MELBOURNE, FLA. — Abstraction: Retrospective Memories, a show featuring the works of two powerful abstract artists, will open Saturday, March 20, at Foosaner Art Museum.
The exhibit centers on Rene Griffith, a contemporary mixed-media artist based in Indialantic who grew up in the Eau Gallie area of Melbourne, and Steve Seinberg, a Brooklyn-born contemporary abstract artist living in Georgia.
The show will remain open until June 19, after which the Foosaner will permanently close.
“Our final exhibition highlights two distinct abstract voices of solemnity and optimism, which together illuminate the collective transition of the Brevard arts community, while also celebrating the 40-plus-year history of the museum,” said Foosaner Art Museum Director Ashley Milliken.
To express herself as an artist who creates abstract paintings and mixed-media artworks, Griffith uses acrylic paints, graphite, charcoal, oil sticks and collage. Her collage materials are often papers from vintage books and magazines, old maps, postcards, stamps, old letters, photographs, wallpapers and other ephemera that seem interesting to her.
“Using color, texture and shape, my intention is to give the viewer a glimpse into my feelings about the places I remember,” she said. “Then they can use their own experiences and memories to relate to these places.”
Griffith’s Inner Landscapes series, part of her Foosaner exhibit, is an exploration of her memory and imagination. As an artist, she spends a great deal of time reflecting inwardly, and as she creates, these thoughts and feelings are reflected in her artwork.
“Having grown up in the Eau Gallie section of Melbourne and returning many years later, I cannot go anywhere without stirring up memories and thoughts about how much this area has changed since my childhood: one school for grades 1 through 12, a small downtown with a drug store (Fulmer’s), a jewelry store (Sullivan’s), a bank, one department store (Turner’s), one hotel (The Oleanders), a police station, a library, and a long wooden bridge referred to as the ‘rickety rackety bridge’ to take us to the beach.”
Seinberg is best known for his use of muted palettes, precise additive and subtractive devices, and poetic line work. Bill Lowe, whose Atlanta gallery represents Seinberg, describes his work as “A formula of graphite, oil and canvas to create breath-like creations. Seinberg’s somber pallet, bold strokes and poetic line work connect the outside world with motion as incessant and loss being invaluable.”
Seinberg’s paintings are inspired by biological senses, environmental factors and the emotional responses to these surroundings. The various elements within his paintings are determined by what he intuits at each moment during the process of creation, which forces his paintings to communicate in a mysterious, unobtrusive subtle and instinctive manner. Because of these factors, every aspect and phase of Seinberg’s work fades in and out of the paint almost imperceptibly, leaving behind powerful images capable of nurturing the mind, heart and soul.
The Foosaner Art Museum is at 1463 Highland Ave. in the Eau Gallie Arts District of Melbourne. Admission is free. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. For more information about the artists and this exhibition, visit https://foosanerartmuseum.org/current-art-exhibitions/.