Tayloe Piggott Gallery is pleased to present Abacus a group exhibition on view at 62 S. Glenwood Street exhibiting paintings by artists Enrique Martínez Celaya, Greta Waller, and Mike Piggott. This curated selection of lyrical paintings features poignant scenes of ice and snow that speak to one another, as they speak to us, of changes taking place in our environment. Bearing reflection on time and our future within this delicate ecosystem, Abacus reminds us of the magic of nature and the respect it commands.
Enrique Martínez Celaya is an artist, author, and former scientist whose work has been exhibited and collected by major institutions around the world, and he is the author of books and papers in art, poetry, philosophy, and physics. Celaya’s figurative work, often mystical and somewhat somber in subject matter, serves to probe deep into the human psyche, exploring philosophical and metaphysical queries. The featured painting in the current exhibition The Abacus depicts a shoeless girl in a summer dress who is out to sea on a slip of ice. The arresting image calls to mind the discomforts of unpredictable weather, while reminding us that the ice is not gone yet. Martínez Celaya was born in Cuba and raised in Spain and Puerto Rico. He initiated his formal training as an apprentice to a painter at the age of 12 and developed what was to become an enduring interest in writing and philosophy in the turbulent Puerto Rican cultural and political environment of the 1970s. He received a Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics and a minor in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University, and a Master of Science with a specialization in Quantum Electronics from the University of California, Berkeley. He conducted part of his graduate research at Brookhaven National Laboratory, and while there he painted the Long Island landscape. He attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture and earned an MFA with the department's highest distinction from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was also a junior fellow at the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center.
Ice has remained a fascination for artist Greta Waller for the past decade. From in-studio Ice Block paintings to the wintry mountainscapes of her Avalanche series, Waller captures the ephemerality of time with her paintbrush as it plays out in one of nature’s most fascinating resources. Born in 1983 in Indianapolis, IN, Greta Waller earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Cooper Union in 2006. She continued her studies at the University of Los Angeles, CA, and received her Master of Fine Arts in 2011. Waller has participated in several select summer and exchange programs, including the Chelsea College of Arts and Slade School of Fine Art in London, Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and the New York Academy of Art in Manhattan. In 2017, Waller was invited to participate in the Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts at The American Academy of Arts and Letters, from which the Academy chose her as an Art Award winner.
Mike Piggott collects images in his memory to later explore on canvas. Often depicting personal experiences or landscapes, there is also a mercurial fascination with the fragility of life that Piggott communicates with his deft brushstrokes. He admits that he likes to skirt the mysteries and complexities of life for which we have few words that never seem to define the experienced sensations. His winter scenes convey this as well as any of his work with shadowy ice skaters, snowy owls, desolate cabins, or adumbral lakes and streams. Primarily concerned with the formal aspects of painting, Piggott enjoys painting variations of the same scene multiple times in order to focus on the subtle differences in the technical aspects of color and composition. Mike Piggott was born in 1963 in Charlottesville, VA. He received his BA at Virginia Commonwealth University and continued his studies at the Winchester College of Art, Winchester, England. Piggott has had numerous solo exhibitions with Tayloe Piggott Gallery, Jackson, WY, the Lynchburg Fine Arts Center, Lynchburg, VA, and at the Neapolitan Gallery, Richmond, VA.