Opening reception: July 9, 6-8pm
Octavia Art Gallery is pleased to present A Glimpse Within, a group exhibition featuring works by artists Pierre Bergian, Alex Hernández Dueñas, Martha Hughes, Kathryn Keller, and Grover Mouton.
The artists included in the exhibition explore internal and external spaces in their work. Whether focusing on architectural elements, pastoral landscapes or voyeuristic glimpses into private and sacred spaces, the viewer is not only a visitor but is called to participate in completing the work through connecting with the image.
The paintings and drawings of Pierre Bergian investigate space and structure and make use of the presence of architectural components. Bergian's work looks at rooms and spaces that are often almost empty, bar a small selection of furnishings and objects. The artist is intrigued by the many old, abandoned houses he encountered as a child that were shrouded in an air of the mysterious. In his created spaces, Bergian often includes works hanging on walls, depicted with little detail to insure the viewer “is focused on the composition and presence of his work rather than what is displayed within the scene.”
In the works of the Cuban artist Alex Hernández Dueñas, the viewer is met with the Cuban dream of Miami as a Hollywood set: swimming pools abound and perfectly manicured lawns surround clean, modern houses with constant sunshine. In this sense, he appeals to concepts like comfort, status, luxury, and prosperity. In the spirit of David Hockney, Richard Diebenkorn and Alex Katz, the use of flat and shiny colors has simplified his compositions. The atmosphere becomes rarified: surreal and unusual, it disorients the viewer and alludes to that space in dreams where the expectations and desires of a human group are expressed.
Martha Hughes uses a saturated and intense color palette coupled with unusual perspectives to create bold, playful and pared down architectural landscapes. At first glance, Hughes’ intimate paintings appear to be flat, geometric abstractions, yet slowly reveal themselves as studies in representing spatial dimensions of architectural settings. Hughes often finds inspiration from glossy interior design and architectural magazines, with their carefully staged photographs of impossibly pristine and impossibly beautiful houses, gardens and pools.
Louisiana based artist Kathryn Keller’s interiors and landscapes are done from a plein-air style. She uses both watercolor and oil to capture what she sees in front of her, which gives the viewer a private window into her world. Much of the exterior spaces focus on the soulful, secluded, rural countryside of Alexandria, Louisiana, while her interior work focuses more on the hidden magic that exists in traditional southern houses throughout Louisiana and North Carolina. As Santa Fe art critic Marina La Palma touches on when talking about Kathryn's works, “Their impressionistic quality reflects how, in our own living environments, individual items recede or stand out in idiosyncratic ways based on our habits, expectations, and preoccupations.” 
Architect and artist Grover Mouton brings utilizes hand drawings to illustrate urban design proposals. Acting as a catalyst to explore design concepts, Mouton's works on paper demonstrate a humanized scale in understanding larger urban design and architectural concepts. His work explores urban density, walkability and scale in the built environment, while expressing a real sense of place.
 LaPalma, Marina, Kathryn Keller, Paintings in oil and watercolor, exhibition catalog.