Jim Napierala: The Modern Dance

March 13 - April 16, 2008
Opening Reception: March 13, 6-8pm


Napierala’s elegant yet expressive Flashe, aluminum leaf, and acrylic paintings on wood panel are multi-layered, both materially and metaphorically. Layers of paint and leaf  veil one another, both concealing and revealing what lies beneath.   The overlay of faceted color and form result in a beguiling and optically complex visual experience.   A distillation of modernist strategies provides an abstract of the painting of the last 100 years.  The work channels Impressionism’s retinal effects, Expressionism’s gesture, Surrealism’s automatic bio-morphism, and Minimalism’s obsession with the grid.   Napierala’s work mirrors the visual cacophony that we encounter every day, while evoking the history of modernism.  They are a Cubist harlequin run amok in twenty-first century New York .

The exhibition’s title, The Modern Dance, is culled from a song by the pioneering industrial-punk band Pere Ubu.  The refrain goes as follows: “our poor boy, he believes in chance, he’ll never get...the modern dance…”

For Napierala, the modern dance is not only the interplay of ideas and personalities that have forged our visual culture, but also the “dance” that an artist does with the work that has informed and influenced their own.

Jim Napierala was born in Buffalo , NY . He graduated with degrees in Sculpture and Art History from SUNY Buffalo, and later Studied Art History at Hunter College .  He began painting in the 1980’s, and is in essence self-taught, having never had any formal training.   He has exhibited at several galleries in New York and throughout the country since the 1980’s and is represented in numerous private and corporate collections.  This is his second exhibition at the gallery.  He will give a talk on his work at the gallery on March 27 at 7pm .  For further information contact Michel Allen at 917-202-3206, or info@allengallerychelsea.com