From a distance, the geometric paintings, sculptures and wall hangings of Liz Whitney Quisgard seem to be constructed of thousands of mosaic tiles-but there's not a tile in the exhibit that opens this weekend at the Anita Shapolsky Art Foundation in Jim Thorpe.
Instead, the illusion of mosaics is created by arrays of tiny colored dots, that upon closer inspection, have the look of a halftone print, similar to that produced by a four-color press. With that illusion as an underpinning, Quisgard builds intricate compositions of overlapping squares, circles ovals and triangles. In each overlap, she carefully selects colors so the shapes lighten and darken to appear as if light is playing on a three-dimensional form.
Pattern and Structure, an exhibition of nearly 100 pieces by Liz Whitney Quisgard, opens Saturday, July 3 at the Anita Shapolsky Art Foundation. Ms. Quisgard will be the featured guest at an opening reception from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
"Liz Whitney Quisgard said of her work, 'What you see is what you get,'" said Shirley Thomas, assistant director of the Anita Shapolsky Art Foundation. "She also said, 'My goal is to surprise and engage the mind by seducing the eye.'"
That's exactly what the acclaimed Soho, New York artist does as her geometrics create dazzling, kaleidoscopic images.
Her works have a feeling of the Middle East with elements reminiscent of Islamic, Byzantine or Moorish architecture. Her dot patterns help to reinforce the image of mysterious multicolored Eastern jewels.
The exhibit's walls are filled with her acrylic yarn on buckram tapestries. Many are too long to hang from ceiling to floor or to fit on a single wall. These wall hangings create the illusion of light playing on three-dimensional overlapping geometry through the use of many colors and shadings of yarn.
Quisgard's acrylic on canvas paintings often portray the architectural features of mosques, using dots of paint to give the feeling of mosaics and jewels.
"You can tell she enjoys what she does," said David Price - a Jim Thorpe artist. "The energy from her as an artist comes through in the work."
Whether it is her painted, hand-turned wood sculptures, her paintings, or her weaving, Quisgard never fails to feature symmetry and optical illusion qualities. As you continue to look at her work, the elements seem to gain increasing depth and complexity.
Quisgard, who was born in 1928 and will be 82 this year, describes herself as, "hardworking, ambitious, prolific and versatile. My work is bold, original, daring & eccentric." She has had solo shows in museums and universities nationwide. Recently, she has been a finalist in 16 public art competitions and the winner in five others.
"We all understand a row of triangles, a strip of squares, an arrangement of circles and swirls. No need to ask their meaning," Quisgard noted. "They simply are what they are. They speak to us universally and without apology."
Also, on view on the upper level are paintings and sculpture from the Foundation's permanent collection-works from the 1950s-1980s by Ernest Briggs, Seymour Boardman, and John Hultberg.
The Anita Shapolsky Art Foundation is located at 20 West Broadway in Jim Thorpe. For additional information, see: www.asartfoundation.org . Phone: (570) 325-581. Foundation hours are 11a.m.-5p.m., Sat. & Sun., and by appointment. The Foundation will be open on July 5.