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Scottsdale Public Art will present ‘Abstract Journeys of Mutation’

Posted 2/27/20

“Abstract Journeys of Mutation,” a new exhibition curated by Scottsdale Public Art, will open Monday, April 6, at the Civic Center Public Gallery, 3839 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale.

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Scottsdale Public Art will present ‘Abstract Journeys of Mutation’


“Abstract Journeys of Mutation,” a new exhibition curated by Scottsdale Public Art, will open Monday, April 6, at the Civic Center Public Gallery, 3839 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale.

Featuring layered, brightly-colored abstract paintings by Phoenix artists, Bill Dambrova and Fausto Fernandez, they met 18 years ago.

After their initial meeting, varying circumstances took both artists to California for a time, but they eventually found their way back to Phoenix to continue their artistic explorations, according to a press release.

They worked simultaneously at local museums and found themselves in neighboring studios at The Lodge on Grand Avenue in Phoenix.

“My works are experiments that include everyday objects — commercially manufactured items such as zip ties, tools and diagrammatic sources,” said Mr. Fernandez in a prepared statement.

“Like many artists of my generation, I borrow freely from the art of the past. Pop artists consistently look for mundane objects and abandon their conventional use to present them in a different way.”

In college, he studied graphic design along with painting. His skills as a designer bare a strong imprint on his paintings and collages. Strong lines and geometric shapes anchor the free-floating elements, which he weaves together, the release said.

Although both artists typically make large paintings, Mr. Dambrova said he began to experiment with smaller paintings, incorporating different techniques and materials including pumice, silicone and even kitty litter, due to the size limitations of the Civic Center Public Gallery.

“I decided to make more abstracted works that really have no narrative,” said Mr. Dambrova in a prepared statement.

“Since the pieces were smaller and I had less time invested in them, I could be more daring and allow for riskier moves that could ultimately fail and ruin the painting. If a painting went south, I would just toss it and move on rather than force it into submission.”

Mr. Dambrova estimates about 80% of the artists' pieces in the exhibition were created specifically for the show as they tried new techniques for this exhibition and learn from each other’s experiments, according to the release.

Wendy Raisanen, curator of collections and exhibitions for Scottsdale Public Art, paired the two artists in an exhibition after meeting them separately, in the same week, and noticed their shared history, the release said.

“I felt their paintings could vibe with each other in the gallery setting,” said Ms. Raisanen in a prepaared statement.

“The intense color, movement and juxtapositions of image to non-image is a real visual ride.”

The curator said she admires the artists’ “sense of fearlessness in their image making.”

Noting the challenge to create abstract paintings, she said any moment along the journey could result in greatness or devastating failure.

Although their paintings differ, Messrs. Fernandez and Dambrova have similar methodology to their process, according to the release.

And, “they both have an intensely driven problem-solving approach, where they thrive on reacting to chaos with ingenuity and humor,” the release noted.

Mr. Dambrova has a bachelor of arts in studio art from Arizona State University and Mr. Fernandez has a bachelor of fine arts in graphic design and a bachelor of fine arts in painting from University of Texas in El Paso.

In addition to painting, both artists have worked in public art, contributing terrazzo flooring designs to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, the release noted.

“Abstract Journeys of Mutation” will remain on view at the Civic Center Public Gallery, inside Scottsdale Civic Center Library, through June 30.

An opening reception for the artists and light refreshments will be 6:30–8 p.m.  Friday, April 10, at the gallery.

For more information about the exhibition:  ScottsdalePublicArt.org/exhibition/abstract-journeys-of-mutation.

Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation is also hosting free events associated with “Abstract Journeys of Mutation” and the “American Institute of Architects – Arizona Design Awards” exhibition on view at the Appaloosa Public Gallery in north Scottsdale at the Appaloosa Library, 7377 E. Silverstone Drive.

An all-ages talk about Frank Lloyd Wright’s philosophies on sustainability, design and how they relate to the modern green building movement will be  6 p.m. Wednesday, April 15 at Appaloosa Library.

From 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 23, families can create a collaborative painting based on the works of artists Dambrova and Fernandez during an all-ages workshop at the Civic Center Library.

Visit: ScottsdalePublicArt.org/events.