and described environment of the pool that we wonder what these toy satellites are doing there, and if the alien robot person is alive or dead.  But mostly we wonder if the water is cold.

We've put them there, all these objects in Elizabeth Livensperger's paintings: chairs, lights, and projectors.  And while they care nothing about us, they have absorbed our movements, activities and life processes.  In "Projector I", "Projector ", and "Fluorescent Light", cropped views of these institutional, and educational equipment and spaces are saturated with a kind of vacuous repetition of presence and use.  Yet the pink used in these paintings remembers the bodies, the flesh and blood, of those that have inhabited these spaces and interacted with these objects.

In Kathi Paker's work the unreal is made real.  Each of these paintings is set in a lush, and fertile natural world and is inhabited by a single character.  Who is the artist herself in forms including a serpent, nubile young woman, and Victorian tribal princess. Each work is filled with seeming incongruities and like Magical Realism portray narratives which we come to understand abstractly, symbolically and intuitively.  In "Anima Alta", as with each of the works, the environment surrounding the subject appears to be an expression of her inner landscape, and seems as capable of consuming as supporting her.  Indeed each of the works illustrates the feminal power to create and destroy.

Carol Padberg's paintings are as immediate as street signs.  The abstract symbols they house, taken from modernist typography fonts, direct us to some new place. Coming close these forms, which have a stunning degree of depth, also show us where we are going, and then take us there. But it's Padberg's combination of matt, flat, surfaces surrounding these forms, and bold relationships of colors that peek and generate our desire to go.

Ronald Sloan's work lays bear our inner most workings. Figures in these works, rendered with a raw deliberateness, in loud arresting colors, are undergoing experiences resulting from internal and external forces.  In "It's Magic" the gold star marks the position of the central figure as saint or Christ over his head. This figure, trapped in his box, radiating anguish from his center, could easily be a model for the every man as both saint and sinner. These works seem to address what is most terrible and tender in our experiences and psyche. 

We cannot know or imagine before hand where a painting might take us, which is perhaps the point.  And the only way to prepare for the journey is to arrive before the work fully present.

Susan Classen-Sullivan

Past Exhibitions

Gallery Hours

Monday - Friday: 11am - 8pm
Saturday: 12pm - 5pm

The Hans Weiss Newspace Gallery reviews work on an ongoing basis.
Materials (images, resume and statement) can be forwarded to:

Susan Classen-Sullivan
Hans Weiss Newspace Gallery
Manchester Community College
MS#19 Great Path
Manchester CT, 06040
or via email to:

Last Update: September 22 2009
For additional information, contact: Susan Classen-Sullivan