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The Freake Limner abstract painting Jim Napierala
Creative Process at Biddington's

Abstract Painter

visits the Manhattan studio of contemporary Abstract artist Jim Napierala.

Jim NAPIERALA: These recent paintings are acrylic on wood panel. Iridescent and matte pigments are layered in veiled rhythms to capture the fluidity of light, and the speed of vision. Each layer both conceals and reveals what lies beneath.

The Freake Limner
Acrylic on Birch Panel, 2002

napierala studio with large panel paintings
Jim NAPIERALA: My art is predicated upon three basic tenets: abstraction, the nature of materials and the iconic character of painting. In abstraction, the artist is presented with a language which is at once universal and personal. Abstraction enables the artist to speak in the tongues of all men and of all art.

Jim Napierala's Studio with Large Panel Paintings

Jim NAPIERALA: In the nature of the materials he chooses, the artist is provided with the structural underpinning for his work. If one is not true to the materials, the essence of the work is lost.

Detail of napierala wood veneer painting

Jim NAPIERALA: I always had a tendency to gravitate towards wood. My father was a pattern-maker who worked in wood. In my paintings from the mid-90's, I used enamel on wood veneer strips. It evolved from watching my daughter playing with the masking tape strips. I liked the way the strips worked in random combinations.

Detail of Wood Strip Painting "Signifying Monkey", 1994

Napierala wood panel painting process

Jim NAPIERALA: I am very process oriented in my painting. My current series of work is painted on birch panels. In these panels I am working in an off-square format. Vertical shapes read as figures and horizontal ones as landscapes. I like boxiness--but avoid squares because that format is about perfection.

Early Stage of Napierala Panel Painting

Napierala wood panel painting process

Jim NAPIERALA: I prepare the wood panels, then mask off certain areas and paint other areas in a layering taping, cutting and painting process. The cutting is the element of drawing.

Middle Stage of Napierala Panel Painting
with Blue Masking Tape

Napierala wood panel painting process

Jim NAPIERALA: The biomorphic forms are masked off and painted. Then I scrape off most of the paint leaving a ghost image. I think of curving vertical forms as being figurative--specifically female. As the layers build, the painting grows increasingly complex. The more structural layers are taped in bias pattern.

Later Stage of Napierala Panel Painting
with Tape Partially Cut Away
Exposing Areas to be Painted

napierala detail of Conceptual Welfare

Detail of Conceptual Welfare, 2002

napierala diptych painting side view

Jim NAPIERALA: The undulating lines give the surface an energy. These panels are expansive because they float off the wall.

New Black/Old Black, 2002

metallic paint detail Box of Awakening

Jim NAPIERALA: I'm interested by the reflective qualities of metallic and iridescent paints. The character of the painting changes with the changing light.

Detail of Box of Awakening, 2002

Jim Napierala with a painting in progress

Jim NAPIERALA: The partially completed painting at the right is from 2000--an early piece in the current series--and shows gestural elements in metallic paint.

Napierala with Painting in Process, 2000

napierala painting  bias series untitled melon

Jim NAPIERALA: In all of my work, gesture and structure are in some sense competing, but they must resolve to create the final image.

Bias Series, Untitled (Melon), 2002

Jim Napierala's artist's studio

Jim Napierala's Manhattan Studio

Jim NAPIERALA: My goal is to fragment accepted artistic conventions and transform them into a viable retinal vocabulary. Much like Dr. Frankenstein's reanimation of a creature long dead, by reassembling various parts of Modernism's cadaver I seek to create a vital entity, and hope to avoid simply resuscitating Clement Greenberg's monster.

Jim Napierala in His Studio

Jim NAPIERALA: I believe that an art object is, in essence, an icon; not a mere commodity or artifact, but rather a cultural manifestation of the spirit. My work aspires to be a visual mantra, something to get lost in, while finding other ways of seeing. I have often found solace in the power and beauty of painting. Painting can speak when all else is mute.

