Retrospection: Paintings by Jamey Brzezinski

The Carnegie Arts Center announces an exciting exhibition of paintings by Jamey Brzezinski on view now through March 22, 2020.

Once each year the Carnegie presents an exhibition with a Central Valley focus, celebrating artists who have had a significant impact on the regional art scene. This year the Carnegie is pleased to highlight the work of Jamey Brzezinski in a solo exhibition of almost 100 paintings. Brzezinski’s career includes a 20-year tenure at Merced College (1992-2012), where his influence and style helped shape more than one generation of aspiring artists.

Having spent time living in the Bay Area, the Central Valley, Humboldt County, and the Yosemite region, Brzezinski’s focus has always been on California—its land, sky, sea and shore. His paintings have continually explored the different colors, textures and spaces to be found in regions all across the state. Now retired from teaching and settled in Pacifica, he still finds himself traveling through—and exhibiting his work—in the Central Valley where he continues to find inspiration.Central Valley Stormscape, acrylic, 2014

This “retrospection” combines elements of a retrospective (spanning almost 20-years of Brzezinski’s career) with an exhibition of his most recent paintings. In looking at both the past and the present we see a continuing fascination with, and exploration of, perception. In this exhibition we hope to inspire viewers to look beyond the surface of realism and delve into the complex realm of abstraction. Brzezinski poses a challenge to the viewer by asking us to perceive his works on multiple levels.

Subjects that appear as realistically depicted as a photograph are actually pure invention. Beginning with sketches that come from his imagination, drawing on memories but not specific places or objects, Brzezinski creates paintings that require exploration and reflection.  The viewer’s experience is , in a way, a challenge from the artist. At first glance we ‘see’ an object or place, but with closer inspection and a little guidance from the artist’s statements, we might question what we perceive. Are the paintings representational or abstract? Can they be both at the same time? These explorations take place in different thematic series as a way of dissecting each subject through repetition and variation. This should not be too surprising; Jamey is also an accomplished jazz musician.

Postcard imageA unique event is planned for  Tuesday, February 18th, called  “Re-position/Re-perception.” During this event the curator will discuss Brzezinski’s use of aerial perspectives to challenge perception. With white gloves on and input from the event attendees, we will change the exhibition by re-orientating paintings in order to see how they can be perceived differently.

EVENTS:    Re-Position/Re-Perception, Tuesday, January 18,  at 6 p.m.

Gallery Talk with Jamey Brzezinski, Sunday, March 8, at 2 p.m.

DATES OF EXHIBITION: January 22 – March 22, 2020

HOURS AND ADMISSION: The Carnegie is open to the public Wednesday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sunday noon – 4 p.m.

General admission to the gallery is $7; seniors/students $5; free for Carnegie members and children 12 and under.

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