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Art Exhibit: Parts of an Immense Whole

August 13, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - September 25, 2021 @ 7:00 pm

Please join us Friday, August 13 at Able Baker Contemporary in Portland for the opening of Parts of an Immense Whole; 9 Painters in conversation w/ the work of Joseph A. Fiore, curated by Tessa G. O’Brien and featuring Rachel Gloria AdamsEleanor ConoverJarid del DioDavid DeweyLois DoddAlice JonesJesse LittlefieldJay Stern, and Alan Syliboy, with paintings by Joseph A. Fiore, courtesy of Maine Farmland Trust .

Maine Farmland Trust’s Fiore Art Center at Rolling Acres Farm celebrates agriculture through art, capturing the vibrancy of Maine’s farms and farmers and intimate relationship to the land. Joseph A. Fiore (1925-2008) and his wife Mary were avid supporters of Maine Farmland Trust’s work to protect farmland. A contemporary of Lois Dodd and Alex Katz, and a well-known avant-garde artist during the 1960s, Fiore divided his life between New York City and a farm in Jefferson, Maine. While Fiore is perhaps best known for his abstract compositions, his key inspiration and passion was always the natural world and landscape.

Fiore’s family created the The Falcon Foundation after he passed to manage the artist’s impressive collection of paintings. In subsequent years, the Foundation donated the entire collection of Fiore’s works to Maine Farmland Trust—celebrating the artist’s longstanding commitment to the organization and the fact that the Trust’s work brings together several of Fiore’s own passions: art, environmental conservation, and the Maine landscape.

Parts of an Immense Whole… brings together a group of regional painters with diverse painting practices, each one connecting to various points within the long arching range of Fiore’s painting career. Rachel Gloria Adams and Jesse Littlefield make bold, graphic, textile based work that connects to Fiore’s abstract collages and oil paintings from the 1970’s. Eleanor Conover shares with Fiore a fascination with rocks and geology, zooming in on the formal qualities of rock formations and deconstructing them with inventive painterly approaches. Jarid del Deo, Alice Jones, and Jay Stern each engage with observational landscape painting through unique approaches, pushing color, atmosphere, and form as they teeter between abstraction and representation, a zone which I consider to be Fiore’s sweet spot. An established Mi’kmaq artist, Alan Syliboy paints vibrant, dreamlike renderings of petroglyph figures, inspired by the indigenous Mi’kmaq rock drawing and quill weaving traditions. Fiore was similarly inspired by petroglyph paintings after a visit to the caves of Lascaux, France, creating an extensive body of symbolist paintings in the 1980s. Lois Dodd and David Dewey were contemporaries of late Fiore, regularly venturing out on plein air painting excursions together, exploring quarries and fields around their shared territory in midcoast Maine. Fiore was a mentor and friend to painter David Dewey, who went on to become the steward of Fiore’s archives, and published Nature Observed, The Landscapes of Joseph Fiore.  – Tessa O’Brien

The show will run from August 13 – September 25.


August 13, 2021 @ 5:00 pm
September 25, 2021 @ 7:00 pm
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Able Baker Contemporary
29 Forest Ave
Portland, ME 04101 United States
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