Octavia Art Gallery is pleased to present our Summer Group Show featuring artworks by Martin Benson, Aaron Collier, Caio Fonseca, and Wayne Pate.
Through his artistic practice, Martin Benson is exploring ways to express questions about deeper levels of reality. Inspired by sacred geometry and esoteric symbolism, his paintings embody his own contemplative practices and the experiences within them. Reconciling the tension between spirituality and the hyper-materialist modern world, his pieces act as visual koans for both the artist and the viewer. Benson received his MFA from the University of New Orleans and his BA at the University of Southern California. He has exhibited at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Contemporary Arts Center (LA), the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the Jazz and Heritage Foundation amongst others. Benson’s works are in the permanent collections of the New Orleans Children’s Hospital, New York Presbyterian, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the University Medical Center, New Orleans.
Aaron Collier’s abstract paintings are both suggestive and silent, exploring the possibility of paint to simultaneously reveal and conceal. Since 2017 he has been interested in parallels between sense-making at the sites of architectural ruins and what we do before images and other silences. Learning at these sites is a care-driven process of encounter, unearthing, arranging, deducing, imagining, testing, failing, and connecting, in no particular order with no guarantee of understanding. Furthermore, a learned humility before other personal or historical unknowns could advance knowledge and communion beyond the field of visual communication. Collier teaches drawing and painting at Tulane University as an Associate Professor. He has participated in recent group exhibitions at the Contemporary Arts Center (LA) and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and has been featured in New American Paintings. His paintings are represented in such collections as the New Orleans Museum of Art, Iberia Bank, and the Boston Medical Center. Collier has been selected for artist residencies at the Ragdale Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans, ISCP in Brooklyn, and OAZO in Amsterdam.
Caio Fonseca is well known for his lyrical, abstract paintings that explore the interaction of form and tonality. His practice embraces early twentieth century modernism and the traditional principles of abstraction, however, he has established his own stylized vernacular through which to explore these concepts. Fonseca is also partly influenced by his training and interest in classical music and composition. Similar to musical arrangements, his technique for creating a painting is a process of both structured planning and moment-to-moment improvising. Fonseca lives and works between New York City and Pietrasanta, Italy. He has exhibited internationally in museums and galleries and has had retrospectives at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and at the Institut Valencià d'Art Modern (IVAM), Valencia, Spain. Fonseca's work is included in many public and private collections, including the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; Whitney Museum of America Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Based in New Zealand, Wayne Pate’s work focuses on rendering objects and interiors in his signature simplistic and sophisticated style. With bold subject matter and fresh color palettes, he often uses pieces of canvas or linen to collage and create layers beneath the paint. In his travels, Pate has amassed a collection of historical objects, which include lebrillos, jugs and water pitchers from Spain, ceramics and terra-cotta pieces from Italy and Greece as well as various vessels from Provence, which often recur throughout the work as repeating shapes. Through subtle shifts in size, format, and contrast, these repeating shapes emerge from the subconscious, giving voice where there is none. Pate was raised in Texas and moved to New York in the early 1990’s where he established his career. His work is included in many notable private collections, such as The Carlyle Hotel, New York and the Palm Heights Hotel, Cayman Islands.