Opening Reception January 12, 4-7 pm
Bentley Gallery is pleased to present two new exhibitions: Two- and three-dimensional drawings by Mark Pomilio and inflated steel sculpture by Jeremy Thomas.
Mark Pomilio: Natural Order
Mark Pomilio studies the relationship between the phenomena of nature and how mathematics can unravel and connote nature’s power through rational methodology, and he transcribes this exploration
in 2- and 3-dimensional drawings. Crossovers between art and science are nothing new; consider,
for example, Leonardo da Vinci's botanical sketches, proportional studies, and flying machines. Indeed, Pomilio receives invitations to lecture nationally on art and mathematics, and the role the visual arts
can play in the life sciences.
Pomilio explains, “In geometry, I found a system by which I was able to unify all of my concerns, be
they the intrinsic qualities of past masterpieces or the recurring and poetically beautiful systems found
in nature.” Inherent in his work is the notion of beauty in art and science—something that is easy to recognize but can be difficult to quantify. It is especially evident in his elegant 3-dimensional “bi-fold” drawings, which are mounted to foam core and wood, and geometrically bent to emulate the folding
and multiplication of cells as they reproduce and generate into complex organisms. The end result is analogous to the meditative qualities of reflective pools or religious icons.
Mark Pomilio’s artwork has been featured in solo museum and gallery exhibitions nationally and internationally, including the Chapelle Saint-Louis de la Salapetriere in Paris, France, Art Resources Transfer in New York City and at the Robert V. Fullerton Art Museum in San Bernardino, CA. He is an Associate Professor of Painting and Drawing at Arizona State University. Prior to that he taught at Baylor University and The University of Michigan. He received an MFA from the University of Michigan, a BFA from the University of Pennsylvania and a degree in painting from the Pennsylvania Academy of the
Jeremy Thomas: Camber
Jeremy Thomas’s inflated forms are not fabricated so much as grown. Using a blacksmithing technique, Thomas cuts steel plates into circular shapes, folds them into a pattern, and welds them into place. Through this process a form begins to develop — though according to Thomas, it is still lifeless. He
then places the form into a 2000-degree forge, and it is at this point that he breathes life into the object, creating internal volume by injecting air to mould the metal. This is when Thomas says the magic begins, as the metal expands and chance determines what shape the sculpture will take. Wrinkles and folds spontaneously appear, ultimately creating a work of art that is intriguing from every angle. Leaving sections of the sculpture in its raw state of oxidizing steel, he powder coats the rest with slick industrial color, reminiscent of tractors and combines, that co-exists beautifully with the natural, sensual form.
Growing up in Oklahoma, the farm equipment he saw clustered in the fields near his home influenced Thomas, and this aesthetic is evident in his sculpture. There is also a larger connection at work:
Every day before working in his studio, Thomas spends time in his sizable organic garden. Sustainable agriculture is something he has had a longstanding interest in and it has been a significant influence
on his artwork.
Jeremy Thomas received a BFA from The College of Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM
, had an
Internship with noted artist blacksmith Tom Joyce in Santa Fe, NM, and participated in the unique “Iron Pour” program of pouring liquid-hot iron at Mesalands Community College, Tucumcari, NM. His work was recently included in Open Airt Muchen in Germany and is in the collection of the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Thomas’s work is the subject of Plated, a book about his nickel-plated sculptures.
To watch Thomas’s artistic process, please go to http://vimeo.com/51039716
ABOUT BENTLEY GALLERY
Bentley Gallery is a contemporary art gallery representing artists from the U.S. and Europe, along with Asian and African antiquities and secondary market works from the late 19th century to the Modern era.
After 22 years in Scottsdale, Bentley Gallery relocated in November 2012 to the historic Bentley Projects warehouse in downtown Phoenix. With more than 25,000 square feet of gallery space, artists have no limits on exhibition concepts and opportunities, allowing Bentley Gallery to provide clients and the viewing public with new art, new ideas, and new experiences. The gallery has sponsored Phoenix Art Museum’s Lecture Series for many years.