Purdue Galleries opens season with figurative artists

August 25, 2014  

Leah Yerpe, Aquila

Leah Yerpe, Aquila, charcoal on paper, 91 by 72 inches. (Photo provided)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University Galleries will open its 2014-2015 season on Sept. 2 with two new exhibits of contemporary New York figurative artists.

“Leah Yerpe: Constellations” will be presented through Oct. 11 in the Robert L. Ringel Gallery in Stewart Center.

The bodies in Leah Yerpe’s large-scale drawings are multiplied in different poses, twisting, floating and falling on a ground purged of contextualizing marks. The models are not posed and have free reign to move in an immediate, improvised dance. This looseness contrasts with a fastidious drawing technique, wherein the bodies are captured as if formal elements in a collage.

Yerpe sees the figures as transformed from free individuals into symbolic ones, akin to the transformation of human experience in mythology and religion. The influence of mythology is often hinted at in the titles, though the work is not a direct illustration of the stories. Rather, the artist is after that kernel at the heart of the story - the core that will always resonate human experience.

Jenny Morgan, Channeling

Jenny Morgan, Channeling, 2012, oil on canvas, 32.5 by 26.5 inches. (Photo provided) 
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From 5:30-7 p.m. Sept. 11, Purdue Galleries will host a gallery talk by the artist followed by a reception in the Ringel gallery.

“Jenny Morgan: Transcendental Supra-mental” will be presented through Oct. 11 in the Fountain Gallery in downtown Lafayette.

The scale of Jenny Morgan’s paintings amplifies the intimate relationship her audience has with each painting and helps to create a larger-than-life version of her subjects.

Morgan builds on the technical intricacies of her hyperrealism by wearing down, scrubbing away or painting over many of the features of her subjects. For the artist, wearing away at the subjects is at times an emotional roller coaster that is derived from the personal relationship and feelings she has toward the painting’s subject.

Morgan’s work and an interview with the artist are featured in the current issue of JUXTAPOZ magazine. This exhibit is intended for mature audiences.

From 5:30-7 p.m. Sept. 4, Purdue Galleries will host a gallery talk by the artist followed by a reception in the Fountain gallery.

Purdue Galleries director Craig Martin says the works of these two artists are an apt kickoff for both the exhibition season and the academic year. 

“The figurative tradition in art remains strong, and these artists have infused modern sensibilities into the meaningful study of the human form and persona,” he said. “We look forward to sharing their works with a wide range of students, as well as art-goers seeking modern interpretations of the figure.”

The Robert L. Ringel Gallery is located in Stewart Center on Purdue’s main campus. The gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and until 8 p.m. on Thursday.

The Fountain Gallery is located at 330 Main St., Lafayette, in the historic Perrin Building. The gallery is open noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. All Purdue Galleries exhibitions and events are free and open to the public.

For class and group visits, contact Martin at 765-494-3061. For more information, visit http://www.purdue.edu/galleries

Contact: Craig Martin, 765-494-3061, cdmartin@purdue.edu

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