NEW ORLEANS, LA.- Jonathan Ferrara Gallery
presents Glidepath, a solo exhibition by mid-career, New York artist Paul Villinski. The exhibition explores metaphors of flight and transformation through a delicate meditation on found objects, showcasing Villinskis well- known metamorphosis of discarded materials into evocative forms. Glidepath travels from the explosive energy of birds in flight made from old LP records through sinuous and serene streams of hundreds of ultramarine blue butterflies crafted from discarded aluminum cans.
Of the found materials for which he is known, Villinski says I am drawn to humble, yet evocative materials; in this case, crushed aluminum cans from the streets of New York - every one of them once raised to someones lips. My process of recycling them into images of butterflies is a quiet physical meditation, a yoga of tin snips and files and fingers
then, they want to gather into a certain shape, or fly off on a particular tangent, and I let them. They function both as marks in these abstract, three-dimensional paintings, and as actors in curious narratives.
In Glidepath, the energy of flight is harnessed in works like Diaspora, which debuted recently in Never Can Say Goodbye, an exhibition at the former Tower Records store in New York City. Emanating from a vintage turntable, 150 birds made from the artists own collection of LP records radiate outwards, each with its unique identity and headed to its own, unknown destination. Informed by a poetic, and sometimes quirky, Magic Realist quality, many works employ Villinskis signature butterfly imagery, as super-saturated blue butterflies wind their way through found objects including an old Army tank drivers helmet; a vintage flight suit; and a salvaged glider instrument panel. In On Final (for St. Ex), butterflies accompany a small blue airplane in the artists tribute to Antoine de Saint Exupery, pilot and author of The Little Prince. Himself a licensed glider pilot, Villinskis ethereal compositions re-invent mundane, cast-off materials, transporting viewers with their sophisticated and thought-provoking beauty, and suggesting the immense possibility of transformation through creativity.
Paul Villinski (born 1960) has lived and worked in New York City since 1982. Glidepath is the artists second exhibition with Jonathan Ferrara Gallery. His work has been exhibited extensively in shows including Prospect.1 Biennial (LA); The Museum of Arts and Design (NY); Rice University Art Gallery (TX); Ballroom Marfa (TX); Wesleyan University (CT); The Hillwood Art Museum (NY); the Ogunquit Museum of American Art (ME); The Hunterdon Museum of Art (NJ); The Arizona Museum for Youth; and Morgan Lehman Gallery (NYC). He received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship grant, and has been an Artist-in-Residence at the Millay Colony (NY); the Ucross Foundation (WY); the Djerassi Foundation (CA); Villa Montalvo (CA) and the Serenbe Institute (GA). He is a frequent panelist for conversations about art and the environment, most recently participating in a discussion at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in St. Louis.
Villinskis work is in numerous collections including Fidelity Investments; Microsoft; New Orleans Museum of Art; Progressive Insurance; The Museum of Arts and Design; Tommy Hilfiger; Arkansas State University; New York Life; University of Michigan; and The Ritz Carlton Highlands. His work has been widely reviewed in publications including ARTnews, Art In America, Artforum; The Art Newspaper; The New York Times; Sculpture Magazine; Elle Italy; Metropolitan Home; The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review; The Houston Chronicle; The International Herald Tribune; The Los Angeles Times; The New York Sun; The Times-Picayune; The Village Voice; The Wall Street Journal; and The Washington Post.