Mike Hansel and Neal Walsh @ Chazan Gallery

On View at the Chazan Gallery @ Wheeler

memories | echo | stillness

new sculptures and paintings by Mike Hansel and Neal Walsh

November 16 to December 6, 2017


Opening reception for the artists on November 16th from 5-8pm. The public is invited.

About Mike Hansel:

Sculptor and Art Educator, Mike Hansel, has been actively producing contemporary art work for over 30 years. Living most of his life in New England, he currently resides in Middletown, RI where he teaches studio art and creates large scale metal sculpture. His work resides in many private collections, and he has installed numerous large-scale public sculptures in museum venues and on college campus sites. Mike Hansel’s work has become known for his ability to create highly crafted, organic pieces that contradict what we might expect from such rigid, industrial materials.

Artist Statement:

Through my sculpture, I attempt to distort traditional assumptions relating to function while also suggesting a correlation between life and industry. The contrasting relationship between utilitarian and organic forms is a consistent component of all my visual investigations. A fascination with machinery is fused with gestural organic forms to create personal interpretations drawn largely from memory. The work reflects a long term, in depth understanding of sculptural materials and how their inherent physical properties can be re-interpreted to reveal something extraordinary. The process is experimental and never predetermined. Driven by the anticipation of discovery, I return regularly to a place where anything is possible.

About Neal Walsh:

Neal Walsh is the Gallery Director for the Providence arts organization, AS220. He was recently included in the RISD Museum’s Locally Made exhibition and has exhibited widely. Walsh curated NIGHTVISIONS, a series of experimental site-specific films and performances for the City of Providence, a group exhibition We Don’t Make Mistakes, at the Chazan Gallery and co-curated with Maya Allison, the exhibition, Among the Breakage: New Painting from Providence at the David Winton Bell Gallery.

Artist Statement:

Using old and salvaged canvas from previous paintings, torn pages from discarded books, debris from the studio floor, oil paint, graphite, ink, dry pigments, and adhesives, Neal Walsh builds his paintings layer by layer. The surfaces are scratched, torn, tattered, sanded, scrapped bare and started again and again upon canvas or wood panels until the accumulation of materials is finally deemed complete. Walsh often uses grids as a foundation for his paintings; with each layer this initial uniformity tends towards entropy, the fixed becomes ever more fluid. In this process of adding and subtracting each layer has an opportunity to play a part but is also altered with the artist’s intentionality; hence, Walsh's work echoes nature’s familiar patterns of growth and decay, chance and control. The paintings mark the passage of time: they are vessels of memory containing the traces of their past. The paintings explore the space between order and chaos, and the creation of place through memory and experience… The paintings are meditations on our complex relationship with time, history and the construction of consciousness. They strive to capture in painting those poetic fragments that make up the essence of our transitory lives as it unfolds before us.

For more information on exhibitions at the Chazan Gallery @ Wheeler, contact Elena Lledo Macau at elenalledo@chazangallery.org or call (401) 421- 9230.