Gallery35 is pleased to present this review by fellow artist, John Devaney, of the work of Rick Perez and Yolande Heljnen in People, Places & Things at the gallery.
The current two person show of figurative painters, Rick Perez and Yolande Heljnen, is a rare opportunity to see two sides of the figurative portrait process. Perez’s serene, even majestic, figures play an impressive counterpoint to the lively, tonal work of Heljnen, who often mounts pages from her notebooks with studies of people, interiors and landscapes. Her pages have the immediacy of the on-site reporter’s sketch, but they are fully developed in tone and mood. Her earth tones, using a limited palette, manage to convey many more colors than one actually sees. These are vignettes, but I was reminded of the spare yet rich tonalities of landscape painters and portraitists such as the modern realist, Antonio Lopez Garcia.
The subjects in Perez’s work, while diverse in age, physique, and costume, share a contemplative grandeur. One can see the cool finish of the French Academy, but there is a rich range character in the expressions, and poses—from the almost heroic stance of a man in Asian silks to the demure yet proud head-on pose of a young woman in a white dress.
This exhibit is a celebration of a steady and searching gaze at the beauty and variety of the human form. There’s just enough contrast in the two approaches here to give a sense of what goes into such a process. —John Devaney
This exhibit will run for just one month and well worth a visit to Gallery35. Meet the artists at a reception on March 10th, 6-8pm or by appointment.