Esquisser : Joseph Ciaccio and Michael Baier
The James S. Murray Gallery presents “Esquisser” on February 13th, a show of figurative studies by artists Joseph Ciaccio and Michael Baier. Both intrigued by the human form as art, Ciaccio and Baier attended a figure painting workshop with artist Robert Liberace at the Richeson School of Art in Kimberly Wisconsin. The focus was on applying alla prima painting with a full color palette while maintaining a more baroque level of finish.
Of the work Ciaccio is quoted as saying, “It should be apparent in the studies how each composition begins with an understanding of the abstract nature of light and shadow, as well as the geometry that can be extrapolated from seemingly organic forms. The execution of painting and drawing is a seesaw of gesture and control.
The studies became a springboard for the finished paintings, and continue to inform the artists’ work. The objective of this research is not to learn a style. It is to incorporate sound principles into an ever-evolving body of work.
The exhibition is titled “Esquisser” (French for the verb Sketch) to denote the spirit in which all the work was created, and the importance of maintaining the semblance of life in figure and portrait paintings.”
Ciaccio and Baier are both long time Springfield residents. Joseph Ciaccio studied art at Illinois State University and finished a Master’s in Fine Arts at Bowling Green State University. He currently teaches art at area colleges. Michael Baier is better known as a musician and, until recently, as a teacher in Springfield’s 186 School District. Having just retired from his day job he is taking the time to concentrate on the visual end of his artistic talents. The paintings and drawings of “Esquisser” were all completed over the past year and reflect the two artists’ common pursuit of studying the human form.
A reception for the artists will be held on Thursday, February 16th, beginning at 5pm. Light refreshments will be served and the public is invited. “Esquisser” will be open from Monday, February 13th until Thursday, March 1st, 2012. Gallery hours during the spring semester are Monday through Friday, 8am – 4pm.