PRESS RELEASE

MJFA is pleased to present IN DIALOGUE, a group exhibition featuring paintings by Chester Arnold, Ross Bleckner, Ken Elliott, and Lawrence Kelsey. This exhibition will run from March 6 - April 14, 2018, with an opening reception on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.  There will be a walk-through with Lawrence Kelsey during the reception.

This exhibition presents an interplay of works by four artists, whose individual narratives, set in contemporary environments are juxtaposed in rich conversation. The artists often places the viewer at a distance, above and/or beyond an unfolding story. The emotional and visual intensity of each piece engages the viewer separately and together.

For the past 30 years, Chester Arnold has crafted large scale oil paintings in the tradition of 19th century European artists, imbued with American political and social issues. Says Arnold, "My paintings are a big conversation I'm having with the world," In this exhibition, Dissent presents a richly painted, aerial view of protesters circa 2006, in the midst of the Iraq crisis.

Ross Bleckner's work frequently hovers between abstraction and image, with objects coming in and out of focus. Playing with repeated geometric forms that reference minimalist and op art legacies, his work often addresses themes of memory, loss, and the human body. Bleckner's Untitled is of a series of paintings on DNA, based on the molecular structure of cells.

Colorado based artist Ken Elliott, focuses on the western landscape and its rich store of ideas and inspiration. Painting rural scenery, the artist does not try to recreate nature or attempt storytelling but instead, wields color boldly, creating vibrant, contemporary landscapes that are both animated and peaceful.

Lawrence Kelsey is one of the premier contemporary painters of New York City. With oils and gouaches, the artist creates intimate atmospheric and poetic settings that integrate abstraction with realism. His new works present a new vision of New York in high-key, anti-naturalistic shapes and colors, eliminating unnecessary details for maximum impact, with a focus on the play of light and shadow.