Jim Napierala
in his Manhattan Studio

View Jim NAPIERALA's paintings offered for sale in
BIDDINGTON'S Contemporary Art Gallery.
Price Range: $600 and $5,000

napierala painting crystal bullet

Crystal Bullet, 2000

JIM NAPIERALA Selected Exhibitions:
2002 "The Peace Show" Kentler International Drawing Space , Brooklyn, NY
2001-2002 " 9/11 ARTISTS RESPOND " (Traveling Exhibition), Bronx River Art Center , (Bronx, NY), Fairleigh Dickenson University, (Teaneck, NJ), Kentler International Drawing Space (Brooklyn, NY)
2001 "Benefit Exhibition and Auction", Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, New York, NY
2001 "Small Works on Paper", Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, NY
1999 "Paintings" Gallery Valerie, New York (solo)
1998 "Garage Modernism" Art Guys World Headquarters, Houston (solo)
1996 "Extensions" Luise Ross Gallery, New York
1995 "The Vision Thing (redux)" Kentler Drawing Center, Brooklyn
1995 "Nineties Abstraction" Luise Ross Gallery, New York
1994 "Small Works" New York University, New York
1992 "A New American Flag" Max Protech Gallery, New York
1992 "Collector's Choice" Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock
1990 "With the Grain" Whitney Museum at Philip Morris, NYC
1989 "The Case for Plywood" Luise Ross Gallery, New York
1989 "Small Scale Abstraction" Art in General, New York

JIM NAPIERALA Selected Public Collections:
Arnold and Porter, New York, NY
Champion International , Stamford CT
JP Morgan­Chase Manhattan Bank Collection, New York, NY
The Art Guys, Houston, TX

JIM NAPIERALA Selected Bibliography:
Stephen Westfall "American Art Today: Surface Tension"
Florida International University, 1992
Theodore F. Wolff "The Art of Painting Plywood", Christian Science Monitor, August 26, 1990
Vivien Raynor "Painters Are Embracing Wood", The New York Times, April 29, 1990
Matthew Rose "The Case for Plywood" Art Gallery International, Summer 1990

Sigmund Abeles Expressive Realist Painter
Nancy Azara Sculptor
Tova Beck-Friedman Sculptor & Mixed-Media Artist
Todd Bellanca Abstract Painter
Carol Bruns Bronze Figurative Sculptor
James Burnett Non-Objective Painter
Cynthia Capriata Peruvian Painter & Printmaker
Catalina Chervin Argentine Surrealist Artist
Diane Churchill Expressionist Painter
John Clem Clarke Pop Artist
Lisa Dinhofer Illusionist Painter
Tom Duncan Narrative Polychrome Sculpture
Michael Eastman Faux-Primitive Painter
Lynne Frehm New York Abstract Painter
Betsey Garand Minimalist Painter & Fine Art Printmaker
Mary Teresa Giancoli Personal Documentary Photographer
Debora Gilbert-Ryan New Image Painter
Janet Goldner African-Influenced Steel Sculpture
Harry Gordon Monumental Sculpture
Marilyn Greenberg Narrative Abstract Painter
Patricia Hansen Portrait and Still Life Painter
Richard Heinrich Welded Steel Sculpture
Charles Hewitt Painter & Monotype Printmaker
Diane Holland Intermedia Collage Artist
GH Hovagimyan Pop/Conceptual Artist
LA Hughes Pop Artist
Frances Jetter Bronze Sculptor & Editorial Illustrator
Scott Kahn Fantasy Painter
Susan Kaprov Digital Printmaker and Abstract Painter
Babette Katz Narrative Printmaker and Book Artist
Richard Mock Abstract Painter & Linocut Printmaker
Maureen Mullarkey Figure Paintings
Bill Murphy Contemporary Realist Painter
Jim Napierala Abstract Painter
Lucille Nurkse Collage Artist and Painter
Frances Pellegrini New York City & Fashion Photographer
Joseph Reeder Cross Media Artist Paintings & Ceramics
Laura Shechter Contemporary Realist Painter
Annemarie Slipper Figurative Ceramic Sculpture
Gary Slipper Fantasy Painter
Margaret Speer Landscape & Travel Paintings
Serena Tallarigo Marble Sculptor
Rein Triefeldt Kinetic Sculpture
Vivian Tsao Painter of Light
Nancy Van Deren Contemporary Painter
Joan Berg Victor Drawings from Nature
Edward Walsh Figurative Sculpture
Kate Wattson Contemporary Colorist Painter
Betty Winkler Organic Minimalist Painter & Printmaker

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CREATIVE PROCESS at Biddington's is designed as a forum for watching art in the making. Usually, this process happens in the privacy of the artist's or artisan's studio. At BIDDINGTON'S--Contemporary Art Gallery & upmarket, online art & antiques auctions--we find it interesting to witness the steps leading to the end product and to hear the artists speak about their work in the relaxed surroundings of their own studios.

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