LAST CHANCE Holly Russell & Pamela Sztybel Exhibition

october, 2021

17oct12:00 pm4:00 pmFeaturedLAST CHANCE Holly Russell & Pamela Sztybel ExhibitionWashington Art Association12:00 pm - 4:00 pm Washington Art Association & Gallery, 4 Bryan Plaza Washington depot, CT

Event Details

This exhibition opens Saturday, September 18th and runs through October 17th. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, from 10am–5pm and Sunday from noon–4pm.

The Washington Art Association & Gallery continues its fall exhibitions with the work of Holly Russell and Pamela Sztybel; two widely divergent creative forces. The quiet, stately drawings, oil pastels and watercolor paintings of Sztybel’s still lifes are a counterpoint to Russells bold found-object metal sculptures.

In Pamlea Sztybel’s own words; “These works are born in and out of the garden at my home in Bridgewater, CT. The watercolors and the pen and ink drawings are a response to what I see in front of me but the oil pastels are ‘riffs’ or improvisations on those works. It has been a way of bringing more color and rhythm in, especially in the cold months of winter. For me, this medium is really the right mixture of drawing and painting. My earliest works were all about moody landscapes in a tonalist palette. Now that I’m a bit older, I stay armed with a brilliant box of colors as I aim to be less self conscious and correct. Picasso said it took him 4 years to paint like Raphael and a lifetime to paint like a child. I’m just beginning to understand what he meant and why that matters.”

At first glance Holly Russell is very different from Sztybel but they share poetic transformation as a central discipline. Russell takes discarded scrap iron and breathes new life into it. Her work is large and monumental and it is also of a domestic scale that can happily live in a small household disguised as fixtures and furniture. Like Julio Gonzalez she is driven to create personality out of rough iron but like Picasso in his assemblage sculpture she is driven by an anthropomorphic reimagining of components that started life in an entirely different way. Her work is also reminiscent of the David Smith Voltri factory work. In a burst of creativity Smith made 27 sculptures in 30 days using scrap metal, objects and abandoned tools found in that Italian abandoned welding shop. Russell also rescues abandoned tools and utilities like Smith but her trajectory is different. These works are not burdened by any utopian idea of modernist purity, her creations are always deeply affectionate and invite you to live with them as new members of your family.

Both artists start with evocative subject matter. They habituate their subjects, they dwell in them and then break them down into a synthesis of that which appears therein. This is a kind of alchemical process of starting with mute base material that mutates through abstraction it into a poetic symbol that can stand separate and distinct as a new creation.


(Sunday) 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Washington Art Association & Gallery

4 Bryan Plaza Washington depot, CT